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Choosing the right off-campus program

Each of the program types — January term, semester or summer — has its strengths and its drawbacks.

Some programs require students to demonstrate greater initiative and independence but offer a more profound immersion experience.Others provide more direct support and supervision but may lack the depth or breadth of options of others.

With a little research and some intentional decision-making, students can find the program that is a match for their goals.

Consider your goals

Before focusing on a particular destination, consider your goals. Do you want to be introduced to a culture? Are you seeking work experience? Maybe language fluency? Study in a particular field? A university experience?

Do you prefer to travel with a group, or would you be comfortable if it turned out you were the only Augustana student on a program?

Your goals for study away can be more important than the location.

Meet academic advisors

Meet with your academic advisors to discuss your goals, scheduling of classes, and the best times for you to participate in study away.  

If you are a double major, you will want to check in with both academic departments to ensure that your study away choice does not hinder your ability to graduate on schedule.

While J-term and summer courses do not pose the same scheduling challenges as semesters, all three options should be considered.

Discuss finances

Discuss finances with your family. Even though they are the longest of the three program types, semester programs are often the least expensive, due to the availability of financial aid and the structure where you replace on-campus costs with the study away charges.

J-term and summer programs are considered additional study beyond the two semesters and include additional costs above and beyond the charges for a year of study at Augustana.

Your needs

Be realistic about limitations. If you have a significant physical or mental health challenge which impacts your life on campus, the impact is almost certain to be greater while abroad.

Consider your needs, the program structures, and any special accommodations you might need to ensure your health as you consider both the location and the length of your study away program.