Students typically focus their explorations of programs in the fall semester of their second or third year. A student might start in their first year, but the experience of a full academic year at Grinnell, and the opportunity to reflect during the summer between the first and second year, make the fall of a second or third year the prime time for advising conversations. The first half of the fall, before Fall Break, features a number of visits from outside program providers, as well as other opportunities for a focused exploration of programs. During Fall Break the online application portal opens for students to start developing their applications for Grinnell approval. Students are strongly encouraged to establish their first and second choices of semester program before beginning the online application.
Below you will find different sources of advice to help you find an off-campus study program that is match for your academic objectives, other global learning goals, and your background. Each resource offers helpful different perspectives and considerations. To help you refine your search for a good match of program, students are strongly encouraged to complete Student Worksheet: Choosing your OCS program before meeting with OCS staff.
Academic AdvisersTalk with your academic adviser. Your program choice(s) must be connected to your academic interests and four year plan, in part to help a student graduate within four years. Discuss how programs and the courses offered could be beneficial, the timing of them, and what prerequisites you might need. Advisers want to know which programs attract you and may offer suggestions. If you have not declared, seek advice from a professor within your intended major department about program choice. Determine whether you have an academic impediment to studying off campus in a particular semester. An academic impediment is an inability to complete one or more of the following: your major (declared or intended), a concentration, a set of courses in sequence or the prerequisites for your off campus study program. If you have an academic impediment, you may not have to submit a program option for that semester. Ask your adviser to fill out an Academic Impediment Form. See Semester Preference for further information.
Campus Program AdvisersMeet with Program Advisers. Each program has an adviser listed in the Fact Sheet portion of its brochure. Program Advisers have detailed program information and will be able to answer many of the questions you may have. You are required to meet with the Program Adviser of the program(s) for you wish to apply. The adviser will sign a form to confirm your meeting as part of your application.
Office of Off-Campus StudyIf you need help comparing and contrasting programs and have completed Student Worksheet: Choosing your OCS program contact the Office of Off-Campus Study. Broad staff knowledge of considerations and the range of programs available can help a student make sense of options in a way that complements other advising resources. OCS staff can also suggest programs you may not have considered.
If you would like to make an appointment with OCS staff, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Give a range of times when you would be free for a fifteen minute appointment from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m and 1:30 to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Be sure to mention the program(s) you want to discuss, subject areas that interest you, or particular questions you may have. Bring your advising worksheet to your appointment.