Because students participating in the International Student Exchange (ISE) or Third Party Program Approved (TPPA) programs will be receiving transfer credit for the courses taken abroad, they will need to go through the course equivalency process.
*Please note that students participating in FIU sponsored/ faculty-led study abroad programs do not need to complete the course equivalency process, as these programs include FIU courses.
Below are the steps that should be followed to ensure the correct processing of your academic credit:
1) Meeting with OSA Academic Advisor – Students must meet with the OSA Academic Advisor who will explain the course equivalency process and guide students throughout the process of transferring study abroad credit back to FIU. The OSA Academic Advisor will review the student’s PDA to determine what coursework they may plan to take abroad. This is important as the OSA aims to ensure that courses taken abroad contribute towards a student’s degree requirements and do not extend their anticipated graduation date. During the meeting with the OSA Academic Advisor, students will also learn about the differences between American and foreign educational credit and grading systems.
2) Course Equivalency Form – Third Party Program Approval (TPPA) students will complete this form as a part of their application process. In their one-on-one meeting with the OSA Academic Advisor, the course equivalency process will be reviewed. International Student Exchange (ISE) students will not complete the course equivalency form after they have been accepted to the ISE program, and should not begin the process beforehand. In both cases, it is the student’s responsibility to have this form filled out by the appropriate advisor(s). Along with the Course Equivalency form, students will need to provide their advisor(s) with course syllabi and/or descriptions that will be used to determine the study abroad courses’ FIU equivalents. We recommend that students have more courses reviewed than they plan to enroll in abroad, to ensure that they have plenty of enrollment options at their host institutions.
3) Course Enrollment Verification Form – Once abroad, students must provide the OSA Academic Advisor with a Course Enrollment Verification Form, which is an official list of courses in which the student is enrolled in at their host institution. The OSA Academic Advisor will then compare the student’s actual enrollment to the courses they had reviewed for FIU equivalencies. In the event that students enroll in courses abroad that were not previously assigned FIU equivalents, it is their responsibility to communicate that to the OSA Advisor and their academic advisors. Any study abroad courses that do not have FIU equivalents on file prior to receipt of the student’s academic transcripts, will result in the delayed posting of their study abroad credit and delayed confirmation of their financial aid eligibility.
4) Posting of Credits – Once students have completed their semester abroad, official transcripts must be sent directly to the OSA from the host institution. Given all FIU equivalents are on file for the coursework completed abroad, the OSA Academic Advisor will submit the transcripts for posting. This process can take several weeks from time of submission. The OSA Academic Advisor will notify students once their study abroad credit has been posted and is visible in their PDA. Study abroad courses taken through the International Student Exchange and Third Party Program Approval will appear in the “transfer credit” section of the FIU transcript. Students will receive credit for the courses they completed abroad as long as they have earned a passing grade. These grades will be reflected on the transcript, however, they will not calculated in the student’s FIU GPA, as they are considered transfer credit.
All FIU partner institutions are fully accredited in their respective countries. The process of establishing an exchange agreement is very rigorous and guarantees high quality instruction for our students. For additional information on establishing bilateral partnerships with universities abroad, please contact Dr. Laura Boudon, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transfer Equivalency Course databases:
In addition to providing the opportunity to travel and discover new places, the goal of study abroad and the International Student Exchange in particular, is to allow students to experience a different educational system and learn new perspectives while earning credit at their home institution. We encourage our faculty to assign ISE study abroad courses FIU course equivalencies whenever possible. The OSA has developed an internal database of course equivalencies that is accessible to our faculty upon request. Although it is a very useful tool for all academic advisors, this database is intended to be used only as a guideline. We work hand in hand with FIU’s Transfer and Transition Services and we encourage all academic advisors to please contact us when in doubt about study abroad credit. The OSA Academic Advisor will be happy review the transfer process with advisors that request additional support. Grades and credit conversions have been predetermined for all partner institutions and we evaluate new schools on an on-going basis.
For questions or concerns with regards to study abroad course equivalency and credit transfer, please contact the Office of Study Abroad and request to speak with the OSA Academic Advisor.