ACADEMIC SYSTEMS ABROAD
Credit and Grade Conversions
Just like one U.S. dollar equals a higher or lower amount in other currencies, international credit and grading systems differ. At UVM, most courses are worth 3 or 4 U.S. credits, and grades are assigned ranging from “A” to “F”. In other countries, different credit systems and grading systems are used. For example: at most French universities, grades are between 0 to 20, but a 10 is still considered the equivalent of a C grade in the US. French universities also typically use the ECTS credit system (common across much of Europe), in which each ECTS credit is worth half of a UVM credit. So 6 ECTS in France would be worth 3 UVM credits.
You will need to understand how your host country’s credit system and grading works to ensure you meet UVM’s requirements for credit transfer and degree applicability. You will be required to confirm your understanding of credit and grade conversions for your host program/institution in the Post-Decision phase of GoAbroad, using the credit and grade conversion spreadsheet linked to this Transfer Affairs page (programs and conversions subject to change, credits verified once final transcript is received).
What are academics like abroad?
Classes, lectures and labs abroad may look very different from your experience at UVM. Here are some points to keep in mind for your courses abroad:
- You may not have access to any form of detailed syllabus until you arrive in class, and in some cases, you may not have a syllabus similar to what you would find at UVM at all.
- There may be limited homework assigned while you are abroad. It is not uncommon for a final exam to be worth the majority of your grade. It is your responsibility to make sure you are up to date with assigned readings and guiding your own learning process.
- Class attendance may not be taken. In many institutions abroad, it is considered your responsibility to ensure you are not missing any critical points for exams or papers.
- Access to professors and your experience with them in the classroom may be quite different. They may be less accessible via office hours or email. There also may not be time to ask questions during a lecture, though you may have a smaller breakout seminar with a teaching assistant where it would be a more appropriate setting to ask questions.
- Accommodations for learning differences may be less available than they are in the US. Talk with your study abroad advisor if you have questions about a specific program.
- Your classmates may be international students like you, only local students, and any mix in between. Talk with your study abroad advisor to find out more about a specific program.