Choosing a Program and Course Approval
Once you have applied to study abroad and are accepted into a program, one of your post-application requirements is to complete a Course Planning Form. This form will determine how the courses you take abroad will transfer back to the U of I. If you have specific degree requirements that will need to be met while studying abroad, it may be best for you to complete this form prior to applying to study abroad to ensure that you apply to the university that best meets your academic needs.
Note: U of I course equivalents have already been determined for USAC Specialty Programs. These equivalents can be found on the Registrar’s website.
To complete the Course Planning form, first, meet with your academic advisor to determine which courses and/or requirements you still need for your degree. Then find course descriptions on the foreign university(ies) website or through the program provider you will potentially study abroad with. If you are looking at more than one university, complete a separate form for each. Take the course descriptions to the department chairs that the courses fall under (ie. if you need a history course, take the course information to the chair of the U of I History Department, etc.) You can list many more courses on the form than you will actually take. It is better to get various courses approved so that you have flexibility once arriving abroad.
Once you have determined which university’s courses fit best with your U of I academic program, apply to your desired university/program and finish completing the course planning form once you’ve been accepted. Your advisor will sign the form to indicate their overall approval of your international study plans. Your college dean will sign the form to indicate that the courses you take abroad will count toward the U of I residency requirement. The Registrar’s Office will look at the course information and assign the number of equivalent U of I credits to each course and will sign the form as well. Finally you’ll submit the form to a study abroad advisor for final approval.
Non-University of Idaho students will have their own academic advising process at their home university.
U of I Registration and Foreign Credits
While studying abroad, students are registered at the U of I for a block of placeholder credits. This allows students to remain active within the U of I system and receive any financial aid/scholarships they would normally receive while at the U of I. During the semester, students are registered for a block of 12 credits (the actual number of credits they take abroad will transfer back once their transcript is received by the U of I). Summer students are registered for the exact number of equivalent U of I credits that they take abroad.
The exception to this rule are students attending a Faculty/Staff-Led International Trip (FSIT). FSIT students will register themselves for the appropriate U of I course associated with the trip.
Remember: Students must take a minimum of the equivalent of 12 University of Idaho credits per semester (9 graduate) while abroad. Maintaining full-time student status is important for the purpose of receiving financial assistance and for maintaining immigration status abroad. Since educational systems vary, it is sometimes difficult to determine credit equivalency at U of I. One method is to determine the number of “classroom contact hours,” and use the formula: 15 classroom contact hours equals 1 U of I credit. Further credit and registration information is included in the Survival Guide, which you will read as part of our post application process.