Advising Study Abroad Students
Why Study Abroad?
Studying abroad is hugely beneficial for student’s cognitive, social, and personal development. Living independently in another country, interacting with different cultures, and gaining knowledge of the world are integral in their success during and after college. Fredonia students that study abroad have access to SUNY's 600+ study abroad programs, including:
- Full semester, summer, or J-term (winter) programs
- Internships, research opportunities, volunteer experiences
- Faculty-led programs or enrollment at overseas universities
- Programs that support specific majors
To begin finding programs that match their desired location, budget, major, or term abroad, students can use the SUNY Study Abroad Database. Additionally, students should attend Study Abroad 101 sessions or meet with OIE to begin the process of finding programs.
With hundreds of study abroad programs in the SUNY system, students can find programs based on location, time frame, coursework, and cost
Students are able to use financial aid award (including Excelsior, TAP, Pell, loans, and scholarships) to support their overseas program; students are encouraged to apply for other study abroad-specific scholarships
Courses taken abroad count toward the student's GPA, even if the program is administered by another SUNY campus
What is My Role?
We don't expect advisors to know everything about studying abroad, but you do play a major role in a student's degree progress. As an advisor, you can help students plan ahead for their study abroad experience by mapping out what courses will be taken abroad and which will be taken upon their return to Fredonia.
Students are able to fulfill degree requirements abroad, including major/minor courses, general electives, and Fredonia Foundation courses. Students should save the following requirements as they are the easiest to fulfill through a study abroad experience:
- Upper level electives outside of the major
- Major/minor electives
- Fredonia Foundations such as Humanities, Social Sciences, Foreign Language, and Western or Other World Civilizations
Depending on the program, a student may be able to fulfill specific major/minor courses abroad. For example, an overseas institution may offer the equivalent of a Fredonia course abroad (such as Physics II or Foundations of Marketing).
What is the Process?
1. Student Expresses Interest in Study Abroad
If a student expresses interest in studying abroad, an Advisor can help determine:
- How study abroad may fit into the degree program
- What semester to study abroad
- How other former advisees/students studied abroad successfully
- Encourage students to meet with the Office of International Education (OIE)
2. Student Identifies Programs
After an initial advising session with OIE, a student may reach out to the advisor for feedback on potential programs. An advisor can:
- Review program coursework to determine which classes fit into degree plan
3. Student Prepares to Study Abroad
Once a student is accepted into a program and prepares for the overseas experience, the advisor can:
- Help students register for the appropriate INED course for their semester abroad
- Meet with the student to go over coursework they should register for upon their return to Fredonia
The Course Approval Process
While Academic Advisors are integral to helping students as they prepare to go abroad, Department Chairs are the final deciders on whether courses taken abroad can count toward a student's degree program. Department Chairs and students fill out the Overseas Course Approval Form, which articulates course equivalencies so that they appear on a student's transcript and degree map after the program ends. Students are encouraged to share any relevant course information (descriptions, syllabi, etc.) so that courses can be articulated accurately.
Department Chairs should only approve coursework that falls under their department and have the right to deny course equivalencies if there is not sufficient proof of matching curriculum. Students wishing to get Fredonia Foundation approvals should work with the Department Chair that oversees a specific Fredonia Foundation course; if the FF Department Chairs approve the equivalency, students must get final approval from the Associate Provost for Curriculum, Assessment, and Academic Support (809 Maytum Hall).