For Advisors

Advising for Global Success

Academic advising is a crucial step for Global Spartans before, during, and after their study abroad program experience. Before applying to study abroad, students meet with the Study Abroad and Away team to discuss their goals and program options AND with their academic advisor to ensure that the program fulfills their graduation requirements and fits into their overall degree plan.

Why Advise Students to Study Abroad?

“Many colleges and universities now emphasize courses and programs that help students explore cultures, life experiences, and worldviews different from their own. These studies—which may address US diversity, world cultures, or both—often explore difficult differences such as racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, or continuing struggles around the globe for human rights, freedom, and power. Frequently, intercultural studies are augmented by experiential learning in the community and/or by study abroad.”

High-Impact Practices, The American Association of Colleges and Universities

We offer study abroad & away experiences for our students to:

  • Earn SJSU credit abroad
  • Take classes in another country
  • Immerse themselves in another culture and language
  • Build a global network
  • Develop valuable cross-cultural skills essential to today's global society
  • Improve their competitive edge in the job market

Academic Approval Process

Students going on a semester or year-long program need to get their study abroad courses pre-approved by their Advisors. 

Students who are accepted into an SJSU Exchange, ISEP, or CSU IP semester or year-long program are required to complete the Academic Approval Form (AAF) via DocuSign prior to leaving for their study abroad program. The AAF allows the Study Abroad and Away office to apply the credits students take abroad to the equivalent SJSU course. If students enroll in any courses that were not on the original AAF, they can submit a new AAF while abroad. The form is optional for Summer School Abroad students who wish to obtain major and/or minor credit for their Summer School Abroad courses. Please find the links below for the required forms and procedures so you can support students who are requesting course approvals for their semester, year-long, or Summer School Abroad programs:

General Education (GE) Requirements: The Undergraduate Education (UE) office reviews and approves all GE requirement requests. Students can find the process to request course approvals at Study Abroad GE Approval Process.

Business Major and Minor Requirements:  The Jack Holland Student Success Center has their own academic approval form that students complete for any Business course approvals. The JHSSC has the authority to approve or deny any Business major or minor courses. Students are instructed to book an appointment with a business advisor for consultation and instructions on completing the Business Academic Approval Form.

General University Electives: Students who wish to take courses abroad as general university electives must complete this Academic Approval Form; the Study Abroad & Away office approves all general university electives. This is the same form as the one below (for all other major and minor requirements).

All Other Major and Minor Requirements: Students who plan to study abroad for a semester or year-long program should meet with their major advisor to discuss the major courses they plan to take abroad, and their minor advisor to discuss the minor courses they plan to take abroad. For all non-business major and minor courses, students will use this Academic Approval Form (this is the same form for students to request general university electives) to request approvals from their major and/or minor advisors for courses they plan to take abroad. We recommend students list more courses to be approved than they plan to take abroad in case some classes are not offered. Students will submit the form to their major and/or minor advisors for course approvals, listing the study abroad course names, SJSU units, and uploading a syllabus. Major and/or minor advisors will receive the DocuSign form in their email, review the syllabus, and have the authority to determine whether the course will count as an SJSU equivalent course or a major and/or minor elective. For major and/or minor electives, advisors should list the prefix of the course (e.g. GLST, ANTH, JS, etc.) along with “192” if it will count as an upper division major and/or minor elective credit, or “92” if it will count as a lower division major and/or minor elective credit (e.g. GLST 192 or GLST 92).

It typically takes 2-4 months for host universities to report students’ grades to SJSU after their program ends. Once host university transcripts are received and students have submitted all required Academic Approval Forms to the Study Abroad and Away office, the Study Abroad and Away office reports all courses attempted to the Office of the Registrar, which are then posted to the student’s SJSU academic record as resident credit. Please assist the student with completing campus-based petitions (e.g. course substitution forms) if needed.

