Advising & Recommendations
As part of the study abroad application process, students are required to obtain approval from their academic advisers. Academic advising is a critical part in preparing a Smith student to maximize the study abroad experience.
When faculty members speak with a student about studying abroad, they may want to ask the student to complete the following form prior to the initial meeting:
This form asks students to identify their preferences among key aspects of the study abroad experience.
Faculty can use the Smith International Travel Experiences System (SITES) to peruse programs that are on the Approved List. This is also the site where students will be submitting their applications for study abroad approval.
The approval process requires students to identify courses specific to their major, minor or certificate programs. Each department has the authority to preapprove courses that replace either core requirements or upper-level electives.
When speaking with students about their study abroad plans, it is most helpful if you discuss the following objectives:
- Academic preparation for study abroad, including meeting the 3.0 GPA and prerequisites for study abroad programs.
- Students must take a full load of credit while abroad. In very few cases is there a one-to-one correlation between credits offered by a program/host university and Smith credits, therefore it's important that the student understand what is considered to be a full load at her study abroad destination. For full-load equivalencies visit the program descriptions by region.
- Consider major and degree requirements. Does the student have a plan to complete both and how does study abroad fit into that plan?
- Inform the student of particular terms that may be best for study abroad (e.g., engineering might be taken second-semester sophomore year while psychology students might be encouraged to complete the 300-level stat course(s) before studying abroad).
- Discuss study abroad course options with students and suggest courses that may be particularly helpful for the major/minor.
- Be familiar with major/minor requirements and know which ones students may be able to take abroad and which requirements must be fulfilled at Smith.
- Help students plan a course sequence that leaves a "flexible term" abroad with more elective options.
- Discuss courses that may only be offered during a specific term on campus, which would interfere with study abroad during that specific term.
- Remind students that the Plan of Study (PDF) they submit during the study abroad approval process is not "etched in stone" and that it's likely that the courses she actually ends up taking once she is abroad will change.
If this is the case, students need to submit a Course Change form (found on the For Students Abroad page). The form will be sent to the assistant dean for international study who will let the student know if the new course(s) are approved for credit toward the degree. Students will need to be in direct contact with their academic advisers regarding any courses in which they are seeking major credit.