You’ve found your dream study abroad program, worked out your budget and are already itching to buy your plane tickets…but have you figured out one of the most important things about studying abroad? Course credit!

Transferring course credit from your study abroad program to your home university completely depends on your school and degree requirements and the responsibility is on you to make sure your school with accept the credit.

The course approval and credit transfer process is often the most difficult aspect of planning your study abroad experience. You may have to speak with multiple departments at your school to ensure the credits will transfer smoothly toward your degree upon returning home. The earlier you start asking questions and getting approval, the easier it will be to study abroad and still graduate on time.

Read on to learn how to  confirm course approvals and navigate the credit transfer process. These are the most-asked questions or issues we see again and again…but, don’t worry, everything can be easily figured out! If you have more questions, you can always contact us for more information and personalised support.

Now let’s get started!

How do I know if the credits will transfer to my home university?

You will need to connect with people at your home university to ensure your chosen program is approved and the credits will transfer back to your university. TEAN can help with steps along the way, but you’ll want to start by meeting with your study abroad office. Your university will already have a process set up for getting courses approved and arranging the credit transfer and will guide you in what requirements you need to fulfill and what your next steps are.

Where do I go to learn more about study abroad options or requirements from my university?

Again, start with your study abroad office and your academic advisor. Some students need to meet with the registrar depending on your home university. If your university doesn’t have a study abroad office, start with your academic advisor. If you’re a high school applicant, start by meeting with your guidance counselor.

Buddhist monks alms round Thailand
“My Buddhism class stayed overnight at a small monastery. The two monks pictured were the only ones there. We were given the opportunity to shadow them as they performed their daily alms, where they went around the village collecting food for themselves and giving the villagers a blessing in return.” Johanna Lazar, San Diego State

How do I pick classes to take abroad?

For a semester program, you’ll select 6-8 classes you’re interested in, even though you’ll only typically take 3-4 classes while abroad (depending on the program). This gives you some flexibility when creating your schedule or if a class fills up or is cancelled. You will get this list of classes approved by your home university before submitting them to TEAN on your application.

Course Selection Instructions by Program

For more specific course information for all TEAN programs go here:

My school already has a list of approved courses I should take abroad. Is that okay?

Some schools and academic departments have already reviewed courses from approved schools abroad and matched them with the equivalent courses at your school. This is great and makes the course selection process much easier for you. However you will need to check that the courses listed are still offered at the host university. Use the links above to check.

When do I start planning to study abroad and getting courses approved?

Ideally, you should inform your academic advisor early that you are planning to study abroad at some point. They may be able to help you map out your classes allowing you to seamlessly study abroad for a semester but other times you may only be able to fit summer study abroad into your schedule or push back your graduation date.  Some programs will inform you during your freshmen orientation of the best time to study or intern abroad. Many overseas universities will offer equivalent courses to the courses you need to take for your major and minor. Each U.S. school has their own policies, however, around transferring course credit so you will need to check with your school.

We recommend students set up initial meetings with the academic advisor or study abroad office at least six months in advance of any program. (It’s better to start the planning process even earlier!) This will allow time for course approvals, required university paperwork, and for academic department heads to review and approve syllabi. The earlier you plan, the less stress it will cause for you. Once you apply for a TEAN program, your TEAN Program Manager will let you know when it’s time to submit courses. They will need your course list to pass along with your application to the overseas university and get your official acceptance, then you can move onto next steps, such as applying for your student visa.

University of Sydney
“The University of Sydney is the most beautiful campus I have ever seen. The architecture and history of the buildings is breathtaking. This building, along with many others reminded me of something from Harry Potter.” Allie Lindo, University of Rhode Island

How many credits will I receive on this program?

The number of credits you’ll receive and how they transfer back are ultimately up to your home university. Your study abroad office will have an idea of how many credits will transfer back for programs. TEAN will send a transcript post-program with our recommendation on credit transfer, but ultimately it’s up to your home university and every university is different.

Where can I find course syllabi?

We can help with syllabus requests. Submit a request here and we can get you syllabi from your chosen study abroad courses for approvals.

Will my grades come back as pass/fail or as an actual letter grade?

This also depends on your home university. TEAN sends your home university your overseas transcript along with our recommendation on how to interpret the grades. Every school has a different policy, so your grades might come back as letter grades, but friends on the same program from a different school could have them transfer back as pass/fail.

Will my study abroad grades influence my GPA?

Again, this just depends on your home university. Check with the study abroad office to see how it will work for your school.

TEAN students at Otago University
“A semester abroad was much more than being in New Zealand for school. It has been a complete change of perspective on everyday life and personal growth. I mean talk about cliché, but all the people I have met and all the places I have been has either taught me how to see the bigger picture or given me a chance for something I have never had before.” Tiffany Young, University of Hartford

I have a specific class I need to take, otherwise I can’t go abroad. What should I do?

We can’t guarantee classes, the same as your home university couldn’t guarantee a class will run or you’ll get into that class. We recommend having back-up options in case you can’t take a specific course abroad. Early on, we can also recommend programs where students have had a high success rate getting the classes they need if this influences your program choice. Your TEAN Program Manager is your best resource in helping advise on this.

How does my home university get the transcript after the program?

As part of your TEAN application, your study abroad office will complete a Statement from University form, letting us know where the transcript should be sent after the program. Typically, 1-3 months after exams finish and the grading period ends, the overseas transcript is sent to TEAN and we will then send it to the specified address at your home university. We’ll include a document with our recommended grade conversion.

How many classes is considered “full time” abroad?

It depends on what courses you end up taking but usually 3-4 is considered a full course load for most semester programs. Remember, even if you meet the minimum number of classes to be considered “full time” at the overseas institution, you need to confirm with your home university how those classes will transfer back as so you are also full time at your home university. Maintaining full time status can affect your financial aid, so you’ll want to double check with your home university advisors.

How does credit for the internship programs work and is it required?

Internship credit is already included at no extra cost for our Summer Asia Internships, there is no refund if you choose to opt-out or receive credit through your home university. Internship credit is mandatory for our Australia Internship per Australian government guidelines regarding internships. You can either use our School of Record, Elmhurst College for the credit or arrange it through your home university. For our New Zealand Internships, the credit is optional. You can arrange it through us or your home university.

Have further questions about credits transferring? Ask us here. Or apply now!