Education Abroad opportunities for UConn undergraduates depend greatly on faculty involvement. In your capacity as an advisor and mentor, you are in a special position to encourage students to study abroad. You might want to impart to them the benefits of studying abroad, from how it will transform them as a person, as well as a student, to how it will deepen their knowledge of both the world and their academic field of interest and provide them practical skills necessary to compete in the global environment of the twenty-first century. It is key that you work with students closely to prove that they can study abroad and still “finish in four.”
Students will inevitably ask you about how they can get credits for studying abroad, etc. For this reason, we have prepared the following questions and answers to help guide you:
What office should a student go through to study abroad and receive course credits?
Students can receive credits for studying abroad in two different ways: through the Office of Global Affairs – Education Abroad and through the Transfer Admissions Office. By going through the Office of Global Affairs – Education Abroad, students will remain registered at UConn, as if they were on campus, and therefore receive UConn letter-graded credit will count toward graduation and may satisfy major, minor, and General Education requirements. In addition, students can receive federal financial aid if they are registered at UConn and through the Office of Global Affairs – Education Abroad. They may also study abroad their last semester and meet the final semester residency requirements.
Alternatively, if seniors elect to try to get credit through the Transfer Admissions Office, they must effectively drop out of UConn for the semester and therefore do not meet the final semester residency requirements and will only receive transfer credit that may or may not be recognized for major credit. Underclassmen on the other hand have to be re-admitted to UConn under a different catalogue year and possibly different requirements for graduation.
What should I tell students to initially prepare them for their study abroad experience?
We recommend that you review our website, especially Prospective Students. Here you will find information about the types of programs offered and approved by the Office of Global Affairs – Education Abroad, eligibility requirements, and financial aid information. You can click on “Programs” to search for individual programs.
Please encourage your advisees to plan ahead and research possible options as early as their first year. The purpose is twofold: it gives them a vision of which study abroad programs might work for them in different semesters, and it helps them to develop a financial plan/strategy to meet the costs of study abroad.
The University of Connecticut has many new study abroad opportunities and exchange agreements with highly ranked universities around the globe and we encourage students, including science, business, and engineering students, to take courses abroad in their major. For a list of exchange institutions, please go to “Program” on our website and pick “Exchange”. Note that exchange programs are the most economic option for study abroad, but students must have a 3.0 or above GPA at the time of application.
You can also encourage students to take as many electives as possible while they are abroad on either an exchange, UConn faculty-led program, or third party program. One of the objectives of a study abroad experience is to learn about cultural values and intellectual approaches not available at UConn. Foreign Study numbers for each department have been created to accommodate “non-matching” coursework. At the very least the Foreign Study numbered courses count toward graduation as electives.
You can also suggest to students that “related” courses for each major are generally easier to fulfill than specifically numbered, required courses in the major
Review the General Education Requirements your advisee still has to meet. Suggest that they search the accredited course lists in the “Academics” section of each study abroad program brochure for those courses.
What do I do when my advisee needs to discuss specific coursework they will take abroad?
The first thing you will note is that the student may have selected one or more courses that have already been approved by an academic department at UConn (under “Preapproved Courses” listed in each program brochure on the Education Abroad website).
Second, with the help of your advisee, you may follow links to the course offerings at the foreign institution to see if there are courses that could fit into your advisee’s plan of study. Your advisee will then send the syllabi of the selected courses to the appropriate departmental faculty evaluators for accreditation.
Where is the course accreditation process outlined?
Tell your advisee to read the Academics section of our website. They must send a syllabus and course description to the appropriate departmental evaluators.
What does the course title Foreign Study mean?
It means that credit has been assigned to course material that does not exactly match a UConn course. A student may take many or all Foreign Study numbered courses during his study abroad term. Each foreign study numbered course will be listed on your advisee’s transcript with the original foreign course title. Example: Foreign Study: Singapore’s Foreign Policy.
Do the Foreign Study numbered courses count towards a major?
This is dependent on each department’s guidelines.
Do Foreign Study numbered courses count towards the General Education Requirements?
The decision is made by each School. Check the section entitled General Education Substitutions under Academics on our website.
Will I advise them while they are overseas?
Yes, they may need to have the advising bar lifted before they can register for the following semester’s courses.