Academic Advising for Study Abroad/Away

Assessing the academic merits of courses taught within study abroad/away programs is a task borne by the academic departments at Towson University, not the Study Abroad & Away Office. In addition, students rely on their Academic Advisers to help make informed decisions about studying abroad or away in terms of their degree progression. All students are strongly encouraged to meet with their Academic Adviser before studying abroad or away.

The Basics

Students are welcome to begin planning for their study abroad (international) or away (in the U.S.) experience well in advance. The sooner, the better!

Study Abroad/Away 101

All TU students interested in studying abroad are encouraged to watch our Study Abroad-Away 101 video which introduces the basics of studying abroad or away! 

Study Abroad/Away Group Advising Session

Our Study Abroad/Away group advising session is mandatory for all students except those participating in a TU faculty-led program. Sessions are held Monday through Friday at 2 pm in the TU Study Abroad & Away Office (PY #408).  The group meeting explains the study abroad and away process including program options, how to apply, financial aid and scholarships, and course, grade, and credit transfers. 

Meet with a Study Abroad/Away Adviser

After attending the group advising session, students will schedule a one-on-one meeting with a Study Abroad/Away Adviser to begin planning their experience. Students applying to participate in a TU faculty-led program are not required to meet with a Study Abroad Adviser. 

Students can study abroad or away during fall, Minimester, spring, Spring Break, summer, or for the academic year.

For information on TU programs, TU international exchanges, the National Student Exchange, faculty-led programs, and affiliate programs please visit the Find a Program page.

Letter grades for all courses taken abroad will be posted to the TU record using the Transfer Grading Basis but will not be calculated into the Towson GPA. (Exceptions: Grades will be calculated into the TU GPA for TU faculty-led programs and the TU Global Internships program). Visit our Study Abroad/Away Course Policies page for more details.

Students having a reason to choose a non-approved program can petition for approval in advance of applying. Students must submit an Academic Adviser form as part of their petition.

How You can Help

  • Bring up the topic of study abroad/away with your advisees and in your classes. Feel free to play our Study Abroad-Away 101 video!
  • Review the student's Academic Requirements Report with your advisee. In order to select a study abroad or away option that is academically appropriate, students need to be aware of their degree progress here at TU.
  • Help them identify specifically which major/minor courses, GenEds, and electives they still have to complete at TU
  • Offer advice regarding any courses that may not or should not be taken abroad or away (if applicable)
  • Talk to the student about how their study abroad/away experience might further or delay their degree progression. NOTE: Students can take their last 30 credits abroad or away. This is an exception to the standard last 30 credit rule for transfer credit.
  • Help the student plan their course schedule for the semester of their return (if applicable). Students studying abroad or away in the spring, fall, or academic year must register for TU classes for the following term while they are away so it helps if they plan ahead.
  • Don’t be surprised to get an email from a student who is studying overseas or away as the TU registration period approaches. They may need to have their advising hold removed in order to register for TU courses and might need advice about which classes to take.

Course Equation Process

All TU study abroad students (except those participating on a TU faculty-led program, the TU Global Internships program, independent study abroad, or independent internship abroad) are required to complete a TU Study Abroad Course Form.

Any courses students plan to take abroad that do not appear in the TU Standard Course Equation Database must be reviewed and equated by the appropriate TU departments. Exceptions: Students participating on a TU faculty-led short-term program,  the TU Global Internships Program, independent study abroad, or independent internship abroad).

Study Abroad students are required to submit documentation to the appropriate academic department as via the TU Study Abroad Course Form in DocuSign. Department chairs may request more detail concerning courses taken abroad if descriptions provided by the student are insufficient. In these cases, the student is responsible for obtaining course syllabi from the host institution or program provider.

We recommend that students get more courses equated than they will need to take while abroad in case of cancellations, scheduling conflicts, etc.

The Academic Adviser must also sign the form as part of the DocuSign process.

If students switch courses after they arrive overseas they should contact their Study Abroad/Away Adviser for assistance. We also recommend that students get in touch with their Academic Adviser at this point for guidance.

Do you have additional questions? .

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