Procedures for U.S. Students Studying Abroad
Below are the steps you will want to follow to help ensure that your study abroad program fits in to your plans for graduation and to facilitate transfer of credit for your program. If you want to spend an academic year or semester abroad, you will want to start the process several months, or even a year, in advance. Summer programs generally require a bit less preparation time. Please note that procedures for international students going abroad difer from the steps outlined below.
Before you study abroad
- As early as your freshman year, you can attend an Office of International Programs information session on study abroad and begin talking with your adviser about general plans for fitting study abroad in to your plans for graduation. Start thinking about when will be the best times for you to fit in study abroad and what classes you need to graduate.
- Fill out the study abroad interest sheet found on the Office of International Programs website.
- Make an appointment with the Director of International Programs and bring in your completed study abroad interest sheet. Find out information on possible programs. Compare programs and budgets. Gather information on classes conducted abroad, including number of class hours, course description, and a syllabus, if possible.
- Consult with your adviser about fitting studying abroad in with your plans for graduation.
- Determine if study abroad courses count towards general education requirements. The global awareness requirement can often be met by study abroad classes.
- Discuss the possibility of credits from your study abroad program being accepted for your major. For instance, Palacky University’s Central European History Since 1945 has been approved as equivalent to Mount Mercy’s HI 280.
- In some cases, study abroad classes are counted as electives. If you know that you will study abroad, you may try to save some of your electives for study abroad.
- Make your final selection and apply to the study abroad program.
- Submit a petition to the Office of Academic Affairs to receive transfer credits. For partnerships where we have an agreement with the host university, such as the Palacky program, certain classes may be credited without a petition. Remember that approval of petitions depends on the documentation you are able to supply, so you should try to provide detailed information, such as course descriptions or syllabi, especially on classes for major requirements.
- Inquire with the Financial Aid Office about how financial aid might apply. Be able to provide information on the specifics of your program. Bring copies of your approved petitions for credit. The Office will work with you to complete a consortium agreement with your study abroad provider.
- Arrange to cancel your room and board contract with Residence Life, if applicable.
- Register for Study Abroad directed study classes and withdraw from any other Mount Mercy classes that will occur during the term that you are away.
- Ensure that the Financial Aid Office has received all necessary information from your host university or study abroad provider.
- Update address and contact information with Registrar’s Office.
- Participate in pre-departure orientation with Office of International Programs and submit final information form.
After your program is complete:
- Check to see that the Registrar’s Office has received your transcript. If your transcript is coming directly from a foreign university, you may need to have it evaluated through a transcription service.
- Make an appointment with your academic advisor.
- Stop by the Office of International Programs to discuss your program and fill out an evaluation.