Planning Your TREC
AM I READY FOR OFF-CAMPUS STUDY?
Drew believes that the experience of studying off-campus is an important component of a liberal arts education. It is not a “break” in the progress towards your degree, but rather an integral part that exposes students to different ways of thinking, develops awareness of critical issues and ideas, and provides a better understanding of one’s relation to the world in which we live.
While off-campus study can be exciting and rewarding, it does present unique challenges. Programs, particularly international ones, require intellectual and emotional maturity. It is an experience unlike that of on-campus study or a tourist visit. If you are mature and academically committed, with an open mind towards other peoples and cultures, you are a good candidate for an international or off-campus program.
An advising session can help you to determine the type of program which will best suit your needs, guide you in your research of programs, clarify the policies and procedures applied to off-campus study, aid you in the completion of required application forms, and give you a chance to ask any questions that you may have. We can also provide you with the names of students who have participated in the program in which you are interested to learn about their experiences.
Please schedule an appointment by contacting the Center for Global Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-408-3438.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PROGRAM
Selecting an appropriate program is an important decision, and requires a considerable amount of time and energy. Advance planning, thoughtful consideration of your interests and objectives, and consultation with your faculty advisor and the Center for Global Education staff can help facilitate the process.
In order to choose the right program, ask yourself:
Why do I want to participate in a global education program? Choosing a program will be easier if you have some clearly defined reasons for wanting to engage in such an experience. Off-campus study is not intended to be a break from your academic plans, but an integral part of them. If your goal is to simply take some time away from Drew or to travel to an exotic destination, you may want to consider other options. Think carefully about what you hope to gain from such an experience and identify programs which will meet your academic and career goals and objectives.
What are my educational and career objectives? A global education program can complement your on-campus course work by providing the opportunity to conduct interesting research, to develop fluency in a foreign language, to explore a different culture, or to gain experience through an internship. Consider how such an experience might contribute to your own academic and professional development, and seek programs to further your objectives. In doing so, pay close attention to the range and level of courses a program offers.
What program length is suitable for me? Global education programs vary in length from one week to an entire academic year. Judge for yourself what program length bests suits your needs and interests. It is important to consider the differences among one month, semester, and year-long programs. The experience each one offers is simply not the same.
Where do I want to study? Your academic and professional interests will influence your decision regarding program location. If you want to study Eastern religions, your obvious choice would be countries in Asia. If your goal is to study a foreign language, you can choose a country in which the language is spoken. On the other hand, remember that your program location does not necessarily determine the courses offered there. For example, not all programs in Italy focus on Italian language; many include topics ranging from Art History to Economics. You can study French not only in France, but also in Belgium and Senegal. Internships in Washington, D.C. are just as valuable for an English major planning for a career in writing as they are for a political science major seeking experience for a career in government.
Take a moment to think about whether you prefer to study in a large city or a small town. World capitals such as Rome and London have their special attractions, but may be dominated by tourists. Small towns usually provide more opportunities to get to know people in their regular, daily lives. Also consider where you are most comfortable. Chances are if you do not enjoy the hectic pace of Manhattan, you probably would not like living in a major metropolitan center. Remaining open-minded about your program location will increase the options available to you.
What is my budget? Please be aware that global education programs carry some additional expense for which you should plan. Besides Drew tuition, costs to consider are travel, room and board as well as personal expenses. Other expenditures, for things such as non-program sponsored travel, entertainment and souvenirs, will vary depending on the exchange rate, living standards in the chosen country, and your own personal tastes.
Do I have special needs? If you have special needs that require accommodation, please advise the Center for Global Education.
Before You Go
Make sure that your passport will be valid for travel well beyond the duration of your trip and, if necessary, meets the validity criteria for a student visa as is determined by the U.S.-based embassy of your host country. For more information on applying or renewing your passport, visit the State Department web site at http://travel.state.gov/
If you need a visa to study abroad, it is critical that you begin the process immediately. This can be a time-consuming process so it is important to make your appointment with the consulate as soon as possible and gather the necessary documentation as early as you can.
Depending on where you are traveling, you may need certain immunizations and medications to prevent the contraction of diseases. Drew University Health Services (ext. 3414) can provide health-related advice and administer the vaccines and medicines you may need while abroad. To obtain Center for Disease Control health information for specific destinations, visit http://www.cdc.gov/travel
Prior to the start of your program, you will be required to complete and submit a number of materials. Please refer to your Application home page and the specific program in which you will participate.
