Choosing a Term for Off-Campus Study


At F&M, students can study off-campus as early as the summer after freshman year. For students planning for a semester or year away, most choose a time during their junior year, but there are also students that go in the fall semester of their senior year.

By starting the planning process early and working with your faculty adviser and off-campus study adviser, you will be able to determine the term that is best for you. Once you begin officially working with the Off-Campus Study office, you will apply for your preferred term off-campus and discuss with your OCS adviser any requirements that you have that make it necessary for you to study off-campus in a specific term.

As you are thinking through your preferred off-campus study term, please read through the following questions you should be asking as you determine which term is truly best for you.


  • Does your major department require that core courses be taken at F&M? If so, when are those courses offered?
  • Are courses you need for your major only offered on campus during a specific term?
  • Are there specific courses you want to take off-campus that are only offered during a certain term?

Year of Graduation:

  • Are you going to be a senior and therefore must study off-campus during fall?

Varsity athletics:

  • Are you a varsity athlete who can only study off-campus during the off-season?

Campus Obligations:

  • Do you need to fulfill an obligation to a club or organization or job on campus during a specific term?


Other things to consider as you think about your off-campus study term:

  • What will the seasons be like in your host country during the term you wish to be off-campus? For example, while it is winter in Lancaster during the month of February, it is summer in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Do you want to travel after your program is over? If so, going abroad during the spring might provide more opportunity to do that.
  • Have you checked the dates of fall programs compared to spring programs? For example, in the UK and Ireland, fall semesters tend to be several weeks shorter than spring semesters.