Off-Campus Study & Exchanges
Possible Essay Topics
Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- If you kept a blog or a journal during your off-campus study, consider writing up your favorite story or a unique experience.
- Describe your adjustment to a new culture, language, and/or academic environment. How did you adjust to new ways of eating, dealing with bureaucracy, meeting people, making friends, etc., in your host country?
- What surprised you most while abroad?
- Think about cultural differences and similarities between the country you studied in and the United States. How have your ideas about American culture changed?
- Describe a unique cultural or social aspect, event, or practice of the country in which you studied (holidays, festivals, cultural traditions, business interactions, or everyday practices).
- Did you keep in touch with friends and family by email? Read through your saved correspondence to get a fresh take on what you were thinking and writing about while off campus.
- Have you gained a new perspective on your studies at Skidmore? Are classes taught the same or differently than in the United States?
- Have your career and academic goals changed as a result of your off-campus study experience?
- What did you post on facebook? Look at your status updates or messages sent to spark an idea!
- What did you find most challenging while living in another country? How did you deal with that challenge? Did you change as a result?
- Share any personal insights or a particularly humorous anecdote.
- Share a unique experience or describe something that you could have only done studying off-campus.
- Share the best thing (or the most important thing) that you learned about the host culture.
- Describe your reentry into the U.S. way of life after you returned from abroad.