1. When should I start thinking about the classes that I will take while I am abroad?
You do not need to select classes until after you have received preliminary approval to study abroad. The courses that are offered by each program should play a critical role in your decision about which program is best for you. Here are a few things to think about as you research potential programs:
• Do the courses offered by this program fit with my academic plans?
• Will the courses offered through this program fulfill requirements that I need before I graduate? If not, will I have time to complete these requirements upon my return to Northern?
• Will this program help me to fulfill requirements within my major?
• How will the courses offered by this program contribute to my academic goals and/or professional aspirations?
2. What are the guidelines for choosing courses?
You are expected to enroll as a full-time student in your off-campus program or university. Full-time is defined as equivalent to 12 Northern credits.
All courses, including internships, require approval from the appropriate College Dean.
In accordance with NSU policy on transfer credit, your grades will be recorded on your NSU transcript as they appear on the transcript from your host institution. This means that you will receive letter grades for your work abroad, which will be counted in your cumulative GPA.
3. How do I get credit for the classes that I take abroad?
Students studying abroad register for the course titled EXCH. Students who study off-campus with a Northern Approved Program need to obtain approval for the courses they will be taking off-campus before they leave for their off-campus experience. There are a few different ways to obtain approval for the courses that you will be taking:
First, you can check the Previously Approved Course List, which is a list of all of the courses that have been approved by Northern State University department chairs within the last five years. You can click on the link below to view the list:
Previously Approved Courses –In Progress
Second, if a course that you wish to take is not on the Previously Approved Course list, you must obtain approval from the chair of the department under which your course would be taken if it were offered at Northern. (i.e., A student taking Eastern European Economics in Prague would need the signature of the chair of the economics department.)
4. Is it difficult to get approval for courses that are not on the Previously Approved Course list?
No, not at all. All you need is the signature of the department chair under which your course would be taken. Some department chairs may ask for a description of the course or a sample syllabus, but this information can typically be found in the program catalogue, on the program website, or in the Office of International Programs. If you have any trouble locating this information, contact us and we will assist you.
5. What happens if I change my mind about taking a class after I have turned in my Transfer of Credit form or after my program has begun?
It is not uncommon for students to change their minds about taking certain classes, just as students might drop or add classes here at Northern. As soon as you know that you will be replacing one class with another, check the list of previously approved courses to see if the course has been taken in the past and is already approved. If your course is not listed there, notify the chair of your department and the dean of the college. This will insure that you receive credit for the new course you have chosen.