• Credit Transfer, Transcripts, & Grades
  • Status of Transcripts
  • School of Record & Host Universities
  • Transcript Request Form

Credit Transfer Info

It is very important that you work with your university to ensure that you remain enrolled, and that you are following the necessary credit transfer procedures before you depart for your time abroad. Different universities have different procedures for recognizing students who are abroad. You need to work closely with your institution’s International Programs/Study Abroad Office and/or Registrar to make sure you are following the correct procedures to avoid problems with transferring your credit back or reentering your home university!

At some universities, you may pay an administrative fee to your International Programs Office. In return, they may provide various orientation and advising services. Sometimes, similar fees are used to register students for study abroad credit so that they remain enrolled while they are abroad. Other universities may treat your time abroad like a temporary transfer to a different institution and require you to reapply for admission upon your return.

Most institutions have a pre-approval process for classes/credits which involves filling out a form with the classes you are taking abroad. The form normally asks for the signatures of certain faculty stating that specific courses will count for certain course equivalents and a certain number of credits. Only the faculty of your university can determine how many credits your courses abroad count for, and what classes they can count for. You need to consult the study abroad office on your campus to find out exactly who needs to approve credit transfer. But, the following are commonly-used guidelines for credit transfer. (Remember, only your university can have the final say.)

  • Students at U.S. universities with the semester system typically receive 1 credit hour for every 15 contact hours at the foreign university.
  • Students at U.S. universities with the quarter system typically receive 1 credit hour for every 10 contact hours at the foreign university.

Your advisors/department chair/registrar will need to see course descriptions to tell you what type of credit or course equivalent a certain course may count for. You may acquire most course descriptions from the ISA website. Make sure to save course syllabi and any major written assignments or exams you take abroad. These materials may help you if you encounter any questions about course content when you seek to get credit upon return to the U.S.

Some U.S. universities count all courses earned abroad as pass/fail credit. Others convert the grade you earned abroad to the A-B-C-D-F grading scale. Depending on your institution, these grades may or may not be included in your overall GPA. It is important to note, however, that even if your grades do transfer back to your U.S. university as pass/fail, the grades you earn abroad may still follow you in the future. Graduate and professional schools, as well as some employers, most notably the Federal Government, will often ask for transcripts from all institutions attended for all work completed.

As you near the end of your time abroad, you may have to think about registering for classes for your next term at your U.S. university, depending on your institution’s registration dates and deadlines. Either have a friend or family member mail a course catalogue to you abroad, or use your university’s internet course information and registration system. At any rate, it is important to keep track of your university’s deadlines for registration while you are away.

ISA understands that some students may be required to provide a U.S. university transcript for coursework completed abroad. To learn more about how ISA can assist you with obtaining a school of record transcript, please visit the School of Record information page.


The purpose of this section is to explain how ISA handles the foreign university transcripts of North American students who participate in our study abroad programs. ISA students study at accredited foreign universities and receive an official transcript upon completion of the program. The transcripts are sent to ISA from the foreign university. Because the American and overseas university schedules differ, it may take as long as 2-3 months for ISA to receive the official transcripts from the foreign university after the completion of an ISA program. Most U.S. universities are accustomed to this delay. Once the transcripts are sent to ISA, the Academic Records Department automatically sends one official transcript to the student’s respective home (U.S.) university and one unofficial photocopy to the student, unless there is an outstanding balance on the student’s account.

ISA sends official transcripts to students’ home universities via UPS, and the photocopy of the transcript that is sent to the student’s permanent address is sent via regular mail. This photocopy will be accompanied by a letter containing the UPS tracking number so that students may track their transcripts on the UPS website. Students may also check the status of their program’s transcripts at one of the links to the left.

Each transcript that is sent to students’ home universities is accompanied by an ISA cover letter that contains valuable information and is meant to facilitate the job of the transcript evaluator. The accompanying letter includes a translation of course titles, the number of hours of instruction for each course, the language level for each course (if applicable), the language of instruction for each course, and a note as to whether the courses were “regular” university courses (with local students of the host country) or “special” courses specifically designed for international students. Finally, the cover letter offers a grading scale recommendation. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student’s home university to determine the grade equivalencies and decide how classes taken abroad will apply to each student’s degree program. Once the transcripts are received by the home university, it often takes up to 8 weeks to evaluate transfer credit and update students’ academic records. In order for credits to be transferred, students must obtain course approval from their home universities. ISA recommends that students get this approval prior to departure.

At the end of an ISA program, it greatly benefits students to meet with their on-site professors to find out their grades BEFORE departing their study abroad site. This may not always be a possibility, but several of the programs will allow students to check their grades before departure, and this will help avoid academic disputes several months after their program has ended. ISA also recommends that students save all coursework and syllabi from the courses they complete at the host university. This may be beneficial to students if they contest a grade after returning to the U.S. This may also facilitate the transfer of credits from the host university to students’ home universities after the completion of the program.


We would like to make note of the fact that ISA provides the following list of estimated expenses as a guide. As each student and program is different, so are the expenses.

The ISA program cost includes items such as tuition and fees, housing, insurance, and more. Please see specific program descriptions for details.


Please follow this link to view the Academic Records & Transcripts FAQ.


Remember that your home university will ultimately make the decision about how classes taken abroad will apply to your degree program. If you have any questions regarding transcripts, please contact the Academic Records Department in the ISA Austin office:

Status of Transcripts

School of Record & Host Universities

While the vast majority of U.S. universities accept credits issued directly by the host university, ISA understands that some students may be required to provide a U.S. university transcript for coursework completed abroad. ISA can assist students in obtaining a U.S. School of Record transcript for their participation in a number of ISA programs.

Students or advisors interested in learning more about the School of Record options listed below are encouraged to contact the Site Specialist or Program Manager for that country or ISA division.

California Lutheran University

Paris, France

  • The American Business School Paris

Carroll College

Meknes, Morocco

  • ISA Meknes Study Center

ISA Service-Learning

  • ISA Service-Learning

ISA Internships

  • ISA Internships

Endicott College

Florence, Italy

  • New York Film Academy Florence

Gold Coast, Australia

  • New York Film Academy Australia

University of South Florida

Florence, Italy

  • Florence University of the Arts
Transcript Request Form