Mission, Vision and Goals
The mission of the Swarthmore Off-Campus Study Office is to foster student capacity for thoughtful engagement with the world beyond Swarthmore by providing access and support for high-quality educational opportunities across the globe.
The vision of the Off-Campus Study Office is for Swarthmore students to graduate with:
1) a strong sense of social and civic responsibility;
2) intercultural knowledge, and;
3) the ability to approach situations from diverse perspectives.
The Off-Campus Study Office acts in concert with academic departments and programs, the Dean’s Office, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Athletics, and the Provost’s Office to create an environment for holistic student development.
OCS accomplishes its mission and supports the larger Swarthmore mission by focusing its work in three areas: education abroad, campus internationalization, and campus-wide risk management. OCS is committed to promoting educational equity among all Swarthmore students by creating a welcoming environment for learners of all types and supporting all students, no matter their sex, race, color, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender idereal or perceived) to an appropriate education abroad experience.
- OCS offers a variety of international opportunities and aims to be a gateway to all international experiences.
- OCS provides support services for students conducting research and internships abroad.
- OCS approves high-quality education abroad opportunities and follows best practices through the following practices:
- OCS education abroad opportunities are reviewed by the OCS committee.
- Swarthmore programs have a regular schedule of evaluation.
- OCS staff remain abreast of national education abroad standards.
- OCS is a member of NAFSA, the Forum on Education Abroad, the Institute of International Education, and the Academic Working Group of the Overseas Security Council of the State Department
Definition of Key Terms
- Social Responsibility
Awareness of social dynamics and subsequent active leadership in the pursuit of social justice
- Civic Responsibility
Active participation in civil society that reflects an understanding of the democratic process and prioritizes justice and humanity
- Global Context
An understanding of the connections between the individual, society, nation-state, and the world
- Global Self-Awareness
The continuum through which students develop a mature, integrated identity with a systemic understanding of the interrelationships among the self, local and global communities, and the natural and physical world
- Global Systems
The complex and overlapping worldwide systems, including natural systems (those systems associated with the natural world including biological, chemical, and physical sciences) and human systems (those systems developed by humans such as cultural, economic, political, and built), which operate in observable patterns and often are affected by or are the result of human design or disruption. These systems influence how life is lived and what options are open to whom.
- Intercultural Knowledge and Competence
A set of cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts