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Advising Resources

Advising for Study Abroad

Students preparing for study abroad interact with several offices on campus; usually their first stop after speaking to Education Abroad is meeting with their major academic advisors. The first time students meet with you in the application process for study abroad, they may look to you for assistance in program selection. 

Before a student is admitted into most programs, the Education Abroad Office will need to see students course selections and feedback from their academic advisor regarding the applicability of students’ course selections on their degree progression.

The process for reviewing the courses for students differs depending upon the type of program/type of credit.

Program Type Type of Credit Forms Required
Faculty-led Direct (in rare instances there could be direct and transfer) Electronic Course Selection Form (eCSF)
Affiliate Transfer Credit Course Approval Form (CAF)/Study Abroad and Exchange Form (SAE) is required by Financial Aid
Exchange Exchange Credit (In rare instances there could be exchange and direct credit) Course Approval Form (CAF)/ SAE Form is required by Financial Aid
Non-Affiliate Transfer Credit Course Approval Form (CAF)/ SAE Form is required by Financial Aid

More information about Program Types can be found here.

All direct credit courses, as well as USF equivalencies for Exchange and Affiliate courses may be found in our Course Search.  The Course Search will be updated on an ongoing basis.


Electronic Course Selection Form (eCSF)

After Student Submits 

  1. Advisor (or Advising Group) will receive an email that a Study Abroad eCSF has been submitted by one of their students.  The email will contain a link to view the eCSF.
  2. Click the link and sign in via USF Single Sign On.
  3. Advisors will see:
    1. Student Name, UID, Email and Major.
    2. Study Abroad Program and Term.
    3. “Notes for the Advisor” will be any (optional) comments the students want to communicate to the academic advisor.
  4. There will be some general instructions on completing the form and a link to the Course Search if the advisor would like to see ALL the courses being offered on the program.
  5. Next will be the courses that the student has selected.  Additionally, there will be a box to check if there is a degree progression concern and a comments field if the advisor would like to comment on that particular course (not required).
  6. After the courses have been reviewed, please put a comment in the “Advisor Notes” section.  The student will see these notes, so please be as detailed as possible if you have instructions for them. The more information you provide in the form regarding degree applicability, excess credit hours, etc. the more information the Education Abroad Office will have if students wish to change courses.  If EAO can avoid going back to academic advisors for course changes, we will. 
  7. Enter your name and email address.
  8. There will be two buttons “Review Complete” and “Advising Needed”.
    1. Click “Review Complete” if you are okay with the course(s) the student selected. This will tell students and our office they can continue with their study abroad application.
    2. Click “Advising Needed” if you have issues with the course(s) they selected or other concerns related to their study abroad experience.  Provide details in the “Advisor Notes” field, such as: “Schedule an appointment with academic advising before proceeding with your study abroad application” OR “You should take this course, rather than this one”.  Please be specific as to how the student can get in touch with you or your advising group for follow-up. 
  9. The student will be emailed with a link to view the updated form with the advisor decision/comments. 

After Advisor Review

  1. If “Review Complete” was selected, then the student will be notified, and they can continue with their study abroad application.  No further action is required of academic advising.
  2. If “Advising Needed” was selected, then student will be notified and advised to follow any instructions/comments the advisor made on the form.
    1. When “Advising Needed” is selected, the current eCSF is considered void.  The student will need to submit a new form based on their advisor's recommendation and the process will start again. 

Course Approval Forms (CAF)

The CAF is a paper form and is used for exchange, affiliate and non-affiliate programs.  In some instances, the Affiliate program CAF may be pre-filled.  For both Exchange and Affiliate programs, many of the courses offered by the host institution may already have USF equivalencies that have been approved by academic departments, and can be found in our Course Search.

Major advisors may also articulate equivalences for courses that haven't been pre-approved within their discipline (EXCEPT for students in the College of Arts and Sciences, who should send the courses to their education abroad office program advisor first to be evaluated through a centralized process). Students should be directed to the appropriate department if the course in question is outside of your department.

Finally, major advisors are signing off on the bottom of the course approval form and can include any notes to the student about what was discussed.

  1. The student will meet with the academic advisor to discuss their intent to go abroad. The student should determine the kinds of classes they are looking for abroad (General elective? Within major elective? Etc.) and what kinds of courses will be degree applicable.
  2. The student will use the Education Abroad Course Search to see what classes have been approved in recent years. If any of the classes available on this database work for the student, then the education abroad advisor can normally sign for the USF course equivalent on the course approval form for those courses. Education Abroad Course Search.
  3. The student collects all syllabi/course outlines for the desired overseas courses and submits them along with the Course Approval Form (CAF) to their education abroad advisor. The education abroad advisor will contact the corresponding departments at USF with the overseas course syllabi to request a USF course equivalency. This process may take a good deal of time, so students are advised to begin the process several months before departure. The major academic advisor may assist with classes within the student’s home department (EXCEPT for students in the College of Arts and Sciences, who should send the courses to their education abroad office program advisor first to be evaluated through a centralized process). 
  4. Once the USF course equivalencies are signed on the Course Approval Form (CAF), the student will meet with their major academic advisor to discuss how the courses will impact degree progression. Only the major academic advisor can determine if a course counts towards a student’s degree requirements.
  5. The major academic advisor will indicate on the Course Approval Form (CAF) if the courses meet a graduation requirement by checking the Grad Req.?* Yes or No boxes. Then the major academic advisor will include any advising notes and finally sign the bottom of the form.  There have been cases where we have petitioned Undergrad Studies to approve a course taken abroad as satisfying an Enhanced General Education requirement.  Study Abroad is also a HIP.  Therefore, we encourage Advisors to add us much detail in the notes in the event that there are other ways host-location courses can aid degree progression.
  6. The student will submit the completed Course Approval Form (CAF) in their USF Education Abroad application requirements and via email to their education abroad advisor. The student should keep a copy for their records. If the student is anticipating financial aid, they will need the Course Approval Form (CAF) to complete the SAE Form -- study abroad financial aid contract. 

The student should keep in mind that courses abroad may fill up or become unavailable—therefore it is advisable to have many courses approved on the form