Office of Overseas Study, Indiana University Summary of Academic Policies and Procedures Eligibility and Selection <#sectI> Eligibility criteria <#criteria> Class Standing <#stand> GPA <#gpa> Academic Progress <#progress> Language Requirements <#lang> Program-Specific Requirements <#spec> Lower Age Limits <#age> Preference to IU Students <#pref> Disciplinary Status <#dis> Selection Process <#select> <#select> Academic Policies <#sectII> Advising <#advis> Course Load <#course> Independent Study and Individualized Readings <#indep> Pass/Fail Option <#p/f> Withdrawal from an Overseas Study Program <#w/d> Dropping and Adding Courses <#d/a> Incompletes <#incom> Course and Credit Requirements <#ccreq> Course Approval and Course Equivalencies <#capprov> Residency <#res> Grading Policies <#grade> ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Section I: Eligibility and Selection 1. Eligibility criteria a) CLASS STANDING: Students with the appropriate academic background may apply for some summer programs as early as freshman year. Graduating high school students, even those who have earned college credits prior to their admission to a degree program at IU, are not eligible for summer programs. Some semester programs allow second-semester sophomores to participate, but the norm for IU semester and academic year programs is for students to complete two years of full-time study on an IU campus before going abroad. Students who transfer to Indiana University must have at least one full semester of IU credit on their transcript before they are considered for study abroad. Overseas Study does not encourage students to prolong their academic experience simply to study abroad. Students pursuing a second degree may be given lower priority in the selection process. Students will have to show an academic rationale for participating in more than one Overseas Study program. However, students are not permitted to remain a second year on the same academic-year program. Graduate students who have completed at least one semester at IU may apply to a limited set of programs that allow graduate student participation. Note that most Overseas Study programs are designed for undergraduate students and only offer undergraduate courses. b) GPA: To apply to an I.U. program, students need the cumulative GPA indicated in the program requirements: 2.75 to 3.00. c) ACADEMIC PROGRESS: To be eligible to apply for study abroad, students must be making satisfactory academic progress toward their degree, particularly those applying for semester and academic year programs. Students for whom study abroad is not deemed directly relevant to their degree may be given lower priority in the selection process. (Note: Acceptance into a program does not automatically qualify a student for continued financial assistance.) d) LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS: For academic year programs that require five or six semesters of foreign language background, the minimum language requirement must be completed during the regular academic semester preceding the program. That is, the required language may not simply be taken during the summer prior to program participation. Students who intend to study abroad for a year or a semester in a location where courses are taught in a foreign language should be enrolled in that language during the semester immediately preceding program participation. Summer program applicants who have not taken any language courses in the current or immediately preceding semesters may have lower priority in the selection process than students who have had the requisite language courses more recently. Language proficiency in such cases must be demonstrated. Non-native speakers of a foreign language who have placed out of language courses at IU but who have never enrolled in a language course before the program may also have lower priority in the selection process. Students who take an intensive elementary language course prior to a summer program may be accepted conditionally, pending their performance in the course. e) PROGRAM-SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS: Some programs have requirements in addition to class standing and GPA. f) LOWER AGE LIMITS The Office of Overseas Study does not permit university applicants under the age of 18 or high school students to participate in its programs. g) PREFERENCE TO INDIANA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS Any student enrolled at one of the eight Indiana University campuses may apply to the programs administered or co-sponsored by the Office of Overseas Study. Only the programs in Belize, Bologna, Graz, St Petersburg (summer) and Venice are open to students from other institutions. In some cases the child of an IU employee who attends another institution may be permitted to apply to IU-administered (but not co-sponsored) programs. In-state fee status and dependent fee courtesy are normally applicable in these cases. h) DISCIPLINARY STATUS Students on disciplinary probation may not participate in Overseas Study programs. Overseas Study reviews the disciplinary records of all program applicants, and reserves the right to deny acceptance to students who have problematic disciplinary histories. 2. Selection Process * The Director of the Office of Overseas Study appoints faculty committees to screen applications for study abroad. A standard dossier consists of an application with demographic information, a transcript, recommendation letters from instructors (typically, two for academic year and one for summer) and the student's personal statement. There are interviews for all academic year programs and may be interviews for other programs at the discretion of committee chairs. The committee recommends students who not only meet the minimum eligibility criteria but who also show the type of intellectual curiosity, personal maturity, academic rationale and social flexibility necessary for a successful study abroad experience. The Director of the Office of Overseas Study has the final authority to accept or reject the recommendations of the selection committees. In the case of co-sponsored programs, once the Director has approved the committee's recommendations, the Office of Overseas Study forwards the dossiers to the co-sponsoring agencies. In some cases those agencies permit direct admissions in which case the students will receive automatic acceptance letters. In other cases, the agency or the institution