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Academic Advisors

Academic advisors are a vital part of a student’s college experience, and providing your student with information about learning abroad can give them a jumpstart on success!

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions to help you assist your students. Not finding what you’re looking for? We’re happy to help! Contact the Learning Abroad Office at 801-581-5849!

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***Using the Learning Abroad Program Search***

Is there a general introduction to learning abroad at the U?
Yes. Learning Abroad has developed an online presentation specifically for Academic Advisors.

Do students earn academic credit on learning abroad programs?
Yes! All learning abroad programs are credit bearing. Students can fulfill general education, major, minor, and elective requirements. Honors credit may also available. All programs offering at least 3 credit hours will fulfill the Undergraduate International Requirement.

Do learning abroad programs offer U of U credit or transfer credit?
Both! Faculty-led and Global Campus programs earn U of U credit. For these programs, the courses offered are listed on the program profile in our Program Search. In most cases, pre-requisites are also listed under the program eligibility section of the program profile.
Exchange and affiliate programs earn transfer credit. Students can work with our Learning Abroad Coordinators to determine which courses will be offered while they are abroad. If your student is interested in a program earning transfer credit, be sure to discuss any limitations or restrictions on transfer credits for students in that major or minor.

If the program involves transfer credit, is there a process for pre-approving transfer credits?
Yes. Students have the ability to meet with you and discuss their academic plans for the program. As part of our application process, students are given instructions for pre-approving credit as well as the Course Pre-approval Form. Details on this process are found in the Academic section of the Learning Abroad Handbook.

How do I find the right program for my students?
We recommend that students begin with the Choosing a Program information on our website. The best way to learn about the different programs available is Program Search on our website. Each program coordinated by our office has a profile in the Program Search that includes information about costs, deadlines, coursework, and much more!

There are over 100 programs in the system, so we recommend using the filters to narrow down the options. At the request of academic advisors, we have also created a way to search for programs by College. You can filter the programs by location, languages of instruction, type of program, subjects, and much more!
To find out program search, visit and click on the Search Programs link. There is also an instruction sheet on our website.

What to the different types of programs mean?
Some of the filtering options in our program search are self-explanatory, but there are a few that merit clarification.

  • Provider- The provider filter allows you to search programs by the organization that coordinates the program. This can be helpful to students who receive scholarships that can only be applied to certain program providers. Please note that, even though U of U is one of the options, all of the programs in our database have been approved by the Learning Abroad Office.
  • Field of Study- This menu allows you to filter the list based on the subject a student wants to study.

→The Field of Study menu also allows you to sort programs by College. To sort programs by College or Department, select the relevant department in the dropdown menu. In addition to Colleges, you can also search by Department of Language and Literature, David Eccles School of Business, and School of Medicine. Please note that the programs sponsored by the Department of Language and Literature will not be listed under College of Humanities. It is listed under Department of Language and Literature.

  • Term- This dropdown menu allows you to limit the options by the academic term that interests the student.
  • Language of Instruction- If the student is interested in taking classes in a particular language, this filter will sort programs by the selected language.
  • Destination- This option allows students to sort programs by host country.
  • Type- This will filter the list of programs by the type of program you are interested in. The type of program selected by a student impacts the cost structure, courses available, and housing options. For information on what each type of program is, review the Prezi on our website.
  • Keyword- The keyword box allows you to type in key words to narrow down the list.

If a student earns transfer credit, what is the process for transferring those credits back to the U?
If a student is participating in an approved U of U program, the host university or affiliate will send an official transcript to our office after the program has ended. Some countries have extremely lengthy grading periods and this process can take 3 – 6 months.  Our office sends the transcript, along with any course pre-approval forms that were submitted to us by the student, to Admissions. The Admissions office then processes the transfer credit. If there are questions about the pre-approved course equivalencies, the Admissions Office will contact the academic department.

