The process of finding a program that meshes well with your academic needs can seem overwhelming. I often hear people say, “I’m interested in study abroad, but I have too many course requirements”, or, “I just don’t have space in my schedule.”
I’m living proof that it can happen! I’m a Global Studies, Philosophy, and Spanish triple major and a Mellon Scholar, so I have to be very careful about what classes I take if I want to finish all these programs in four years.
Before going abroad, I sat down with Amy Otis, the Senior Director of the Center for Global Engagement, and we talked about the best type of program for me. Many of classes overseas transfer back as 3 credits rather than 4, which complicated things even further. I needed a program tailored to my academic majors and taught in Spanish to bring back the maximum number of credits. I decided on SIT Valparaiso (Chile), and I came back with 10 Spanish credits AND 9 Global Studies credits, including Research Methods. Honestly, my semester abroad moved me closer to completing my majors than a semester on campus would have. The program also included a four credit internship experience, through which I experienced a Chilean work environment and formed deeper connections with my community.
So, if you’re thinking about off-campus study but worried that it can’t fit in your schedule — it can, no matter your major or degree program! The key is to start planning early and choosing the right program for your academic needs. Drop by the Off Campus Study Office (MMC 109) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to start finding the right Off Campus Program for you!
– Jamie Breyfogle, Off-Campus Study Peer Advisor