SAF programs are designed to be an integral part of students' home university
degree program and through SAF membership participating universities agree
to allocate transfer credit. Circumstances vary between universities and
between colleges, faculties and schools. SAF works closely with students
and their home universities to ensure that whenever possible the credit earned
abroad receives appropriate transfer credit from the home university.
facilitates the smooth transfer of credit in the following way:
- The prospective study
abroad student consults with SAF staff to determine which host
universities offer appropriate courses to meet the student’s academic
interests, needs and graduation requirements.
- The SAF website provides direct
links to each host university’s on-line course catalogue providing course
titles and more specific course descriptions that allow the student, their
academic advisor, and faculty to review in deatail each course the student
proposes to undertake while abroad.
- SAF staff fully explain
the registration policies and procedures for each SAF host university or
college. In some cases, SAF students are able to register for
courses well before their study abroad experience begins. At other
institutions, registration can only be competed upon arrival at the host
- To ensure a smooth transfer of credit, SAF encourages students to become familiar with their
home university’s transfer credit policies and procedures. SAF Application
for Admission provides the opportunity for a home university official to
outline specific policies and procedures at the time the student makes
application to the SAF. The SAF advisors based in Country
Offices are usually familiar with member universities' credit transfer
policies and procedures and are more than willing to speak with a
student’s home university to help clarify their transfer credit practices.
- In all cases, SAF works
closely with students, their home university, and the host university
throughout the registration process to ensure that all parties are fully
apprised on course availability and/or enrollment constraints.
- At the completion of the
SAF program, original, official host university transcripts are forwarded
by SAF to the appropriate official at the student’s home university.
- SAF students are advised
to keep copies of all course materials they receive or submit while abroad
(e.g., syllabi, notes, exams, quizzes, papers, etc.) as this information
may be required to finalize the transfer credit process.
are advised of the following with regard to credit transfer:
- Students must first visit the
international education or Registrars office at their home university
and request the rules and regulations regarding credit transfer.
Credit transfer policies and procedures are unique to each
- Students who begin their
studies abroad in a language program need to verify whether their home
university will provide any transfer credit for their language
studies. A few SAF host universities award credit for their language
courses, but this will not necessarily mean the home university will
recognize such credit as applying toward the student’s degree completion
- Some home universities
will require students to pay a fee for transferring the credit earned
abroad to their degree completion requirements at home. Before
participating on a SAF program, students should ensure they and their
parents understand the financial considerations for transfer credit.
SAF will not be responsible for any fees charged by the home
university to transfer credit back to student’s home university.
All SAF program participants are required to maintain a full-time course load
throughout their studies abroad. This is a requirement of SAF and of host government immigration rules. What constitutes a full-time
course load varies by country and often by university. The information
below is representative of full-time course loads at the majority of SAF host
universities. Detailed information regarding each student's specific
host university requirements will be supplied during initial advising and
Students enrolled in pre-semester or pre-sessional ESL programs must similarly
maintain a full-time course load which is typically determined by the number of
classroom hours per week. For example, SAF students studying English in
the US should expect the full-time course load in their ESL program to
be a minimum of 18 hours per week.
While credits reflect the "quantity" of students work, grades
represent the "quality". The grading scales used by SAF host
universities vary by country and often by university. Increasingly in the
UK and Ireland, the ECTS Grading Scale is the norm while in the US most grades
are issued on a scale of A to F. SAF students will be provided with their
host university's grading scale during their pre-departure orientation.
SAF students are not permitted to take courses pass/fail or credit/no credit.
The method that SAF host universities use to assess the quality of students
work is as varied as the grading scales. US universities typically rely
upon a high degree of continual assessment with a students final grades
being determined by cumulative achievement on a variety assignments given
throughout the semester (i.e., essays, quizzes, tests, research papers,
etc.). In Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, students final
grades are often more heavily dependent upon performance on a final
At the conclusion of the study abroad program, SAF will send an official host
university transcript to each student's home university. Final
transcripts are typically released to SAF within a month of the program
completion date, unless the student has outstanding debts. Students
that disagree with a particular grade or credit award on their transcript are
encouraged to contact SAF immediately and request a transcript query.
Students that require subsequent official copies of their study abroad
transcript must contact their host university's registrar office
directly. Usually there is a nominal fee for additional