What is Important?
Use the sample questions on this page, many of which are from University of Minnesota's Learning Abroad Center, to discover what is important as you consider your Off-Campus Study experience. Thinking about your future is prudent, as it will help you choose a program that matches your interests and goals. It is also important to consider the increasingly interdependent global world and how you can do your part through Off-Campus Study to have a positive impact as a global citizen and an F&M Diplomat. After being thoughtful about priorities, try to summarize your findings in a few sentences and bring this information with you to your Off-Campus Study advising appointment.
An example goals statement might be, "I want to find an affordable Off-Campus Study program taught in Spanish that will allow me to complete credits toward my psychology major and do an internship or research while living with a host family in order to improve my language skills."
Another example goals statement might be, "I want to find an Off-Campus Study program in the United Kingdom in which I can take economics courses alongside local students while exploring the effects of Brexit on the local economy. I also hope to explore my Scottish family roots while I am abroad."
Another example goals statement might be, "I am currently conducting research with a local organization that provides support and services to refugees, and I am interested in immigration law. I would like to find an Off-Campus Study program that focuses on migration and transnational identity."
Identify Challenges & Priorities
To really hone in on your statement also think about what, if anything, might prevent you from studying off campus. Use the same sort of brainstorming technique to record the challenges. Consider how these factors affect studying off campus. The aim of this is to list the real challenges along with your goals. Identify the factors you'll have to consider:
- Job obligations
- Social, academic, or athletic commitments
Once you have your ideas written down, you can start setting priorities. Try ranking your responses in order of importance. You may place the number (1) beside a geographic location that is extremely important to you, and then the number (2) next to money if affordability is a major factor. Remember, you aren't making final life decisions here, just setting down on paper where your priorities lie. Be honest with yourself.