Faculty & Staff Information

UNC Education Abroad Overview

Advising for Education Abroad

Bilateral Student Exchange Agreements

UNC Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs


Whether you are already faculty and staff involved with undergraduate global education at UNC or are thinking about developing a program, this section is for you. view

The Center for International Education-Study Abroad program provides academic and logistical support for international projects for departments, faculty/staff, and students at UNC. Together we are able to offer UNC students transformational experiences that will last throughout their lifetime and will change the way they think forever. The CIE-Study Abroad Office stands committed to providing assistance for a successful experience for all. Here you will find resources that will assist you with promoting and advising for study abroad, as well as how to submit ideas for a new global program--short-term or long-standing.

The field of international education has seen the term "study abroad" expand greatly in recent history. No longer does the term accurately encompass the scope of international experiences that students desire and are available to them. The changing economy has greatly impacted what is required of today's graduates. Study abroad has gone beyond the traditional classroom-based exchanges, direct enrollments, and faculty-led programs. Students want more education abroad opportunities, which take shape in internships, research, practicum, service learning, and alternative break programs. As you work within your departments and with cross-campus partners, we hope you will promote Education Abroad and integrate these modes of learning into your UNC curriculum.

The Study Abroad program wants to collaborate with faculty and staff members with all ideas for international opportunities for UNC students. We are here to assist faculty with program development, orientations, student advising, health and safety planning, transfer credit articulations, program marketing, as well as general support for promoting education abroad.

UNC Education Abroad Overview

  • Program Types Overview

The CIE-Study Abroad and Exchange Office currently offers over 600 programs in more than 70 countries worldwide. Offering a wide range of international programs allows UNC to offer programs that meet the varying academic, financial, and personal needs of our students. Additionally, our approved programs offer varying levels of support and CIE/departmental involvement, allowing the student to make the best choice for him/herself and the CIE office to offer hundreds of program choices.

For a description of program types offered through the CIE-Study Abroad Office, click here.

  • CIE-Study Abroad Office Support for UNC Programs

    Our office provides various levels of supports and manners of assistance to assist UNC departments with faculty-led program development. Click here to learn more.


Advising For Study Abroad

  • Pre-Approval of Transfer Credit

All student earning credit from an international university/college should complete appropriate forms BEFORE departure for their education abroad. These forms will be returned to the CIE-Study Abroad Office, although the transcript evaluation will take place in Office of the Registrar upon receipt of the international transcript.

For each course transferring back to UNC, students MUST get the appropriate departments' signatures. After obtaining all corresponding signatures, the student's Academic Advisor signs the form indicating that (s)he is aware that the student is going abroad. Click here for a list of contacts for each department at UNC for such approvals.

Students are advised to bring international course descriptions, syllabi (when available), and any other relevant information with them to meet with their Advisors in order to help determine if a course is a direct UNC equivalent or might be considered as a substitution. If a student does not bring this information with him/her, please do not hesitate to request that they provide such information.

Depending on how the course will be transferring back to UNC, the appropriate form must be completed before the student goes overseas in order to guarantee that the course will come back as intended. Thus, different forms will need to be completed based on if the course is equivalent to a UNC course, will be a course substitution for an academic major/minor, or will be fulfilling an LAC requirement.

  • Course Equivalency – a course taken at a previous institution that has been deemed to have comparable/equal content to a UNC course. An equivalent course decision may be made only by the related academic unit. Once equivalencies are determined and documented by the related academic unit, those equivalent courses are consistently applied to ALL students who transfer those courses to UNC, irrespective of their program of study. Processing Unit: Admissions
  • Course Substitution – any program course requirement, as approved through the curriculum process and listed in the catalog, that is replaced/substituted by another course.  All course substitutions must ensure the maintenance of academic program integrity and should be in the same area as the required course or in a closely related field.  Additionally, course substitutions have direct academic impact on other UNC courses.  Academic impact must be considered when a request for course substitution is made.  Processing Unit: Office of the Registrar
  • LAC Request- Any course being transferred to UNC that has not already been designated as equivalent to any course approved for inclusion within the Core will be referred to a designated representative of the relevant department/program for review. If it is decided that the course is equivalent to an approved Core course, it will be designated as such for all students desiring to transfer it to UNC in the future. A course must meet the gtPathways definition based on content and competency criteria. For more information to determine if a course is an LAC course please visit here.
  • International Credit Equivalencies

Please be aware that not all international credit systems are equivalent to the US system used at UNC. Most European countries use ECTS. So, if a student takes an 8 credit course while studying abroad at a school that uses ECTS, that course is equivalent to 4 UNC credit hours, and will be transferred back accordingly. Courses using ECTS will range from 2-12 credits, or 1-6 UNC credit hours. When in doubt, UNC uses the following formula for international transfer credit hours: 15 contact hours = 1 UNC credit.

A course taken at an international university may be worth less credit than the equivalent course at UNC. When this is the case, multiple courses can be "combined" to be equivalent to one UNC course. No course is every transferred back to UNC as more credit than indicated on the international transcript, even if that course is worth more credit at UNC. Please consider this when determining course equivalencies.

For a list of international school-UNC credit equivalencies, click here.

For a list of international school grade equivalencies, click here.
* UNC students must earn an equivalent of a C- or better to earn transfer credit.


Bilateral Student Exchange Programs


UNC Faculty-Led Study Abroad (FLSA) Programs

Any faculty member who is interested in teaching a course overseas should contact the Director of Study Abroad and Exchange Program ( to schedule an initial meeting to discuss program planning and logistics. CETL Faculty Forums are scheduled for Wednesday, April 13 and Tuesday, April 26 from 11:30am-1pm to learn more about Faculty-Led Study Abroad and UNC. The following guidelines and proposal form explain in detail the process for proposing an FLSA program at UNC:



Donate to Study Abroad Scholarship Fund


Interested in having our office present to your class or at an event?

Complete the request form here.