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Academic Planning

Study Abroad advisers are students’ primary resource about study abroad, but students also consult with their departmental and school advisers to determine how study abroad will fit into their plan of study at Northwestern. You should be prepared to advise prospective study abroad students and students already abroad about their academic plans.

Prospective Students

Mapping out their course plan

During the application process and while they are abroad, students will be selecting and registering for study abroad courses. Help them determine which courses are eligible for transfer to Northwestern, as well as which courses will be most useful in their degree progress. Encourage them to challenge themselves both linguistically and culturally when selecting courses, but to also consider credit transfer policies and possible restrictions within their majors, minors and/or school.

Preparing for a different academic culture

Students tend to compare their host country's academic culture to that of Northwestern's, which often impedes their adjustment while abroad. Encourage them to be open-minded about such differences and to re-evaluate their expectations before the start of the program.

Participating in research, internships and service learning

  • Ideally, research conducted abroad will compliment a student’s course of study at Northwestern. We encourage students to discuss any research ideas with a faculty member before studying abroad to ensure that the final product of this research is sufficiently academic.
  • Internships and civic engagement opportunities are becoming more common on study abroad programs, with placements in fields such as the arts, business, government, health services, marketing and many more. Learn more about requirements for internships and service learning opportunities.

Considering the Undergraduate Registration Requirement

One of the most crucial requirements for them to think about is the Undergraduate Registration Requirement (the amount of quarters that they need to spend as a full-time student taking Northwestern courses before graduating). If students have questions about this, please direct them to their degree auditor in the Office of the Registrar (847-491-5234).

Students Abroad

While abroad, students will likely be contacting you regarding changes in their planned course enrollment, for advice regarding courses they should take, and with questions about degree requirements. We appreciate your communication with students about these department and school specific issues. For more general questions, however, you can refer them to the following:

  • If they have general questions about choosing courses, enrollment requirements, credit transfer or grades and transcripts, please direct them to the detailed information in our Academics section.
  • If they have questions about program specific requirements, please have them discuss this with their onsite program director or advisers, or have the student contact their NU Study Abroad Adviser.