For program-specific information such as coursework, grading practices and language requirements please review the individual study abroad program details.

Prior Academic Approval

As part of BCA Study Abroad’s application for study abroad, students must obtain academic approval from their college or university.  This is completed via a recommendation from their academic advisor, study abroad advisor and language professor, where applicable, agreeing that the student will receive credit for courses taken while abroad on the BCA program. This approval is managed through the BCA online application system.

We suggest that students discuss course selections with their academic advisor and registrar to determine how credits obtained abroad will fit into their overall academic plan.  Since many colleges and universities overseas do not finalize the course offerings for a particular term until just before classes start, we suggest students plan some alternative courses and take their academic advisor’s contact information with them abroad. Students should keep all class notes, handouts, syllabi and reading lists from courses they take at a foreign university, in case they are needed to facilitate transferring credits to a U.S. college or university.

GPA Requirement

BCA aims to engage each participant in an appropriately challenging level of academic work while abroad. We acknowledge that an applicant’s cumulative grade point average is only one indicator of their accomplishment and academic ability.

We ask that our students show at least a 2.6 (4.0 scale) cumulative grade point average, prior to their study abroad term. Certain host universities may have GPA requirements of their own, in which case our respected program would also require the higher GPA. We are open to discuss program selection for students who do not reach our GPA requirements.

Recent enrollment history shows our students’ average GPAs have been above 3.44 (4.0 scale). Our post-semester academic results reveal that students with higher and lower GPAs can excel during a study abroad term.

Course Load

BCA students are required to take a full course load (the minimum is 12 semester hours.) We suggest that students take a normal course load of 15 to 16 semester hours.  Students may take a heavier than normal course load with the approval of their resident director and home institution academic advisor. It’s not unusual for students to have a heavier course load when pre-semester course credits are added to their overall term abroad.

Teaching and Learning Styles

At a BCA study center, students will encounter teaching and learning styles that are different from U.S. colleges or universities.  For example, grades may be based on one comprehensive exam rather than frequent assignments during the semester.  Classes may be lectures by a professor rather than discussions.  The resident director provides details on the academic differences during the on-site orientation.


Attendance at lectures, group excursions and other scheduled events is required.  Absences must be approved by the resident director.  Continued absences may result in a written warning from the resident director and/or a lower final grade, as well as reduction in credit hours earned or dismissal from the program with no financial or academic reimbursement.  Late arrival or early departure must be approved by the resident director and BCA central office and is only granted in special circumstances.

Pass/Fail and Audit

With the exception of some physical education courses, students cannot take courses as pass/fail.  Students with a full course load may audit additional courses at some study centers.  Students may change a class from credit to audit until the mid-term. However, they cannot change it from credit to audit status, or vice-versa, after the end of the drop/add period.

Drop/Add and Withdrawal from Courses

Students may drop or add courses during the time designated by the resident director.  After that time, students may not add courses, and any course that is dropped will be recorded as a withdrawal on final transcripts.

What about my transcript?

BCA provides official transcripts to each student’s U.S. college or university at the end of every semester and sends an unofficial copy to the student. Students may also request additional BCA transcripts for future employers or graduate schools.