If you’re planning on studying abroad, make sure you know how to get study abroad credit for the classes you will be taking in your new university.
And don’t wait until last minute! Rushing around to figure out where those study abroad credits fit in my transcript delayed my graduation by an entire semester — an expensive mistake.
So before you jet off to another country for a semester or year long immersion into another culture, make sure you’ve got what you need: the ability to earn credits for your courses abroad.
Get Study Abroad Credits Approved Ahead of Time
Don’t assume that all the classes advertised in your school abroad will bring you any closer to graduating college. While they may be interesting, and might sound like they vaguely fit a class description in your home school, they might not count for credit!
Remember, many schools require prior approval of your study abroad credits before you go, and won’t accept them if you don’t get that approval ahead of time, so get it done early!
Don’t Forget Financial Aid
In order for your financial aid to apply to your term abroad, you may need to get signatures of approval for the classes you’re taking. So check with your school’s study abroad office, registrar, or admission office to find out what they need in order to process your financial aid.
Sync Two Grading Systems
As you may have figured out, different countries have different grading systems, and of course, different languages. You may need to get academic transcript translations from your study abroad college.
Or, your temporary college may not provide you with transcripts to bring back to the US. You may have to get letters from your professors abroad to verify that you’ve taken certain classes.
Clarify this with your professors early in the semester and have all necessary documents sent to your study abroad adviser — they’ll know where to route everything so your documentation isn’t lost and delays can be avoided.
Remember, not every class you take abroad should necessarily fulfill a requirement in your college at home.
Studying abroad is a truly unique experience. But while the education you receive in another country will not always be gleaned in the classroom, make sure that you get study abroad credit for the classes you need!