Exchange & Affiliate Credit Process

Students participating in an exchange program or an affiliate provider program will go through the same process to determine what UNC Charlotte academic credit they will receive for the courses they take abroad.

Phase 1: Research Process

Many times students ask us, "my major is 'x' and my minor is 'y.' I want to study abroad in 'z' country. What is the perfect program for me?" The answer is, we don't know! It will depend on a lot of different factors, including things such as how far you are along in your major, what types of courses you're looking to take, what language you want these courses to be administered in, where you want to study abroad, how long you want to study abroad and what your budget is. Those are a lot of factors! For this reason, we recommend starting with the following steps:

  • Meet with your Academic Advisor(s) to determine what UNC Charlotte courses you need to take to complete graduation requirements. Make a list of these courses and find their course descriptions on the appropriate UNC Charlotte academic department's website. As your Advisor(s) if they have any recommendations regarding which of these courses you should try to take abroad
  • Once you have this list, keep it in front of you while you research programs. Try to find a program that offers courses that have similar titles and similar course descriptions. A list of available courses should be available on the host university or affiliate provider's website. If you're having trouble locating the list of courses, try contacting the host university or affiliate provider directly
  • Once you find a program that appears to have a decent amount of courses within your area(s) of study that you believe would work for your graduation requirements, begin the application process

Phase 2: Applying

During the application process and depending on which program you're applying to, the host university, third party or affiliate provider may ask you for your proposed list of courses. Note that, at this point in time, you will not have definitive paperwork completed yet that indicates what the UNC Charlotte equivalency is for each course. However, many times you are able to make changes to this list of courses you provide later on.

Phase 2: Post-Approval

Once you have been approved by the Office of Education Abroad to study abroad the subsequent semester, you will be given access to a document called an Advising Agreement. You will print out all of the course descriptions and/or syllabi of the courses you would like to take abroad through the program you were approved to participate in and list these courses on the Advising Agreement. You will the submit all documentation to the corresponding academic department(s) at UNC Charlotte. The Department Chair of the corresponding academic department will then read each course description and/or syllabus and assign a UNC Charlotte equivalent course and credit hours. After each host course is assigned a UNC Charlotte equivalent course by the corresponding Department Chair, you will then obtain the signatures at the bottom of the form from your major academic department. Once the Advising Agreement is complete, you'll turn it into the Office of Education Abroad. We'll keep it on file until you return from your program.

Phase 3: While Abroad

The Office of Education Abroad will enroll you in an FRST study abroad placeholder course while you are abroad. This will keep you listed as an active student at UNC Charlotte, allowing you to receive financial aid or scholarship funds (if applicable and if registered for full-time status).

While you're abroad you may need to make changes to your schedule. If so, this is no problem! You'll need to complete another Advising Agreement when you get back to Charlotte. However, in order to know what UNC Charlotte credit you will receive for the new course(s) you will be taking, communicate with the corresponding Academic Department via email. Once they give you the equivalent course(s) in writing, you can then print out those emails later and present them to the department so that completing another Advising Agreement will be easy.

Although you may be in the middle of your study abroad program, you'll still need to think about the courses you need to register for at UNC Charlotte the semester you return to campus. You will receive an email both from your academic department(s) and from the Office of Education Abroad reminding you to enroll in courses the subsequent semester. You'll enroll in courses the same way you normally do online through your account.

Phase 4: Returning from Abroad

It can take anywhere from 1 - 6 months to receive your official transcript from your host university or affiliate provider. Note that the Office of Education Abroad can only accept original transcript sent directly from the host university of affiliate provider to our office in a sealed envelope. Electronic transcripts or opened envelopes containing the transcript handed in by the student will not be accepted.

Once the transcript is received, our office will check to see that all of the courses you had approved on your Advising Agreement match the courses listed in your official host university transcript. If there are any discrepancies, you will be notified and given instructions on what documentation you have to obtain. Otherwise, the Office of Education Abroad will send a memo with your A - F letter grades, Advising Agreement(s) and official transcript to the Office of the Registrar. It then takes 3 - 5 business days for the UNC Charlotte equivalent courses and corresponding letter grades to appear on your UNC Charlotte transcript, which will replace the FRST study abroad placeholder course. The words "Study Abroad - Host University Name" will be listed under the corresponding term to indicate you studied abroad that semester.