Credit Transfer for
Each American college or university has its own policy on the acceptance
of transfer credits. AIFS does not grant credit itself, nor
do foreign universities evaluate students’ progress by the awarding
of academic credit, the system used by American colleges and
universities. AIFS serves in an advisory capacity to American institutions
about the foreign equivalences and the amount of credit to
award for academic work completed abroad. Transcripts are issued
by the host institution, not AIFS.
Most AIFS summer courses are recommended for one semester
credit for each week of study abroad since one week’s study on an
AIFS program usually requires 15 hours of classroom study (three
hours per day for five days). Thus, a 3-week program should enable
a student to receive three semester credits; a 4-week program,
four semester credits; a 5-week program, five semester credits;
and a 6-week program, six semester credits. Some language programs
include very intensive courses that enable students to earn
more than these suggested limits.
To obtain credit for summer work, arrangements must be made
with the home institution before departure abroad to determine
whether credit will be granted for courses offered, and to learn
which documents are required from the foreign university to
ensure credit. Students should meet with their faculty advisor to
discuss courses and placement in foreign language programs.
Since students are given proficiency tests upon arrival, it is not
possible to assure placement in a particular class. The advisor may
suggest further meetings with the appropriate official. Florence and
Rome applicants should meet with advisors to determine transfer
credit before submitting their application, since courses cannot be
changed once the application is received.
In cases where the American institution has a list of specific
courses and documentation requirements, the student should
present the list to the AIFS Resident Director immediately upon
arrival at the foreign campus. This is important, as it is difficult to
obtain documents, certificates, transcripts or diplomas from foreign
universities once you have left campus.
Only the American institution can evaluate work overseas, and in all
cases, only the American institution can decide to award transfer
credit. Most American institutions grant credit for study abroad
provided students contact them before departure and successfully
complete the necessary examinations at the foreign university and
obtain a proper transcript. Some colleges also require returning
students to complete oral or written examinations upon return to
If not currently enrolled in a 4-year degree program, or graduating
from high school or from a 2-year college in June 2012, a student
may have difficulty arranging credit in advance. In such cases,
students should enroll in one of the Richmond programs. Richmond
is an accredited American university; Richmond’s credits are easily
transferred to most colleges or universities in the U.S.