Choose a Program
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.
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.
Options for Off-Campus Study
Because Drew believes international and off-campus study is an important part of your undergraduate experience, we offer a variety of programs designed to suit a diversity of academic needs and interests. They range in subject matter, location, length, timing, and cost. Visit the Programs page of this website for more information.
Drew’s own offerings include:
•Drew Short-Term programs: Programs ranging in length from one to four weeks offered annually, in January, during Spring Break or in the summer, in varying locations, depending on faculty interest.
•Drew Semester programs: These programs, intended primarily for juniors and seniors, include the London Semester, the New York Semester on Contemporary Art; the United Nations Semester; the Wall Street Semester, and the Washington, DC Semester. You may apply to any of these programs regardless of your major.
•Approved-List programs: Since it would be impossible for Drew to sponsor programs of its own in every subject and location, we have approved a number of programs sponsored by other institutions in which Drew students may participate. Approved programs are listed here.
Types of International Semester Programs
In general, there are four types of international programs offered on a semester or academic year basis:
1. Direct enrollment and exchange programs: These programs are similar to U.S. programs in that students are integrated into a foreign university, taking regular university courses with students from the host country. They differ in that credit is issued from the foreign university, which sends the transcript directly to Drew. While foreign universities maintain liaison offices for U.S. and other international students, there are no resident directors. These programs are appropriate for independent students who do not require a high level of support services or a built-in support network. You will be on your own until (and unless) you actively seek ways to meet new people and become involved in the local community.
2. U.S. programs that integrate students into a foreign university: Students take regular courses at the university level, not special courses for U.S. or other international students. There usually is a resident director and an organized program of cultural excursions and other events. This type of program allows you to make friends with students from the host country more easily than in a program for U.S. students only. It offers excellent opportunities for foreign language development. Also, regular university courses in foreign countries usually are taught in ways quite different from those in U.S. universities, and this situation often presents an intellectual challenge to the academically capable student. Note that foreign university schedules can be quite different from US academic calendars.
3. Programs that provide special courses for U.S. students in a foreign country: U.S. students take courses, often in university classrooms, which are arranged for them, and sometimes for other international students. In non-English speaking countries, these programs can provide a good experience for students who are not proficient enough to take regular university courses. These programs may be organized around a particular theme or topic, such as women’s issues or religious studies. Because they are not dependent on foreign university schedules, many are offered on a semester basis.
4. Programs that provide an academic experience outside the traditional university setting: U.S. students are grouped together, have lectures arranged for them, engage in specially designed projects and home stays, and usually do an in-depth research project. Such programs are appropriate for students who are comfortable with a minimally structured program and can function well independently.