Yes….students can earn college credit for completing these study abroad programs. Upon finishing your courses, you will be provided with transcripts, certificate, or letter of attendance stating the courses you completed, level, hours, and grade. The transcripts (certificates) are issued by the school involved, all fully accredited programs. CSA students must request a transcript (certificate) from the on-site student office prior to completing the program, and give specific mailing instructions on where to send an official copy. Students should also take a copy with them back home. It’s best to do this prior to leaving, otherwise it can take longer to receive a copy later.
Be sure to get your home school too provide you with “written permission” to earn credit, and any guidelines they require – such as a transcript (certificate), attendance record, or teacher evaluations. Keep in mind, the foreign school may not be familiar with your home school requirements, so its best to let them know as soon as you start the program.
Most U.S. schools require 10 class hours for 1-quarter (trimester) credit, and 15 hours for 1-semester credit. The programs usually offer 15 – 20 class hours per week, so 4 weeks gives 60-80 class hours. Check each program for the number of class hours per day / week. Please address your questions about credit transfer to your instructor or advisor at your home school. Course descriptions are available upon request, as well as online soon.
Transcripts and Certificates are awarded by the school involved. For example, if you attend the University of Paris-Sorbonne, you will receive a transcript from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. Be sure to request a transcript or certificate from the on-site Director when you complete the courses. Take a copy home with you as well as inform them where to mail an “official” copy.
European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is based on the students learning process. Each credit reflects the work done in terms of both class hours and individual study time. Each learning outcome is expressed in terms of credits, with a student workload ranging from 500 – 800 hours for an academic year, and one (1) ECTS Credit generally corresponds to 25 – 30 hrs of work. Overall, the use of ECTS credits, together with “outcomes-based qualifications” frameworks, makes study programs more transparent and facilitates the recognition of qualifications. By making higher education comparable across Europe, ECTS makes teaching and learning more transparent and easier to transfer credits between institutions, as well as allows for greater student mobility and more flexibility in earning degrees. ECTS makes national systems more compatible.
Most colleges and universities allow students to earn academic credit on off-campus programs including study abroad. But some schools are not familiar with foreign study programs, or they have their own programs that they prefer you go on. If the study abroad office says you can not earn credit for your study abroad with CSA, this is usually not true. You may need to take your case to “higher-ups at your school, such as the Dean of Admissions, Registrars Office, Foreign Language Chair Person, or even the legal counsel department for students on campus. Be sure to emphasize that you will receive an official transcript (certificate) from the school directly, not from CSA. Do not give up so easily, and you will get the credit you deserve.
“Independent Study” is another option for earning credit on off-campus programs including Study Abroad. Many colleges and universities offer “Independent Study” credit, which you pay for at your home school, and do additional work to earn the credit….in addition to going on the program. Ask your advisor about earning “Independent Credit”…….as well as look for it in your campus directory. May also be listed under “Distance Learning”….or “Self Study.
CLEP exams – College Level Examination Program – allows you the chance to receive college credit for what you have already learned somewhere else. There are over 34 exams that you can earn college level credits if you pass the exam with a “qualifying score”. Cost is usually under $100 per exam. Check with your home school policy on taking a CLEP exam to earn credit for your study-abroad experience.
International Education Research Foundation
Educational Credential Evaluators
World Education Services
NOTE: See other sections for useful web-Links.