Studying Abroad- Let’s Start the Conversation!

Hi sophomores!

The Office of International Academic Programs is excited to have you back on campus and ready to help you plan your semester abroad! Now is the perfect opportunity to seriously consider if a semester or academic year overseas is right for you.

Here are some important questions you should ask yourself:

1. When would I go, if I did study abroad? (Fall/Spring? Full year program?)
One of the keys to studying abroad involves figuring out the best time during the school year for you to go. Sometimes, majors, minors, or concentrations involve a particularly crucial course that is available in one semester, and students are encouraged to plan their study abroad experience around this course. This is also true for sports (with active seasons), committees, and other clubs/jobs on campus. Talk to your advisor, your coach (if you play a sport), or other students with similar commitments to see how they consider study abroad. If you plan ahead, you CAN study abroad!

Other things to factor in are family commitments during the academic year, like weddings or important graduations to attend. You should also check out the academic calendar year of the country where you are considering studying. For example, in Germany, the fall semester runs through February. Check out our Program Descriptions to see the program start and end dates for each program.

2. What do I want to gain by going abroad that I couldn’t gain at Haverford?
Consider why you’d want to be traveling abroad, and what you want your goals to be. Can you accomplish your goals in the same way at Haverford as you would while abroad?Here are some ways that study abroad can transform and positively impact your college career. Which of these are important to you?

  • Language immersion
  • Fulfill language requirement in one semester (at some of the programs)
  • Specific courses (i.e. Nordic studies in Sweden)
  • Practice independence
  • Take a break from the routine, while still furthering your academic studies
  • International work/abroad experience
  • Studying abroad has significant career benefits, and will make you stand out in an interview

3. What kind of experience do I want?
The abroad programs available to Haverford students are diverse, and the kind of program that is best for you will not necessarily be the same as your friends’. Explore the Factors to Consider section of our FAQ to learn more about the different kinds, and also consider what each individual program may bring to the table– our Program Descriptions will include that information. Some programs may involve an international internship component that is integrated into the curriculum (so you’re going to school and interning at a company/organization), others promise a fully immersive language component where you can test your language skills every day. Others involve an intense single-course of study for students who are interested in delving into a single academic interest, or fulfilling a language requirement with courses in the host culture’s language.

4. How can I finance study abroad?
52% of all Haverford students who studied abroad last year were on financial aid. Studying abroad in certain countries is more expensive than in others.  If you would like to compare costs of living check out: There are many resources available to make the trip more affordable, and remember that your Haverford financial aid travels with you!

Mark your calendar!! Be sure to check our website and Facebook for a complete list of upcoming events:

Mandatory Information Session
Wednesday, September 14th
6:30 PM Stokes Auditorium
*All students studying abroad are required to attend one information session prior to studying abroad-start the process early and attend an information session!*
September 2016 information session


Study Abroad Fair
Saturday, October 29th
1:00-5:00 pm, First Floor Hallways of Stokes
Study Abroad Fair Flyer 2016

Mandatory Oxford, Cambridge, and London School of Economics Information Session
Thursday, November 10th
6:30 PM Gest 101
**If you are interested in attending one of these schools for the 2017-2018 academic year, you are required to attend this information session in order to be nominated!**
Oxford and Cambridge Info Session

Questions? Let’s talk! Attend a mandatory information session, send me an e-mail (, check out our website, stop by Chase 213 and pick up some program brochures, or come check out the incredibly helpful black binders. Write down all of those concerns/worries that you have, and let us help you sort things out. Remember, Dean Mancini and I are here to help you with the process, and there are tons of resources for you to use- all you have to do is ask!

Ps, Start applying for a passport now if you don’t already have one! Your passport must be valid 6 months AFTER your intended return date to be able to study abroad. Check your passport’s expiration date ASAP!

OAR & Chill

Congrats on making it to finals! The bouncy house has been deflated, the colored powder has dissipated in the atmosphere and all other remnants of Haverfest now reside in a recycling bin or tucked away in storage for next year and the library seems more crowded than Citizens Bank Park… studying and finals has commenced! But everyone needs a break and the OAR invites you to join us this week as we’ll be a creating space to relax, enjoy some good company and good food.

Along with the activities listed on the flyer below, we’ll have snacks, coffee and tea available throughout finals. We hope to see you soon!

Study Breaks

Be well Haverford!


Recap and Wisdom of Finals Panel

Last night in the OAR five Haverford Upperclassmen shared advice on approaching finals. There insights ranged from strategies to scheduling finals, enjoying Haverfest to effectively balancing studying with chill time.

