Many students worry that time abroad will delay their graduation. However, with careful planning, anybody can study abroad and graduate on time. Remember, the earlier you start planning, the easier it will be to earn credit toward your degree with the classes you take abroad.
To stay on track, make sure the classes you take fulfill requirements for your degree.
- Review your academic analysis, which can be found on WebAdvisor.
- Look for classes that fulfill requirements for your majors and minors and classes that fulfill requirements for the Archway Curriculum.
- Look for classes in your study abroad program that sound similar to courses that fulfill the requirements you need to graduate (contact the Office of Global Engagement for help finding classes from your study abroad program).
- Meet with your department chair(s) to discuss whether the courses you found will fulfill requirements that you need for your major and minor.
- Meet with the Registrar’s Office to discuss whether the courses you found will fulfill requirements that you need for the Archway Curriculum.
Importantly, there will be no effect on your GPA for the classes you take abroad. As long as you earn the equivalent of a C- or better, you will pass the classes and receive credit.
Students who study abroad are eligible to take the class Processing the International Experience. This class can help you graduate on time, because it fulfills the experiential learning Archway Curriculum requirement and part of your requirement for upper-level courses. In this class, students analyze their personal study abroad experiences as they talk with other study abroad students about their experiences, what they have learned from them and how they have grown.
How to get thread credit while you study abroad
Each thread has within it an Experiential Learning course number. Students who complete this course can earn one or two credit hours toward completion of the thread. In some cases, students studying abroad may be able to sign up for this course number and gain credit by connecting the study abroad experience to the themes of the thread. In order to find out if this option is available in your thread(s), consult with your thread coordinator.
Often NWU faculty-led trips offer thread credit. Inquire with the course instructor on what Archway Curriculum requirements it will fulfill.
For students who are going to study abroad for a semester or a year and want to find out how their courses abroad might fulfill thread credit, take the following steps:
- Different threads will have different policies regarding crediting courses taken abroad to count for the thread. So at least a semester before you will study abroad, get in touch with the thread coordinator.
- Make an appointment to meet with the thread coordinator to discuss your study abroad plans. If the thread accepts study abroad courses, they will be able to provide you with the information about how to choose classes abroad that will fit with the theme of the thread, and also what you will need to do beyond successfully completing the course. Typically, this will involve some additional written work and reflection in which you make connections between the content of the course(s) you are taking abroad and the big themes of the thread.
- After this initial consultation, and once you have a list of the specific courses you will be taking abroad, consult with the thread coordinator, and finalize your arrangements for the work necessary to have the course count for the thread.
- Once you are abroad, stay in touch with the thread coordinator as any questions arise concerning the course work, and also make sure you follow through with the agreed-upon work you will be completing to connect your abroad coursework to the thread themes.
- Once you return, you must meet with the thread coordinator to make sure you’ve completed the agreed-upon work satisfactorily. The thread coordinator will need to sign off on your transfer credit form to ensure that your transfer course(s) will get credited by the registrar to the thread.