With language, liberal arts, fine arts, science, business, engineering, and internship programs in over 30 cities and 20 countries, we offer study abroad opportunities for students from all majors and interests. As you begin to plan your study abroad experience, it is important to select a program that aligns with your academic goals.

  1. MEET WITH AN ACADEMIC ADVISOR: Once you find a program or even before, when you start to think about the possibility of study abroad, it is crucial to check with your academic advisor to discuss how study abroad will fit into your academic plan. BU Study Abroad is not able to advise on course equivalencies or substitutions, or courses counting toward majors and minors—only your advisor and school can do thatso plan to meet with your advisor early in the thought/planning process.
  2. CHECK SYLLABI AND COURSE INFORMATION: Once you find a program that interests you, check the program page on the BU Study Abroad website to see the course offerings; often, sample syllabi will be posted. For direct-enroll programs, the course offerings for the program will be communicated to you by the program manager or program staff.

Boston University–administered study abroad programs offer fully accredited Boston University courses taught by highly qualified and experienced faculty. All courses taught directly by Boston University at one of our program sites carry an official Boston University course number. This means that the course has been approved through Boston University’s rigorous curriculum-approval process, including review and approval at the departmental and college levels at Boston University.

Performance guidelines and academic policies are the same as those established in the Boston University Undergraduate Programs Bulletin and the Boston University Academic Conduct CodeAll students studying on a Boston University Study Abroad program are expected to maintain high standards of academic honesty and integrity. It is the responsibility of every student to be aware of the Academic Conduct Code’s contents and to abide by its provisions.


For Boston University students, grades earned on your off-campus program will appear on your Boston University transcript and will be averaged into your grade point average as they normally would.

Non-BU students should check with their home institution to determine whether or not the grades earned will appear on the home institution’s transcript or how the coursework will be transferred. Keep in mind that all students will have a permanent record at Boston University. Should you apply to graduate school at a later date, you may be required to submit an official transcript from each institution you have attended, including Boston University.


All academic commitments must be completed before students leave the program site; no incompletes are permitted on study abroad programs. Students who do not complete a course on time will fail the course. All courses must be taken for credit; students are not permitted to audit courses or to take courses on a pass/fail basis. All courses will be assigned a letter grade.

For students on internship programs, unsuccessful completion of any course preceding the internship period may make them ineligible for placement in an internship.

Students enrolled in an internship program must complete the internship and all the academic work related to it, regardless of the transfer credit policy of their home institution. The internship is both an academic and a professional endeavor. Students are expected to fulfill all the requirements of the program, including the internship and the corresponding academic coursework.

Students will be informed of any additional academic policies that apply to their specific program.


All courses offered by Boston University Study Abroad are fully approved by the appropriate curriculum and faculty committees at Boston University. The academic designation for each course is drawn from the following schools, colleges, and departments on the Boston University Charles River Campus:

CAS College of Arts & Sciences
CFA College of Fine Arts
CGS College of General Studies
COM College of Communication
ENG College of Engineering
GRS Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Questrom Questrom School of Business
SAR College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College
SED School of Education
SHA School of Hospitality Administration
SPH School of Public Health


Upon successful completion of courses taken through our programs, students earn 15–20 Boston University credits per semester, depending on the program.

The assignment of credit for courses offered through Boston University Study Abroad is consistent with Boston University’s policy on Credit Assignment to Academic Courses.

Colleges and universities generally accept Boston University courses for transfer credit in their degree programs, provided the student passes each course with a grade of C or C–, or better. Students should check with their home institutions to determine all credit-transfer policies.

To make certain students get credit at their home school for their courses abroad, we require the completion of a “Support of Participation Form” as part of the application process. This form asks the study abroad advisor, dean, or registrar (whoever is responsible for approving transfer credit) to indicate whether the student received approval for off-campus study and whether he/she will be permitted to transfer credit for courses taken on our program.

