Markim Hall, Second Floor
Off-Campus Study is an exciting and integral component of a liberal arts education at Macalester. And just like anything worthwhile, it takes some planning and thought in order to make it a meaningful experience. Here are some steps to get you on the path to choosing the right program.
Familiarize yourself with Off-Campus Study at Macalester
Browse our website, learn about how and when to apply, and read the handbook. This handbook contains important information about Macalester's policies and guidelines, including how program fees and financial aid are determined for off-campus study semesters. Talk with faculty, students and staff about other students’ experiences during off-campus study.
Think about what you want to accomplish academically by studying off-campus
Do you want to do research? take university classes? complete an internship? work on your language skills? focus on your major/minor/concentration or another academic interest? All this is possible during off-campus study, but not all programs offer all options. Start to hone in on what your academic goals are. Keep in mind that Macalester's goal is for your experience outside of the college is to be one of academic excellence; therefore, all grades earned for off-campus study lasting a semester or longer will count in a student's Macalester grade point average.
Decide which semester you would like to study off-campus
There is an annual cap on the number of students approved for off-campus study. Depending on how many students apply to study off-campus in the Fall, Spring applicants may be asked to switch semesters. If you are having trouble deciding when to study off-campus, consider the following reasons to choose Fall:
- Less chance of being denied approval due to annual off-campus study enrollment limits.
- Be on campus to apply for summer jobs, internships and housing.
- Be on campus for spring sports, activities and events.
- Be on campus to see senior friends graduate.
- For better continuity: three straight semesters on campus to complete your academic work and prepare for post-Macalester activities.
- Avoid spending winter months abroad. Fall semester at Mac overlaps with Fall in the northern hemisphere and Spring in the southern hemisphere.
Complete the Interest Form and First Steps to Off-Campus Study course
The online interest form is available to students early in the fall semester. This lets the International Center know what your interests are, and helps us to plan for the coming year. The deadline for online submission of the interest form for off-campus study in 2013-2014 has passed. Please stop by the International Center to fill out a paper copy.
Once you complete the Interest Form, you will be automatically enrolled in an online Moodle course called “First Steps to Off-Campus Study.” Here we cover the basics of off-campus study: academics, eligibility, finances, challenges, choosing a program, etc. This course should be completed before you meet with your Study Abroad Advisor.
Start researching programs
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of options out there for off-campus study. Begin by looking at Macalester programs, and programs recommended by Macalester.
Learn about how to narrow down your choices.
Meet with your Academic Advisor
You should discuss off-campus study with your advisor during the academic year before you want to be abroad (if not before). Talk about what makes sense with your major(s) and academic plan. What semester is best for you? Do you need to get credit for a certain type of class while off-campus (major, minor, concentration, etc.)? If you’re planning to do an honors project or senior thesis, talk about how the timing of this will work with your off-campus study plans. Will you do research abroad? If so, talk about getting this approved by Macalester. And most importantly, how can off-campus study complement your studies at Macalester?
Meet with your Study Abroad Advisor
Call or email the International Center to make an appointment (651-696-6310 or firstname.lastname@example.org). For most students, it’s helpful to meet with their study abroad advisor early-on in the process, before they choose a specific program. It’s required that all students meet with their advisor before submitting a proposal to Macalester.
Decide on a program
Once you have figured out the best program for you, it’s time to submit a proposal to Macalester and apply to the program itself. Learn more about this process.