Virtual Fair Introduction
In a typical year, the Office of International Programs would host our annual Fall semester "Off-Campus Study Fair" in which students would mingle amongst program representatives to learn more about each program and the courses and experiences they offer.
To provide a similar experience to F&M students during this distanced Fall 2020 semester, we have organized a virtual fair below for students to explore various pre-approved programs. Programs are organized into three groups based on the program model: Direct Enroll, Field Study, and Study Center (for a reminder about the characteristics of each program model, watch the short video at the top of the Explore Programs page.) Within each section, students can click each program button for a snapshot of the program details and links to additional information and resources.
Off-Campus Study Resources
F&M students can peruse the Off-Campus Study website at any time for updates, program and application process information, and other resources. Students also receive weekly "Dips Abroad News Hour" e-newsletters which highlight upcoming OCS events and important reminders.
If you have any program questions or would like to talk more about Off-Campus Study opportunities at F&M, please drop in to our individual or group advising hours each Wednesday. More information about advising hours and upcoming info sessions can be found in the Pulse events section below.
Direct Enroll study abroad programs are quite immersive as they allow F&M students to directly enroll in an existing host university and attend classes with local degree-seeking students. Host universities are often much larger than F&M with a sizable student body, an expansive course catalog, and lecture-hall style classes. F&M students will be expected to adapt to the local teaching and assessment styles with expectations of self-guided study and only one or two major exams per semester.
Direct Enroll options are available in both English- and Spanish-speaking countries. All courses will be taught in the local language, so students interested in Spanish-speaking universities are expected to have a high intermediate level of language proficiency.
The Direct Enroll program model fits any major due to the large number of university courses available and works especially well for science and math (STEM) majors in need of specific courses while abroad. Students should be interested in and capable of self-motivated and independent learning.
On a Field Study program, F&M students will join a small cohort of 15-30 students from various U.S. colleges & universities and spend a significant amount of time out of the classroom and in the "field". Field-based programs can be centered around either a biology/ecology/environmental science focus or a social-science focus. Each program's curriculum will be thematic and the course list set, meaning students will not select from a broad range of classes. Most field-based programs also have a research component.
The majority of Field Study programs are taught in English but will require students to take a local language/culture course. Some programs, depending on location, theme, and community involvement, are taught in the local language (primarily French or Spanish).
An important component of Field Study programs is learning that takes place outside the traditional classroom. Students should expect a structured schedule that includes significant field study trips as part of the curriculum.
The Field Study program model is great for students who want to dig deeper into a specific topic and/or location, enjoy structured learning outside the classroom, and who are interested in developing their research skills.
Semester in Environmental Science
SFS: School for Field Studies
On a Study Center program, F&M students will take at least some of their courses at an established center designed specifically for U.S. college/university students studying abroad. Though the overall program size, course variety, program prerequisites, and additional opportunities vary by location, all Study Center programs have the same general structure. Study Center programs offer support throughout the length of the program with local staff on hand to help with adjustment, support, cultural immersion, and any issues that may arise.
In order to maximize cultural immersion and integration, many Study Center programs offer research and internship opportunities as well as host family stays. And in some locations, with the appropriate language proficiency, F&M students may elect to take one or two classes directly enrolled at the local university alongside local, degree-seeking students.
The Study Center model provides a great opportunity for students who want to take a variety of courses in English while studying in a non-English-speaking country. It also works well for students seeking to improve their proficiency in another language.