Academic Advising for Study Abroad
Lamar University's academic advisement team are key members in our efforts to promote study abroad opportunities to our students. As incoming freshmen, students should be encouraged to consider study abroad as part of their undergraduate experience. Advisors from every discipline should point out the value of making this type of investment. Study Abroad takes considerable planning and advisors can look at their overall degree plan and help students see when it would make the most sense to study abroad and what degree requirements might be best met while abroad. We can't underestimate the importance of strategic planning!
Below are some tips to make advising about study abroad an easy and successful process:
- Study abroad programs are offered by every academic college at Lamar University. Courses are available at the core level, the advanced undergraduate level, and for graduate students. If you have a student in your office, chances are there is an opportunity for her/him to study abroad.
- Most study abroad programs DO NOT have course prerequisites, though faculty-led programs in Business and Engineering typically require junior standing for participation. Are you advising an outstanding freshman or sophomore who might not have the correct standing, but still wants to study abroad? Don't tell her/him "no" without first checking with the Office of Study Abroad. Occasionally exceptions can be made.
- Faculty-led study abroad programs typically last from 2 to 4 weeks and run during the summer terms. That said, we are seeing more and more faculty-led programs during winter break and spring break. If you have a student who can't study abroad during the summer, but would still benefit from the experience, keep in mind these alternative break opportunities!
- Summer programs are usually vetted and approved in the preceding September. Courses, activities, and budgets are planned in advance. Advisement during the fall semester is a great time to start planting the seed for summer study abroad.
- LU study abroad courses are either "already on the books" courses tweaked to fit the study abroad experience or new special problems/selected topics courses designed just for the purpose of leading students abroad in their field of study. If you have questions about how the course will count in the students' degree plans, contact the appropriate Department Chair or the Office of Study Abroad - we're happy to help!
- Students wishing to study abroad on a non-LU program who intend to transfer the courses back to LU must have their credits approved prior to departure. The Office of Study Abroad has a clear process for transfer course approval - send students our way to get the paperwork started!
- The Office of Study Abroad is always happy to talk with parents about our programs. You might hear from a student that they want to go abroad, but their parents are skeptical about costs, courses, or safety. Please encourage the student to make an appointment for their parents to meet with Dr. Palis. We value the support of parents and really appreciate the opportunity to explain the details of study abroad to all concerned parties.