You play the most important role in determining what kind of off-campus study experience you will have. Your choices, both in deciding on a program and in your everyday decisions as a participant, will make a huge impact in your growth, so take the time to decide on your priorities.
Consider your goals for off-campus study. You may want to practice a language, gain practical experience in your field of study, or learn more about a specialized topic. Regardless of your goals, you can benefit from defining them more clearly, to break them down into small steps so that you can make meaningful progress and see your achievements.
Many people use the acronym SMART to help them set goals:
Specific- the goal should be detailed
Measurable- how will you check your progress
Achievable- make it realistic
Relevant- the goal should be important to you
Timely- set a deadline and check in with yourself along the way
Keep in mind that your goals may change while you are off-campus. Being flexible and open to new ideas is a part of the growth process.
Having goals in mind important to finding a good fit for you and staying motivated throughout the OCS process, and even after you return. It will take some work, but you can accomplish what you set out to do!