Ideally, study abroad will be an integral part of your BSU experience. If planned carefully it will enhance your education significantly without increasing the number of semesters required to graduate. As early as your first semester, you should discuss study abroad with your academic advisors. They will be integral resources to help you figure out how study abroad will fit into your overall academic plan.
Getting Academic Credit
While studying abroad through the BSU Study Abroad Office, you will remain registered at Bridgewater State University and thus will receive either BSU transfer credits or BSU graded credits, depending on the program you choose.
BSU Travel Courses
Semester and Summer Programs
- All Travel Courses are worth 3 BSU credits
- Courses are pre-determined; students will register for the Travel Course as they would any other course at BSU
- Grades will be calculated and will factor in to your GPA
- Work with your academic advisor to determine if course substitutions are possible
- Students participating on all semester and summer programs, including BSU Exchanges, Direct Enroll, and Affiliate programs will receive transfer credit for courses taken abroad
- Grades will be posted to your transcript but will NOT be calculated into your GPA
- Students MUST receive the equivalent of a C- or above for the course credit to transfer back to Bridgewater State University
- Course equivalencies will be determined through the Transfer Credit Pre-Approval Process outlined below; whenever possible, this must be completed prior to departing for your study abroad experience
- To receive credit for an internship, the internship experience has to be a part of a graded course; you must have approval from your academic department chair before leaving BSU
- Students will receive an official transcript from their host institution or program. This transcript will be used to process your BSU transfer credit
- The BSU Registrar’s Office is responsible for processing course credit equivalencies
Transfer Credit Pre-Approval Process
This process is for all students studying abroad, unless you are studying on a BSU Travel Course. The transfer credit approval process is a collaborative effort between the student, the Study Abroad Office, the Registrar’s Office, various faculty from BSU Academic Departments, and the host institutions and partners.
- Pre-select courses at your host institution before you depart Bridgewater State University (ideally the semester prior to your study abroad semester)
- Select more courses than you will actually take in case any of your top choices are full, canceled, or at an inappropriate academic level
- Fill out the Transfer Credit Request Form for EACH course that you have selected
- Obtain a syllabus and/or course description for each course. The course description or syllabus should contain a list of topics covered in the course, and if possible, required readings (including page numbers or chapter headings), assignments, and exams (including exam format). A course description may suffice and if the instructor’s syllabus does not include the above information, please reach out to the host institution or partner to help you obtain the specifics
- Most affiliates have a broad range of course syllabi on their websites; if you don’t see the course you are interested in, you should contact them directly
- If the syllabus or course description is in a foreign language and you want to get the course approved by a department other than a foreign language department (history, political science, etc.), you must translate them into English
- Please make sure to keep all notes, exams, papers, handouts, and any other course materials until the course has been approved by the BSU Department Chair. The evaluator may wish to examine these items to assess the work you’ve done and the credit you received.
- Submit the syllabus or course description to the appropriate BSU Department Chair for each course that you plan to take. You may submit this in-person, by email, mail, or fax
- If you are using email, you should address faculty appropriately by introducing yourself, politely making your request, and offering to meet with them to provide any additional materials that they may need.
- You will need a separate form for each course approval.
- Once the Department Chair has completed the course evaluation, you should ask them to email, mail, or fax the completed form to the Study Abroad Office and send a copy to you.
- The Study Abroad Office will collect all of your Transfer Credit Request forms and then send copies of your completed forms to the Registrar’s Office.
- It is up to you to ensure that the Registrar’s Office and the Study Abroad Office have received all of your course approvals. This process should be done before you leave or as soon as you have a syllabus, or at the very latest within two weeks of starting a course.
- If you did not get your courses approved before leaving campus or while abroad, then you may submit the forms for approval upon your return. Please note: Courses not approved prior to departure or during participation are not guaranteed approval, so you run the risk of taking a class that does not get approved for transfer credit.
- Have your official host university or program transcript sent to the BSU Study Abroad Office at the below mailing address:
BSU Study Abroad Office
Minnock Institute for Global Engagement
Bridgewater State University
25 Park Terrace
Bridgewater, MA 02325
- Most Affiliate programs will automatically send your transcript to the BSU Study Abroad Office at the end of your semester abroad. If you are studying at an exchange of direct enroll partner, you may need to ask your host institution to send your transcripts.
- Once the Study Abroad Office receives your transcript, we will send the original to the BSU Registrar’s Office for processing
- The BSU Registrar matches the courses on the host transcript to the Transfer Credit Approval forms and processes all credits that are approved for transfer credit.
- If the Registrar does not have a course approval form for any classes, they will email the student and the Study Abroad Office to see if they have a copy
- Any course credits that the Registrar does not have Transfer Credit Approval forms for are NOT placed on the students’ BSU transcript