For program-specific information such as coursework, grading practices and language requirements, please review the study abroad program details for each individual program.
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 a signature from the school’s academic advisor, study abroad advisor, registrar or chief academic officer that signifies an agreement that a student will receive credit from courses taken while abroad on the BCA Study Abroad program.This approval is managed through the BCA online application system. More about applying for study abroad.
We suggest that students discuss course selections with their academic advisor and registrar to determine how course credit obtained abroad will fit into an 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 that students plan alternative courses and bring the contact information for their academic advisor along with them. Students should keep all class notes, handouts, syllabi and reading lists from courses they take at a foreign university to facilitate transferring credits to a U.S. college or university.
BCA Study Abroad 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 accomplishment and ability.
The BCA Study Abroad expectation is that most students would show at least a 2.6 GPA across their course work prior to their study abroad term. Certain host universities may have GPA requirements of their own, in which case the higher GPA requirement of the two would apply.
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 in study abroad. We are open to discuss program selection and course of study for students who do not reach the expected 2.6 GPA.
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 the resident director and home institution academic advisor. It’s not unusual for students to have a heavier course load when credit earned during any pre-semester courses are added.
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, 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 not change from audit to credit status, or vice-versa, after the end of the drop/add period; however, they may change from credit to audit until mid-term.
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. More about transcripts.