Last week, the 72 students planning to study off-campus next fall gathered for the 2nd of their required orientation sessions. At these orientation sessions, staff and students discuss the important practical aspects of their OCS experiences-- academic credit, health and safety, financial responsibilities, and more. Through activities and discussion, students are also introduced to concepts of cultural adjustment and adaptation (sometimes called "culture shock") that they might experience in London, Beijing, or even New York, and talk about tools and strategies for managing such feelings.
Students often say, however, that the most beneficial part of the second orientation session is the chance to talk with returned DePauw students from their program or destination area. Departing students can get the "real" scoop from returned students- what are classes like, what is housing and transportation like, how did they make friends, what has this experience meant for them? Returned students are often eager to share their recommendations and experiences with a captive and engaged audience, making this event a win for everyone.
Check out the video below for insight from returned students on how their experience studying abroad changed them!
The staff of the Center for Student Engagement facilitates meaningful off-campus study experiences for DePauw students.