Students are strongly encouraged to begin exploring Off-Campus Study programs during their first year. Some programs have language requirements or other pre-requisites and exploring options early opens up the widest range of possibilities. An annual OCS Fair is held in early fall, and is a great opportunity to meet with program representatives and learn about Grinnell-sponsored global engagement opportunities including OCS but also the Institute for Global Engagement's Global Learning Program, course-embedded travel, and grants for international internships, research and intensive language programs.

Below you will find different sources of advice to help you identify a program that is the best match for your academic objectives and your other global learning goals. Each resource offers helpful and different perspectives and considerations.

Academic Advisers

Talk with your academic adviser(s) about your academic interests and how potential OCS courses will fit into your four year plan to ensure that you graduate within four years.  Discuss any prerequisites you might need for your desired program or to complete your major(s). If you have not declared, seek advice from a professor within your intended major department. Determine whether you have an academic impediment to studying off campus during a particular semester to completing one or more of the following: your major (declared or intended), a concentration, a set of courses in sequence, or the prerequisites of your OCS program.

Campus Program Advisers

Each featured OCS program has been assigned to one or more Campus Program Adviser(s), either a Grinnell College faculty member or an OCS adviser listed in the Fact Sheet portion of its brochure in the application portal. Campus Program Advisers are prepared to speak to how a certain program can support academic goals and other global learning objectives. You are required to meet with the Campus Program Adviser of the program(s) for you wish to apply who will sign a form to confirm the meeting as part of your application. 

Office of Off-Campus Study

OCS advisers have individual advising portfolios based on country/region and are happy to assist you before, during, and after your OCS experience. Broad staff knowledge of considerations and the range of programs available can help you make sense of options in a way that complements other advising resources. OCS advisers can also suggest programs you may not have considered. 

To make an appointment with OCS advisers, email OCS appt. Provide a range of times when you would be free for a thirty minute appointment between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Be sure to mention the program(s) or country(ies) you want to discuss, subject areas that interest you, and any specific questions you may have. Submit your online advising worksheet prior to the appointment.

Program Representatives

Most programs are offered in cooperation with other colleges, universities, and program providers. Program representatives are available to answer questions — particularly about details such as housing, internships, and co-curricular activities — by phone and email. Many programs also host information sessions and promotional tabling on campus in the fall and spring semesters. Look for notices and emails about these sessions. 

Financial Aid Counseling

Financial aid can be applied to approved off-campus programs. The section Tuition and Aid  provides a general overview of billing and deposits, including an estimated aid calculator, detailed program cost spreadsheet, and aid policy.  Individual financial aid counseling is available through the Office of Financial Aid at  641-269-3250. 

Peer Advisers

The Institute for Global Engagement and Office of Off-Campus Study hire several Global Envoy peer advisers to provide general advice and mentoring for prospective and outbound students. Walk-in hours will be posted in early fall. In addition, a large number of Grinnell students return from studying off campus each semester. Talking with returned students about what they learned on their programs, what they liked about them, how they grew as people, and what they wish they had asked or known before participating is essential to making an informed decision.  A list of past students and the student advice blog are available on the Off-Campus Study's page on  GrinnellShare

International Students

Grinnell College is fortunate to have a remarkably diverse student body from many parts of the world. Grinnell's international students may provide you with valuable insights and information to help you in making a decision about where to study off campus. The Office of International Student Affairs can provide names of students from specified countries.

If you are an international student seeking to study off-campus, the Office of Off-Campus Study is here to help. In addition to working with OCS staff and program providers, please visit the Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) and review their handout: the F-1 International Travel, Internships, and Off Campus Study handout on GrinnellShare.  (International students who hold a visa status other than F-1 can also consult with the OISA.)