Courses, Grades, and Credits for Study Abroad
Study Abroad is any activity outside of the US undertaken for credit - UWF or transfer. This page provides information on course selection and approval, how grades are posted at UWF, and how credits may differ in programs abroad.
Programs for UWF Credit
Faculty-Led, Internship, Research, and Directed-Study Courses
Short-term Faculty-Led Programs, Internships Abroad, Directed-Study Courses, and Independent Research for credit are international opportunities in which students are enrolled in pre-assigned course number and credits. Faculty-led courses may be special sections of courses set to be offered abroad instead of the main UWF campus OR may be special topics courses with a focus on a particular region or culture with all or some of the class meetings occurring outside of the US. Internships for UWF credit must be approved by a student's academic department. Research and direct-study for UWF credit abroad are additional options for independent programs. For all of these listed options, students will need to follow the designated registration procedures for UWF coursework.
Each student who participates in an international exchange program where tuition is paid to the home institution (UWF), will be registered at UWF during the study abroad period in courses determined to be the “equivalent” of those being taken at the host institution – either an assigned UWF course offering (i.e. PSB 4002) or the development of a special topics course offering (i.e. MAR 399X) as determined by the Chair of the UWF department offering the similar course(s). In some instances, the student may be required to select an alternate course at the host institution, if UWF cannot match its course offering to the host institution’s course offering. A student needs to be aware of these procedures:
After the student has been approved for participation in an exchange program, the student together with his/her advisor will complete the International Student Exchange Advising Agreement listing the host school courses to be taken. If the program has a set list of courses, only those courses should be listed. Students should list alternative course options if the exchange program offers variety of courses for selection.
- In addition, the student and advisor will work with applicable UWF Chairpersons in the assignment or development of equivalent UWF course offerings prior to the semester of exchange.
- The completed and signed Advising Agreement must be turned into the Registrar’s Office prior to the first day of classes at the host institution. Students are encouraged to contact academic advisors early in the process and plan accordingly since advisors may not be available between semesters.
Once the student has arrived at the host institution and registered for classes, a completed and signed Study Abroad Enrollment Authorization Form must be forwarded to theUWF Registrar’s Office, Attn: Alicyn Booth by fax (850.473.7345) or by e-mail attachment (to email@example.com). The student’s UWF registration will be processed upon receipt of this Enrollment Certification.
- Any schedule adjustments (adds, drops, changes, withdrawals) at the host institution must be forwarded to the UWF Registrar’s Office via an updated Enrollment Certification Form by UWF’s next business day.
- Note that enrollment certification may be required prior to disbursement of any financial aid award(s) and a copy will be provided to the UWF Financial Aid Office upon receipt.
Upon completion of the exchange program abroad (semester or term), an official transcript must be forwarded directly from the host school’s Administrative Office (i.e. Registrar) to the UWF Registrar’s Office for processing. The UWF Registrar’s Office will post final grades for the semester of exchange. In addition to the assigned course information (i.e. course prefix, course number, course title, credit hours) and the final grade that will be reflected for each course on the UWF transcript, a remark will also be posted identifying the student’s participation in an international exchange program, the period of study, the host institution’s name and location (country), as well as the institution awarding academic credit (i.e. UWF).
Non-UWF Programs for Transfer Credit
Students who participate in study abroad programs where the tuition is paid to the host institution or program provider will not be registered at UWF during the study abroad period. Instead, transfer credit will be awarded as determined by the Office of Admissions at UWF. A student needs to be aware of these procedures:
Other State of Florida University Study Abroad Program
UWF students planning to study in any study abroad program offered through another university in the State University System of Florida must submit the free Transient Application on the Florida Virtual Campus Website.
- Find “Apply” and click “Transient Student Admission Application”
- If you do not have a Florida Virtual Campus login, you will need to create one by clicking on the orange “Create Account” button at the top right, then follow the steps to create your account. After your account is created, go back to the Apply tab and select “Transient Student Admission Application”.
