AIFS Study Abroad Program Details

AIFS Credit & Transcripts

Foreign universities do not use the credit system employed by American institutions. Degrees are usually awarded on the basis of a final examination under government-issued charters. AIFS students must make special arrangements to transfer credits, but since AIFS courses are given at recognized universities, there usually is no difficulty in arranging transfer credit toward U.S. degrees provided the proper procedure is followed. Richmond, The American International University in London, is U.S.-accredited and functions on the American credit system. Richmondís credits are easily transferred to most colleges or universities in the U.S.

AIFS Admissions Officers are available to assist you in the process. The following procedure is recommended for credit transfer:

  • Read course descriptions for the selected program and select at least five first choice courses for each semester and at least two second choices (five for Richmond, Salzburg and Limerick).

  • Obtain approval from your academic or study abroad advisor for the preliminary courses selected. A signature is required on the course selection form. Final approval of credit transfer for completed courses is at the discretion of the Registrar or appropriate official at the home institution. Students must ascertain that courses taken meet their individual academic program requirements. Recommended credits in this catalog are based on 15 classroom hours per semester credit. A program normally carries 12 to 15 credits spread over five courses of three hours each.

Many of the European institutions that AIFS works with award credits under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). ECTS enables cooperating institutions to measure and compare a studentís performance and facilitates the transfer of credits from the European institution to the U.S institution. Every ECTS credit represents a particular amount of workload with, for example, 30 ECTS usually being awarded for a semester. 1 ECTS is equivalent to 25-30 hours of student work with the workload including independent study, research and seminars as well as classroom contact time. Many U.S. institutions use a 2:1 ratio when comparing ECTS and U.S credits with 2 ECTS = 1 credit. Ultimately it is up to the studentís home institution to decide how ECTS credits the student has been awarded should transfer into U.S credits for their degree program. AIFS recommends that students seek advice from their homes institution and gain pre-approval for the courses that they wish to take at the European institution in order to ensure that they are taking the appropriate amount of credits and that credits awarded will transfer at the end of the program.

AIFS provides course syllabi from the European institution and recommends credits for each course. Recommended U.S. semester credits shown in parentheses next to each course are based on 15 contact hours per semester credit and are not a conversion of ECTS credits.

When you complete your program, an original transcript is sent to your home institution directly from the foreign university you attended. Another official transcript is sent to AIFS in Stamford. Richmond and the University of Limerick are exceptions and retain transcripts in their Registrarsí Office. Transcripts issued by Chapman University for the Cannes program are retained by Chapman University.

Transcripts for Richmond programs are prepared by the Richmond Registrarís Office, Richmond, The American International University in London, Queenís Road, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6JP. One official copy of the transcript will be mailed free of charge to the studentís home institution. If you have outstanding bills or unreturned library books, your transcript will be withheld until accounts are settled.

Students not currently enrolled at a U.S. college or university who cannot obtain advance approval for credit transfer are advised to enroll in Richmond, The American International University in London, or one of its programs in Florence or Rome, since Richmond is a U.S.-accredited university whose credits are usually accepted by other U.S. colleges and universities.

Credit assessment methods in foreign universities may not be comparable to those in a U.S. university. Grading may involve exams, papers, individual projects, class discussion or some combination of these. Although academic institutions abroad may grade on a variety of scales, admissions counselors and registrars at U.S. institutions are familiar with foreign grading systems and can convert grades.

Expect a delay in the issue of transcripts. Generally, you should receive your transcript by April 1 for fall semester, and August 1 for spring semester. If a transcript must be sent to the U.S. by special delivery or express courier mail, the student must pay for this expense out of the damage deposit.