Study Abroad and International Exchange

For graduate students interested in studying abroad, there are several key points to keep in mind.

Exchange Programs

Students studying at the graduate level in an official exchange program, i.e., one for which Appalachian has an agreement with the foreign institution, are expected to register as a full time student (9 hours) and pay for graduate credit at Appalachian. In this situation, students should enroll in Study Abroad place-holder courses (GRD 5800 through GRD 5810) in a one-to-one correspondence to the courses that will ultimately be transferred back to Appalachian.

For example, if the student is taking 3 graduate courses, and those courses are equivalent to 3-hour grad courses, then the student should be registered for:

GRD 5800 Study Abroad 1 (3); GRD 5801Study Abroad (3); GRD 5802 Study Abroad (3).

To Register: Students should contact their program advisor to complete a Study Abroad Registration Form (PDF, 86 KB) for GRD 5800 Study Abroad. The program should include a description of the courses the student plans to take and how they will be used in the student's program of study. We can help determine if the courses will be at the graduate level or not if it is not clear from the course description.

The signed form should then be sent to OIED for approval. OIED will work with the Graduate School and the Registrar to process registration.

Students who wish to take undergraduate coursework in an exchange program should use the undergraduate place-holder course (US 3800) for the relevant number of hours.

When the student returns to campus, an official transcript/mark sheet should be submitted (unopened) to the Graduate School for review. If the course is clearly documented as post-baccalaureate level and the grades are equivalent to a B or higher, then the courses will be transferred in to replace the place-holders.

Short-term Study Abroad

Many of the short-term programs offered in Summer or during breaks include graduate students. These programs offer Appalachian credit, and must be approved through the standard study-abroad proposal submission process. If faculty plan to take both undergraduates and graduate students on the same trip, syllabi must be submitted to document the increased rigor required of the graduate students.

Other Forms of Study Abroad

If a student wishes to take coursework at a foreign institution for which there is not a formal exchange agreement, it is important to double check with the Graduate School about whether the credit from that institution would be acceptable for transfer.

Students taking coursework in this way may choose to not enroll at Appalachian for the term, but non-enrollment has financial aid implications. Students should discuss their plans with a Financial Aid counselor.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid can be used for study abroad, but usually only if the student is enrolled in Appalachian graduate courses at least half time. Any student planning study abroad should discuss the situation with a financial aid counselor.