Study Abroad: Choosing a Program

Prepare for the Future
How do I decide?
Where do I begin?

Prepare for the Future
There are three types of study abroad programs; one is not necessarily better than the others:

  • A "Stand Alone" or "Island" program, in which all courses are arranged for a group of U.S. students and taught by local faculty.
  • A fully-integrated program at a foreign university, where students take all courses with host institution students.
  • A combination program where courses are arranged for the group by the program sponsor, plus the student enrolls in one or two courses at a foreign university.

Madrid, Spain alumna, Jaqueline Demeranville '05 stated "The most important thing I have learned from this experience is that it's all up to you.  How much you learn and get involved with the culture really is a reflection of your own personal effort - and it takes a lot!  That matters so much more than what program you're on."

For more information on programs approved by our faculty committee, please see our Web Page on approved programs.

How do I decide?

  • Consider the type of experience you seek: cultural immersion, language acquisition, thesis research and/or internships.
  • Consider which site will contribute the most to you academically and personally.  See assistance with this consideration from your professors. 
  • Pay particular attention to program philosophy and design: US classmates versus local students? Cultural integration? Fieldwork? Internships?
  • What are your housing options on the program?
  • What is the academic calendar of your program?  In the Southern Hemisphere, fall semester at universities is mid-July to mid-November and spring semester is mid-February to mid-July.
  • What extracurricular and cultural activities would you available?

Where do I begin?

  • Read your CMC email from the Off-Campus Study Office.
  • Attend a Mandatory Meeting.
  • Make an appointment to speak with an Off-Campus Study advisor.
  • Meet with program representatives when they visit CMC.
  • Consult program brochures/websites and student evaluations available both on-line & in the OCS office.
  • Discuss your plans and ideas with faculty.
  • Meet with study abroad alumni and international students from the host region for additional information.