Thank you for supporting our study abroad and away students! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our office at

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out these frequently asked questions for Academic Advisors compiled by the Study Abroad & Away Team. 
  • Who is eligible to study abroad?
    Please find eligibility requirements for students under Getting Started: Academics. To be eligible for semester or year-long programs, students should have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 at the time of application and they cannot be on academic or disciplinary probation by the time the program begins. To be eligible for a short-term program, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 at the time of application and they cannot be on academic or disciplinary probation by the time the program begins. Both undergraduate and graduate students can study abroad, however, most programs are geared toward undergraduate students.
  • What are the approved study abroad and away programs?
    The Study Abroad & Away office manages over 300 programs around the world which have been vetted and approved by the university. Please direct your students to the Spartans Abroad Portal where they can view approved program options by locations, program types, terms, and other filters. It is not recommended that students study abroad on non-SJSU approved programs, however if students have questions about this, they can email
  • What kind of credits do students receive when they study abroad?

    Participants in SJSU study abroad programs at partner universities (all semester and year-long programs and Summer School Abroad programs) are guaranteed to receive “resident credit” (SJSU credit) for all coursework taken at partner universities. This means that units taken on SJSU programs will count towards overall graduation unit requirements. Course equivalencies for major, minor, or General Education requirements are determined and approved by advisors in corresponding departments. All coursework taken abroad on these programs will be posted on the students’ official SJSU records/transcripts after we receive the official transcripts from the host university (usually 2-4 months after completion of the term) and complete Academic Approval Forms from students. Courses will appear on the SJSU transcript as either SJSU equivalent courses or with the appropriate departmental prefix and 92 or 192, with a notation of the university and country where the student studied abroad.

    Participants on Faculty-Led Programs will also receive “resident credit” (SJSU credit) that will count towards overall graduation unit requirements. Courses will appear on the SJSU transcript similar to other courses taken on campus, as they are SJSU courses taught by SJSU faculty.

  • Do the courses students take abroad count for a grade?
    All courses taken for a grade abroad will be factored into students’ GPA. The SJSU Study Abroad and Away office does not perform grade conversions or grading curves for classes taken at partner universities; grade conversions are performed by SJSU’s international credit evaluator. Students studying abroad can take elective classes as credit/no credit (pass/no pass) only if their host university offers credit/no credit. This does not apply to any classes earning major, minor or GE area credit. In order to take a class as credit/no credit abroad, students will have to communicate directly with their host university for their academic policies regarding taking elective courses as credit/no credit. SJSU will only honor credit/no credit if it is reflected on the host university transcript and if the course(s) will not count towards major, minor, or GE requirements.
  • How do students register for classes when they study abroad?

    Registration procedures vary depending on the program.

    For semester and year-long programs, students will receive an email from the Study Abroad and Away office to enroll in a placeholder course via MySJSU. They will also enroll in the courses they plan to take abroad at their host university. Some partner universities allow students to register early and courses are confirmed before arrival. Others have students register upon arrival or during the first few weeks of class. Students should have alternate choices for courses in case some classes are not offered. Students should not be registered in courses at SJSU while studying abroad unless they are taking an online SJSU course in addition to classes at their host university. Students are limited to taking a single online course at SJSU while abroad on their semester or year-long program.

    For Faculty-Led Programs (FLP) and Summer School Abroad programs  (SSA), students will receive an email from the Study Abroad and Away office notifying them when their course registration is open. Students will have a specific window of time, from the date of the notice to the stated deadline, to register for their program course online through their MySJSU account. Students who participate in an FLP or SSA enroll in a particular SJSU course (or multiple courses).

  • Is there financial aid or scholarships for students to study abroad?
    Yes! Both financial aid and scholarships are available for students studying abroad. There are even scholarships specifically for study abroad students! See the Finances page for more information.
  • Where can students find out more information about studying abroad?
    Students can email for any study abroad questions or book an appointment with any of the study abroad advisors under About Us: Meet the Team.

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