Advising International Exchange Students

In addition to sending NC State students abroad, the Study Abroad Office also receives international exchange students who study at NC State for a semester or academic year. The Study Abroad Office coordinates with academic departments to ensure these students have an academic advisor while studying at NC State. Studies show that the relationship between the student and the advisor is directly correlated to the students’ success at the host institution. In order to be an effective advisor for international students, it is helpful to take their unique needs into consideration.

Adjusting to the U.S. academic system can be hard. 
International students are often surprised by the amount of homework and exams throughout the semester. Many of them are accustomed to having a reading list and a final exam, with no monitoring of progress through the term. During the advising appointment, we encourage advisors to discuss general expectations, as well as anything specific to the department. This could include expectations for class  attendance, studying outside of class, classroom participation, group work, issues of cheating or plagiarism, attending office hours, etc.

The registration process is different for international exchange students.

  • International exchange students are classified as non-degree seeking (NDS), rather than put into a class, such as freshman. Any exchange student who requests graduate status is reviewed by the academic department before being accepted by the Study Abroad Office.
  • The students are directed to NC State course listings and asked to submit their preferences during the application process. The Study Abroad Office recommends that they consult with their home university to ensure that the courses taken here will transfer back to their home university degree (see Course Registration).
  • The Study Abroad Office registers students based on student preferences and visa regulations.  If we have difficulty with registering students based on restrictions (such as Jr/Sr only, or prerequisites) we will contact the academic department to discuss the possibilities of allowing the student to enroll.
  • Though the Study Abroad Office completes the initial class registration, we provide instructions on using MyPack prior to their arrival. The students will have their Unity ID and password before they meet with their advisor.
  • Exchange students are only allowed to enroll in one Distance Education (DE) course per semester, due to visa regulations. Students who register for a DE course will be charged standard out-of-state DE tuition rates. Since exchange students pay tuition to their home university, and the DE cost would be in addition to tuition already paid, the Study Abroad Office does not endorse this option.

There are special course requirements for international exchange students based on immigration regulations. 
Undergraduate exchange students must be registered for at least 12 credit hours, and graduate exchange students must be registered for at least 9 credit hours. For ALL STUDENTS, at least 50% of their classes and credit hours must be in the curriculum of study listed on their visa paperwork. Finally, the students must be making satisfactory academic progress throughout the semester.

Advisors who notice that an international exchange student is struggling, academically or otherwise, should inform the Study Abroad Office. We often hear that a student is struggling towards the end of the semester when it may be too late for us to assist them.