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Preparation for Study Abroad

Social Identity Issues Abroad

It is important to understand the local social context of your host country and how you will be perceived there.  Some ways to do this include talking to other students who have been to your host country, reading program evaluations, researching your host country, and using the forum on discrimination on the website AllAbroad.us.  This should be done before you apply, but it is also important to continue this research leading up to your departure. More information found on our Diversity & Identity page.

Special Need Accommodation:

Inadequate and/or incomplete disclosure of physical and psychological health concerns can impede or preclude appropriate treatment of emergency situations. Therefore, investigate options for accommodation at the study abroad site, as conditions and services for this vary considerably from country to country. If you will be studying at a university abroad, check with the office that handles study abroad students (usually either the international office or the admissions office).  If you are studying abroad through a U.S. institution or organization, check with the person(s) responsible for your program.  Academic Advising can help you determine which questions to ask about local conditions and services.

 

Using the Beloit College library resources while abroad:

You should anticipate differences in the internet accessibility of library databases and other resources.  See instructions for off-campus access here, and make sure to make use of librarians before you go abroad to discuss the support you may need.   

 

Additional Country Information: 

Your local tourist office may also be able to help you locate descriptive brochures and maps of your particular university city.  You can thus orient yourself somewhat before your arrival.  Look also at the web-sites of your host country and city, guidebooks, and on-line and print newspapers published in or about your host country.  Go to the library and ask the reference librarian for suggestions.  Use the reference information for study abroad on the Beloit College library web site.  Additionally, we highly recommend that you contact students on campus who are citizens of or have studied in the country in which you will be studying.

 

Credits and Course Selection: 

You will be expected to take a full-time course load (3 units, and a maximum of 5 units) while studying abroad.  If for any reason you will not be able to take a full course load, notify the Beloit College Office of International Education immediately by fax, email, or air mail.  We need to make sure you can meet your academic obligations on the program and at Beloit College to the best degree possible.  Each case will be reviewed individually.  Please be aware that your financial aid may be impacted by any change in your course load.

Check with your international office or program provider about the translation of credits.  For institutions on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), credits will be translated at a ratio of 7 ECTS to 1 Beloit Unit.  For provider programs using US semester hours, keep in mind that 1 Beloit Unit is equivalent to 4 US semester hours.

Note: Courses abroad must be taken for a grade, and not pass/fail.  Grades will appear on your Beloit transcript but will not be factored into your cumulative GPA (except Cites in Transition courses).  Beloit College will not grant credit for courses taken in physical education.

 

Documenting and Reflecting:

The centerpiece of experiential learning is reflection -- stepping back and taking the time to make sense of what you experience, draw connections and generate new questions.  This can happen throughout your study abroad, and especially after you return home.  Some ways of doing this include keeping a journal, taking photographs for a photo essay or a photo film, sketching, writing for publication, or doing a research project.  Some ways to prepare for this include:

- Reading Going Abroad: Traveling Like an Anthropologist and Maximizing Study Abroad: Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use.

- Learning to take field notes

- Taking a photography class

- Learning about making photo films (Click for instructions and examples of films.)

 

Conduct: 

Students accepted for overseas programs are considered to be mature men and women primarily concerned with the educational and cultural opportunities study abroad offers.  Students who fail to live up to these expectations will be subject to the policies and disciplinary actions established in the Terms and Conditions and the Beloit College Student Handbook, as interpreted and enforced by local staff, the Office of International Education, or the Dean of Students Office as appropriate.

 

FINAL NOTE:

PLAN TO GIVE YOUR OVERSEAS EXPERIENCE YOUR VERY BEST.  IT MAY WELL PROVE TO BE ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PERIODS OF YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.  BE ALERT, SENSITIVE, FLEXIBLE, SELF-RELIANT. CONFORM TO THE NORMS OF YOUR NEW COUNTRY. YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO REWARDING CROSS-CULTURAL RELATIONS.  BEST WISHES!