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 Office of International Programs for more information about this topic.
Austin College requires a minimum of 17 course credits 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.
Planning Period 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.
- Students will complete a Study Abroad Pre-Departure Course Approval Form, which will require departments chairs to designate abroad courses into the appropriate Austin College requirement equivalencies. In order to facilitate the process, students are encouraged to bring descriptions and/or syllabi for courses that need approval. Once complete, mentors are asked to review the form for a final approval.
- Students are also required to complete a Post-Program Course Schedule Form. This form is intended to help students plan their Austin College courses once back in the U.S. Once complete, mentors are asked to review the form for approval.
- Students may reach out to you to discuss changes in their abroad course schedule and how it may impact their progress to degree.
- You may want to discuss with the student how to connect with you for planning for registration which may occur while they are abroad.
- 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.
- Students may approach you with courses that were not included in their Study Abroad Pre-Departure Course Approval Form. If so, students must receive approval for the additional courses from the appropriate department chair(s) and notify the Registrar of the changes.
Students who participate in semester programs pay Austin College tuition for their study abroad program and are therefore allowed to keep their regular semester financial aid.
Students who wish to participate in a year-long program or in an additional semester program must first complete a formal petition form to be reviewed and approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Once approved, students follow the same process for semester programs.
In addition to using regular financial aid, students approved to go abroad for a semester or a year are automatically considered for study abroad-specific scholarships. Awarding of these scholarships is primarily need-based, though secondary considerations may be based on language or region preferred by the donor.
Students interested in doing research in the Asia-Pacific region may be eligible to apply to the Australasia Studies Initiative scholarship. This scholarship requires students to conduct comparative research in the topics of Public Health, International Relations, Political Science, Business, Environmental Studies, or others in social science between two locations in the Asia-Pacific region. As the research must be between two locations, students are fully funded to participate in up to two programs to complete the requirement—(1) semester program and (1) summer program.
Yes. Students who earn a C grade or higher earn transfer credits when they study on any Austin College approved program. Although grades will not factor into a student's GPA, courses taken abroad may be used to fulfill requirements through the approval of the corresponding department chair. Students will complete a Study Abroad Course Pre-Approval Form prior to departure, which will serve as the primary reference for the Registrar once an official transcript from the program has been received.
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. Students can plan out their coursework with their mentor and schedule one semester in their 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 Kelly Reed or Chris Goldsmith to ensure that study abroad plans are compatible with progress to pre-health aspirations.