I’ve arrived at my study site and the courses I wanted are not being offered/are full. What do I do?
Don’t panic! Find out which courses are being offered and choose a couple of alternatives. Send a message to the departmental study abroad advisor and let her/him know about the change. This is not an uncommon occurrence and substitutions are easily made as long as you communicate them up front.
I am nearing the end of my study abroad experience and I am trying to register online for the courses I need to take when I return to UNCG but it won’t let me. What’s going on?
Don’t panic! Because you are abroad and we don’t have your transcripts yet you will not be able to register for the courses that have as a prerequisite the successful completion of the studio in which you are enrolled abroad. However, we do know you are abroad and we do believe you are coming back and so we have planned space for you in the studio sequence. Depending on when you are studying abroad, it is possible that the transcripts for your course may not arrive until days before (or weeks after) the next semester has begun. In this case, you will simply complete a drop/add form to be signed by the studio instructor on the first day of class. Assuming that you complete the course with a passing grade, no further action on your part is required. If you receive a failing mark, however, you will not be eligible to jump to the next studio and will have to withdraw from the course.
How do I know which classes to take?
You will work closely with the IARc departmental study abroad advisor to determine which classes are the most appropriate. This is critical because there is not necessarily a one to one correspondence between the year or level and your host institution and your year or level at an American university. Additionally, there isn’t a single conversion standard that you can apply universally, a lot will depend on where you plan on studying, what courses you plan on taking, and what your skills are before you begin.
Do I have to find my own housing?
No. There are two possible ways in which housing might be provided. The first would be that you pay all of your tuition/fees/room/board to UNCG and your host university provides you the equivalent benefits in return. The other is that you pay your tuition and fees to UNCG and take the money for your room and board with you to give to the host university who will then arrange for your housing. The host university will let you know how to make payments for housing.
What if the period of study at my host institution doesn’t line up with that at UNCG?
Generally speaking, the terms of study are relatively similar to those observed at UNCG. Some may start in February and end in June (more likely in the Southern hemisphere where our winter months are their summer break). Should there be any circumstances which would require a single term of study to overlap with two UNCG semesters, discuss this with your study abroad advisor in order to determine what possibilities may exist for accommodation, but you will most likely not encounter such a situation.
How many credits to I have to take?
This will depend on your individual situation to a certain degree. Commonly, students take one studio course and one elective course while they are abroad. When you return, the studio course you took will transfer in for 6 credits, the equivalent of the studio course credits at UNCG. The elective course will also transfer in as 6 credits. These six credits take into account the study abroad experience as well as the assignments you complete for the faculty at UNCG, including talking about your experiences during our departmental study abroad presentations. Keep in mind though that individual situations vary and that the best way to ensure that you are taking the appropriate type and number of credits is to talk to the IARc study abroad advisor about your plans and any questions you may have.
It is important not to overload yourself so that you have time to experience your surroundings and to acclimate yourself to the change in environment.
What credits will transfer?
Any courses that you successfully complete will transfer back to UNCG.
Will this satisfy my IARc experience credit requirements?
What is the course number these credits will show?
This depends on your individual situation to some degree. The studio course that you take will be transferred in and show up on your transcripts here as the IAR studio number of the course you would have taken if you had been here (ie IAR201, 202, 301, 302, 411, or 412). The IARc Experience credits will show up as IAR499. It is also possible that you will have credits that transfer in under an independent study number (432) or as field experience (527) and further it is possible that there may be other courses that will transfer in based on individual cases.
Who is in charge of transferring the credits?
The International Programs Center will transfer your credits back to UNCG. However, they come in as general elective credits. In order to get the credits placed in the appropriate slots to fulfill IARc requirements, the only person who can create and authorize the documents for their assignment is the IARc departmental study abroad advisor.
What is the process for transferring the credits back to UNCG?
After your transcripts have been received by IPC from your host institution, they will fill out a form authorizing their transfer back to the UNCG. You will then set up an appointment time to bring your transcripts and the IPC form to the IARc departmental study abroad advisor. At that time, you will give the advisor your CD (images of your work, images of your trip – more detail is given on the handout for the Study Abroad CD), discuss your experience, and fill out a brief questionnaire about your experience. At the end of that meeting, the departmental study abroad advisor will write a memo to the registrar’s office directing the assignment of the credits. Both you and the advisor will sign the memo. One copy of the memo and attached transcripts will go to IPC, one to the registrar’s office, and one to your academic advisor to be placed in your file. In addition, you will be given a copy and the departmental study abroad advisor will retain a copy for her records. The advisor will be responsible for sending all copies to the appropriate locations.
It may take a week or so for the credits to show up on your transcripts. However, feel free to check in if you don’t see them and are beginning to get nervous.
Can I just take off a semester and study abroad without telling anyone that’s what I’m going to do?
No! If you fail to register with the university for study abroad (a process you will undertake under the guidance of the IPC) then the university assumes that you have withdrawn and you may be required to reapply for admittance to the university. This is not an easy thing to fix, so make sure you pay close attention to all of the steps you must complete in order to study abroad.