Academic Advising for Study Abroad

 Heredia, Costa Rica

Role of the Academic Advisor

One of the greatest barriers to study abroad is the perception that the credit earned abroad will not apply towards degree requirements and will extend the time needed to graduate.

Academic advisors play a critical role in helping students assess how credits completed during a study abroad program may apply towards the student’s major, minor, or general electives. Planning ahead is the key.

The Initial Advising Process

As incoming freshmen, students should be encouraged to consider study abroad as part of their undergraduate experience. Advisors from every discipline should point out the value of making this type of investment. Study Abroad takes considerable planning and advisors can look at their overall degree plan and help students see when it would make the most sense to study abroad and what degree requirements might be best met while abroad. Strategic planning of course selections as a freshman and sophomore can allow for a semester or year long study abroad program later on.

Advisors can also encourage students to learn as much as they can about study abroad opportunities by attending a Hogs Abroad 101 session. These sessions are designed to give students an overview of the study abroad process so that they can become better equipped to meet one-on-one with a study abroad advisor.

Types of Programs Available

There are two basic program options to search from: U of A programs (faculty-led programs, exchange programs, the Rome center) and external programs. The U of A programs are created through our faculty and colleges and generally offer students an affordable way to study abroad, and the external programs help our office extend the possibilities all over the world, filling in the gaps on the map where our U of A programs don't yet exist. If students need help picking the best fit, they can get help choosing a program.

Credit Pre-Approval Process

Academic advisors are asked to review course descriptions and determine how courses taken abroad might be applied towards a student’s degree plan. The pre-approval of credit to be transferred in from a study abroad program is essential to a student’s ability to secure financial aid and scholarships. A list of historical transfer credits already in existence can be found on the Registrar's page (look for the name of the institution providing the transcript in both English and the institution’s foreign language title if you unable to find it in English). A sample credit pre-approval form is below for reference.

Useful Resources