makes the final decision regarding admission. In the event that students wish to appeal the decision of the selection committee, they may send a petition to the Director asking that their case be reviewed. Acceptance into programs is always contingent upon a student's maintaining a level of academic performance consistent with previous work and satisfactorily completing course work in the semester of acceptance. Students who receive Incompletes or Withdrawals for course work during that semester may forfeit final program acceptance. Section II: Academic Policies 1. Advising * All students accepted to a semester or academic year overseas study program meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss the courses that are appropriate for them to enroll in abroad. An advising form signed by the student, the advisor(s) in the major(s) and minor(s) and, in most cases, the study abroad advisor reflects the common understanding by all signers of what course work the student will take abroad. It is understood that enrollment patterns abroad may require some last minute changes. All students, but especially those on co-sponsored programs, must contact Overseas Study directly regarding any changes to their schedule to ensure IU credit for course work overseas. Any correspondence between the student and the home-campus advisors must be shared with Overseas Study which must approve any changes to the original schedule. 2. Course Load * Students participating in summer programs are required to take a fixed number of credits offered, even if they do not need all the credits for degree requirements. 15 credits is the minimum course load for students in semester-length programs. [Exceptions include some Australian university programs and the semester components of the mainstreamed academic year programs in Aix-en-Provence, Bologna, Freiburg and Lima.] The minimum course load on academic year programs is 12 credits per semester. Occasionally, the host institution requires that students take a heavier course load (e.g., U of Kent). Exceptions are considered only in cases of illness or similar extenuating circumstances. Graduate students accepted to graduate semester programs must take a minimum of 9 credits and a maximum of 12 credits per semester. 3. Independent Study and Individualized Readings * Students are not permitted to include independent study courses as part of their minimum course load abroad. Instead, Overseas Study encourages students to arrange ahead of time with an IU faculty member to do research while abroad but register for the independent study credit for the semester of their return. Overseas Study strongly discourages students from taking correspondence courses through the School of Continuing Studies during their stay abroad. Such courses cannot form part of the term's minimum course load. Graduate students accepted to graduate semester programs may only participate in research with the written approval of their faculty advisor. 4. Pass/Fail Option * Overseas Study does not permit the declaration of P/F for IU-administered summer or semester programs or on co-sponsored programs. Overseas Study permits students on IU-administered academic year programs in mainstreamed foreign language environments to take two courses during the year P/F with the exception of pre-session courses, required language courses and courses used to complete degree requirements. Students must declare a course P/F by each program's published deadline and never after receiving a final grade. 5. Withdrawal from an Overseas Study Program * If a student withdraws from the program shortly after arrival at the program site (typically during the orientation period), enrollment in the Overseas Study program is deleted from the student's record instead of recording W's in all courses. We cannot guarantee that students who complete a pre-session before withdrawing from a semester or academic-year program will receive credit for that portion of the year. Resident directors monitor students on IU-administered programs to ensure that they do not fall below required minimum enrollment levels. It is the student's responsibility to keep the program's administrators and the Office of Overseas Study informed about their enrollment. 6. Dropping and Adding Courses * Reasonable deadlines for dropping classes are established at each program site based on the host country's academic calendar. Students are encouraged to attend more courses initially than they expect to enroll in so they can drop the least appropriate courses before the registration deadline. 7. Incompletes * Students are expected to complete all course work before they leave the study abroad site. They are not permitted a grade of Incomplete in order to complete an assignment after their return to the U.S. (An exception is made for short-term field school programs in which the analysis of field research is completed by a deadline shortly after return to the U.S.) If students do not complete course work prior to departure from the program site, they receive an F for that course. If a student has completed all course work abroad, but no grade is reported due to an oversight or delay by the host country faculty or the program administrators, the Office of Overseas Study temporarily enters an Incomplete until the correct letter grade is determined. In circumstances beyond a student's control (e.g., closure of the program) the Office of Overseas Study is permitted to award a permanent Incomplete (one that does not become an F at the end of a year). 8. Course and Credit Requirements * In awarding credit for course work taken abroad, Overseas Study assumes that the contact hours are comparable to those at IU (i.e.12.5 contact hours per credit hour). Courses taught by IU faculty abroad are expected to include required reading, written course work, examinations and, when possible, term papers. Field study programs typically incorporate journal writing into the assessment process. When enrolling in courses taught by host country nationals, students are expected to select courses that require work that can be assessed for a grade or to arrange for special assignments that can be evaluated. If no such academic work can be arranged, the student will not receive credit for the class. 