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Academic Advisor Guide for Study Abroad

Academic advisors play an important role in assisting University of Idaho students through the process and experience of studying abroad.  The information below has been created to walk advisors through the student process of preparing to study abroad and to give advisors the tools to help them during this process.

Student Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Why Study Abroad?
    Have a transformational learning experience • gain global citizenship and leadership skills • enhance your academic knowledge • gain cross-cultural understanding • learn a foreign language • network with professionals in your field • make international friendships • increase your employability

  1. Preparing for the experience

    Apply for a passport • with academic advisor, consult major/minor-specific Transformational Learning Maps • take foreign language courses • international CORE courses • regional studies courses • cross-cultural communication courses • start working toward Global Justice Certificate • join the International Student Council or another international groups • become a conversation partner with an international student • attend international events such as India Night & Cruise the World • live in Global Village

  1. Research




  • Search by country, field of study, or program type, find program terms, fees, etc.


  • Attend the bi-annual Study Abroad Fair (early September & late January)

  • Program costs



  • Costs vary widely.  Programs typically cost $1200 - $5200 /semester more than a UI semester.




    UI International Experience Grants of $1000/semester, year or $750/summer ($141,000 available annually). No application necessary; approximately 1 out of 2 eligible students receive awards.
  • Many departments and colleges provide study abroad scholarships

  • Many national and program scholarships also available


  • Program length options



    Academic year - ideal for language acquisition, biggest bang for the buck, and greatest opportunity for cultural assimilation. 
  • Semester – good compromise between ideal length and financial feasibility.  Up to 4 semesters of language acquisition in 1 semester of study.

  • Summer – a good introduction to international experience

  • Faculty-led programs tailored to specific disciplines (summer, fall, winter, & spring breaks)


  • Program support



    Direct enrollment – best for independent students
  • Programs with Resident Directors and Faculty-Led programs - best for students wanting more support.


  • Program Eligibility



  • 2.5 GPA for most

  • Language abilities – many programs in non-English-speaking countries offer programs in English

  1. Advising




  • Group meetings 5 days a week throughout the academic year in the International Programs Office


  • One-on-one advising with a Study Abroad Advisor



  • Available for appointments 10:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday - Friday


    Meet with Academic Advisor - discuss credit transfer (see Tools for Advisors below)
  • Meet with Financial Aid Advisor – take program cost breakdown from Study Abroad Office to determine financial options.

  1. Apply

    Download application
  • Deadlines:  As soon as decision is made, programs may fill prior to program deadlines. 

  • Application deadlines (may be later than program deadlines):



    October 15:  spring programs
  • April 1:  fall/academic year/summer programs

  1. Post-Application Requirements


    Read Study Abroad Survival Guide and program-specific manual

  • Complete mandatory SA forms

  1. Financial Aid Process


    SAO sends SA cost breakdowns to Financial Aid (FA) in early November (for spring programs) and April (for summer, fall, and academic year programs)
  • Additional aid, if any, usually in the form of loans.

  1. Study Abroad Registration


    SAO registers students for generic block of full-time study abroad credits in November (for spring programs) and April (for summer, fall, and academic year programs) 
  • Students will register for specific courses directly with host institution or program

  • Once UI receives transcript, generic block of SA credits will be replaced by actual courses taken

  1. Student Billing


  • SAO application and programming fees, UI Direct and Faculty-Led program fees are billed to students’ accounts.

  • Program providers (eg. USAC, ISA, etc.) bill students directly for program fees.

  1. Attend mandatory pre-departure orientation (early November and mid-April)

safety • health • insurance • cultural assimilation • visas • registration • billing • credit transfer • financial aid • scholarships • travel • packing • foreign educational systems • housing • maximizing the experience

  1. Post SA Orientation

reverse culture shock • career planning • campus engagement with international initiatives and groups • educating others about your experience • continuing your international education

Tools for Advisors

  1. Transformational Learning Maps – planning tool for when and where specific majors can participate in study abroad, national student exchange, internships, volunteer and service-learning activities (in progress)

  2. Credit Approval Process – Course Planning Form completion –see form for complete instructions


  • Students bring course descriptions to appropriate department chairs for each course

  • Department Chairs or their designees determine if the foreign course has a UI equivalent or not.



  • If the course does have a UI equivalent, the Department Chair enters the UI course equivalent information on the form.

  • If the course does not have a UI equivalent, the Department Chair enters 000 as the course number and determines if the course is worth upper-division, lower-division, or graduate-level credit and enters this information on the form.


  • Department Chairs have already articulated USAC Specialty Program courses. These articulations can be found on UI Registrar's Office website.

  • The student then meets with their academic advisor for overall program approval and to determine how each course will fit into their graduation requirements. The Academic Advisor signs the form to give approval overall program approval.

  • The College Dean's signature is then needed in order for any upper-division study abroad coursework to count towards the UI residency requirement.

  • The Registrar will then determine credit amounts for each foreign course and sign the form.

  • The form is then submitted to and signed by a Study Abroad staff member.

  1. Student Fulbright Process (in development)

After Study Abroad

  1. Academic Advising While Student is Abroad

  • E-mail Advising - While abroad, students may need to be advised by email in order to prepare them for their return to the University of Idaho.

  • Remove Advisor Registration Hold - They will also need their Advisor Registration Hold removed.  Once the blocks are removed the students can register for classes at the UI for the semester of their return.

  1. Study Abroad Transcripts


  • After students return, foreign transcripts are sometimes slow to follow.  If study abroad transcripts are not received by June 1, a student's financial aid can be withheld for a following term.  The UI SAO works directly with the UI academic colleges and the Financial Aid Office to ensure that students in this situation have their aid reinstated until their study abroad transcript arrives. 

The Study Abroad Office is happy to work with academic advisors to assist with any of the topics discussed above.  Contact UI Study Abroad at 885-7870 or abroad@uidaho.eduif you have any questions