Working with Your Education Abroad Adviser

Education Abroad Adviser's Role

The course selection process can be difficult to navigate, as students have to shuffle between their education abroad adviser and academic adviser. This section will explain the role of education abroad (EA) advisers in the study abroad process so that students understand what questions they should be asking and are generally well-prepared for each advising session.

What Can Education Abroad Advisers Do?

EA advisers can:

  • Help students target programs that offer specific types of courses, for example, finding programs that offer biology courses.
  • Show students how to locate the course listings within a specific program, and provide students with a list of courses previously taken by Penn State students on specific programs.
  • Provide advice for how to discuss course options on a program with your academic adviser. 
  • Be a resource for explaining the course equivalency process.
  • Explain the application and orientation process
  • Answer questions regarding housing options, program fees, passports, visas, and other questions related to education abroad programs, locations or travel.

What Can’t Education Abroad Advisers Do?

EA advisers cannot:

  • Determine how any course will fit into a student's degree audit. "Can I use this course as an elective for my major?" is not a question an EA adviser can answer.  These types of questions should be directed to your academic adviser.
  • Determine how a specific course will be accredited at Penn State, unless a Penn State student took the course previously and it has already been assigned a Penn State course number. "If I take BIO 1005 in Australia, will that count as BIO 351 at Penn State?" is not something the EA adviser is able to determine unless the BIO course has been recently approved via the course equivalency process.
  • Advise on specific requirements for any major or minor; nor can they determine which courses a student needs to fulfill any major or minor requirement. These types of questions should be directed to your academic adviser.

Working with Your EA Adviser to Select an Academically Appropriate Program

Questions to ask at your advising appointment:

  • Which programs would you recommend for my major? 
  • How can I find courses that are offered on my program?
  • How can I see which courses students took on the program in the past?
  • How should I discuss courses on my program with my academic adviser? 
  • Can I talk to some students who have done the program in the past to learn about the classes they took?