9. Course Approval and Course Equivalencies * Courses on Indiana University Overseas Study programs are reported to the Registrar with IU course titles and numbers wherever feasible. IU faculty evaluate foreign course descriptions and syllabi in order to determine what their department's equivalent IU level and number should be. This sometimes takes place before students go abroad, but more often occurs when students return from abroad with course material to substantiate their request for credit. The Registrar has developed a flexible equivalency system (e.g., undistributed courses with the original course titles on the transcript according to a numerical ranking, HIST #101, #201, etc.) to facilitate accounting for courses with no exact equivalent in the IU system. The Office of Overseas Study keeps a record of courses that have approved IU equivalents. Students are given guidelines for selecting courses abroad when there are no pre-established equivalencies. Students are guaranteed credit for all IU study abroad course work, but the amount and level of the credit for each course is determined by campus departments with the assistance of the Office of Overseas Study. The Registrar allows courses taken abroad to be reported as 1 credit more or 1 credit less than is listed in the IU bulletin. Once the IU grade and course equivalency information has been verified, Overseas Study produces grade reports for the Registrar and the recorder. Overseas Study lists the unequated courses as 100-level undistributed course work. When a department decides that those courses should be listed as upper-level undistributed credit or as an IU course, Overseas Study needs written documentation to that effect. It is important to note that until the equivalent IU courses and grades are posted, the student's IUCARE will not be a reliable indicator of the student's requirement or credit situation. Therefore, since the IUCARE report may be temporarily inaccurate, it is required that students check with Overseas Study to verify actual standing vis-a-vis requirements and degree completion. 10. Residency * a) MAJOR COURSES: Most departments are flexible in permitting courses taken overseas to count toward degree requirements. However, Overseas Study respects a department's requirement that students who study abroad still need a number of actual home campus credits (typically 10 for the major and 6 for the minor) before they receive a major or minor from that department. b) SENIOR RESIDENCY: All students on Overseas Study programs are registered at IU-Bloomington. However, credits earned by students who reach senior standing (usually 86 credits) on Overseas Study programs satisfy the senior residency requirement on their home campus (e.g., IUB, IUPUI, IPFW, etc.). This policy facilitates study abroad for students unable to go abroad until their fourth year of college. When a transfer student to IU decides to go abroad after only one or two semesters on an IU campus, the student's school reserves the right to re-evaluate the student's "senior residency" credits from abroad so that the transfer student will have enough on-campus credit to justify a degree from that school. Students from an IU campus other than Bloomington are registered administratively as special non-degree students on the IUB campus for their time abroad, but they earn credits toward the home campus degree. Consequently, if a student wishes to pursue an IU-Bloomington degree after the study abroad program, the student will have to fulfill the senior residency requirement on the Bloomington campus before qualifying for the degree. The student may have to satisfy the major department's residency requirement in Bloomington as well. Likewise, if an IUB student who spends a year abroad wishes to complete his or her studies on another IU campus, he or she will have to determine the impact on the residency requirement with the degree-granting campus. 11. Grading Policies * a) The Office of Overseas Study includes grades for all IU overseas course work in the student's cumulative GPA. b) On many programs, particularly summer and short-term programs, IU faculty are responsible for assessing the student's work. In these cases, the faculty use the same rigorous, discriminating grading criteria they use at home. In cases of field study experiences, the faculty are necessarily diligent in establishing clear criteria to evaluate non-classroom academic exercises. Overseas Study course work abroad is as rigorous as on-campus course work and Overseas Study assumes its faculty abroad takes special care to devise discriminating criteria to assess students' work. c) When grades are given by faculty from the host country using that country's grading scale, equivalency scales are used to translate the grades to U.S. grades. These scales are not a mere adaptation to the U.S. percentage or letter grade system, but rather are designed to match the spirit of the host country grading system with the U.S. one. The same variation that occurs between the differing demands of professors here at IU is likely to occur with teachers abroad and Overseas Study does not make adjustments to the grading scale on this count. d) In the interest of promoting rigor, Overseas Study does not include A+ on equivalency scales and awards an A+ for courses abroad only in rare circumstances. A+ grades are reserved for exceptional cases and are awarded the same GPA weight as an A. e) To challenge a grade from a co-sponsored program, the student should send a detailed written explanation, with a copy to Overseas Study, directly to the co-sponsoring agency (e.g., IES, CIEE) which, in turn, will forward the information to the program site. To challenge a grade on an IU-faculty led program, the student should send a copy of the explanation to the professor in question with a copy to the Office of Overseas Study. To challenge a grade on any other IU- administered program, the student should send the explanation to the Office of Overseas Study, which will send it to the program site. If the professor in any of these cases does not revise the grade and the student feels that an inequity has occurred, he or she may write an appeal to the Director of the Office of Overseas Study. Students should not expect the Office of Overseas Study to change grades except in rare and well-documented cases. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Overseas Study Home Page | IU Bloomington Home Page Last updated: October 23, 2002 Comments: overseas@indiana.edu Copyright 2002, The Trustees of Indiana University ------------------------------------------------------------------------