Faculty and staff at Tennessee Tech University are encouraged to support study abroad for your students. If a student comes to you wondering if study abroad is for her/him we hope you'll encourage them to attend an information meeting or to make an appointment to visit the Study Abroad Office.
Please remember that we do not expect you to have deep or detailed knowledge of the abroad programs offered at Tennessee Tech or the financial options for students considering these programs. That is what the Study Abroad Coordinator specializes in. It is typical for a student to be referred to their academic adviser(s) for information on how study abroad coursework will fit into their degree plan and then referred back to the Study Abroad Office to discuss program options or finances in depth.
PREPARE YOUR STUDENTS
When a student indicates an interest in studying abroad, there are many things you can do.
- Encouragement is always first. It helps students to hear faculty and advisors say that study abroad is possible and worth pursuing.
- When advising students, ask if they have plans to study abroad. This is particularly important when advising freshmen because the earlier they begin to plan the easier it will be to find credits that will transfer in to meet general education requirements and possibly major/minor requirements.
- Look at the student's record and outline the general education, major, or minor requirements they still need to fulfill. These courses may become the framework for the program they choose. This information is key to the student's ability to use his/her study abroad experience to move him or her toward graduation in a timely manner.
- Help the student to frame his/her preliminary questions. Where, when, for how long? Thinking about those questions early will help him/her use time efficiently once he/she gets to the point of selecting a program.
Your Department and Study Abroad
Each college, and sometimes each department, handles the study abroad process a little differently. There are some general principles, however, that you can rely on. The Study Abroad Office will provide:
- Study abroad advising
- Course information, or assistance with access to course information, for study abroad programs
- Detailed program information
- Personal attention for the student to help ensure he or she selects the right program to maximize financial aid
- Other preparation materials
For information specific to your department, you may want to ask your department head:
- Who approves study abroad credit in our department when a student is planning to go abroad?
- Does our college have an international office or offer its own study abroad programs to students?
- Does our college or department have scholarships specific to study abroad?
- Where are the study abroad resources specific to our department that can be provided to students?
- Even though all options are open to our students, what "ideal" times have been identified for students in our discipline to study abroad, taking into consideration the restrictions of the curriculum?
The answers to these questions will give you a good understanding for how your department works with study abroad.
Depending on the program the student might have to choose his/her top 3 choices of universities. In that case preliminary course lists will need to be drafted for all three universities. After the student has a final study abroad placement, then the Study Abroad Transfer Credit Form needs to be done to choose the final courses. This form must have signatures for all courses from the Chairs of the departments. It is also required to have the advisor's signature and the Dean's signature as well as a representative of Financial aid. Once the form is completed, it is to be returned to the Study Abroad office. It remains in the student's file until the transcript is received after the completion of the study abroad term. Then the transcript and form are scanned and processed through the Graduation Office for posting credit.