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Planning Your Off-Campus Semester

A great off-campus study experience requires planning. Research your options carefully and meet with an off-campus study adviser before you decide on a program.

Getting Started

Know what to do when. The planning timeline will help you avoid last minute headaches and missed deadlines. For approved programs, check deadlines for applications on the approved program provider's website, too.  

Attend an Off-Campus Study Info Session. Learn about options, resources, and Colgate polices.  In addition to the Sophomore Class Info Session in early September, OCS will host weekly sessions starting  in mid-September.   

Do a self-assessment.  Don't make plans based solely on your friends' recommendations. While they can give you good insights, the program that was right them may not be ideal for you.  Take a few minutes to assess your priorities, goals, preferences and needs for off-campus study.

Familiarize yourself with Colgate policies. Be sure you understand Colgate’s policies on all aspects of off-campus study, from costs and financial aid to academic credit.

Talk to faculty in your intended major. How will off-campus study fit with and enhance your curriculum on campus? What courses might you need to take while you’re away? What do you have to take on campus?

Meet with an OCS Adviser. After attending an info session, schedule an advising appointment to develop a short list. Have a quick question? Make a virtual advising appointment with either a Peer Advisor or Program Manager.

Research your short list. Admission requirements, semester dates, and housing options vary. Be sure you understand your Colgate Study Group or Approved Program’s requirements and structure. The OCS resource library and advisers are great sources of information.  Attend Colgate Study Group info sessions starting in October.

Consider program costs. All students studying off-campus pay Colgate tuition plus required program expenses. Financial aid packages may be increased to meet additional costs for one semester of off-campus study plus one Extended Study course.  More details, including links to estimated budgets, can be found on financial policies page.

Consider special needs/concerns. Health and academic needs, safety concerns, dietary and other needs may all affect your decision. Research your intended host country and be sure you feel comfortable with your program choice.

Check your travel documents. If you don’t have a passport, get one! If you do, check that the expiration date is valid at least six months beyond the end of your program. Renew now if necessary. If you are not a US citizen consult with International Student Services about the special steps you may need to take to study off-campus.

Be flexible! You have a world of off-campus study options, but you may have to prioritize your goals and compromise to get the best outcome for you.  If you prefer a spring approved program, be sure to consider the fall as well. Due to high demand for spring off-campus study, we may not be able to grant all requests for spring. 
Learn more about semester balancing.

Still have questions? Review our Frequently Asked Questions!

Dream big! There are Colgate study groups and approved programs throughout the world. Take time to review your options and decide which will be the best fit for you.