- Carefully read the “Before you get started:” section and when are you ready to begin, click “log in with a Login ID” and enter your FLVC Login ID and Password information.
- Click “Continue”.
- This will prompt you to choose your current university/college and log in with your Student ID and PIN/Password.
- Complete the Transient application. Be sure to select “The University of South Florida” under “Schools” where it asks you to choose the Host Institution. Please specify “Study Abroad” in the student comments section.
- Be sure to contact your academic advisor at your current home institution because they will receive an approval email when you submit the Transient application. You may log back into your FLVC application to view the status at any time.
- After your application is approved by your home institution, please allow 48 hours for the other university to process your application. You will then receive a notification which will include information about how to activate your account. After you receive confirmation, you will be able to go to complete the application process with the other Florida University for your program abroad.
- Upon completion of the study abroad program (semester or term) has been completed, an official transcript must be forwarded directly from the host school’s Administrative Office (i.e. Registrar) to the UWF Admissions Office for processing. Acceptability of university credit will be determined by the Office of Admissions. A remark will also be posted identifying the student’s participation in an international exchange program, the period of study, the host institution’s name and location (country), as well as the institution awarding academic credit (i.e. host institution).
Non-Florida University or Study Abroad Provider
After the student has been approved for participation, the student must submit a completed and signed Study Abroad Enrollment Authorization Form to the UWF Registrar’s Office prior to the first day of classes at the host institution.
Once the student has arrived at the host institution and registered for classes, a completed and signed Enrollment Certification Form must be forwarded to the UWF Registrar’s Office, Attn: Green Team by fax (850.473.7345) or by e-mail attachment (to firstname.lastname@example.org). Even though this form will not be used for registration purposes at UWF, it will be required prior to the disbursement of financial aid award(s). A copy will be provided to the UWF Financial Aid Office upon receipt.
Upon completion of the study abroad program (semester or term) has been completed, an official transcript must be forwarded directly from the host school’s Administrative Office (i.e. Registrar) to the UWF Admissions Office for processing. Acceptability of university credit will be determined by the Office of Admissions. A remark will also be posted identifying the student’s participation in an international exchange program, the period of study, the host institution’s name and location (country), as well as the institution awarding academic credit (i.e. host institution).
Choosing Courses Abroad
Choosing courses from the offerings in your study abroad program may be easy if a single course or few options are offered. Semester programs often provide a variety of options for students to choose from.
The most important choice is making sure you will enroll in the required number of credits for the term abroad. Short-term and summer programs often require all students to take a single course or to be enrolled in a maximum number of credits, example, 6 credits for six-weeks in Hong Kong. Semester programs require students to meet the standard enrollment for the host site. UWF requires students to enroll full-time for most programs and to receive financial aid. Programs abroad may require students to enroll in the equivalent number of credits abroad or more. Example, in France, students take 30 ECTS (equal to 15 UWF credits) in a semester program.
When students must select from available courses to choose their own schedule, consider how the courses will fit into your degree requirements. Will they meet General Studies, Major or Elective requirements? UWF requires students to receive Academic Advisor Approval for courses taken abroad.
Classes, Exams & Grades
Enrollment Certification must be submitted to UWF by the host school abroad in the first week of the program or semester. Enrollment Certification confirms the student has arrived abroad and is attending their classes. Once UWF receives the Enrollment Certification and registration is confirmed, Financial Aid can be released. Release of financial aid is based on the start date of the program and receipt of the Enrollment Certification. Any delay in UWF receiving the Enrollment Certification will delay release of Financial Aid.
Class attendance abroad
While studying abroad, you are expected to attend and participate in all classes, assignments, labs, recitations, and field trips as scheduled by your program director and/or host institution. Skipping a class is considered very rude in some cultures, and may not be permitted on many study abroad programs. Please speak with your on-site director if you might need to miss class for any reason.
