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Getting Started

 

Applications

 

Courses & Academics

 

Finances

 

Preparing to Go


 
 
 

Where should I start?

Your first step in studying off-campus is to attend a Starting Points meeting. This meeting is mandatory for all students who are interested in off-campus study. The meetings are typically held on Mondays and Tuesdays in the Office of International Programs; please check the Pulse section of the International & Off-Campus Study website for dates and times.  If you are not able to attend any of these times due to an academic reason, please call the Office of International Programs at 717-358-7187.

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How do I make an appointment with an off-campus study advisor?

After you have attended a Starting Points Meeting and researched available programs via the PROGRAMS tab on the top navigation bar of the Off-Campus Study website, you are ready to make an appointment with one of the Off-Campus Study advisors.  Our advisors specialize by country, so you must have a first choice program or country in mind before scheduling your appointment.  You are not locked into that program or country decision and have the opportunity to change your mind after that meeting.
During your advising appointment you will discuss what program options are right for you, academic requirements, program application timelines, and what your next steps should be.   Appointments are typically scheduled for 30 minutes.  
To make an appointment, go to the STAFF tab on the top navigation bar of the Off-Campus Study website.  Click on the highlighted name of the advisor for the country in which you're interested in studying off-campus.  In the bottom section of the advisor's information page, there are instructions and a link to schedule an appointment via an online calendar system.

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When should I go off-campus?

Like many aspects of off-campus study, the answer to this question depends on the student.  In general, students tend to go off-campus during the junior year.  The decision on when to go will depend on several factors, including how your off-campus study fits into your four-year academic plan.  If you are planning to go off-campus during your sophomore or senior year, you may need to petition for approval from the Committee on Academic Status.  Talk to your faculty adviser and Office of International Programs staff to determine what is best for you.  

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How many semesters can I spend off-campus?

Your four-year academic plan is an important planning piece.  If you are considering more than one semester off-campus, check with your major department to find out if this will be possible before applying to any program.  The earlier you start planning, the more possibilities are open to you.  International students should consult the Off-Campus Study Financial Policy, as well as their student visa, for restrictions.

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Can I do two programs back to back?

Yes.  In addition to spending the full year off-campus in a yearlong program, students have the option of splitting their experiences between two different programs and locations.  Doing this requires more planning, but can certainly be done.  You can explore these possibilities with your off-campus study advisor and with your faculty adviser.

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What if I can't find a program that fits my cultural and academic interests on the pre-approved list?

Your first steps should be to search our PROGRAMS tab on the Off-Campus Study website (the Advanced Search tab allows you to find programs based on academic focus) and talk to an off-campus study adviser about your program interests.  The pre-approved list is meant to be comprehensive but not exhaustive.  If a program that meets your academic goals is not represented on the list, your off-campus study advisor will guide you through the individual approval process.  You will be required to complete an Individual Approval Application, found here.  All programs will be evaluated for quality of academics and student support services by your faculty adviser, department chair, and Dean Mennicke, which requires time.  Because of this, your Franklin & Marshall Off-Campus Study Application and your Individual Approval Program Request form are due approximately three weeks earlier than the posted deadlines.

Upcoming spring semester off-campus study:  October 1

Upcoming summer, fall semester, or full academic year off-campus study:  March 1

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Who else can I talk to?

Each year, the Office of International Programs has a cohort of Off-Campus Study Ambassadors - current F&M seniors - who share their experiences off-campus and can help you think through your plans. Each program has a staff that is knowledgeable about the sites and cultures with which they work.  Call or email program coordinators with questions about specific universities, locations, meal plans, activities and more.  F&M faculty who have been on sabbatical or traveled to universities abroad may also have unique insights on the academic and social culture.  The Office of International Programs staff have traveled and visited program sites. 

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When do I need to submit my application?

The F&M Off-Campus Study application is required for all F&M students who are planning to study off-campus and must be completed in addition to any program application (IES, IFSA Butler, etc.). Application deadlines vary for programs, so be mindful of those.  The F&M application is due: 

October 20 for off-campus study the following spring semester

March 20 for off-campus study the upcoming summer or fall semester

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My program has a different application and deadline than the F&M application deadline.  Which application and deadline do I complete/follow?

