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Academic Planning & Course Approvals

Academic Planning
Attending a university in anouther country is a rewarding and enriching experience that requires a good amount of research and effort to make sure you find the right fit for your academic and personal goals. Please keep in mind that the course structure, level of difficulty, and the grading system/scale may be different from, and could be more challenging, than what is expected at FSU.  Consider the following information about academics at an exchange university as you begin to make your exchange plans.

Course Availability  
  • Course availability is not guaranteed and is subject to change at any time.
  • Students must be flexible with course options and availability, as first choices are not guaranteed and foreign course offerings may change at the last minute.
  • Be sure to check the host university's website for information about the course offerings and availability for the term/year, as classes may not be offered every term. 
Course Prerequisites 
  • Some courses abroad may have prerequisites that differ from FSU, check the host university's website for more information.
Course Schedules/Academic Calendar
  • The host university may release its course schedule later than what we are used to at FSU.
  • The academic calendar may vary based on exam schedules, holidays, or semester structures that are different from in the US. Exchange students cannot request exceptions to the host university's calendar, unless permitted by the host university.
  • Registration at the host university may be done upon your arrival during orientation. It is important to have back up course approvals and academic flexibility when going on an exchange program.

Completing the Course Approval Form
An important part of the application process is the approval of courses you plan to take abroad. All students participating on an exchange programs are required to complete a Course Approval Form with approvals from appropriate FSU advisors/faculty. This process determines how coursework from your host university will transfer to your FSU degree requirements. The Course Approval Form is required at the time of application and is uploaded into the online application. This process can take several weeks to complete, so starting early is recommended!

  • Research course offerings at your host university to find out what classes are available and offered during your semester abroad. You may have to reference a course list from a prior semester if the current list of courses is not yet available.
  • Refer to the section on Academics in the program profile page for your specific exchange program on this site for more information and links to the host university’s courses.
  • Request 6-8 courses for a semester program and 2-4 courses for a summer program. For the Academic Year, submit one form for Fall courses and another form for Spring courses.
  • If you have any questions about course offerings or locating syllabi, contact a member of the Global Exchanges team for further advising.
  • Download the Course Approval Form from the online application for your program. List your desired courses and alternate choices on the Course Approval Form. Just like at FSU, first choices are not always available. Be prepared to be flexible with your course selections and have backup courses selected. 
  • Provide course descriptions and/or syllabi for each course requested.
  • Syllabi may or may not be available online at the time of your application. Check with the department advisor approving the courses to see if syllabi are needed. If you cannot locate syllabi online, contact the for further assistance.
  • Determine which FSU advisors you need to contact for your course approvals. Schedule appointments with the appropriate FSU academic advisor or faculty members.
  • Courses must be approved by the appropriate advisor/faculty within the course’s academic area. If you’re unsure about which academic area a particular exchange course fits at FSU, contact for advice.
  • You may need to connect with multiple advisors depending on the variety of the courses you plan to take. For example, if taking 2 Business courses and 2 language courses, you will need to contact the College of Business advisor as well as the Modern Languages advisor. 
  • Search contacts for all FSU advisors at:
  • It is important to meet with your overall academic advisor once you finalize your course approval plan to review your coursework abroad and how this fits into your overall FSU degree requirements. Your advisor will also need to approve your overall academic plan and sign the Course Approval Form.

To Fulfill Consult
Gen Ed or Liberal Studies Requirement Academic Advisor
Hours towards graduation/university electives Academic Advisor
Major Requirements Department Advisor
Minor Requirements Department Advisor
Foreign Language requirement/proficiency  Language Department Advisor