Know Thy Self
A common theme that emerged in the discussion was that there isn’t one strategy or approach to finals week. The panel was a testament to what works for one student might not work for others. An example was that some of the panelists use a scheduler, such as Google Calendar, and schedule everything down to the hour. They have found that having a strict schedule helps them stay on target and focused. A couple of the panelists offered a different approach: They have a list of what they have to do and when they would like to do it, but the details are unscheduled. Regardless of how detailed your schedule the panelists insisted that you create a plan that helps you see everything you have to do and when you have to do it, so nothing falls through the cracks.

“Stay in Your Lane”
Every panelist agreed that knowing themselves (strengths, weaknesses) is imperative to how they decide which approach or strategy will work for them. This sense of self and ability to reflect and think about one’s thinking (metacognition) can be achieved by simply asking oneself at the end of the day: what worked or what was not helpful? In the case of finals, think about what worked (or didn’t the last three semesters) and build a strategy based on that reflection. Thus, the more you self-reflect, the more you will not be concerned about others. While it’s also important to learn from others and possibly borrow strategies that you think will be effective for you, the panelists warned about worrying what others are doing and causing yourself unnecessary anxiety. They stressed staying focused on yourself and realizing that everyone is different and studies at different paces.

Study and Chill
The panelists stressed the importance of finding balance between your studies and finding time to chill. They shared that HaverFest provides two days to relax and create some cognitive dissonance between the last week of classes and finals. The trick of the two days is to find activities that align with what you need in order to find the space to recover. You can participate in HaverFest, or you can spend two days in bed with NetFlix, either way, do what YOU need to do to recharge and be ready for what lies ahead.

It’s Just Another Two Weeks in the Semester
One parting piece of advise from a graduating senior was about student’s mindset at Finals. Remember that Finals is not that drastically different from any other point of the year. Don’t psyche yourself out in a detrimental manner. Yes, finals is important and should not be taken lightly, but it’s not a life or death scenario. You have been taking exams and writing papers all semester and finals is no different—just condensed.


Finishing Strong!

It’s April – famously the most chaotic, demanding, and cram-it-all-in-before-Haverfest month at Haverford. Midterms may have just concluded, but finals are around the corner, and the stress of predicting the impending Pinwheel Day (at least once the snow is a distant memory) may understandably be weighing heavily on you.

With just five weeks to go, it’s time to streamline your schedule, focus on your top priorities and tune out the rest. But even the best intentions hit roadblocks, and as the days tick down and the work only increases, please remember that there are an immense number of people at Haverford who are here to help you. That might include a faculty mentor, your Dean, a research librarian, CAPS counselor, or another member of the staff or faculty with whom you feel comfortable. You may want to talk over a challenging assignment, review your planned finals schedule, or prepare for your summer adventure. You should! So often, Haverford students say, “I didn’t want to bother you since I know you’re really really busy, and my stuff isn’t that important, so I didn’t email you/set up an appointment.” It’s not a bother at all – in fact, it’s their job and passion to help!

Continue reading Finishing Strong!

Get Off Campus!

There are times when all the priorities compete at once. Friends. Work. Family. Major declaration. Crushes. Landing an internship. Lunch.

Clear your head and jump off campus for an afternoon or weekend. The only rule? Break the rules. (especially your own)

Schedules are made to be flexible. Make time for self-care away from a screen in early April and I’ll bet the rest of the semester will be a bit more fulfilling.
While I can’t legally condone crashing a Main Line wedding or sneaking into a private garden, I think your spring will be more interesting and story-worthy if you attempt to step outside your own rules a little!

Ideas for an off-the-beaten-track weekend:

Um, this awesome place exists in Philadelphia.
And this one does in Wayne if you like coffee.
This community out in Coatesville is warm, welcoming and beautiful. How often have you visited a Sufi saint’s farm?
I may or may not have tried a Bi-Co staycation as a student: taking a tour of Bryn Mawr College through a different lens, eating all my meals at their dining hall, going swimming, reading in their beautiful library. As a bonus, it’s cheap as free!
Photoshoots at spots featured in 90s Philadelphia music videos: some Will Smith, a little Motown Philly

There’s a tendency to view trips into the city as a privilege or reward for finishing your work. Instead, try a week where these weird little side trips are part of the plans, no matter what. That’s self-care, too!

So that’s it: step away from the homework: if you prioritize yourself, you might feel more like this guy as the semester shifts into high gear:

neon will smith