- U.S. State Department Travel Services & Advisories
- Center for Disease Control Travelers’ Health Information
- Let’s Go (publications and travel information)
- Fodor’s (publications and travel information)
- Lonely Planet (travel and country-specific information)
- Virtual tourist information (travel advice)
While You're Away
Greetings from “The Forest”! We hope that you are enjoying your international or off-campus program experience. The Center for Global Education has created this list of frequently asked questions to assist you during your time off-campus. However, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
How do I register for courses for the following semester from abroad?
If you have internet access, view course listings on the Registrar’s home page. Once you have chosen your classes, you can fax your registration form to the Registrar at (973) 408-3044. You may also register by sending an email to the Registrar’s Office. Make sure you send a copy to your advisor, as well as any instructors who must provide a signature for course admittance. Please be sure to keep a copy of your registration for your records.
What do I need to do if I want to stay another semester?
If you want to spend another semester abroad, you need to:
- notify the Center for Global Education
- complete another Course Approval Form (this will require you to contact your advisor and possibly other faculty members)
How do I get credit for classes if they differ from those I got Pre-Approved?
Once you know which courses you are taking, forward a copy of your course list to the Registrar’s Office. For courses that differ from those indicated on the Pre-Approval Form, you will need to include a course description. You must also send a copy to the specific department chairs to ensure that you will receive credit for courses you would like to apply towards major or minor requirements.
What do I do if I want to leave the program early?
Choosing to leave a program early is an important decision. There are many things to consider. Check with your program sponsor regarding credit transfer or refund policies. For students studying on Approved List programs, the sponsor’s policies will replace Drew refund policies. Talk with your program director or on-site faculty to determine if leaving the program is the best decision.
If you decide to withdraw, you will need to inform your program sponsor as well as notify our office. If you would like to return to Drew immediately, you will also need to contact the Registrar, Housing and Financial Aid offices. Note that this option is only available before the start or at the beginning of the semester.
If you are planning on taking courses at another university or taking a semester off, you need to contact the Student Life Office to complete Leave of Absence paperwork.
What are the phases of emotional adjustment I can expect to go through?
A person can go through multiple incremental adjustments and set-backs on their journey to cultural adjustment.
- Initial Euphoria: this stage begins with arrival in the new country and ends when the excitement of the early experiences wears off.
- Irritability: During this phase individuals take a more active role in their new surrounding. This produces frustration because of the difficulties encountered in dealing with even the most basic aspects of everyday life. Sometimes insignificant problems can get blown out of proportion. This stage is referred to as “culture shock.”
- Gradual Adjustment: The culture gradually becomes familiar and individuals begin to orient themselves and interpret the culture around them.
- Adaptation: The ability to function in two cultures with full confidence is characteristic of this stage. The acute sense of “foreignness” no longer exists.
- Re-entry Phase: Returning home is the last stage of cultural adjustment. For some individuals this can be the most difficult phase of all.
HELPFUL CONTACT INFORMATION
- Registrar’s Office: 973-408-3025
- Housing Office: 973-408-3960
- Financial Assistance: 973-408-3402
- Business Office: 973-408-3219 – Fax: 973-408-3621
- Health Services: 973-408-3414 – Fax: 973-408-3031
- Career Center: 973-408-3710
- Student Life: 973-408-3390 – Fax: 973-408-3216
Below, we have highlighted a typical roadmap for each of a student’s four years at Drew.
- Consider applying to a shortTREC! Students are eligible to participate in these programs as early as January of freshman year
- Express your interest in global education to your advisor, professors, and family members
- Research global education programs at drew.edu/global-education
- Apply for or renew passport
- Plan to take any course pre-requisites for nycTRECS so you’re ready to apply in your sophomore or junior year
- Attend the September Study Abroad Fair and program information sessions
- Discuss global education plans with your advisor, professors, and relatives
- Choose your program based on goals, needs, finances, and interests
- Note application deadlines
- Plan your budget and consult with the Office of Financial Assistance
- Apply to the Center for Global Education for longTREC and nycTREC programs taking place during the fall semester of junior year
- Take part in a shortTREC during January break, spring break, or summer
- This is the most likely time for your longTREC or nycTREC!
- Apply for longTREC and nycTREC programs taking place in spring of junior year of fall of senior year
- Take part in a shortTREC during January break, spring break, or summer
- Meet with LAUNCH or your advisor to talk about about incorporating study abroad into graduate school and career plans/your resume
- Apply to nycTRECs taking place in the spring semester of senior year
- Take part in a shortTREC during January or spring break
- Tell other students about the benefits of global education