Skip to content

Tips for Advisors

Tips for Advisors

My advisee has a desire to study abroad…

  • Identify the best term for your advisee to spend time overseas. If possible, add this to their academic plan document. Let your advisee know if there is more than one appropriate term to study abroad.
  • Advise them on the best courses they should plan to take while abroad. Will these be courses towards their major, minor, general education requirements or electives?
    • The Academics page outlines the approval process for using courses from different kinds of programs to fulfill requirements at NDSU.
    • Note for students planning to study abroad for longer terms: Students who take 3 credits of UNIV 492 (Study Abroad), when completed successfully and transferred back to NDSU, will qualify for either Cultural Diversity or Global Perspectives credit. Students who take 6+ credits of UNIV 492 will qualify for both Cultural Diversity and Global Perspectives credit. If a student has not completed yet completed their Cultural Diversity and Global Perspectives requirements and plans to take part in a longer study abroad program, they may want to save these requirements to complete through study abroad.
    • Students on exchange, direct, and affiliate programs can also complete the full appeal process for other general education requirements. Students on NDSU Global/Faculty-led programs, which are not included in the above policy, can also appeal for Cultural Diversity, Global Perspectives, or other general education requirements.
  • Suggest that your advisee to drop in and meet with a Peer Mentor during regular office hours in the Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services, MU 116 (next to coffee shop).
  • Tell your advisee to check the Study Abroad website at for program information, application deadlines and much more.

Advisee is applying to a study abroad program…

  • Engage in an initial discussion of the program(s) they like.
    • Why have they chosen this program?
    • What degree requirements might this program help him/her to fulfill?
  • You can suggest which courses are appropriate and let your advisee know if there are any that he/she is not able to take overseas. You will be asked by your advisee to sign the Request to Waive or Substitute Courses form (available from the Registration and Records website) and you or someone within your department will review the course descriptions that the student provides in order to determine if they will apply towards their major, minor, or electives. Often the student must visit multiple departments for signatures if they have multiple majors and/or minors. Students who are fulfilling general education requirements abroad will complete the Appeal General Education Requirements form. More information is available on the Academics page.
  • Encourage your students to complete application procedures through the study abroad website in a timely manner so that they may attend the mandatory pre-departure sessions which are held each semester. Pre-departure sessions help students manage application, financial aid, visa, course equivalency and transcript procedures, as well as preparing students for life in another country, whether it be for cultural, health, safety, packing, etc.
  • All students who go abroad will be registered at NDSU for the semester they will be abroad. Students participating on a faculty-led program will be registered for the particular course number determined by the department. All other students will be issued permits to register for UNIV 492. Registration is important for financial aid, transfer credit, and risk management issues.

Advisee is currently overseas…

  • Your advisee may make changes to his/her schedule after arriving at the host university and may ask for your advice on the changes. Additional Request to Waive or Substitute Courses forms may be completed at this time as an update to show additional courses that have been approved. For non-faculty-led programs: If completing this form before or during the program, please submit it to Study Abroad Services via inter-campus mail or email to; it will be forwarded on to Registration and Records with the transcript from the program abroad after the program concludes for streamlined processing.
  • Your advisee may need your assistance in registering for the upcoming semester or may be considering extending their study abroad experience for another semester. In this situation the student may need additional guidance regarding course selection.

Advisee has returned from a study abroad program…

  • If they participated on a longer exchange, direct, or affiliate program, it may take some time for your advisee’s transcript to arrive from abroad and it is not uncommon for transcripts to arrive 3-4 months after the student’s return. Encourage the student to regularly contact the university overseas ensure the transcript will be sent directly to the Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services for processing (address information is on the Returning to NDSU page). A transcript that is sent directly to Registration and Records will not be processed correctly and could cause delays.
  • Once the transcript has arrived, a copy will be uploaded to the student’s online study abroad application for them to have access to immediately. The transcript is then processed and sent to Registration and Records where it may take up to a month for their NDSU transcript fully to be updated. There is a two-step process where the transfer credits will appear at the top of the NDSU transcript and the UNIV 492 will change to a “P” for pass. The Processes After Return page has more details about the timeline and example transcripts.
  • Encourage your advisee to visit the Career Center for tips on updating a resume to reflect the skills learned though the unique experience of study abroad.