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For Academic Advisors

Advising students who wish to study internationally or with one of Messiah's domestic off campus programs can be rewarding, but challenging. Included in this web site are resources to assist you as you work with students. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMITMENT TO CONNECTING OUR STUDENTS WITH THESE VALUABLE LEARNING EXPERIENCES.

I hope this information is helpful and informative.

Wendy Lippert

Director of the EpiCenter

Associate Director of International Programs

General Advising

1. Encourage students to explore the options early; their first semester is not too soon! The EpiCenter  has developed a Four Year Plan to help students understand the process.

2. A number of departments have identified an optimal semester for students to study off campus. This is helpful information to pass along to your advisees

3. Encourage students to visit the EpiCenter or to browse the EpiCenter web to explore various international and domestic programs

4. Students should come to your advising sessions already having done their homework. After visiting the EpiCenter and searching the resources available on the web page (such as the course equivalency database), students should have an idea of the programs that they are exploring as well as possible courses that they are hoping to take while studying off campus.

5. Many study abroad programs offer courses that can meet general education requirements; typically, students can fulfill general education history, literature, social science off campus.


Advising students who will be studying abroad next semester.


Students should meet with you if they are interested in studying off campus to make sure that this option will fit into their schedule.

The EpiCenter will help them find course offerings and will assist them as they explore the Course Equivalency Database. This tool is available to you as you assist students with this significant process.   


Students will want to apply a year in advance for their program if possible. Actual application deadlines are listed on the EpiCenter Webpage.

  • References: All students who study off campus will need a reference from their academic advisors; your candid responses help our partners make sure that students are a good fit for the program. Some of the references are paper format. The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and BCA will both be using online reference forms.
  • Off-Campus Study Courses Approval Form: All students complete an "Off Campus Study Course Approval" form. This form, available in the EpiCenter, allows students to plan a schedule of courses that they may be taking while studying off campus. This requires your signature.


Students will still need their pin numbers to register at Messiah - they will not be choosing Grantham classes; they will be registering for their program. The course codes for each program is listed in the registration packet.


Students should work with you before they decide leave so that they have a general idea of what courses / requirements they will fit their schedule when they return.

Advising students who are studying abroad now.

Registration is typically a bit more complicated when students study abroad. Consequently, the registrar allow students who study with our semester-long off campus programs to register a day or more before the seniors register.

  • Registration Materials: The EpiCenter will be contacting students with registration materials and instructions once the Registrar's Office has the information available.
  • Limited Internet Access: Advising may be a bit more difficult; internet access is in some cases limited. Moreover, sometimes students are on educational excursions where they will not have access to the Internet for a period of time.
  • Advisor Hold: Students will need their Advisor Hold lifted in order to register.
  • Difficulty Registering: If students have difficulty registering on MCSquare, please ask them to contact Wendy Lippert and she will help with the registration process.
How will this experience help my advisee?

Studies show that international education helps students to grow in four areas:
Personal development
Intercultural competencies
Career development

Check out Stories from Abroad to read how students were impacted by their experiences.

  1. All courses taken off campus come back with a letter grade.
  2. Our program providers inform students of grade conversion scales; Messiah is working to include these on our web pages. Please check individual program pages to see the scale is currently listed.
  3. It typically takes AT LEAST two months for grades to appear on transcripts.
Course equivalencies
All students are required to complete an Off Campus Study Course Approval Form BEORE THEY LEAVE to study abroad. This form allows them to list courses that they plan to take and to obtain college approval for courses that they wish to meet specific requirements.
How does Messiah prepare students to study abroad?

Students applying to or are accepted to study abroad are required to attend pre-departure orientation sessions designed to prepare them for their international experiences. These session include:

  1. Growing Your Faith While Studying Abroad
  2. Cross-Cultural Adjustment and Communication

This link will take you to this semester's orientation schedule.

What are the financial implications?
Messiah works hard to keep costs in line with what students pay to study at Messiah. Students typically pay
  1. Messiah tuition
  2. Messiah housing
  3. A full meal plan
  4. Some programs have an off campus study fee.

Students do not have to pay the Student Services fee and In most cases Messiah pays international flights. Follow this link to learn more about the financial implications of studying off campus.

Are there scholarships available?

All state and federal grants and loans as well as all Messiah grants will apply when students study with Messiah-approved off campus study programs. Moreover, there are some additional scholarships available for students who study abroad. The deadlines are early and the paperwork can be a bit lengthy, so students are encouraged to start early. Follow this link to a listing of some scholarships for which some Messiah students have applied.

What are the College's expectations of students while studying off campus?
All students sign a Study Abroad Contract (for international programs) or an Off-Campus Study Contract (for domestic programs). These documents outline Messiah College's expectations of our students and what they can expect from Messiah.

I have tried to anticipate the most frequently asked questions. However, I may not have answered yours. Feel free to contact the EpiCenter for questions or suggestions.

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