For Austin College-approved international programs, the courses taken abroad are added to the student’s academic transcript in the same way an Austin College course would be. Courses completed abroad count as Austin College courses and apply as credit towards graduation from Austin College. They are also computed into a student’s grade point average on a 4-point scale.
Austin College breadth and depth requirements are routinely met by courses abroad with pre-departure preparation discussions with faculty mentors and department advisors.
Students should forward all course syllabi and descriptions for courses taken abroad to the Study Abroad Office while abroad. Those materials will then be available upon return for students to share with department advisors of their majors and minors. Major and Minor Program Course Substitutions and Waiver form will be completed to apply the credit to specific items in a student’s program evaluation.
An important rule of thumb: Four semester-hours (sometimes called “credit-hours” or casually referred to as “credits”) in a Study Abroad program are equivalent to one AC graduation credit. Refer questions to the Study Abroad Office, who has the correct answer.
Where most programs use a semester-hour credit system, AC calculates graduation credits and credit equivalents as follows:
- 2 semester-hours (or credit-hours or “credits”) equal 0.5 AC course credit unit
- 3 semester-hours (or credit-hours or “credits”) equal 0.75 course credit unit
- 4 semester-hours (or credit-hours or “credits”) equal 1 course credit unit
- 5 semester-hours (or credit-hours or “credits”) equal 1.25 AC course credit units
In order to receive the equivalent of 4.0 AC course credits when studying abroad, students enroll and successfully complete the equivalent of 16 semester semester-hours (or credit-hours or “credits”) in their program. Normal enrollment for AC students in programs abroad is accordingly 16 semester hours.
Reduced loads while studying abroad are an exception and must be approved by Sheila Piñeres, Vice President of Academic Affairs.
Because students are students considered “in residence” while abroad, courses will be entered on the AC transcript exactly as if they had obtained them here: discipline, title, credit and grade. Grades will be calculated into the student’s GPA. Incompletes are not allowed by AC on study abroad programs—no exceptions.
If a student wishes to request S/D/U grading from AC while studying abroad, then they must do so within Austin College’s allotted period for grade changes. Even though the course may start earlier or later than courses on campus, the same time periods after the start of the course to accomplish the change in grading with AC (usually about seven weeks) apply. Check the Bulletin for the most recent rules. Students may receive credit for no more than one S/D/U course per semester and may count no more than four toward graduation. (When students return, the S/D/U grade may have to be entered manually since the study abroad transcript might reflect only A-F grading).
After students register for courses abroad, they may find it possible to make some changes within a given program. Remember that adding or dropping a course in the program abroad or in a foreign university may not be the same as at home. Students should follow the exact and official steps for changing courses at the host school or program. Consult the program advisor abroad directly for the local paperwork and procedures. One cannot drop a course simply by not going to it nor can one add a course simply by attending it. Keep copies of related documents to assure the proper posting of grades upon your return. Remember you are still required to keep a full load equivalent to 4 AC credits.
Once students have completed registration abroad, please send the final list of courses to the Study Abroad Office. The list should include the title of the course, the discipline designation (i.e.: ECO, ART, HIST) and the semester-hours (credit-hours or “credits”). It is also good practice to forward the course syllabi and descriptions if not already done so.
The student’s program provider (i.e.: IES, IFSA-Butler, Arcadia, BCA, Central College, etc.) will send the original, official, certified transcript of the student’s academic record for the courses taken while abroad to the Austin College Registrar’s Office (not to the student).
It is important to note that often times these transcripts can take several months to reach Austin College. Students are not allowed to study abroad in their last term before graduation for this reason as graduation would be delayed which has financial and professional consequences.
In applying for some graduate or professional schools, students may be asked to supply original transcripts from each school you have attended. If so, consult the Study Abroad Office or the program on how to obtain these.
The process of receiving, evaluating, and posting to your AC record may take a couple of weeks once the transcript arrives. If there are any delays, please contact the Study Abroad Office.
If a student discovers a disciplinary course abroad that they want to take, but which for some reason may be difficult to fit a distribution requirement at AC, consult the Study Abroad Office immediately. In any case, please copy (cc) the Study Abroad Office in any emails about courses and credits.
Adapting to a different academic system is part of the general cultural adjustment that students abroad must make. In all programs students will find differences in teaching and learning styles, grading practices, academic resources, examinations, assignments, attendance policies, and student attitudes.
Students will need to observe how things work and adhere to what they learn. What are the expectations about attendance, late papers, or missed exams? Ask the program advisor or consult the professor of the course. Do not depend solely on the advice of a student of the host university. They could be wrong, and AC will have little sympathy.
The Study Abroad Office can assist with the registration for students for the returning semester courses based on the information that they have provided to Study Abroad Office or on the course selection emailed.
Students must have permission from the instructor before they can enroll in a travel course. They should request permission for each course they are considering, since permission does not guarantee a place in the course. Students will need to make arrangements to have a $250 deposit check sent to the Study Abroad Office (made payable to Austin College), and mail/fax us a signed copy of the two forms (the Center for Global Learning will email students this information at registration time) before the Study Abroad Office can register students for an off-campus JanTerm. Do not delay as many off-campus JanTerms fill rapidly.
Off-campus international Jan Term registration is also held in late September, but some courses will already be filled by then. The registration procedure is the same.
All of this is subject to modification.