If you’ve researched all of BU’s programs and exchanges and cannot find one that matches your academic or personal goals then an external program might be right for you.
If you need more clarification on any of these questions or want to discuss how feasible an external program will be for you, come in and speak with Alison Sprague, Program Manager of External Programs.
Here are the major questions that should be asked before pursuing an external program.
How do I pick a good program?
Selecting the right program may seem complicated – it helps to know what you want out of your study abroad experience. Alison Sprague, Program Manager, is more than happy to discuss all the different types of programs, destinations and BU policy considerations with you to narrow the search and find the program that is a good fit. Prior to meeting with the Alison, sit down and write at least three goals for study abroad. This will help her narrow down some options and prepare you for your discussion. Some questions to consider when setting your own expectations for a program are what type of living situation do you want to be in? How important are specific courses or an academic focus to you? How is this program going to enhance your degree? Do you want a program with lots of Americans or with more cultural integration? Is language learning important?
How will I know if the credit will transfer?
Alison Sprague, Program Manager of External Programs, will help you choose a program that will be eligible for transfer credit. In order for credit to be considered for transfer you must first have the program approved by BU Study Abroad. If you consult with Alison, pick an approved program, follow the credit transfer requirements outlined here and make sure the courses are approved before you leave for your study abroad program you should know before you go abroad if and how the courses will transfer to BU.
Will the credit count towards my degree requirements?
Maybe. Each of the colleges and schools (and some of the departments) at BU have transfer credit policies that influence how transfer credit can be applied to a degree. Therefore, it is important that you speak with an academic advisor to determine what is and is not allowable before you start the process. If you choose an acceptable program, then credit for general electives should transfer. In the past, students have applied External Study Abroad transfer credit to major and minor degree requirements. However, this is determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with your academic advisor/counselor and the BU Study Abroad Program Manager, Alison Sprague.
Will my financial aid transfer?
If the program is approved, Federal and state grants and loans will transfer in addition to private loans. However, NO BU scholarships or grants will transfer as you are taking a leave of absence and not enrolled at Boston University. Also, keep in mind that the leave of absence might take your loans out of deferment. Check with your financial aid advisor to see if this will affect you. While BU specific aid will not transfer, many students can find additional aid through outside scholarships such as the Gilman Scholarship, The Fund for Education Abroad, and many more.
Can I live on campus after I return from an external study abroad program?
If you live on campus, you will lose your place in the housing queue and will need to petition to be re-entered into the housing pool—see the BU On-Campus Housing section on the Before You Go page.
Are there any extra fees?
Yes. It is minimal but there is a $600 external program fee that will be put on your BU account if you elect to participate on an external program for the semester or year. Otherwise, you’ll pay all tuition and housing costs directly to the program or university you study with.
Alison Sprague, the Program Manager for External Programs, holds regular office hours throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. During the Summer Term, Alison is available by appointment only. Fall and Spring Walk-in advising hours are:
- Tuesdays from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- Additional meeting times can be arranged by appointment.