Am I Ready for Off-Campus Study?
Drew believes that the experience of studying off-campus is an important component of a liberal arts education. It is not a “break” in the progress towards your degree, but rather an integral part which will expose you to different ways of thinking, develop your awareness of critical issues and ideas, and provide you with a better understanding of yourself in relation to the world in which you live.
While international and off-campus study can be exciting and rewarding, it does present special challenges. Programs, particularly international ones, require intellectual and emotional maturity. It is an experience unlike that of on-campus study or a tourist visit. If you are mature and academically committed, with an open mind towards other peoples and cultures, you are a good candidate for an international or off-campus program.
An advising session can help you to determine the type of program which will best suit your needs, guide you in your research of programs, clarify the policies and procedures applied to off-campus study, aid you in the completion of required application forms, and give you a chance to ask any questions that you may have. We can also provide you with the names of students who have participated in the program in which you are interested to learn about their experiences.
Please schedule an appointment by calling the Office at 973-408-3438.
Choosing the Right Program
Selecting an appropriate program is an important decision, and requires a considerable amount of time and energy. Advance planning, thoughtful consideration of your interests and objectives, and consultation with your faculty advisor and the International and Off-Campus Programs (IOCP) staff can help facilitate the process.
In order to choose the right program, ask yourself:
Why do I want to participate in international or off-campus study? Choosing an international or off-campus study program will be easier if you have some clearly defined reasons for wanting to engage in such an experience. International and off-campus study is not intended to be a break from your academic plans, but an integral part of them. If your goal is to simply take some time away from Drew or to travel to an exotic destination, you may want to consider other options. Think carefully about what you hope to gain from such an experience and identify programs which will meet your academic and career goals and objectives.
What are my educational and career objectives? An international or off-campus study program can complement your on-campus course work by providing the opportunity to conduct interesting research, to develop fluency in a foreign language, to explore a different culture, or to gain experience through an internship. Consider how such an experience might contribute to your own academic and professional development, and seek programs to further your objectives. In doing so, pay close attention to the range and level of courses a program offers.
What program length is suitable for me? International and off-campus programs vary in length from 3 weeks to an entire academic year. Judge for yourself what program length bests suits your needs and interests. It is important to consider the differences among one month, semester, and year-long programs. The experience each one offers is simply not the same.Where do I want to study? Your academic and professional interests will influence your decision regarding program location. If you want to study Eastern religions, your obvious choice would be countries in Asia. If your goal is to study a foreign language, you can choose a country in which the language is spoken. On the other hand, remember that your program location does not necessarily determine the courses offered there. For example, not all programs in Italy focus on Italian language; many include topics ranging from Art History to Economics. You can study French not only in France, but also in Belgium and Senegal. Internships in Washington, D.C. are just as valuable for an English major planning for a career in writing as they are for a political science major seeking experience for a career in government.
Take a moment to think about whether you prefer to study in a large city or a small town. World capitals such as Rome and London have their special attractions, but may be dominated by tourists. Small towns usually provide more opportunities to get to know people in their regular, daily lives. Also consider where you are most comfortable. Chances are if you do not enjoy the hectic pace of Manhattan, you probably would not like living in a major metropolitan center. Remaining open-minded about your program location will increase the options available to you.
What is my budget for international and off-campus study? Please be aware that study abroad carries some additional expense for which you should plan. Besides Drew tuition, costs to consider are travel, room and board as well as personal expenses. Other expenditures, for things such as non-program sponsored travel, entertainment and souvenirs, will vary depending on the exchange rate, living standards in the chosen country, and your own personal tastes.
Do I have special needs? If you have special needs that require accommodation, please advise the IOCP Office.