by Jon Sender | Back to Guide
Course approvals go a little bit like this: to give you credit at home, your college needs to know how to qualify and quantify the classes you’ll take abroad. There may be rules about the number of credits you need to approve or the types of classes you can transfer, and you’ll probably have your own needs to fulfill your major and graduation requirements.
Getting course approvals taken care of is really a bit of a guessing game. Sit down with your academic advisor and figure out what classes you’ll need, roughly. Then figure out how you can make that happen based on what’s available at the abroad institution and what classes they relate to back home. You’re going to end up doing a lot of searching both catalogues using key words, and you might find out things like…certain classes you need are not even offered in English! That definitely happened in my case, though I knew I wanted to study in Hebrew anyway.
Put together a rough list of classes and get as many as you can approved, with the assumption that once you arrive, things could very well change and force you to start the process over, this time from afar. In my case, I still had to get a few classes approved after the semester was over and I came home, because circumstances got messy. None of this is ideal, but know that it will ultimately work out because it has to.
Your course approval form might look something like this, and you’ll need to download and email syllabi for classes abroad to various department heads at home. Do as much as you can via email, because it will make your life easier.
Using the “Course Approvals” tab on my Study Abroad Master Plan Template can help you keep track of your course approvals.