The F&M Off-Campus Study application is required for all students who are planning to study off-campus. Students must complete this application in addition to any program application requirements (such as those required by IES, IFSA Butler or SU Abroad). Application deadlines vary for programs, but the last date to apply to study off-campus is: 

October 20 for off-campus study the following spring semester

March 20 for off-campus study the upcoming summer or fall semester

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Who needs to sign the "Program Approval Form" in my application?

Any program approval form, Dean’s form, or study abroad adviser approval form that is included in your application materials can be signed by a member of the Office of International Programs.  You do not need an appointment to have this form signed.  Please drop the form off in the International Programs office during our normal business hours. It is important that you submit this form well before the program deadline so that we can sign and submit it on your behalf. 
If your approval form is digital, the Office of International Programs will complete this form automatically.  If substantial time has passed and this form has not been completed, please reach out to your F&M Off-Campus advisor to determine the reason for this delay. 

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Do I have to mail in the program application materials?

For most programs, you are responsible for mailing in all of the application materials (with the exception of the Program Approval and Faculty Recommendation forms. The Office of International Programs will submit your approval forms (see question above); for faculty recommendation forms, please provide your recommender with a pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope so he/she can return your form directly to the program).  For Advanced Studies in England, the Office of International Programs will collect and send your application materials. 

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Where should the program send my transcript?

Your grades from a program should be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office.  We will fill in this information for you on your Program Approval Form. The contact is:

Sarah Esh, Assistant Registrar
Registrar's Office, Franklin & Marshall College
P.O. Box 3003
Lancaster, PA  17604-3003

You may also wish to have an additional transcript sent to your home or campus address for your own records.


 

How will my grades appear on my F&M transcript?

You will receive letter grades for courses on your program and these letter grades will appear on your F&M transcript.  For most programs, grades for these courses will not be factored into your cumulative GPA for that semester.  The exceptions to this are Advanced Studies in England and other F&M travel courses; for these programs, grades will be computed into your cumulative GPA.

Please note that you must submit your courses to your Final Course Enrollment in your F&M Off-Campus portal to reflect all of the courses you've registered for on-site before the F&M Registrar's office can post courses (and the requirements they fulfill) to your F&M transcript.  This includes both you adding the exact courses you took while off-campus as well as the appropriate department chair at F&M approving the course for credit.

Courses on off-campus study programs must be taken for a letter grade, not on a pass/fail basis.

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Can I take courses toward my major while I'm away?

Yes, you may take courses toward your major through an off-campus study program.  Be sure to discuss your plans with the current chair of your intended major.  Each department may have different expectations about what or how many courses may be taken away from campus.  It is very important to seek approval and consultation from your academic department to ensure that you receive credit for the courses you need to graduate BEFORE you leave on your program.  You must also remember to enter the courses you plan to take on your Off-Campus Study application to allow the department chair to officially approve the classes, which will be important when your program transcript is sent to the F&M Registrar's Office.  Please consult the Learning Content listed on your Off-Campus Study application or discuss this further with your OCS advisor. 

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What types of classes can I take while off-campus?

Franklin & Marshall cannot issue transfer credit for a course taken in a department that is not represented at the college.  If a course does not clearly fall under a department, the off-campus study advising staff can help you determine whether or not it can be accepted for credit. 
 
Courses in vocational, physical education, engineering, drafting, military science, criminal justice, and communications, most education courses, and music lessons may not be transferred back to Franklin & Marshall for credit.  If you have a question about whether or not a course can be taken for credit, ask your off-campus study adviser in the Office of International Programs.
 
Courses on off-campus study programs must be taken for a letter grade, not on a pass/fail basis.
 


How do I know how much credit I will receive for the program?

For semester and academic year programs, the general rule is four U.S. semester credit hours are equal to one F&M course credit.  However, because many off-campus study programs offer courses worth three U.S. semester credit hours, Franklin & Marshall will award four course credits for a total of 15 or 16 U.S. semester credit hours.  If the total number of credits for your program is more than 16 or less than 15, divide the total number by four to find out how many course credits you will receive.

