Center For Global Education

Policies Regarding Study Abroad

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Study Abroad Approval

The Center for Global Education is responsible for coordinating and monitoring study abroad activity at the University. Students interested in studying abroad must obtain approval to do so from the Center for Global Education. To be approved and registered for study abroad the academic year, students must select a program from the list of Approved Programs for Overseas Study and submit completed study abroad pre-departure forms prior to the start of the program. Students who do not do so will not be registered for study abroad status and risk breaking their enrollment with the University.

Required Forms and Procedures for Study Abroad

All students planning to study abroad are required to obtain a Study Abroad Pre-Departure Packet and complete the pre-departure forms during the semester prior to departure. These forms are submitted to the Center for Global Education by the end of the semester prior to departure and are required of all participants in order to be registered for study abroad status, receive any available financial assistance and obtain appropriate credit for coursework taken abroad. The pre-departure forms include the:

  • Declaration of Intent to Study Abroad
  • Study Abroad Course Approval Form
  • Statement of Financial Responsibility
  • Assumption of Risk and Release Form

To be approved and registered for study abroad status during the academic year, students must select a study abroad program approved by Butler and submit completed copies of the study abroad pre-departure paperwork forms.


Students may choose to study for a semester, year or summer vacation period. All students who wish to study abroad must obtain approval in advance for participation and apply through the Center for Global Education. Interested students may study abroad during their sophomore and junior year and possibly their senior year if their academic dean approves their petition to intrude upon their final 30 hours at Butler. First-year students are not permitted to study abroad during the academic year. Transfer students must complete one full semester prior to departure to be eligible. All students must meet specific requirements and deadlines in order to be eligible to participate in a study abroad program.

Approved Programs for Overseas Study

The Center for Global Education maintains Butler's list of Approved Programs for Overseas Study. This list of overseas study opportunities offers a wide variety of options to Butler students interested in studying abroad during the academic year. All programs on the list meet Butler's high standards for academic excellence. Students are expected to select their overseas study program from the approved list. The programs fall into two broad categories: reciprocal exchanges and study abroad, in addition to some of Butler's own programs. Students can review the Approved Programs for Overseas Study on-line or pick up a copy from the Center for Global Education.

Academic Workload

Students participating in study abroad during the academic year must maintain full-time status with a minimum of 12 semester credits per semester. Students should check with their Academic Advisor to see how many credits and what courses are needed to fulfill graduation requirements. Students with any grants, loans or scholarships should check with the Financial Aid Office to determine the credit requirements to maintain eligibility for their specific grants, loans and scholarships.

Each College at Butler has specific requirements that must be met in order to receive a degree from Butler. In addition, many of the departments have specific residency requirements for majors and minors. You should check with your Academic Advisor in order to determine the specific residency requirements for your College, major(s) and minor(s).

Study Abroad Credit and Course Approvals

Students must use the Study Abroad Course Approval Form to obtain signature approval for courses they intend to take abroad. Students should take a copy of this form with them so that they know which courses have been approved. Course approvals should be obtained during their program abroad from the Head of the corresponding department. For example, if you intend to take a sociology course while abroad, then the Head of the Sociology Department must approve the course. You must submit course descriptions and/or syllabi to the professor for his/her use when considering approval. The professor is not required to approve your course without appropriate documentation.

Students should obtain more course approvals than their schedule will hold in order to allow for substitutions in case some classes are full or unavailable upon arrival at the program site. Course changes that occur while overseas that have not been approved by Butler faculty prior to departure MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED upon return. Prior approval on the Study Abroad Course Approval Form by the appropriate department heads will serve as preliminary approval of credit for all successfully completed courses and will help ensure that students meet academic/financial aid enrollment requirements. Any course changes that occur overseas must be reported to your academic advisor immediately and a request for course approval should be submitted via email to the appropriate department head. A copy of the correspondence should also be sent to the Center for Global Education.

Course approvals should be written on the Study Abroad Course Approval Form, but students may also obtain course approvals on Department letterhead or via e-mail while abroad, if necessary. Course approvals should have the exact course title and course number of the course abroad, Butler equivalent, and the signature (or email approval) from the appropriate department. If a student takes courses abroad that were not pre-approved, the student must submit course approvals upon return to campus.

Please Note: Registration and Records will post study abroad credits to the Butler transcript based on the amount of credit indicated on the transcript received from abroad and not based solely on the Butler course equivalency. (ie: European credit is often measured in ECTS.  For instance, 2 ECTS = 1 Butler credit) Your study abroad credit will only be applied to your Butler audit once ALL course approvals have been submitted.

Documents for Posting Study Abroad Credit

To receive credit for courses taken abroad, participants must submit the following items to the Center for Global Education:

  • Completed Declaration of Intent to Study Abroad
  • Course approval for each course taken abroad
  • Official transcript upon completion of the program

Upon completion of the term abroad, students must have an official transcript sent directly to the Center for Global Education from the study abroad program or university abroad. This transcript must be in a sealed envelope. Transcripts opened by the student, faxed copies of transcripts and unofficial transcripts will not be accepted. Transcripts must be on official letterhead or transcript paper and must list the student's name, courses taken and grades for each course. If any of these items are missing, the document will not be accepted.

Once the Center for Global Education has received the appropriate documents, the Center for Global Education will evaluate the transcript and verify that course approvals have been obtained for each course abroad. If all the documentation is present, then the original transcript and all course approvals are forwarded to Registration and Records for posting. If the student is missing course approvals, s/he is notified and the transcript and remaining course approvals are forwarded to Registration and Records. Courses will appear as the titles are listed on the study abroad transcript within the semester abroad on the Butler transcript. Grades will appear on the transcript, but they will not calculate into the GPA.

Many matters can delay the posting of study abroad credits:

  • the study abroad program or host institution may delay sending an official transcript to Butler;
  • the student might be missing necessary course approvals;
  • transcripts or course approvals could have been submitted to an office other than the Center for Global Education, to name a few.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the necessary documentation is submitted directly to the Center for Global Education.

Costs and Financial Aid Applicability for Study Abroad

Students who study abroad will pay Butler University tuition during their semester(s) abroad. Students are also billed any additional program charges such as room, board, and orientation expenses. Butler pays the program fee directly to the program on the student's behalf. Students are responsible for paying the enrollment deposit directly to the program. This deposit is then credited toward the Butler charges. In all cases, transportation, immunizations, books, optional program activities and personal expenses are paid by the student.

Students who participate in reciprocal exchange programs - through Butler's bilateral exchanges or ISEP - may apply 100 percent of their Butler institutional financial aid to their tuition for their semester(s) abroad. Those who participate in approved study abroad programs may apply 50 percent of their Butler institutional financial aid toward their tuition for their study abroad semester(s). In most cases, federal and state aid will apply to study abroad costs if the student is currently receiving aid. Students who receive federal or Butler financial assistance or scholarships are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid should they have questions about how study abroad may affect their financial package. There is a limit of two semesters for being able to use Butler's institutional financial aid toward study abroad.

Financial questions you should consider:

  • What does the program fee cover? What additional costs will you incur?
  • Is your program choice compatible with financial aid eligibility?
  • If you are counting on financial aid, do you know how much you will receive?
  • Are there scholarships or grants available to you?
  • Have you already applied for aid or scholarships?


Your study abroad program provider will send the invoice directly to the Center for Global Education for processing and you will receive a Butler bill, as normal. The confirmation deposit that you submit to your program provider will be deducted from your BU bill. Students and parents may continue with BU's payment plan by completing the payment plan form that accompanies the first billing statement. Please contact the Center for Global Education if you have any questions about study abroad costs.

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