Credit Info and Course Selections for Study Abroad

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.

Transferring Credit for Study Abroad

You will need to connect with the study abroad office at your home university to ensure your chosen program is approved and that the credits will transfer back to your university. TEAN can help with different 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. They will guide you through figuring out what requirements you need to fulfill and what your next steps are.

The number of credits you’ll receive and how they transfer back are ultimately up to your home university. 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.

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, the transcript is sent to TEAN 1-3 months after exams finish and the grading period ends, and then we send it to the specified address at your home university. We’ll include a document with our recommended grade conversion.

Grades and GPA

Some U.S. universities transfer back grades from your study abroad as letter grades and some be will be pass/fail. This is not controlled by TEAN or the overseas university you attend, it completely 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.

The same rule goes for calculating GPA after study abroad. Sometimes your study abroad grades will influence your GPA and sometimes not. Check with your study abroad office to see how it will work for your specific school.

You can see our suggested credit transfer guidelines by program location here.

Select Your Classes

For a typical study abroad semester program, you’ll select 6-8 classes you’re interested in, even though you’ll only usually 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 canceled. You will get this list of classes approved by your home university before submitting them to TEAN on your application.

The number of classes you can take during the summer will depend on the program. Most summer programs allow for 1-3 classes. Some programs, like our Thailand and Australia programs, are one course taught over a 3-week program.

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

Some universities have syllabi available online to download. For other programs that don’t have them online, we can help with syllabus requests. Submit a request here and we can get you syllabi for your chosen study abroad courses for approval.

Some schools have already reviewed courses from approved schools abroad and matched them with the equivalent courses at your school, which makes the course selection process much easier for you.

We can’t guarantee enrollment in classes, just as your home university can’t guarantee a class will run or that you’ll get into every class you want. If you need to take certain classes, we recommend having back-up options in case you can’t take a specific course abroad. We can also recommend programs where students have had a high success rate of getting their first choice of classes if this helps you choose which program you’ll do – just talk to your TEAN Program Manager.

Full-time student status depends on what courses you end up taking but usually 3-4 classes 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 to also be considered full time at your home university. Maintaining full-time status can affect your financial aid so, again, you’ll want to double check with your home university advisors.

Credit for Internship Programs

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 Internships 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.