Being able to get college credit for volunteering abroad is ideal when trying to graduate on time. Luckily, I was able to get credit from DePaul University for my time volunteering in Sri Lanka and during my internship in Thailand and share my tips below to help you when trying to receive class credit for your next travel adventure. Let’s get started!
Is graduation closer than you expected and you’re running out of time to finish your remaining credits?
What if we told you that you could go abroad and get college credit at the same time?!?!
No silly muggle, it doesn’t require magic! It’s easier than you think.
By working with your school and academic advisor to get class credit for your time abroad, you can kill two birds with one stone and still graduate on time.
Greenheart Travel offers Volunteer Programs all over the world. Although it may seem hard to choose, picking a program that somewhat relates to your college degree will make the process a little bit easier. I chose to volunteer in Sri Lanka because it coincides with my Environmental Studies major as well as my passion for wildlife conservation. With opportunities all year round and multiple start days per month, you can customize your trip around your school’s schedule. You could even squeeze a trip in during spring or winter break!
I know what you’re thinking, another thing to put on my to do list that I’ll never get to. But, Greenheart Travel makes the application process super simple. It’s all online and only takes about 30 minutes. You could probably watch Netflix while filling out your application! Once you’ve successfully applied and sent in required travel documents, you’ll hear back about an acceptance in only a few short days.
When you meet with your advisor, discuss what possibilities for credentials your volunteer work could fill. You’ll want to be prepared with the type of work you’ll be doing while abroad, what skills you’ll be learning and how this program will advance your education. In most situations, your time abroad will qualify for an independent studies course. If you selected a program that relates to your major, hopefully the credit will fit in with one of your required courses. You’ll usually be responsible for doing some work while abroad, including writing a paper about the program or documenting your research.
DePaul University does a great job working with students to fulfill their graduation requirements while abroad. Here are the phone numbers to their multiple advising offices where you can call and set up an appointment.
While talking to your advisor, ask them about earning your JYEL credit (DePaul University), or the possibility of gaining credit abroad for participating in an Independent Study Project. If you choose to do so, here is some information for DePaul students:
And lastly, if you want information from DePaul’s Study Abroad Office regarding Non-DePaul Abroad Programs Click here. With a little research, confidence, and a passion for learning and experiencing life abroad, you can do anything you set your mind to!
Traveling abroad will not only give you memorable experiences of a lifetime, but it can help to advance your education and resume. To gain credit for my time in Thailand, I followed the exact steps, and now I’m 4 credits closer to graduation. That trip definitely beat sitting in a classroom during my winter break — I got to learn and work in such a beautiful place, not to mention the perfect weather too! Learning and working abroad is one of the best experiences you can have while in school, because it will help you to stand out from your peers and help you to learn lessons that aren’t available in a classroom
And now, I’m repeating this success with a trip to Sri Lanka. What are you waiting for!?