Very Important Considerations

Here are some questions that might help you decide if an off-campus experience is right for you. Also, they may help you clarify your thoughts on the kind of OCP experience you would like. Please take the time to read this section carefully and answer the questions honestly. The director of the CIE will be happy to talk with you about any questions or concerns you may have.

General  Considerations

  • Why do I want to participate in an off-campus program?
  • What are my expectations for my off-campus program experience? What do I want to have happen during my time away?
  • What aspect of an OCP is most important to me (courses, locale, cultural experiences, internship, travel)?

Academic Considerations

  • What do I hope to gain from the experience academically?
  • What courses or subjects do I want or need to study?
  • Do I want an internship and study experience or do I prefer just studying in a university setting?
  • Do I want to take classes in English or in a foreign language?
  • Are there specific Core requirements, category requirements, or courses for my  major that I must complete while I am away from Albion? Please note that it is sometimes impossible to meet these requirements on an off-campus program.
  • What do my faculty advisor and major department think of my plans?

Practical Considerations

  • In what area, country or city would I like to study?
  • How long do I want to be away?
  • How much money can I afford to spend?
  • Does my participation depend upon receiving financial aid?
  • Do I have any special needs that may influence my choice of program? Special needs can include vegetarianism, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and allergies.
  • What is my foreign language ability?

Personal Considerations

  • At this stage of my life, am I in good mental and physical health? Do I have any problems that would be difficult to handle some place else?
  • Are there difficult situations in my life that cause me significant stress? A study away experience will exacerbate personal problems and stress symptoms.
  • Am I prepared to be away from my family and friends for a summer, semester or year?
  • How well do I adjust to new situations?  Am I able to be flexible and adaptable?
  • Am I ready to be independent and self-reliant?
  • How do I learn? Do I like a highly structured learning environment? A moderately structured learning environment? Or, do I prefer to learn independently, to be a self-directed learner?
  • What kind of housing would I find most comfortable?
  • Would I prefer living and studying with other Americans, with students of the host country, or with a combination of both?
  • How do I feel about living in a large city?
  • Do I enjoy dealing with details and red-tape on my own, or do I prefer having someone help me?