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What to Expect from Academics Overseas

You should be aware of the fact that the academic culture abroad can be significantly different from the system at Augustana. It is highly unlikely that you will have the same resources on which you rely here. Students are often deceived by what they perceive as not as demanding standards.  An important part of the study abroad planning process involves developing an expectation of the classroom. Class Schedule
Forget the typical Monday, Wednesday, Friday routine! Most classes will be offered once or twice a week, sometimes for a significantly longer class period, and sometimes at night. Learn to adapt to this kind of schedule; you might prefer it!
Exams and Tests
There isn't always as much "busy work" in courses taught abroad. The professors do not assign 20 pages of reading each week. You are expected to keep up with reading assignments on your own. You may have several courses in which you will be evaluated only on the basis of a midterm and a final exam.  Be prepared to work regularly to keep up with the material during the semester in order to do well on the exam.

Language Placement
For students studying language, you will be given a language placement test to assess your proficiency in the target language through a Skype interview or after arriving onsite. You will be placed in a language course which is appropriate to your level, regardless of your prior study of the language.

Most programs will have a strict policy on class attendance. However, the professor may not seem to care if you are absent. Beware, excessive absence usually results in a failing grade or a grade of Incomplete, which cannot be replaced.  

Grades and Transcripts
Grades made in courses taken as part of approved study abroad programs will be computed in the students' grade-point average. However, transcripts from abroad are usually not available before midterm of the semester following study abroad. Be sure to tell your study abroad organization that your grades MUST be forwarded to the International Programs Office, Augustana University, S.D.

Adding/Dropping Courses While Abroad
It is not uncommon for students to change courses once they are abroad. If the desired course is not included on your course approval form, you are required to email the appropriate department chair (for major/minor pre-approved course changes) or the Registrar (for General Education pre-approved course changes).  You will need to attach a course description of the course(s) you are proposing, and specify which requirement you are now hoping to meet.  It is your responsibility to follow up for written confirmation of these changes! Failure to get approval could lead to a delay in graduation and failure to get the course equivalencies that you seek.

You are expected to complete all academic work before you leave the study abroad program. Even if the professor is willing to let you turn in the work after the end of the program, there may be administrative problems associated with such an arrangement. If you do receive a grade of Incomplete from the Study Abroad program, it will automatically turn into an F if it has not been replaced by the middle of the following semester.

Work Ethic
Be aware that a lot of American students on your study abroad program will receive only Pass/Fail grades, their attitude towards their academic work tends to reflect this. Augustana will accept the letter grade that you earn.  It will be computed into your GPA. Some U.S .universities do not accept some intensive language courses. Augustana will accept all the courses on your transcript. If you want your courses to meet specific requirements you must receive the approval of the appropriate Department Chair or the Registrar.

Standard of Conduct
Students participating in a foreign study program must understand they continue to be governed by the rules and regulations of the Augustana University Honor Code.  The student must conduct him or herself in accordance with the codes of behavior for the foreign study service provider and in accordance with the laws of the country in which he or she is studying.