For summer programs, four U.S, semester credit hours are equal to one F&M course. To determine the number of  F&M credits you will receive, simply divide the number of US semester credit hours by four. 

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Can I add or change courses in my off-campus study record while I'm off-campus?

You can continue to add courses to your off-campus study record while you are not at F&M.  If the classes you added and had approved before you left F&M change once you arrive in your OCS location, simply log into myDiplomat and add the new courses.  Remember that all courses must correspond to classes offered at F&M in order to receive credit.  You will want to add any new courses as soon as possible so that the courses can be reviewed for credit here at F&M.  As a reminder, your course registration for OCS can be found here:  myDip --> About Me --> Academics --> OCS --> click the blue number next to your program.

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How will I be billed for the program?

For programs taking place during the academic year, students will be billed Franklin & Marshall College's tuition and in turn, Franklin & Marshall will pay the off-campus study program's tuition. This bill will be issued by the Business Office at Franklin & Marshall.  All other non-tuition fees will be billed directly from the program to the student, including program deposits. For more detail, please consult the Budget Forms attached to your specific program page on our website or visit the Off-Campus Study Financial Policy webpage.

During the academic year, students will continue to be eligible for financial aid during a term of off-campus study, including federal and state loans and Franklin & Marshall merit scholarships and need-based grants. In addition, students may be eligible for additional scholarships for their off-campus study. For more detail, please visit the Off-Campus Study Financial Aid & Scholarships page.

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Will my financial aid still apply?

During the academic year, students will continue to be eligible for financial aid during a term of off-campus study, including federal and state loans and Franklin & Marshall merit scholarships and need-based grants. In addition, students may be eligible for additional scholarships for their off-campus study. For more detail, please visit the Off-Campus Study Financial Aid & Scholarships page. If you have questions about your current financial aid or potential scholarships, please contact your off-campus study adviser.


 

What other aid can I get?

In addition to the financial aid and scholarships you typically receive from F&M, you may be eligible for additional scholarships. Please note that any outside scholarship must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid at Franklin & Marshall and may change the amount of aid you receive from the College.  

We have compiled a list of potential Scholarship Opportunities for off-campus study (summer, semester and academic year).  Please note that the sources listed here are not exhaustive, and are always changing.   Funding is typically competitive, so plan to apply by stated deadlines, and be sure that all applications are filled out completely and thoughtfully.  Consult faculty and the staff of the Office of International Programs for guidance. 

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How do I get a passport?

For US citizens, you can find more information on how to apply for or a renew a passport online at www.travel.state.gov/passport. If you are not a US citizen, please confirm passport requirements with your home country.  Please remember: Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your return date in order to obtain permission to enter your host study abroad country.  If your passport will expire early, you should renew your passport. 

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How do I get a visa?

Your off-campus study program should provide you with specific information regarding any visa requirements and the process to obtain a visa.  It is important to note that not all countries require student visas, and that visa requirements are different for non-U.S. citizens. 
 
If you are required to obtain a visa, it is important that you begin your application as soon as possible and that you carefully read all required visa materials provided by your off-campus study program. Students who have questions about their specific visa process should first contact their program adviser, but you can also contact your F&M Off-Campus Study adviser for support. 
 

How do I arrange housing for my return to F&M?

Lori Foust is F&M's Residential Coordinator.  She will contact you while abroad to arrange the housing lottery and roommate matching for when you return to campus.  If you have any specific requests or concerns, you should contact her directly.  Otherwise you should continually check your F&M email while abroad, and make sure to read and respond to emails from Mrs. Foust.

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How do I register for my next semester's F&M courses while I'm away?

Laura Medvic is F&M's Assistant Registrar.  Midway through your off-campus semester, she will email you with instructions for F&M class registration for the following semester. Please be sure to regularly check your F&M email for any emails from Laura Medvic or the Registrar's office. If you have any specific questions or concerns, you should contact the F&M Registrar's office directly.  

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