How far in advance should students start planning?
Students should start planning their learning abroad program well in advance. The earlier they begin planning, the more options they will have. At a minimum, we typically recommend that students begin the application process 9-12 months before they plan to go. Veterans intending to use the GI Bill need to allow extra time to acquire permission from the VA.

What if my student is interested in an international internship?
If your student is interested in an international internship, contact Courtney McBeth ( in the Hinckley Institute of Politics. The Hinckley Institute can offer internships in many fields and students can earn a variety of different types of credit.

How long are the programs?
There are a variety of program lengths to serve students’ needs. Programs last as little as one week to as long as one year.

When should my student go?
Programs are available year round including the summer, fall break, winter break, and spring break. If your student has limited timeframes in which they can go abroad, you can filter programs by Term to narrow down the options.
Students can go abroad at almost any time in their college career. In order to be considered for a program, students must have a University-level GPA at the application deadline. So most students can attend their first learning abroad program immediately after their freshman year.

Are there special circumstances for learning abroad during your senior year?
Students in their final year of school are invited to participate in learning abroad programs. However, there are several factors that need to be considered. Transferring credit back to the U can be a lengthy process that can take 3 – 6 months. Students need to be aware that, depending on the timing, courses may not be reflected on their academic record before graduation.

Can students use scholarships and financial aid?
In most cases, students can use financial aid and scholarships to pay for the program. Students should contact a financial aid advisor to confirm that their selected program will be eligible.

Are there special scholarship opportunities for learning abroad students?
Yes! Every U of U student is eligible for the Student Fee Scholarship. Over $200K in scholarships are available to U of U students! On average, the odds of winning a scholarship are 1 in 4.
In addition to U of U Learning Abroad Scholarships, our students have an outstanding track record for receiving nationally competitive scholarships for learning abroad including the Boren, Gilman and Critical Language Scholarships. Information on these opportunities and other external scholarship competitions can be found on our website.

Are there course pre-requisites or eligibility requirements?
Each program has unique pre-requisites. In general, students must be in good academic and judicial standing to be eligible for a learning abroad program. Program-specific requirements are listed in the program profile found in our program search.

How does advising work in the Learning Abroad Office?
When a student visits our office, the first person they will interact with is a fellow student. The Learning Abroad Office has a team of peer advisors available to provide initial advising. All peer advisors have studied abroad and undergo a rigorous training program. They can speak candidly with interested students and provide helpful insights from a student’s perspective. Peer advisors help students on a walk-in basis. To talk to a peer advisor, your students can stop by room 159 in the Union, email us at or call 801-581-5849.

Students interested in Learning Abroad must complete a one-time Learning Abroad 101 information session before they can meet with a Learning Abroad Coordinator. Our office offers these sessions weekly and online.

What if my student wants to participate in a non-U of U Program?
We cannot stop a student from participating in a non-U of U program, but students need to be aware that they do so at their own risk. Official University of Utah programs are coordinated through the Learning Abroad Office. Programs operated through the Learning Abroad Office undergo an approval process to reduce student risk, ensure quality intercultural experiences, and confirm the academic validity of the onsite program. Over 500 international opportunities have been approved by the University. A list of official University of Utah Learning Abroad Programs is found in our program search. The Learning Abroad Office encourages students to participate in one of the U’s official programs. There are many benefits to participating in an official program including:

  1. Access to Learning Abroad scholarships
  2. Access to the process for pre-approving academic credits
  3. Eligibility for the University of Utah international medical and security evacuation insurance policy
  4. Streamlined approval to fulfill the International Requirement through your chosen program
  5. Pre-departure orientation services and workshops
  6. Assistance with financial aid coordination
  7. 24/7 emergency support

Students participating in programs that are not listed in our program search need to be aware that the University is not responsible for any aspect of the program. If a student chooses to attend a non-U of U program, please encourage them to review the information on non-U of U programs on our website.

I’m interested in learning more about how I can help my students learn abroad. Are there additional training opportunities?
Learning Abroad is happy to assist you. We provide group and individual coaching upon request. For more information, contact Katrina Brown at

Last Updated: 12/13/16