Exchange Academic Program
Students selected to participate in the Evergreen/Japanese University Exchange program study abroad under an Individual Learning Contract. In addition to taking classes at either university, students will complete an independent project. To prepare, students should begin planning early. If possible, discuss plans with a faculty member who has mentored you during your academic career. If such a person is not available, try to find a mentor, someone with whom you can discuss your objectives. If you are unclear about where you can best accomplish your objectives, do research to narrow your choices. A good beginning point is to read through Work, Study, Travel Abroad: The Whole World Handbook (published by the Council on International Educational Exchange). Other sources are the study-abroad library located in the Career Development Center Library, various books and directories in the main library (search "study abroad" and "international study" in the on-line catalog) and Transitions Abroad magazine which you can find in the study abroad and main library. The internet is also an invaluable tool in doing research on international study. Consult the listings of recommended web pages available in the study abroad library.
Begin work on a detailed plan, one which is comprehensive and addresses the questions of
why - where - what - how - when
Divide your plan into the following sections and cover the points suggested:
Why do you want to study abroad? What is your purpose? Your objectives should be specific and attainable. They should be academically relevant.
Where do you want to go? Be specific. What city, town or village? What school, if any? What is the connection between the location and your objective? What can you accomplish there that you cannot accomplish on campus?
What are you actually going to do? Research? Write? Study a language? Keep a journal? What will your journal format be? Study abroad contracts should have a significant writing component, such as a journal, and a vehicle for analyzing what you are learning, such as a major paper.
How are you going to accomplish your objectives? Are you going to enroll in a language school for a period of time? Do you have a bibliography of books you are going to read? Are you going to attend a conference? Are you going to visit museums? Are you going to interview people? Are you going to do volunteer work?
How much time are you allowing for your activities? Make an extended timeline that sets out what you are planning to do week by week. Start out by plotting key accomplishments month by month, then fill in weekly activities. This should be a flexible timeline; revise it frequently as the reality of the circumstances influence it, especially after you arrive in the country.
How will your faculty sponsor evaluate whether you have met your objectives? In particular, if you are studying a language, how will your faculty sponsor measure your achieved proficiency?
Although you will not have access to syllabi prior to attending Miyazaki or Hyogo University, most students incorporate multiple components of study in their contracts: language study, cultural studies, photography, and journal writing, for example. It is necessary to communicate with your sponsor and with the study abroad office at Evergreen while writing your contracts, as several revisions may be called for.