Studies show that students who study abroad tend to have higher graduation rates. However, in order stay on track to graduate while also getting the most out of your academic experience abroad, it is important to do some academic planning. Here are some key steps to follow:
STEP 1 – Talk to your academic advisor (general and/or major department advisor) as early as possible about making study abroad a priority in your college plans.
While it is true that you can study abroad anytime between freshman year and graduation, every student has a different path to graduation. For example, based on your major and/or extra-curricular activities, you may need to be on campus for specific terms or semesters. Take this into consideration when you speak with your academic advisor about how studying abroad can fit into your four-year graduation plan.
STEP 2 – Select courses carefully
All work done on your study abroad program will become part of your academic record. Grades for your study abroad classes will be factored into your cumulative GPA. Be thoughtful and mindful as you select your courses in your study abroad program.
- UO Students: You can consult the Course Equivalency database to see what major and general education requirements could be fulfilled by studying abroad in a given program. Review this information with your GEO advisors and with your academic/major advisor. Pay special attention to the courses that satisfy major and minor requirements, as well as other core education requirements, such as social sciences, arts & letters, etc.
- Non-UO students: Be sure to talk to your campus study abroad office and/or Registrar’s Office about the credit you will be awarded by participating in a GEO program.
STEP 3 – Know the program requirements
All programs have a minimum GPA requirement, and some may also have specific prerequisite courses or required language levels. These requirements can be found in the heading of each program page. Pay attention to these requirements and be sure to ask your GEO advisor if you have any questions.
STEP 4 – Ask about financial aid requirements
If you are receiving financial aid or have scholarships, speak with a financial aid counselor to learn what grades you need to maintain while abroad and how many credits you need to take. Many scholarships require “full time enrollment.” Make sure you understand what that means. If the program’s credit system is different from yours (semester vs quarter, for example), be sure to check with your GEO advisor on how many credits you will likely receive on your selected program.