Faculty & Staff Information
Studying abroad is a valuable opportunity for your students to expand their global awareness while also enhancing their academic learning.
Studies show that students can develop leadership skills as well as develop an increase in maturity and confidence. Studying abroad also provides students with the skills that influence their career paths as well as encourages them to attend graduate school.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
- About SUNY Study Abroad
Studying abroad is an extraordinary experience that benefits students — academically, professionally, and personally. The positive impacts of cultural immersion, living independently, and meeting others from around the world remain long after a student has returned home.
Plattsburgh students have the opportunity to study abroad for a full semester, academic year, or a summer/winter term. In addition to the traditional university experience of studying abroad, programs also come in the form of internships, research opportunities, volunteer work, and faculty-led excursions.
Students may study on one of the programs administered by our office, or on a program offered by another SUNY institution. Combined, there are 700+ programs to choose from in locations that span the globe.
- The Advisor’s Role in Study Abroad
Advisors are not expected to know everything about study abroad (that’s what our office is for!), but you do play an essential role in getting your student where they would like to be. The most important piece of advice that you can give them is to plan early. Your role is to help students understand how study abroad can fit into their degree progress, choose classes that they will take during their program and when they return to Plattsburgh, and sign off on their Course Approval Form for Study Away Programs.
Please encourage all students who express interest to visit the Global Education Office for advising. We will help them narrow down programs that fit their needs and interest, and will explain the nuts and bolts of registration, financial aid, and costs.
Roles of GEO & Advisors in the Study Away Process
Student Shows Interest in Study Away
- GEO: Advise student on eligibility, program exploration, cost, scholarships and the application process.
- Advisor: Explain how study abroad will fit into degree progress the best time to study abroad encourage students to make contact with GEO.
Student Chooses a Program
- GEO: Prepare students to apply and provides assistance with the application process.
- Advisor: Review program’s coursework to determine its suitability to student’s degree.
Student is Accepted onto the Study Away Program
- GEO: Facilitate post-acceptance process, host pre-departure orientation.
- Advisor: Review and sign off on the Course Approval Form.
- Faculty Study Away Advising 101
Students are able to fulfill degree requirements while away, including major/minor classes, general education requirements, and elective credits. Students are recommended to save the following, as they may be easiest to fulfill during a study abroad experience:
- Major/minor electives
- Cognate requirements
- Electives/elective credits outside the major
- General education requirements
Major departmental coursework requirements may also be satisfied, subject to approval (see The Course Approval Process).
Aspects to consider when advising a student:
- Classes that require students to physically be on campus/can only be taken at Plattsburgh, and what term they are typically offered
- Study abroad cognate requirement (applicable to select majors)
- Unfulfilled general education requirements or elective credits
- The Course Approval Process
Since courses taken abroad can count towards a student’s degree progress, the Course Approval Form for Study Away Programs serves to identify course equivalencies, and to transfer credit from the host institution to the home institution upon completion of a program. Students are advised to meet with their academic advisor to review potential classes, and share any relevant information (course descriptions, syllabi, etc.) so that they can be assessed accurately.
Student must seek approval from the following parties under specific conditions:
- The academic advisor, in all circumstances
- The department chair for major, in all circumstances
- The department chair for minor, if the student anticipates taking coursework that will satisfy minor requirements
- The associate vice president of academic affairs, if the student anticipates taking coursework that will satisfy general education requirements
- Student financial services, if financial aid will be applied to the program
The global education office is the last party to receive and review the form before sending it to the registrar.
- Department chairs reserve the right to deny course equivalencies if they do not meet department standards.
- The global education office can make coursework recommendations to students, academic advisors and department chairs must ultimately make the final decision in evaluating courses taken abroad.
- The Course Approval Form may be revised while a student is abroad in the event that their schedule changes, or they wish to drop and pick up classes. Students will need to notify both their academic department and the global education office of this change.
- Students should review course descriptions at their host institution, select several possible options for each course they want to take, and bring those with them to you. We suggest students ask for pre-approval of eight courses in case they can’t get into a course or need to make other changes after they arrive.
- The Role of Financial Aid
Student financial services must review and sign the course approval form. Prior to doing so and before starting an application, students should meet with student financial services to discuss the cost of their program. Cost estimates are available online and are specific to each program and term.
In the event that a student needs to access their financial aid prior to the start of the Plattsburgh term (because their program date is earlier), the student should consult with student financial services to discuss options.
- Can I take students abroad or suggest a program?
Several faculty and staff members lead groups of students abroad for short periods of time each year. Leading such a program requires extra work and assumes some liability; however, the faculty and staff who have led these programs find them very rewarding. There’s no “cookie cutter” to help you design a program, but there are some general procedures to follow.
- Where can I find more information?
We welcome you to stop by or call the global education office at 518-564-3287 if you would like more information.
We also like to conduct brief information sessions during classes at the beginning of each semester. Fill out the Google Form below to request a visit to one of your classes. We also do study abroad presentations for faculty and staff meetings, which many departments and offices find very helpful!