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Indiana University

FAQs for Advisors

  1. Who can study abroad?
  2. How can I be sure that a student is eligible for a certain program?
  3. How do courses get counted towards an IU degree?
  4. Do grades count from study abroad programs?
  5. How can I tell if a student is on an IU program or a non-IU program?
  6. Are any requirements automatically satisfied just by participating in a program?
  7. What IU requirements cannot be satisfied with courses taken overseas?
  8. Are business students limited to programs offered by the Kelley School of Business?
  9. What if I have questions that aren't addressed in the brief Web flyer for each IU program?
  10. How should students begin their search for a program?
  11. How does the new online application work?

  1. Who can study abroad? A few summer programs may accept students after their freshman year, if they have taken some upper-division courses. Students typically go abroad during their junior year, although some programs permit second-semester sophomores to apply. Most IU summer and semester programs require an overall GPA of 2.75-3.00 or higher for academic year programs. Some non-IU programs have more flexible requirements.
    Seniors can study abroad and fulfill senior residency requirements if they are on IU administered or co-sponsored study abroad programs. However, students on non-IU programs do not earn credit towards the senior resident requirement. Nevertheless, most seniors can spend one semester abroad on any type of program and still have enough senior hours to graduate.
  2. How can I be sure that a student is eligible for a certain program? Eligibility, including pre-requisites, is stated on our Web flyers for each program. Advisors should also look at our Academic Policies and Procedures to see what criteria the selection committees use when evaluating student applications.
  3. How do courses get counted towards an IU degree? The Office of Overseas Study maintains lists with previously approved equivalencies for courses taken on IU administered or co-sponsored programs. The Office of International Admissions maintains lists with previously approved equivalencies for all other programs. If a student takes a course that has previously not been evaluated, then they can attempt to have a course description or a syllabi evaluated by advisors and/or faculty prior to their departure. However, what happens more often is that the students petition for distributed credit from a department upon their return from the program when they have ample materials to show the nature and level of the course and their work.
    The appropriate individual should notify Overseas Study (for IU programs) or International Admissions (for non-IU programs) how to equate the undistributed course. In cases where the course remains undistributed, but is upper level (e.g. HIST #301), a special request must be made to allow the course to count towards major or minor requirements.
  4. Do grades count from study abroad programs? All IU administered and co-sponsored programs count the grades in the cumulative GPA. Non-IU programs are transfer credit only so the grades only appear on the internal transcript, not the official one. Nevertheless, students should be reminded that when they apply to graduate school or for jobs they may be required to submit a transcript from all previous institutions where they have studied so they will be accountable for the GPA they earn on an external program.
  5. How can I tell if a student is on an IU program or a non-IU program? Prior to their going abroad, you can check Overseas Study's website to see if a program appears as one of ours. If not, it is presumably a non-IU program. Sometime after registration begins at IU, if they're going to be abroad on an IU program then in IUISADMIN the IU study abroad programs are coded with an OVST course number with actual credits hours and the program name, both during the time the student is abroad and after they have returned. At the completion of the program the administrative course number (OVST...) will remain on their record to account for the period they were abroad but the administrative credit hours associated with it will not be factored into their completed credits. Instead, a breakdown of the actual courses they took will follow the OVST information on the transcript. Students participating on Non-IU programs are registered in OVST-Y 496 (Non-IU Overseas Study Program) or OVST-Y 498 (Non-IU Overseas Study Program II) for '0' credits and then transfer the credit from their study abroad program.
  6. Are any requirements automatically satisfied just by participating in a program? Students from the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Journalism automatically satisfy one Culture Studies-A requirement with a semester program and both Culture Studies A&B with a full year program, if they select among IU administered or co-sponsored programs. Students from the Kelley School of Business automatically satisfy the International Dimension requirement if they select any program (IU or non-IU) that involves 6 credit hours or more.
  7. What IU requirements cannot be satisfied with courses taken overseas? Students studying abroad typically cannot fulfill the required College Topics course, Intensive Writing, and Culture Studies C (for the School of Journalism). Math and science courses should not be taken abroad unless the student is majoring or minoring in that area. General education requirements (i.e. arts/humanities, social/historical ) major, minor and elective credit can be fulfilled abroad, with appropriate permission although some schools have restrictions about receiving credit for major requirements abroad (i.e. Education, Kelley School of Business, Journalism, etc.).
  8. Are business students limited to programs offered by the Kelley School of Business? Business major students can go on any study abroad programs, but usually can only fulfill special upper-division business requirements on programs sponsored with the Kelley School of Business.
  9. What if I have questions that aren't addressed in the brief Web flyer for each IU program? Detailed program handbooks for each program contain detailed information about courses, credits, housing, etc.
  10. How should students begin their search for a program? Overseas Study holds a Study Abroad 101 session on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. in our office (111 S. Jordan Ave.). Our advisors will review the various options available to them through IU and other providers and will advise them about the next steps to take in the process.
  11. How does the new online application work? Review our PowerPoint presentation that describes how to submit an application through our online system.

I had never been to Europe before so everything was new to me. You can only read so much about the culture and the country, you just have to experience it.”

-Frank Klensch, IU Overseas Study Participant, Germany