Posts Tagged 'Yale University'

Universities! Help Study Abroad Students with Credits

I consider myself lucky.  During the summers of 2004 and 2005, I lived and studied – and later worked – in China, paid by alma mater in fellowship and student aid money.  This was crucial since I wasn’t exactly in a position to pay for the trips myself.  Mom and Dad would have helped out had I asked, and as a last resort I could have run to my Grandparents, but like I said I was lucky.  Here at GulliverGo, we are always thinking about Study Abroad and how the process can be made easier, more straightforward, and more affordable.  While we started on the right foot, I now realize that we forgot something – we forgot about credits.

A few days ago, Yale University announced that it would allow more credits from study abroad programs to count towards graduation.  There’s only one word for this: Awesome!  In years past, students who attended

If you had more study abroad credit freedom, you'd be happy too!

If you had more study abroad credit freedom, you'd be happy too!

both a study abroad program during the semester and another program during the summer would have to choose which credits to apply towards graduation.  Such a system essentially forced students to forgo the summer credits and reduced the academic benefits of participating in a summer program.  The new policy allows both semester and summer credits to be applied.

Separately, Congress is currently working on the Simon Act, and though it, hopes to send 1 million US students abroad in ten years’ time.  This is great.  Scholarships will be offered through the organization, and schools will make program more accessible.  With no dearth of outside scholarships (see our scholarships post) funding a trip will be much easier.  So the front end will be taken care of, but how about the back end?  What do we do about credits?

Credit transfer is a problem that we see all the time at GulliverGo.  If students can’t receive credit for a study abroad program, they are much less likely to go.  Such a deterrent can easily be corrected by policies like the one enacted at Yale.  Universities often have convoluted and individualized systems for accepting credit, sometimes accepting regular grades and credit from their own programs while only bestowing transfer credit to a list of approved programs.  Tech and art schools are often even more stringent.  Yale’s belt loosening gives their students much more academic freedom and is a good step towards promoting study abroad.  Students at other universities should start asking similar study abroad freedoms and universities should take note.

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Gulliver helps students Study Abroad. Our blog covers: current issues in Study Abroad; featured posts by Study Abroad students; and Gulliver updates, news, and behind-the-scenes peaks. Thanks for reading!