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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
When deciding between Fall and Spring semester, students should keep the following in mind:
- Programs requirements and pre-requisites. When you will meet these?
- Macalester course schedules. Many classes are not offered every semester. Think about when you will need to be on campus to take specific classes.
- Jobs and internships. It can be difficult to arrange a summer job/internship while abroad in the spring. If this is a concern for you, fall may be a better option.
- Housing arrangements and contracts.
- Extracurricular activities. Consider sports, clubs, leadership positions, etc.
Macalester strives to keep a balance between students studying abroad in the Fall and Spring. Students may be asked to switch semesters to maintain this balance.
Interest Form and Advising
To start the study abroad process, students should do the following:
- Log into StudioAbroad (the International Center's online application system). For links and more information, please see Interest Form and Advising.
- Complete the online Interest Form.
This gives the International Center important information to assist in advising and helps us plan for the coming year. The Interest Form for off-campus study in 2014-2015 will close on November 4, 2013.
- Complete the online Moodle course: "First Step to Off-Campus Study."
This covers the basics of off-campus study: academics, eligibility, finances, challenges, choosing a program, etc.
- Read the Handbook for Off-Campus Study.
- Meet with your study abroad advisor.
To make an appointment, call or email the International Center (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.
Start researching programs
Macalester works with a number of high-quality universities and study abroad programs around the world. Begin by looking at Macalester programs and programs recommended by Macalester. When you meet with your study abroad advisor, you can discuss which program best fits your goals.
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?
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.