How do I... Plan for Study Abroad?
The classes you choose to take at UMD the semester immediately BEFORE you go abroad might be influenced by which courses you will be taking when abroad. For example, if you plan to study abroad in a spring semester, you may have courses that you need to take fall semester before you leave (because you can not get them abroad) in order to stay on track. Fall semester registration is in the April prior to -- consequently a YEAR before -- you are actually abroad!
Most students need to get at least some course syllabi reviewed. This can require planning time to 1) Obtain the syllabi from the foreign school & 2) Wait for UMD faculty to review it.
The International Education Office maintains course equivalency information for courses that other UMD students have taken abroad within the past 5 years. You do not need to have those courses reviewed. Many students, however, do not complete their full schedules by choosing from just that list.
We strongly advise that you have an extra course or two reviewed for equivalencies prior to departing. If you plan to take 4 courses while abroad, leave with 5-6 courses identified that you know will work in your academic plan.
Anything can happen! It is good to have a back-up!
In general, it can be easier to fulfill elective courses and liberal education areas abroad rather than try to fulfill specific course requirements within your major/minor.
Ensure that the courses you plan for 1) are offered during the semester you are attending that school, and 2) do not create time conflicts in your weekly schedule. Just like at UMD, not all classes are offered all semesters at foreign institutions. Moreover, you can’t be in two places at the same time!
Grades & your UMD transcript: While you are abroad, your UMD transcript will display a generic block of credits called “Foreign Study Experience.” Individual course titles and grades do NOT appear on your transcript or APAS report until UMD receives the final grades & transcript from the foreign school. Often this is several weeks after you are back at UMD.
Because of this, you may need to get course pre-requisite overrides during your first semester of registration back at UMD if you took pre-requisites abroad that are not yet recorded.
The key to a successful study abroad experience is to PLAN AHEAD! One year or two semesters beforehand is an appropriate time to begin the planning process. You absolutely should know how courses will transfer into UMD before you leave.
The International Education Office will be your key contact for many aspects of the experience, although your academic advisor will be crucial for helping you choose the courses you will take abroad, in order to try to help you stay on track for graduation.
Things to consider when planning to study abroad: