Undergraduate students in most academic programmes are eligible to spend a semester or year studying abroad at one of the University’s exchange partner institutions. Students apply during their second year of study and complete the study abroad activity during their third year of study. Studying abroad forms an integral part of a student’s degree programme with credit transferring back to their University of Stirling degree. Currently, the University of Stirling has study abroad opportunities for students in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, the United States and in several EU countries. University of Stirling students study abroad under reciprocal exchange agreements, with a balancing number of students from the partner universities coming to study at the University of Stirling.
University-wide exchanges (those covering a range of subject areas) are managed by the outgoing study abroad team within International Affairs. School and division-specific exchanges are managed by the corresponding division.
On the flip side of the outgoing study abroad programme, the University of Stirling welcomes over 150 undergraduate non-graduating study abroad students each semester. These students come from the same countries listed above, but cover all years of undergraduate study across all Academic Schools. The administration of incoming study abroad and exchange students is managed by the incoming study abroad team within International Affairs.
There is a named member of staff with overseas advising responsibility within each subject area who has a specific responsibility for the academic matters arising for outgoing and incoming exchange and study abroad students.
4.2 What these Advisers do
4.2.1 Academic advising for outgoing study abroad students
Any University student studying abroad during their third year does so as a credited part of their degree programme. As such, it is important that the programme of study mirrors that of the student’s third year programme at Stirling. This is of particular importance when identifying suitable matches for core degree modules. Once a student has been offered a place to study abroad on the University Exchange Programme, the student will work with the adviser for their subject area(s) to identify suitable modules at their exchange partner university. The adviser will ensure that the modules are at the appropriate academic level, and that the outcomes of any core modules are covered. The SA1 Learning Agreement is used for this purpose, and is signed by both the student and the overseas adviser.
It is often the case that the student has to make changes to the original SA1 Learning Agreement after they have departed for their study abroad period. The adviser must approve any module changes for these students before the changes are confirmed.
If a student fails a module during their study abroad period, the adviser will need to liaise with the relevant colleagues within the Faculty and advise the Student Programmes Team about what credit should be awarded.
4.2.2 Approving modules for incoming study abroad students
As part of the admissions process, incoming study abroad students are required to select the modules that they would like to study during their semester or year at the University of Stirling. The incoming study abroad team, in consultation with Academic Schools puts together a comprehensive module listing for this purpose. During the admissions process, the incoming study abroad team will send the student’s application to the adviser for the relevant subject area. The adviser will either approve the module choices, or reject the student’s module choices and offer alternatives where available.
4.2.3 Academic advising for incoming study abroad students
Once the incoming study abroad students have arrived on campus and completed their enrolment, the adviser will continue to act as an academic advisor for these students throughout their study period at Stirling.