Frequently Asked Academic Questions

Courses

If I register for a language track, do I have to take all the classes in that track? What if I have already completed one or more of the classes in that track?

If you have already taken the first class in the track, you do not have to take it again for credit but you will have to audit it; serving as a refresher, auditing the class will mean participating but not having to add it to your course load. The tracks are compiled of three or four language classes that require that the first class in the track be completed before moving on to the second, then the third, and so on. For example, in track I, during a semester program, Elementary Spanish I is completed in the first month of the semester, Elementary Spanish II in the second month, and so on. You remain with the same instructor and students the entire semester. You can also drop or audit the last course in the track, if necessary. Some programs may offer more flexibility, see the registration information in your Student Gateway account.

What happens if I feel I have been placed in the wrong level for a language class?

Specialty programs: Typically, you will take a language placement test before classes start to assess your language proficiency and to determine in which courses you should be enrolled. If you feel that you have been placed in a class above or below your ability level, then you can contact the Resident Director and language instructor to discuss a transfer to a different class.

How much time will I spend in class?

Specialty programs: The amount of class time varies according to the number of credits you are enrolled in. Class schedules differ, but typically, on a Specialty program, you should expect to have class five days a week, Monday-Friday. USAC courses are designed to take advantage of the expertise of the instructor and therefore regular class attendance is mandatory.

Partnership programs: Class times and days will depend on the host university’s timetable and calendar.

Will there be any field trips for my courses?

Many classes do take trips to reinforce materials learned in class. For example, language classes might expect a trip to a market or store to practice vocabulary. History and art classes may include a trip to the local museum to view artifacts, sculptures, and paintings. In other cases, a course may include an additional field study option for credit where you can take additional trips and connect classroom information with the real world. These field study courses are not mandatory and include an additional fee. There also may be additional field trips included in the program fees so please refer to the USAC website for details

Academics

Do I receive academic credit for my courses abroad?

Yes, you will receive university academic credit for all courses taken abroad (unless you audit). USAC Specialty programs will be graded on an A-F academic scale and USAC Partnership programs will be graded on the partner universities’ academic scale. The USAC Enrollment Department will provide an official transcript from your host university and suggest grade/credit conversions for Partnership programs. Some universities only accept transfer credit (host university transcripts, or USAC Affiliate University transcripts) on a pass/fail scale so check with your home university to see how USAC study abroad credits are processed and awarded.