For many people, the chance to study abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Although it has clear advantages and will certainly give you memories you’ll never forget, there are a few things to be aware of whether you are already in the United States to study or thinking about going there soon. Specifically, they relate to the credit hours earned here or elsewhere.
Here are three common problems you may run into:
1.Material About Past Coursework May Not Be Available in English
Regardless of where they’re located, most universities require incoming students to participate in a core curriculum or else be able to demonstrate they’ve already gone through the coursework in another way, such as testing out of certain classes or perhaps just showing proof through your transcript.
However, things can get trickier for international students who are trying to transfer credits that were earned in their home country. That’s especially true if the syllabuses for those courses are in a foreign language and translation assistance isn’t readily available. If your school does not already have a company that they work with for instances like these, ask your international student office if they have a certain company they recommend.
2.Community College Credits May Not Be Recognized Back Home
If you plan to study abroad in the United States for a few semesters, or years and not complete a degree, keep in mind that you might run into the same problem you had when transferring to the US: your credits might not be recognized.
It’s important to remember that although community colleges are extremely popular in the United States, the same is not necessarily true globally, especially since some countries, such as those in Europe, already offer relatively affordable — or even free — tuition.
With that in mind, consider that your home country might not be familiar with the community college concept. Administrators who oversee transfer credits could raise their eyebrows when looking over your transcript of community college classes taken in the United States.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have wasted your time or your home country won’t ever see those credits as valid. However, it’s essential to research and see how your native country generally views credits earned at community colleges. Fortunately, some community colleges have teams of advisors to aid students in figuring out how credits earned there that will transfer back to their country of origin.
3.English Courses May Need to Be Repeated in the United States
There are many important steps that must be taken before you arrive as an international student in the United States and being able to demonstrate your English language proficiency is one.
International students who wish to study abroad in the US often run into an unexpected challenge when realizing even though they took and passed an English course in their home country, that effort doesn’t always satisfy the English-language requirements they need to meet to study in the US.
These are just a few of the possible problems you may encounter when trying to transfer credits between universities in the United States and your home country. Although they’re not meant to discourage you from pursuing a dream of being a Stateside student, hopefully these examples will emphasize how important it is to plan ahead as much as possible and take care to understand all academic requirements of the respective countries.