Changing Courses & Dates
After your program starts, please remember to stay in contact with your study abroad advisor. Though uncommon, your program dates might turn out to be slightly different from what you expected. Please inform UWF Study Abroad of such changes immediately.
New Program Dates
Changes in dates can affect a variety of things, including your financial aid and your insurance enrollment. Remember to inform your study abroad advisor of all changes. If you are required to attend orientation before classes start, your program dates will need to be adjusted accordingly; the same is true of exams after classes end.
Let your study abroad advisor and academic advisor know about any changes to your approved courses. Courses can be changed or added by having the host school submit an updated Enrollment Certification to email@example.com. At that time, be prepared to provide them with a new course schedule that includes each new course name and number as well as the number of credits the host institution will award for each. Changes reported after your program ends may adversely affect your tracking or financial aid, so report this information as soon as possible, and no later than 2 weeks after the start of your overseas semester. The University of West Florida may not be able to post changes that occur more than two weeks into your semester.
You may need new equivalencies for courses not already approved on your course approval form. You will need to contact the appropriate department at UWF for each equivalency, and your academic advisor should approve the final schedule in writing before it is sent to the UWF Registrar. Forward or copy all relevant e-mails to your study abroad advisor.
Students on Exchange Programs: It is MANDATORY to obtain approved UWF equivalencies for each course you take as an exchange student, including all elective credits. Approval is noted on the Exchange Advising Agreement found in your Enrollment Forms at uwf.abroadoffice.net.
Remember, you are bound by the host institution’s rules for dropping courses, which may be very different from the rules at UWF. Many programs, especially those that occur during the summer, will not allow drops once classes start. UWF is unable to lobby on your behalf for the foreign institution to comply with UWF’s policies.
If your host school does approve you to drop a course, the dropped course should be noted on an updated Enrollment Certification Form submitted to the UWF Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do drop courses, be sure to maintain full-time status for visa and/or financial aid purposes. Check with your on-site coordinator, program director, or study abroad/academic advisor for questions regarding what full-time status entails in your situation.
The exam periods at most institutions are structured differently from and usually more formal than what you may be accustomed to on campus. The official exam timetable is usually posted within a month prior to exams; you may not know your exam dates until late in the semester. For this reason, you should purchase your plane ticket with the plan to remain in your host city until the day after your exam period finishes. Do not expect or assume that your program will allow you to take your exams early. If you leave your host country before completing your exams, you may fail your courses.
In truly unusual or exceptional circumstances, you may request special permission to have your exams proctored at UWF after your return. This must be approved by your on-site coordinator as well as a UWF faculty member to act as a proctor. Be aware that ONLY the most exceptional circumstances, such as the host institution’s semester overlapping with the following UWF semester, will be considered. Generally speaking, the following situations ARE NOT considered exceptional: (1) needing to return early to attend a wedding, baby/bridal shower or similar celebration (2) needing to return early to start an internship (3) needing to return early to start a job or other related activity.
Essay question exams: You may find that many of your exams at your host institution are essay-style. Remember that the quality of your essay may be a much more significant part of your final grade than what you are accustomed to here in Pensacola.
UWF Grading Policy
Universities abroad have different grading systems than those in the United States. Exchange program equivalents can be found here: Exchange Program Grade Conversions. The University of West Florida relies upon the full grading scale listed by WES (http://www.wes.org/gradeconversionguide/) to determine other grades.
The University of West Florida will post all overseas grades that a student receives as the actual letter grade. This means that we cannot simply change a grade from a “C” to a “S” and so forth. If you would like to receive pass/fail grades, you have two options:
- Submit the required UWF pass/fail forms to the UWF Registrar for each relevant class before going abroad.
- Ask the host institution to award you pass/fail instead of letter grades.
Under no circumstances will UWF switch letter grades to pass/fail grades, irrespective of the grades you have actually received.
Registrar's Office Forms
Course Approval Forms and the Enrollment Certification are available on the Registrar's Office website.
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