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Promoting Study Abroad

The first step in getting students to study abroad is making them aware of their options and encouraging this opportunity. Many students feel they may not be able to study abroad with their major. Faculty and Advisors are crucial advocates in helping students to be properly informed about the opportunity to study abroad, and promoting the experience.

  • Be informed: We invite all Faculty, Advisors and Staff to learn about study abroad and the importance of this opportunity for Rice students. The more information you have, the more you will be able to share with your students. Read through the information on the Rice Study Abroad website and share it with your students.
  •  Participate in informational sessions: Consider attending and being a guest presenter at Study Abroad Information Sessions. Study Abroad Information Sessions, scheduled during International Education Week and throughout the year, include presentations by visiting host universities and program administrators as well as sessions focusing on specific academic and “theme-based” study abroad considerations. 
  • Participate in events: Attending the annual Study Abroad Fair or Photo Contest is another way to learn more about study abroad. We welcome faculty to join in these informative and social events to offer your expertise and suggestions for study abroad or to learn more about the options available for your students.
  • Visit the Study Abroad Office: Stop by the Study Abroad Office or make an appointment to talk to a study abroad advisor and pick up materials to share with your students.

Academic Advisors

Rice Study Abroad views Academic Advising as a critical component of preparing a Rice student for a successful study abroad experience. This advising is a valuable resource in helping students plan for coursework and determine the best timing for study abroad in each individual student’s curriculum. Academic Advisors can meet with Study Abroad staff to learn more about study abroad in general, or specific program options for their students.

Study Abroad Faculty Advisors

Study Abroad Faculty Advisors have special knowledge of programs abroad in their respective areas of study and have offered to be a resource for the Study Abroad Office. Faculty Advisors work closely with the Study Abroad staff in helping to evaluate current and potential programs and assist with advising students. Students are invited to set up an appointment with their Faculty Advisor for additional information about specific programs. 

Transfer Credit Advisors

As part of the study abroad application process, students are required to obtain Rice-equivalent transfer credit pre-approval from their Transfer Credit Advisors. This advising is a critical aspect of preparing a Rice student to maximize his/her study abroad experience.

The pre-approval process requires students to identify courses specific abroad to transfer to their major or minor programs. Each department has the authority to pre-approve courses that may earn credit for either core requirements or electives.

The course pre-approval process is dependent upon the faculty transfer credit advisor in each major.

Professors and Instructors

Professors and instructors also play a key role in encouraging study abroad. This support can be presented in the following ways:

  • Invite a Rice Study Abroad Advisor or Study Abroad Student Ambassador to speak in your class. Study Abroad Advisors are available to make presentations about the study abroad process or specific programs which may be appropriate for your class. Study Abroad Ambassadors are a select group of study abroad alumni who help other students learn about the possibilities for study abroad. They are also available for presentations about the study abroad process, or to share their own experiences and stories. To schedule a presentation, please contact the Study Abroad Office.
  • Integrate Education Abroad into the curriculum of your classes. Do you discuss international subject matter in the classes you teach? Remind students that they can get a first-hand glimpse of these subjects by living and studying abroad.
  • Share your own experiences. If you have had academic experiences abroad, tell your own story of how the international experience has impacted your academic endeavors and personal goals.

Academic Objectives and Considerations When Advising for Study Abroad:

  • Study abroad is primarily an academic pursuit at Rice and it should be seen as an integrated part of a student's course of study. Rice students are encouraged to pursue studies in their major/minor, or focus on a particular academic concentration or language while they are abroad. 
  • Undergraduates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for permission to study abroad. Many universities and programs require a GPA which may be higher than 3.0, so students should carefully evaluate all requirements.
  • Students must enroll as full-time students while abroad (minimum of 12 credit hours per semester, 6 credit hours for summer).
  • Graduation requirements should always be considered in choosing an appropriate experience abroad.
  • Discuss specific semesters or academic terms that may be best suited for study abroad (i.e. Engineering or Pre-Med requirements, completion of specific courses before studying abroad, etc).
  • Discuss study abroad course options with students and suggest courses that may be particularly helpful for the major/minor.
  • Be familiar with major/minor requirements; know which courses students may be able to take abroad and which requirements must be fulfilled at Rice.
  • Help students plan a course sequence which will best meet their curricular needs.
  • Consider education/distribution requirements as well as major requirements.
  • Discuss courses that may only be offered during a specific term on campus, which would interfere with study abroad during that term.
  • Ask the Study Abroad Office for a list of courses in your field that have been pre-approved in the past few years.