While Abroad

We know adjusting to life abroad does not occur overnight, and we have ample resources to help aid you with this transition. Be sure to check out the links below for information about academics and adjusting to life abroad.

While you are abroad, remember to have fun and check in with Education Abroad every now and then – we enjoy hearing from you! You can share your adventures with us by tagging or messaging us on social media @StudyAbroadKent or using our hashtag, #FlashesAbroad.

If you are interested in sharing even more of your experience while abroad, consider an Instagram Story takeover with us. If interested, please email edabroad@kent.edu.

Academic Essentials

Credits Abroad

It is critical that your Transfer Course Planning Form (TCP Form) accurately reflects the classes you are taking abroad. Only courses listed on your TCP Form are approved to transfer back as Kent State course equivalents. If you decide to take a course that is not listed on that form, you must request approval for the course while abroad; do not wait until after you return! Course approvals can be done via email.

Keep all your syllabi, papers, and tests. Your academic department at Kent State might ask to see these documents when you return.

Full-Time Enrollment

If you are receiving and using federal financial aid, it is important that you stay enrolled as a full-time student. To be considered a full-time student, you must be enrolled in at least the equivalent number of credit hours for the following:


  • Semester: 12 credit hours

  • Summer: 6 credit hours 


  • Semester: 8 credit hours

  • Summer: 4 credit hours

As an example, if you are studying in Germany for a semester you may need to enroll in 24 ECTS credits in order to be considered full time by US standards. 

For summer programs, it is possible to meet the minimum credit hour requirement by taking the equivalent of 3 credit hours abroad and enrolling in 3 credit hours at Kent.

Academic Culture

Keep in mind that you are going to be living and studying in a new culture which also means you will be in a new academic culture. The grading system may be vastly different from what you are used to. For example, a 65 is considered as a good grade in the United Kingdom. Coursework may also be different. Many other educational systems focus more on lectures and less on group discussion and group participation. You may find that your entire grade is based on one final exam.

Adjusting to Life Abroad

Culture Shock or “Bumps”

Living and studying in a new place is exciting, but it can also be frustrating. You may feel a rollercoaster of emotions from the exhilaration of first arriving, to struggling to communicate effectively to the joy of making new friends, to the sadness of having to leave.

Culture shock is referred to as the difficulties you may have while living and navigating in an unfamiliar environment. It is referred to as a shock because these difficulties may be surprising or unexpected. They are also referred to as “bumps” because the differences or challenges you may face may be smaller, though none the less impactful.

Tips for Adapting

  • Keep an open mind
  • Be willing to try new things
  • Learn about where you are. What are the cultural values? What is the country's history? What historical or cultural sites should you visit?
  • Observe and listen to your surroundings
  • Spend time reflecting on your experiences. Speak with others in your program and reflect together. Consider keeping a journal to note what you learned and experienced so you can reflect and share after you return home.
  • Keep a healthy balance between keeping in contact with home and interacting with your local, host community
  • Reach out for help if you are feeling overwhelmed. Know that there are many people available to support you. If you would like to talk or want to be connected with additional resources, please reach out to an Education Abroad Advisor at edabroad@kent.edu