Study Abroad Policies
Study Abroad Approval
The Center for Global Education (CGE) 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 CGE. To be approved and registered for study abroad the academic year, students must select a program from the List of Approved Programs 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 Pre-Departure Forms and Procedures
Please see our Study Abroad Pre-Departure webpage for more information on how to be registered for study abroad status, receive any available financial assistance, and obtain appropriate credit for coursework taken abroad.
Students may choose to study for a semester, year, or summer term. All students who wish to study abroad must obtain approval in advance for participation and apply through the CGE. Interested students may study abroad during their sophomore and junior year, as well as 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.
The CGE maintains Butler's List of Approved Programs. This list of study abroad 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 List of Approved Programs. The programs on the list fall into three broad categories: Exchanges, Faculty-Led, and 3rd Party Provider. These three types of programs, as well as information on how study abroad courses apply to a student's Butler account, how financial aid applies to study abroad experiences, application requirements/deadlines, and more, are discussed at the CGE's monthly Study Abroad Information Sessions.
Students participating in study abroad for a semester or year must maintain full-time student status with a minimum of 12 U.S. semester credits per semester. Students should check with their Academic Advisor to see what semester or summer term best fits into their academic plan, how many credits they should take, and what courses are needed to fulfill graduation requirements. Students with any grants, loans, or scholarships should check with the Office of Financial Aid 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).
Credit and Course Approvals
Students must use the Study Abroad Course Approval Form (included in the CGE's Pre-Departure Packet) to obtain signature approval from various department chairs on Butler's campus to get approval for the courses they intend to take abroad. For example, if you intend to take a Sociology course while abroad, then the Sociology department chair must approve the course. You must submit course descriptions and/or syllabi to the department chair for his/her use when considering approval. The professor is not required to approve your course without appropriate documentation. The Study Abroad Course Approval Form is completed prior to the student's semester, year, or summer abroad. Students should take a copy of this completed form with them so that they know which courses have been approved.
The CGE recommends that students 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 department chairs prior to departure MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED upon return. Prior approval on the Study Abroad Course Approval Form by the appropriate department chairs 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 chair. Upon return to Butler's campus, you must pick up a new Study Abroad Course Approval Form from the CGE and get the official signatures from department chairs for any courses that were not approved prior to your departure. This ensures that your previously unapproved courses will be added onto your Butler account and count towards necessary degree requirements.
Course approvals should be written on the Study Abroad Course Approval Form and should have the exact course title and course number of the course abroad, Butler equivalent, and the signature from the appropriate department.
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 (i.e.: 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 CGE:
- Completed online application for the program into which you've been accepted/placed
- 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 CGE 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 CGE has received the appropriate documents, the CGE 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 CGE, to name a few.
It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the necessary documentation is submitted directly to the CGE.
Costs and Financial Aid Applicability
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 (if applicable). 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) and semester-long Faculty-Led programs may apply 100% of their Butler institutional financial aid to their tuition for their semester(s) abroad. Those who participate in approved 3rd Party Provider programs may apply 50% of their Butler institutional financial aid toward their tuition for their study abroad semester. 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?
If a student is going on a 3rd Party Provider program, their study abroad program provider will send the student's invoice directly to the CGE for processing. The charges on the bill will be applied to the student's student account and they will receive a Butler bill, as normal. The confirmation deposit that the student submits to their 3rd Party Provider will be deducted from the Butler bill. Students and parents may continue with Butler's payment plan by completing the payment plan form that accompanies the first billing statement. Please contact the CGE if you have any questions about study abroad costs.