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Academics While Abroad

>> Academic Environment Abroad
>> Course Credit
>> Registering for Miami Classes while Abroad

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Academic Environment Abroad

The academic environment on a study abroad/away program can be very different from what you are used to at Miami and can influence your learning experience. Academic environments can vary based on program type, location, and instructor. Consider these differences as you prepare for your program abroad. The more you can anticipate challenges, the more successful your academic experience will be.

  • Instructional Model: Classroom vs. Experiential Learning (or combination). Some programs offer courses that are primarily classroom/lecture-based, while others are more experiential in nature. Faculty-led programs, in particular, tend to be more experiential, or provide supplemental activities to allow you to investigate the local context of what you are learning. 
  • Teaching Philosophy: Students taking courses from international instructors may notice a difference in educational philosophy. In the US, a typical instructional philosophy is that it is the instructor's primary responsibility to teach and to ensure that students learn. In some other counties, however, instructors expect students to be proactive and individually responsible for their learning. This may seem like a subtle difference, but can impact assignments, grading, and even attendance policies. 
  • Assignments: In some countries, tests and assignments are not given throughout the term to help you stay on track; rather, only a final exam is given. This means you are responsible for staying up-to-date with readings. While this approach may seem easier, it requires you take more personal responsibility for your own learning. Even on programs where you do have regular assignments throughout the term, some students find it challenging to keep up with  assignments and be engaged in the local culture.
  • Grading: Miami credit programs, such as MUDEC and faculty-led programs, are graded using standard Miami grading scales; these grades will impact your Miami GPA. If you are taking courses at other institutions through a transfer credit program, you may notice much harder grading scales. For example, in the UK, a grade of 60%-70% can be considered an average, respectable grade; grades of 80% and above can be rare. These grades are usually also based on fewer assignments. As long as you pass your classes, credit will transfer back to Miami, but some students struggle with earning what may be considered a lower grade from a U.S. perspective.
  • Support for students with disabilities: The Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply beyond US borders. As a result, the support and accommodations available to students with disabilities can be different abroad, even on Miami-sponsored programs. Students with disabilities are encouraged to work with both the Study Abroad office, as well as the Student Disability Services office, to identify a program that can meet your needs or provide comparable accommodations. 

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Course Credit

Miami Programs (faculty-led and MUDEC):Remember that the courses you are enrolled in are Miami courses. You should be prepared to work as much and as hard on these courses as you do for your Ohio-based classes. The grades for these courses contribute, like any other Miami course, to your Miami GPA. 

MUDEC: Be sure to review all academic and attendance policies.


Transfer Credit Programs (exchange, co-sponsored and approved ): The credit earned through these programs will appear on your Miami transcript as transfer creditYou'll register for these courses upon arrival at your host program. It is recommended that you register for courses that you had pre-approved on your Transfer Credit Approval Form , but changes may be necessary. If you enroll in a course that you did not get pre-approved, it is recommended that you communicate with and academic advisor complete a TCAF for the new registration to help ensure the course will contribute to your Miami degree requirements as expected. 

Save all syllabi and coursework from all classes. You may need it for a petition, graduate school application, or future employment.
Make sure a transcript is sent from your school/provider to:

Office of the Registrar
Transfer Credit Evaluations
Miami University
301 S. Campus Avenue
Oxford, OH 45056

Grades from transfer credit study abroad programs do not affect Miami GPA. You do have to take the classes for a grade and pass them (equivalent to a D- or better) in order for Miami to accept the credits earned. Please note that it can take a couple of months for your program to send a complete transcript to Miami, and for Miami to process the transfer. 
For most up to date information on Transfering Credit, visit the OneStop Site.


  • Request a personal copy of your transcript in addition to the one sent to Miami
  • If Global Perspectives requirement is not automatically filled in on your DAR, email the Office of Liberal Education upon return from your program. You'll need to provide your name, banner id, and course(s) to apply to the Global Perspectives requirement.
  • Talk with an advisor about the steps to getting courses approved after you are abroad

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Registering for Miami Courses While Abroad

Students studying abroad on semester long programs will have priority registration for the following semester. Registration dates/times (time tickets) will be available through BannerWeb sometime in early October/April.

The registration process will work the same as here on campus - you'll register for courses electronically via BannerWeb. However, if you are in a different time zone, you'll need to remember that your time ticket is listed in (Oxford, Ohio) Eastern Time. Set your alarm accordingly! It is also important to plan ahead. If you want to take a course that requires a prerequisite that you are taking during your study abroad program, you will need to contact the department of the course you want to register for in order to request permission to register. The Study Abroad office is not able to force add you to any course.


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Study Abroad Office: 214 MacMillan Hall, 501E Spring Street, Oxford, OH 45056,
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