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Academic Advisors

Academic Advising & Study Abroad

The Basics
Course Finder
Course Approval
Evaluating Transcripts
Implications for Graduation

Academic advisors play an integral role in the study abroad process at EIU. Please use this page as a resource for any questions you may have about advising a student in their course selection for study abroad. An additional resource is the Best Practices for Home Institution Academic Advising for Education Abroad, published by the Forum on Education Abroad. This document (page 31) provides guidance for all advisors to work with their students.  For any additional information about studying abroad, or programs, please contact our office. 

Approved 2020 Faculty-led Programs 

STA4000G: Study Abroad Capstone
  • Students can take this 1 credit hour course to fulfill their senior-seminar requirement, after completing a successful study abroad experience and 75 semester hours. Students should be mindful of the number of credits they need to fulfill graduation requirements. 
  • In STA4000G, students will exercise their abilities to think critically about their global education experiences. They will develop, summarize, and synthesize their individualized experience through readings, assignments, a reflective piece that may be submitted to the Electronic Writing Portfolio, an individualized project and a presentation. Full course proposal/information with outline can be downloaded from the CAA website.
  • STA4000G meets for 15 weeks, 1 day a week, for 50 minutes.
  • STA4000G is graded (standard letter) and each section is limited to 25 students.
  • Honors students are eligible for STA4000G; however they are still required to take 25 semester hours of honors courses, which includes the 4 credit hour honor senior seminar. 
  • Transfer students are not eligible for STA4000G even if they have a previous study abroad experience. Per the course passed through CAA, the prerequisite indicates that the students must have 75 hours and an EIU study abroad experience completed. 
  • When students select a program, they are also prepped for STA4000G and encouraged to journal while abroad. They may refer to and use this journal later when they are enrolled in the course.
  • STA4000G cannot be offered online at this time.
See the catalog listing here.

Please note the following prerequisites: Must have completed an approved study abroad program and 75 semester hours at the time of enrollment.

The Basics

Students who wish to study abroad must be enrolled full time and in good standing at EIU. This means a minimum GPA of 2.0, and not be on disciplinary probation at the time of application. The William V. Weber Program in Study Abroad (WWSA) reviews each applicant in an academic and judicial screening.

There are many different funding options for EIU students who wish to study abroad. First and foremost, it's important to know that financial aid awarded to students at EIU can likely travel with those students abroad. If your student has questions about the financial aid process for study abroad, they should contact Paula Coartney at or 217-581-6405, as she works with all students studying abroad. 

Additionally, the William V. Weber Program in Study Abroad offers financial need-based and merit-based scholarships which can range between $500 and $2,000 per student. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 at the time of application. Questions about scholarships should be directed to WWSA or can also be answered by visiting our scholarship webpage here.

A student can study abroad at any time during their academic career at EIU. As early as the second semester freshman year, students can inquire about short-term programs like spring break or summer, and start planning ahead for long term programs in their sophomore, junior and senior years.

Transfer students are welcome to apply when they first arrive at EIU, provided that they meet the general criteria as stated above.

Students can no longer take courses abroad pass / fail. All courses taken abroad are taken for credit, and the grade (except in the case of CR / NC internships or similar arrangements). Therefore, if a student comes home with all A's - that factors into their GPA. If they come home with a failing grade, that will also factor into their GPA and noted on their transcript.

Course Finder

If students have previously taken courses abroad through any of our 30+ international partner schools, their courses were approved by department chairs. The Course Finder acts as a database for these archived courses, and allows students to search for pre-approved courses.

For example, if a previous student enrolled in "Intro to Interpersonal Communication" at Florence University of the Arts, they will find that course pre-approved by the Communication Studies department chair for the EIU course, CMN 2630.

Course Approval

Students can study abroad on both long and short-term programming. Long term programs such as semester or academic year abroad require course approvals. This means that students are required to sit down with their academic advisor, and possibly their academic department chair, to confirm which classes they are able to take while abroad.

Why do we refer to academic advisors in this part of the process? You're the experts. WWSA does not offer course advice and is not privy to each student's academic curriculum or plan. By sitting down with you, the student is not only sharing their plans for an experience abroad, but also making sure that they understand what courses are available and how to stay on track for graduation.

Take a look at the course approval form here.

In the case of short term programs, particularly faculty-led programs, courses are pre-approved by the faculty leader and the corresponding department chair. All faculty-led applications will have a course selection form that is required.

While abroad, students are enrolled in a placeholder course - example: STA 3961 for 12 credits. When they return, their courses are evaluated per the process below.

Evaluating Transcripts

All students receive a certificate of completion or transcript from their host institution abroad. With the completed course approval form and the transcript, WWSA will evaluate courses and grades. The transcript evaluation is forwarded to the Registrar and processed there.

If for any reason a student does not pay their bill to their host institution, that school reserves the right to hold the transcript. Students will have a "DC" on their PAWS account until the bill is paid, and the transcript is evaluated.

Implications for Graduation

WWSA works closely with the college certification officers to confirm that courses, grades and transcripts transfer seamlessly for study abroad participants. Some times a student may need to delay graduation in order to complete a course - this is common in the summer months. For example - a student scheduled to graduate in May is taking a summer study abroad course. It is recommended that they apply for graduation in August, and we will insure that their transcripts are up to date in time for that process.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the study abroad process, please don't hesitate to contact our office.