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Preparing for Off-Campus Study

Pre-Departure Orientation

Pre-departure orientation is required the semester before your off-campus study term. Students unable to attend must attend a make-up session. Review the OCS Pre-Departure Orientation Spring 2020 PowerPoint.

Be sure to check your email while you are on your program. You will receive an email regarding registering for the next semester of classes and housing. If you would like to participate in on-campus housing you may need a proxy for room draw.

Please be aware that students are expected to complete and submit the Grinnell Off-Campus Study Program Evaluation after their program ends. An email will be sent with a link to it. Your feedback is valuable to our office and other students and we appreciate your assistance.


Information about passports, visas, and etiquette as well as how to think about your identity while you are away can be found under Resources for International Travel.  Information regarding health and emergency insurance and instructions for downloading the AlertTraveler app are available under the Travel Registration tab.  Additional questions? Please be sure to review the Frequently Asked Questions area. If you are unable to find an answer to your question you can email us at or come to our office for assistance. 

Travelling for the First Time?

For first time travelers, the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center has excellent resources on: The US State Department offers advice for students and other travelers abroad. 
The Centers for Disease Control also has advice for staying healthy in international locations as well as vaccinations.
Overseas Vote provides a toolkit with voter outreach promotional tools and information for U.S. citizens studying abroad.

Cultural Adjustment

Expect it to take some time to make the adjustment to living and studying in a new location. Preparing yourself before you leave helps. In the video below a few Grinnellians share their experiences. We hope it will prompt you to think about different aspects of your experience prior to departure.