Credits and Transcripts

Study Abroad Transfer Credit

Obtaining study abroad transfer credit

Once you have decided that your want to spend an academic term abroad, you will want to ensure that the credits you receive abroad will transfer back to your home university and satisfy credits towards your degree. It would be a mistake to assume that the credits will automatically transfer without prior approval. Here are some basic steps for obtaining credit approval:

Choose a GlobalEd program and get the list of available courses:

You will want to compare the class list for the term you will be going abroad to the remaining course requirements for your major(s). Most students end up satisfying elective courses when they go abroad. For academic programs offering multiple courses, it is advisable to select more courses than you will need in case a course is not approved or a course is cancelled. Requesting approval for more courses than you will need is a way of insuring against course scheduling conflicts or cancellations and avoids having to go back to your advisor for more approvals.

Meet with your study abroad/academic advisor to obtain credit transfer approval:

Take with you information on the program, the credit granting institution and the list of courses so your meeting is as productive as possible. After reviewing the list, your advisor may ask you to send specific syllabi to ensure that the learning objectives of a course match those of the equivalent course offered at your school. To avoid misunderstandings, it is advisable to obtain credit transfer authorization in writing. Your university’s study abroad office or academic advisor may choose to use their own Transfer Credit Authorization Form to confirm the credits and how they will be applied. If not, GlobalEd has a Transfer Credit Form which you can use.

Go abroad, pass your courses and await your transcript:

Once you have taken your courses, the host or credit issuing institution will generate a graded transcript and send it to GlobalEd. GlobalEd will then forward the transcript to your home school for processing.

Credit transfer policies may vary between universities and departments and approval processes may be lengthy. For this reason it is advisable that you meet with your study abroad or academic advisor early.

Things to consider:

  • If you have studied abroad before, you may find that your university has a limit to the number of transfer credits applicable toward your degree.
  • Your department may not allow core courses critical to your major to be taken abroad.
  • If you are pursuing a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math, you will probably discover that summer programs are your only option to avoid any interruption in the flow of semester courses throughout your degree.
  • Similar course titles do not guarantee transferability. Academic advisors may request the syllabi of the proposed courses to make sure the learning objectives of the local course are met.
  • Past approvals do not mark precedent for future approvals. A specific course taken abroad that has a history replacing a course at your home school still needs to be confirmed.

A word on internships for credit

International internships related to your major are not only encouraged by many universities but are often recognized for academic credit and even form an integral part of many academic disciplines.

The process for recognizing internships for credit can be more complex, however, than that of a standard university course. While some universities openly recognize internships for credit towards your major, others may encourage internships but do not formally recognize them as part of the academic curriculum. The criteria, therefore, for determining what elements of an internship are “credit worthy” will depend greatly upon your university’s policy towards internships.

GlobalEd facilitates the credit recognition process for academic internships by:

  • Providing a 3-credit course around the internship which is designed to meet the requirements and learning objectives of most universities.
  • Offering academic credit on a graded transcript from an accredited university.
  • Creating a structured internship experience* with many of the elements universities look for to award credit, such as, Program Duration, Relation to Major, Weekly Group and Individual Meetings, Goal Setting and Planning Sessions, Professional Development Training, Journal Entries and Performance Evaluations.
  • Offering flexibility to universities whose requirements are stricter than those of GlobalEd, such as requiring a longer program duration, more total hours worked, and additional essays, papers or journal entries.

If you find, however, that your university does not formally recognize internships for credit in your academic discipline, you may be able to get recognition for the course that accompanies the internship as a business, management, culture or psychology course.

*The elements of an internship and its accompanying academic component may vary from one program destination to another. For specific information on a GlobalEd program, course descriptions, internship elements, as well as pricing and what’s included, please contact GlobalEd for a Program Information Packet or simply download it from our website (

Study Abroad Transfer Credit
GlobalEd Abroad