For Faculty

We are a campus committed to an internationalized curriculum, and providing access to international academic experiences is a central tenet of that commitment. A student’s academic advisor is an invaluable resource for students who are interested in studying abroad, and the earlier students are aware of the possibilities, the better. Therefore, we provide the following information and suggestions for academic advisors.

Bradley students can choose from a range of programs abroad:

  • Students can attend an Affiliated Program for Study Abroad for a semester or year. A BU student can also attend a non-affiliated program abroad, assuming it is accredited for U.S. transfer credit, but without the advantages of the affiliated programs – specifically, using their BU financial aid package to study abroad.
  • Students can enroll in a BU Interim Program Abroad, our faculty-led international academic programs that have enrolled nearly 2,600 BU students since 2005. Courses in all five Colleges have been taught in venues including Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Cuzco, Dublin, Friedrichshafen, Helsinki, London, Ljubljana, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, San Juan, Seville, Sydney, Verona, and Vienna.   
  • Students can enroll in regular semester-long on-campus courses with an international travel component. For example, Foster College, the Department of Biology, and the Honors Program, among others, offer Spring Semester courses with travel over Spring Break, in venues including India, China, Mexico, Costa Rica, Vienna, and more.
  • Students can investigate summer programs and international internship opportunities.

First things first: inform new advisees, particularly freshmen, that study abroad is a possibility, and invite them to visit the Study Abroad Office in 246 Bradley Hall and to visit our website, First-year students, including freshmen and transfer students, should also plan for study abroad opportunities after they have finished a semester on campus and established a Bradley GPA (see “Transfer Students” below).

Second, be aware of basic BU Study Abroad policies below.


Note: students must have a minimum 2.50 Bradley GPA to apply for study abroad programs, and many affiliate programs have GPA requirements that are higher (2.75 or 3.0, for example).

  • Bradley students attending an affiliated program abroad for a semester or year pay Bradley tuition and receive the full benefit of their BU financial aid package. This means that any Bradley student can afford to study abroad.
  • Students in any major can spend a semester abroad – and we do mean any major. Of course, advisors in certain majors, particularly education, health sciences, and engineering, face challenges beyond those for advisors in study-abroad-congenial majors such as languages, international studies, international business, and others. However, even in disciplines where curricular planning is complicated by requirements including accreditation, course sequencing, and cumulative credit hours issues, a semester abroad is possible. Especially if a student and his or her academic advisor begin strategizing in the student’s first year, any student can study abroad. Please feel free to consult the International Programs Office for strategies.
  • To dispel two fading but persistent myths: study abroad students are not limited to taking General Education or elective courses only, and students do not graduate late because of studying abroad. (It’s true that students who have studied abroad have graduated late, but not because of study abroad.)
  • Students applying for a semester abroad submit their courses for pre-approval by their academic advisor and other relevant units (Foreign Languages or General Education, for example). Earned credit hours then transfer with parenthetical grades, and students must earn a minimum “C” grade equivalent to transfer credit. As the parenthetical grades indicate, while credit hours transfer, international grades do not, so a Bradley GPA is not affected by grades earned abroad. This practice is long-term and a national norm.      
  • Courses taken at an affiliated program abroad during a student’s senior year count toward the requirement of having 24 of the last 30 semester hours fulfilled in residence on campus in Peoria.

 Advising Transfer Students: like first-semester freshmen, transfer students must establish a Bradley GPA before they apply for a semester-long study abroad program. This generally eliminates incoming transfer juniors from applying during their first semester on campus for a semester-long Spring Semester program in their third year. However, though Spring Semester of the junior year is a good (and traditional) semester for study abroad, transfer students still have many options. They are eligible for Spring Semester on-campus courses with a Spring Break travel component; they can register in January, once their BU GPA is established, for May Interim programs abroad; and of course they can apply for semester-long program in FA or SP of their senior year. (As long as the program they attend is an Affiliated Program, those hours will count as BU “resident” hours for graduation.) We are increasing our efforts to inform incoming transfer students of their options for study abroad, and welcome them to consult our office as well.

Above all, please feel free to contact me or Kathy Stinson, our in-house Study Abroad manager, if you have questions.

For faculty members interested in teaching in a BU Interim Program Abroad, contact Christine Blouch, Director Education Abroad.