Complete your Education Abroad Academic Plan! This is the document your Education Abroad Advisor will need in order to transfer your credits from abroad as specific UWL courses. 

NOTE: IEE is aware that students participating in a UWL or ISEP Exchange or Direct Enroll Program might not be able to complete their Academic Plan by the preferred deadlines. In some cases, students might not be able to complete it until they arrive at their host institution abroad or when they return to UWL after their semester abroad. If this is your case, you MUST communicate with your Education Abroad Advisor.

Instructions to Complete the Education Abroad Academic Plan

  1. Print/download the Academic Plan>> Academic Plan or Academic Plan-Fillable.
  2. Meet with your academic and/or language advisor to identify courses you may take abroad and discuss how they will fit into your program. You need to be enrolled full-time (12 U.S. credits) during your semester abroad if you are participating in a semester or academic year program. Your Academic Advisor also needs to sign your Academic Plan. Note: If you are planning on taking a course abroad that is a prerequisite for a course you are planning on taking when you return to campus, you must get an override before you leave. If you do not get an override, you won’t be able to register for that course while you are abroad.
  3. Fill out your Academic Plan. You are responsible for choosing your courses, obtaining the int’l course descriptions, completing the Academic Plan, and submitting that information to the Chair/faculty to get courses approved.
  4. Meet or communicate with department chair(s) or language faculty to request approval of transfer coursework. You MUST provide both course descriptions and syllabi (if available) from the institution abroad AND the UWL course you are requesting as an equivalent. Note: E-mail approvals will ONLY be accepted if the student has already submitted an Academic Plan, is currently abroad or after their program has ended. Language Courses: If you are taking courses abroad that you want to transfer back towards your language major or minor, you need to get approvals from the language faculty assigned to the specific country/language. French: Prof. Anna Keefe -  German: Prof. Shelley Hay – Chinese: Prof. Hongying Xu – Russian: Prof. Natalia Roberts – Hmong: Prof. Tony Yang. View the list of Spanish facultySpanish Education major, regardless of the country, need to meet with Prof. Kim Morris or Prof. Claire Mitchell.
  5. See section below about pre-approved course.
  6. Department chair(s) or language faculty signs the UWL approved course equivalent on the Academic Plan.
  7. Submit your Academic Plan to IEE at 1209 Centennial Hall or scan and email the form to by the deadlines below.
  8. Keep a copy of your Academic Plan and approvals for your own records. You might need to refer to this list when you are registering for courses after your arrival at the institution abroad. For your convenience, a copy of your Academic Plan will be uploaded to your UWL study abroad application under "Documents" once you submit it to IEE.

Deadlines to Submit your Education Abroad Academic Plan

Winter and Spring Programs DECEMBER 1
Summer, Fall, and Academic Year Programs MAY 1

Previously Approved Courses

IEE has a "Course Equivalency Database” of courses that have been previously approved in the last 3 years. These lists are not comprehensive nor do they take the place of meeting with your Academic Advisor, or the appropriate Academic Department for final approval. They are meant as a guide to give you a sense of what courses may be appropriate for your studies while abroad. Students still need to get approval and Academic Advisors still need to sign Academic Plans even if all the courses students choose are from our Course Equivalency Database.

ALL language students MUST meet with the appropriate language faculty advisor for course approval, prior to departure.

Enrollment at UWL While you are Abroad

IEE will enroll you in UWL300 International Study Abroad placeholder courses for the duration of your study abroad program. Students participating on Faculty-led Programs will be enrolled in the actual course(s) by IEE.

Potential UWL Registration Issues: HOLDS!

If IEE can't enroll you in the place holder course for the semester abroad, it could be due to any of these issues:

  • Current balance must be paid in full.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to remove advising holds.

You can find instructions on how to determine what kind of hold you have and what to do on the WINGS webpage (click on "Holds and To Do List).


Grades come back as A, B, C, etc., and are NOT pass/fail. If the grading system is different in the host country, your grades will be converted to U.S. letter grades. You can view common grading systems in your host country here.
  • Make sure to attend classes and take final exams! Sometimes you must register for finals.
  • Request transcripts to be sent to your UWL Education Abroad Advisor.
  • Ask for additional copies of your transcript for yourself. You might need it for Grad school or if you transfer to another school.

Register for the Following Term

Don’t forget to register for your next semester at UWL during UWL registration period. Remember, an override is required if you are taking a course abroad that is a prerequisite for a course you plan to enroll in the following semester. 

Transferring your Credits from Abroad

This is the process:

  1. IEE will receive your transcript usually a few months after students complete their program abroad. Be sure to follow-up with your host institution or program provider to ensure your transcript is sent to IEE. In some cases students MUST request a transcript to be sent to IEE. 
  2. IEE will evaluate your transcript and match your courses to your course approvals on your Education Abroad Academic Plan. Courses that do not have approvals will transfer back as general education courses.
  3. Once the evaluation is complete, IEE will forward your transcript and evaluation to UWL Records & Registration.
  4. Records and Registration will process your transcript evaluation and course will show up on your transcript record under transfer credits.

NOTE: It takes a few months for IEE to receive international transcripts, and several weeks after receiving transcripts to finalize transcript evaluations.


  • Grades count and will come back as A - F letter grades.
  • Education abroad credits are considered transfer credits.
  • Education abroad grades will factor into your transfer GPA and cumulative GPA (see example below).
  • Faculty-led programs. Study abroad credits are considered UWL credits and grades will factor into the UWL GPA.



What if I took courses that I didn't get approved on my academic plan prior to my departure? 

Students should contact IEE regarding any course changes/additions. Students can e-mail the appropriate Dept. Chair(s) or language faculty to gain approval while abroad or after they return. Alternatively, students can submit a new Education Abroad Academic Plan with the new course(s) approvals.

What if I don't get course approvals for courses that I took abroad? If you do not get approval for your courses, credits will transfer as GEN. To avoid receiving general elective credit, we advise that students get all possible international courses approved prior to departure.

Do my grades count while I'm abroad?
Grades will factor into your Transfer GPA and Overall GPA. All international grades will be converted into the UWL/U.S. grading system. Grades from faculty-led programs will count towards the UWL GPA.
What happens if I don’t submit an Academic Plan?
Your Academic Plan will determine how your courses from abroad will transfer to UWL. If you do not submit an Academic Plan, credits will transfer as GEN.
 If you need specific UWL credits, you MUST submit an Academic Plan.
Can a class that was failed at UW-La Crosse be retaken while abroad?
No. A student cannot retake a failed course abroad. The failed course must be repeated on campus.
Do classes I take abroad count towards the UWL tuition plateau?
No. Your education abroad courses will not count towards the UWL tuition plateau

How many credits do I need to take?
All students on semester programs need to be enrolled in at least 12 U.S. credits as students need to be full-time student standing.

How do I know if I have enough credits?
International institutions have different credit systems. If you are unsure as to how many courses you need to be enrolled in, please contact your Education Abroad Advisor. Example: UK Programs: 5-6 ECTS = 3 U.S. credits. 15 British Credits = 3 U.S. credits. AUS Programs: 10-12 = 4 U.S. credits.