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Eligibility and course credit

What are the requirements to study abroad?

Students must:

  • be in good academic standing (most programs require at least a 2.5 GPA or permission from the instructor) 
  • have been enrolled at SFA at least one semester.

Note: Students with problematic disciplinary histories might not be approved to study overseas.

Who can study abroad?

Current degree-seeking students from any SFA major.

Additionally, many programs establish required or preferred prerequisites, so make sure to check with your advisor about program-specific requirements and how courses offered abroad will fit into your degree plan.


Does study abroad affect graduation?

Those who participate in a short-term program after graduation must postpone graduation until the end of the study abroad term or check with the SFA graduate school about enrolling as a post-baccalaureate student.

I am a student-athlete. Can I study abroad?

Yes! We fully encourage students involved in SFA athletics to study abroad.

Make sure you meet with our staff members as well as your academic advisor and coach as early as possible to discuss details.

I am a transfer student. Can I study abroad?

Absolutely! Transfer students are eligible to study abroad after their first semester as long as they meet deadlines for applications and paperwork.

This means that you must be organized and plan early. Meet with your academic advisor before applying to a study abroad program, especially if you are looking at a non-SFA program.

Does study abroad transfer as course credit? Does it impact my GPA?

All SFA faculty-led programs and certain direct exchange programs with partner universities are considered an academic course. Therefore, you will receive SFA semester hour credits and earn a grade that affects your GPA.

Affiliated providers and ISEP programs are counted as pass/fail transfer credit and will not impact your GPA.


How soon should I start the process?

As early as possible. The earlier you begin planning, the easier it will be for you to integrate your study abroad and degree programs. 

What are the application deadlines?

One year in advance for exchange programs, and six months in advance for all others.

Keep in mind:

  • Many programs have limited capacity and unique deadlines that can be found on their program page.
  • Some non-SFA program providers give discounts for early registration. 

When is the best year to study abroad?

Short answer: Go when you’re ready, because personal and academic factors will affect travel dates.

Long answer: Freshmen and sophomores have more schedule flexibility, which is why planning early is important. Saving electives for study abroad also will make it easier applying study abroad classes toward your degree.

Speak with your academic advisor about additional timing factors.

Can I make changes to a submitted application?

Once you submit your application on viaTRM, you may only change editable fields in the “Traveler Info” section. 


What are the steps to withdraw?

SFA faculty-led programs or exchange programs other than ISEP:

Contact the study abroad coordinator in writing expressing your intent to withdraw your application from the program.

Non-SFA programs:

Contact the program provider expressing your intent to withdraw your application.

What is the deadline to withdraw? Is there a fee?

SFA faculty-led programs or exchange programs other than ISEP:

Withdraw your submitted application at any time during the approval process.

If you have already committed to the program, consider these financial factors before withdrawing:

  • The application fee and SFA program deposits are nonrefundable.
  • Fee reimbursements will be credited to your student account once the withdrawal is processed.
  • You will be held to the program terms and conditions. 

Non-SFA programs:

Read the specific details of your program or contact your program provider regarding withdrawal deadlines and applicable fees.

Using viaTRM

Troubleshooting tips

Try the following actions to resolve viaTRM platform issues:

  • Shut down your computer and restart it.
  • Clear your browser cache.
  • Enable pop-ups.
  • Try a new browser.
  • Try a different device.

If you continue to experience issues, email a screenshot to Inés Maxit at with provide as much detail as possible.


Inés Maxit, Study Abroad Coordinator


Office of International Programs
Fax: 936.468.7215
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Come see us:
Steen Library, Suite 103