Earning credits while studying abroad in Asia
On these pages you will find information about the crediting systems used in the study abroad programs represented by Asia Exchange and how they can be converted or transferred into ECTS (Europe) or U.S. credits.
The practices of transferring credits vary from institution to institution and students are encouraged to make a study plan and discuss the credit transfer in advance with a coordinator at their home institution. Home universities make the final decisions about transferring credits
What is a credit system
Credit systems are used to assess students’ progress in their studies. Students are required to earn a certain number of credits i.e. pass a certain number of courses with a passing grade in order to be entitled to full-time student status. Each course is worth a certain number of credits determined by different criteria including student’s workload, learning outcomes and contact hours. The more work and effort a student is required to put into a course, the more credits that course is worth.
What is ECTS?
The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System or ECTS is a common European credit system for higher education. Institutions use it either as their principle grading system or as a secondary grading system for exchange students. The credits are based on the learning outcomes of students as well as the general workloads.
The learning outcome refers to what students are expected to have learned during a course. The learning outcome includes the ability to demonstrate learnt knowledge via exams or essays. The workload refers to the amount of time it takes an average student to achieve the required learning outcome. The workload also includes lectures, seminars, independent study, preparing for exams, taking exams, excursions etc.
The ECTS was first used in 1989. The ECTS is the only study credit system which has been successfully tested and used all over Europe. Originally the ECTS was formed to make it easier to transfer credits completed abroad, and thus promote student exchange in Europe. The ECTS has since been developed into a study credit accumulation system in accordance with the main goals of the Bologna declaration of June 1999.
The ECTS is based on an agreement in which one academic year of full-time studying equals 1500 – 1800 hours, which amounts to 60 ECTS-credits. In Europe, a full-time student’s workload is most often 36 – 40 weeks each year, which means that one study credit represents 25 – 30 hours of work.
Credit transfer in other parts of the world
The credit transfer and accumulation systems vary outside Europe. In some countries there is no consensus for credit transfer and accumulation and the systems may vary greatly even among the institutions of a single country. Please see the links below for information about credit transfer at each of our partner universities.
After completing your studies at your host university, be sure to save all the necessary documents, such as syllabuses, exams and essays. We will send you the transcript after the end of the study program to the address you have given us. You can apply for credit transfer at your own home institution for the courses you have completed abroad with the help of the information on this page and the aforementioned documents. The credit transfer is based on your own study plan and your own account of the overall workload and completed coursework, as well as the assessment of your home institution.
Three important steps regarding credit transfer
- Make a study plan and have your courses pre-approved by your home institution’s exchange coordinator, academic advisor or a professor; whoever is in charge of credit transfer at your home institution. Remember to use the course catalogs and syllabuses on the Asia Exchange website when making your study plan. You will also most likely be required to show the syllabuses to the person in charge of credit transfer, so they can determine how many credits you will receive for your studies abroad.
- Pass your courses. You are responsible for attending classes and receiving grades for the courses included in the study program. It goes without saying that if you don’t attend classes and pass the courses, you won’t earn any credits that your home institution can transfer to your degree. Remember that class attendance is required and that the business visits and workshops are also a part of the course. Remember to keep all your notes, course catalogs, group work assignments and exams so that you have something to show for your time abroad. This will help you in case there is any misunderstanding between you and your home institution about the amount of credits you are entitled to for your studies abroad.
- The Transcript of Records is given out by the host institution and the host institution alone. The host institution will send the official transcripts to Asia Exchange, who in turn will send them to the students. This is done to reduce the chances of the transcripts being lost in the mail. It usually takes several months after the end of the study program for the transcripts of records to be sent by the host institution. We realize that you wish to complete your credit transfer as soon as possible, but please be patient. There is a certain procedure that the host institutions must follow regarding transcripts.
Don’t be discouraged if you are denied credit transfer for some courses after completing your studies. Each supervisor has their own opinion, and the practices of credit transfer vary from faculty to faculty. If you don’t see eye to eye with your supervisor, don’t be afraid to go talk to someone else higher up. Remember to tell your supervisor that you will receive the official transcript of records within a couple months at the latest.
The above mentioned credit transfer instructions are indicative and based on decisions made by home universities in Europe and USA. Thousands of students have been able to transfer credits from Asia Exchange’s host universities to their home universities based on these guidelines.