While transfer credit is generally assured, we urge all students to obtain approval from their advisors for the courses they intend to take—especially if they want these courses to fulfill specific requirements (divisional, major, minor, concentration, elective). Students should obtain approval in advance for alternate courses as well.

Consultation with their advisor beforehand will help students make informed choices. Students should provide their academic advisor with full information about the course offerings on the program in which they will be enrolled. Students will want to confirm which courses they may take to fulfill major, minor, and departmental requirements and which courses they may take for elective credit. Therefore, should they need to change their course enrollment, they will know which alternate courses they may take. Boston University students should also use this advising session to obtain approval for the courses they will take the semester following their time abroad.


According to Chapter 151C of the General Laws, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, any student in an educational or vocational training institution, other than a religious or denominational educational or vocational training institution, who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day, shall be excused from any such examination or study or work requirement, and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up such examination, study, or work requirement that may have been missed because of such absence on any particular day; provided, however, that such makeup examinations or work shall not create an unreasonable burden upon such school. No fees of any kind shall be charged by the institution for making available to the said students such opportunity. No adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to students because of their availing themselves of the provisions of this section.

Students who have questions about practicing their religion while abroad should contact Boston University Study Abroad.

In addition, Boston University Study Abroad has developed the following academic policies and procedures.

Students who enroll in a course or courses at a university whose policies, teaching methods, and grading systems differ from Boston University’s must read carefully the academic policies in place when studying at a foreign university.  

Academic Policies for Direct Enroll/Exchange Programs


Each student receives an official Boston University transcript upon successful completion of the program. Transcripts are released four to six weeks after the conclusion of a study abroad program.

Upon acceptance to the program, non-BU students complete a Transcript Release form, which grants permission to release the official transcript to a third party and which specifies where the transcript should be sent. Students must confirm with their home institution the office and address to which the transcript should be sent.

Transcripts are mailed only to students whose accounts are paid in full. Arrangements can be made to send the official transcript directly to the student’s home institution. Transcripts are released to students once their Boston University student account is settled and all charges are paid in full.

Students will also receive an unofficial copy of their transcript at their home address.

For more than 30 years, Boston University Study Abroad international internship programs have combined coursework in a particular academic area with a professional work experience. These two strategies—classroom (or theoretical) training and professional (or practical) experience ground students in the reality of daily life in the host culture, while also enabling an increased understanding of international professional culture.

The internship placement is a component of a larger, integrated academic experience, typically a 4-credit course in a 16-credit semester.

The internship itself exhibits these characteristics:

  • It is academically directed. The internship is a discrete course, supervised by faculty members, and carrying academic requirements.
  • Its grades and academic credit are based on explicit requirements detailed in a course syllabus.
  • It is credit-bearing and unpaid. The internship placement itself cannot otherwise be conceived as part of an academic program.
  • Whenever possible, its language (both in the workplace and in the classroom) is the language of the host culture.
  • Its scheduling is meant to allow the student to carry out projects of significance for his or her employer while allowing normal contact hours for the accompanying classroom-based courses.


Assessment is a combination of written work, participation in the internship seminar, and the internship supervisor’s evaluation. The internship course syllabus will indicate the specific grading and assessment criteria.

All assessment is performed by qualified teaching faculty, the resident director, or a qualified academic contracted specifically for this purpose.

Upon acceptance to an internship program, students will be provided with materials stating the academic expectations and requirements of the internship. These include:

  • The placement process
  • Suggestions on how to prepare résumés and how to conduct oneself during an interview
  • An introduction to daily work life in the host culture and the behavioral expectations placed on the student

Study Abroad Student Learning Outcomes

Boston University Study Abroad assesses student learning outcomes for each of its programs on an ongoing basis. Study Abroad faculty review student learning and achievement with respect to program goals and outcomes. While assessment takes place regularly at the course level as faculty evaluate and grade student work, program assessment takes this evaluation to the next level to ask how the various parts of the curriculum are working together to promote student learning.