Planning Your Study Away

The opportunity to study away from campus is an important time to broaden your education and to support an area of study or academic interest. The study away opportunity must be shown to support and complement the other academic endeavors and goals of a student at Oberlin. Students interested in studying away from campus on an academic program should begin their planning as early as possible. The process of selecting a program, applying to a program, applying to Oberlin for an academic leave of absence (required for all non-Enrolled Not-in-Residence programs) and finalizing the details of pre-departure travel and preparation can be time consuming.

The Office of Study Away is available to help. We also encourage students to work with their academic advisors early in planning course schedules so that the semester away is integrated into the four- or five-year plan for graduation.

How to begin your study away search

Students should begin the search for a study away program by asking several important questions:

    • What type of courses am I interested in taking while away?
    • How would my time away fit together with my educational goals and plans?
    • What countries am I interested in visitng?
    • How long and when should I go (one semester, one year, summer, winter term)?
    • What type of program would I prefer (see the information below)?
    • What kind of living arrangements are important (home stay, residence halls, apartments, etc.)?
    • Do I want to be with other students from American colleges or not?
    • How will my finances work?
    • Do I want to have an internship or service component to my time away?

    Types of Study Away Programs

    International study away can be generally broken down into the following fundamental categories:

    • Programs run by your home institution (Oberlin College)
    • Programs run by another US college or university or through a consortium of colleges or universities
    • Programs run by an educational organization (usually called the study away provider)
    • Direct enrollment in an overseas university (sometimes the university will have an international center or office to facilitate your visit)

    Once you have answered the questions above, you can begin to narrow down your search to the location and type of programs you are interested in. There are several good general study away websites that can be found on the Search Resources section of this website. The Choosing a Program section of this website lists those programs that Oberlin College has relationships with as well as containing links to the programs themselves. When you have narrowed your selections down, you may wish to come into the Study Away Library to look at the evaluations from Oberlin students who have attended study away programs in the past several years.

    Things to Keep in Mind

    If you are applying to study away to a program not run by Oberlin College, there are two steps in the application process.

    1. Applying to Oberlin for an Academic Leave of Absence (ALOA). The application deadline for the ALOA application for the coming year is March 15. This deadline is for Fall, Spring, or full academic-year leaves.
    2. Applying to the study away program. Some programs have deadlines a semester or even a year in advance of the program. Most programs require an official Oberlin transcript, some type of recommendations and approval from your home school.