Studying abroad is a great idea! However, what if your great idea is also valid on paper? Let’s say that you go abroad as a free mover for a semester. Once you come back, you might want your credits taken abroad to be recognized by your home institution as valid for the completion of your study program. Putting it simple: you don’t want to lose an academic semester at your home institution. So, what do you do? Well, just like other semester study abroad students, you could get prior recognition by your home institution. For example, an Erasmus exchange is not approved until a very important document is released: the learning agreement.
Does it sound complicated? Well, it’s not. You just need to follow a common procedure that every semester study abroad student does before leaving. International offices at your home university are there to help you, so don’t worry. So, if you want your credits recognized you need a learning agreement (before leaving) and a transcript of records (once you come back).
As said, this is a standard document given to every leaving student. Its purpose is to be a written proof of agreement on your study abroad program between the two institutions. It is made by a list of exams/courses that you are going to take at the selected university. Those courses are the equivalent of some other ones that you were supposed to follow at your home institution, which are written on the document too. Basically, it states that you are going to take those courses abroad instead of some other ones at your home university. So, once you come back, those courses are going to be fully counted in your native study program.
Transcript of records
How are those courses recognized? With a proof that you actually made them, which is called the transcript of records and is given by the selected study abroad university. So, once you finish your free mover semester, you will be given a transcript of records with an evaluation of every course that you followed abroad. You just need to give it to your home university’s international office/coordinator along with your learning agreement and boom, you’re done!