Study Abroad AND Graduate On Time

Studying abroad and graduating on time isn’t a new concept. To keep it simple, as long as you pre-approve your study abroad courses, pass your classes, stay a full-time student, and plan out your 4-year degree path, you can study abroad and graduate on time. Here’s a few tips on how you can do both:

  • Make a degree path
    • Often a degree plan can be found under your major or department’s page on ISU’s website. Refer to this guide for the list of classes you must take to earn your degree. Also reference your MySAM.
    • Make your degree path customized to you! This can be done on Word, Excel, or just a blank sheet of paper. Write which classes you took your first semester, second semester, and so forth. Include the number of credits you earned for each semester. Also enter in the classes that you are taking this semester. Then fill in the classes your are registered for next semester.
    • Refer to your MySam and plan out the following semester. You don’t need to know time and day yet- just note which classes would be good to take the following semester. You can also look if those classes are being offered in the fall, spring, or both.
    • Plan out the rest of the courses you need to take in order to graduate. Don’t forget to note pre- or co-requisites!
    • Add in your study abroad semester or summer with courses you are wanting to take abroad and have pre-approved.
    • See if you have any extra spaces in your degree path. Adding a minor or even studying abroad for a longer period of time may be more beneficial than possibly graduating early or taking classes not needed for your degree.
    • Don’t have enough spaces? Studying abroad over the summer is probably best for you so you won’t get behind and delay graduation. This way, you can catch up or even get ahead by getting up to 12 credits over the summer.
  • Only take classes you need to graduate
    • Sure that Costa Rican history class sounds interesting, but if you don’t need the history (or Foundational Studies Historical Studies) credit to graduate, you could get behind. Try getting the course approved as a foundational studies course that you need or find another course/program option. Your Study Abroad Advisor, Academic Advisor, and department head can help you with this process.
    • Check our website for the list of previously approved courses from your desired host university. You will be able to see which courses students have gotten credit for in the past and their equivalencies, and you won’t have to get an official approval for those courses.
  • Take an extra class while abroad
    • Three courses could be the minimum at your host university, but do you think you could handle four courses? If so, register for an extra course. You could be thanking yourself a year from now that you earned the extra credits!
    • Sometimes additional courses cost extra and most of the time you get a better deal for each class you add! It all depends on the program and length, so ask your Study Abroad Advisor what would be the best for you.
  • Add an ISU course to your summer
    • Study abroad for part of the summer then take an ISU course online or on campus. This can help to reach half-time status of 6 credits in order to receive summer financial aid.
  • Stay on track and be on time
    • To be considered a full-time student, one must take at least 12 credits. If you want to stay on track and be considered “on-time“, it is best to take at least 15 credits each semester (therefore by the end of your freshman year you should have at least 30 credits, 60 by the end of sophomore year, and so on).
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