Part of what sets Austin College apart from other institutions is the mentor program. Mentors are indispensable in the college’s mission and overall function. To that end, please find a list of resources and explanations to help explain the study abroad process from a mentor’s perspective.
Frequently Asked Questions
As a rule, study abroad is a program for students in their junior year or the first semester of their senior year. Students should not plan to go abroad in their last semester before graduation as it can actually delay their graduation. Students specializing in programs with highly sequential and prescriptive curricula such as pre-health professions or some science majors should consult with their mentors and program advisors about the best time to study abroad as timing is everything. Pre-med and science students can and do study abroad. See the Study Abroad office for more information about this topic.
Austin College requires a minimum of 17 course credits is required to qualify. Normally, a 3.0 GPA is required. Students must declare their full program of study (i.e., major and minor or double major at minimum) before going abroad. Individual international program providers may have other requirements as well.
Before Departure Conversations:
- Students interested in semester study abroad will come to their mentors asking for a review of the Overall Degree Plan Checklist so that you can have a conversation with them about how this experience may impact their progress to degree completion. They will also need to visit with their major and minor departments for similar conversations.
- If the student has not declared a major and minor, the mentor is critical in helping complete the declaration/change process.
- If you have a faculty colleague which may be able to help this student select an international program suiting their interests, please make those important referrals.
- The student may come back to you with course descriptions and syllabi related to a program choice. You can help them review that information to determine where courses may fit in the student’s program of study. You may also refer the student to department advisors for major and minor course suggestions.
- If the student is abroad for a semester, you may want to discuss how to connect with you for planning for registration which may occur while they are abroad.
- Students may reach out to you to discuss changes in their abroad course schedule and how it may impact their progress to degree.
- Students could have some technical difficulties in registering for classes in WebHopper if Internet access is not reliable. You can assist with such registration difficulties by contacting the Registrar for assistance if needed.
After Returning to Austin College:
- Once the course credit from the experience has been articulated and added to the student’s transcript, helping the student complete the necessary Major and Minor Course Substitutions and Program Waivers form to ensure that the course credit is properly assigned “space” in the degree plans.
Sometimes, students are reticent to consider semester study abroad because they would not know how to pay for it. There is financial aid for students to study abroad. For Tier 1 Programs, students’ financial aid goes with them when they study abroad. Special scholarships, both from Austin College and outside sources, are available for summer or semester.
Yes. Students earn Austin College credits when they study on any Austin College approved program, and this credit will appear just as it would if students took the courses at Austin College. Study abroad courses from a non-approved program will be considered as any other transfer course credit and may be brought in for AC credit. Students should seek approval for transfer work utilizing the Transfer Approval Form.
Yes. Theoretically every requirement can be taken abroad, although some courses should be taken on-campus. By working with the syllabuses from classes abroad and department chairs to discuss specific courses offered abroad, courses can be approved to fulfill Austin College requirements.
Once the abroad courses have been applied to students transcripts, mentors and department advisors need to work with students to complete the Major and Minor Program Course Substitutions and Waiver form to apply the credit appropriately to the Program Evaluation. Failure to complete this step will cause issue with graduation audits and potential error in course planning for students trying to complete their degrees.
Yes. You can plan out your coursework with your advisor and schedule one semester in your junior or first semester of the senior year to study abroad. This opportunity is available for all Austin College students. Pre-health students should check in with Jack Pierce to ensure that study abroad plans compatible with progress to pre-medical aspirations.