Guidelines for On-Site Academic Advising

On-site academic advising in education abroad plays a critical role in helping students make their education abroad experience as purposeful and meaningful as possible. Effective advising helps students develop a plan to integrate education abroad into their individual degree planning, coordinate courses abroad with coursework at their home institution, and prepare for differences in academic cultures. Done well, it encourages students to take advantage of the full range of opportunities available to them.

On-site academic advising differs substantively from academic advising that a student receives on their home campus. It covers a shorter, though intense, period of time. It helps orient the education abroad student to a new academic culture, which can differ significantly from the student’s home campus. It also focuses on helping students select coursework and make daily choices that maximize the unique learning opportunities at their host institution or organization and to study different topics or to approach them in different ways than they are approached at the home institution. On-site advisors are often advising students pursuing degrees in a wide array of disciplines who come from many different home institutions throughout the U.S., if not from around the world, each with their own unique set of credit transfer and degree requirements.

For this reason, it is of paramount importance that students take personal responsibility for staying informed about their own opportunities and limitations in terms of the courses they can pursue abroad. The education abroad professionals who provide students with on-site academic advising can help with this by reminding students to be in touch with their home institution education abroad and academic advisors regularly throughout the course selection process, and by encouraging students to be flexible with regards to class schedules and teaching and learning styles. Where feasible, communication between education abroad advisor at the home institution and academic advisors at the host institution or program can help to support consistency throughout the process, to point students to the most appropriate individuals or resources when they need assistance, and to begin to prepare students for advising and course selection before they leave their home campus.

These Guidelines apply to on-site academic advising for education abroad. They are intended for use by professionals on-site as well as at sending institutions and organizations in order to guide conversations between partners and support consistency. The Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad apply to all aspects of education abroad. Use them together to develop a comprehensive approach to academic advising for education abroad participants.


Download the Guidelines



cover of Guidelines for Academic Advising booklet. Green background with lighter green world map. Forum wordmark in bottom right corner of page.

The 8.5″x 5.5″ booklet is available for purchase in our Publication Store.


Forum Members Non-Members
1 – 24 copies $1.50 each $1.75 each
25 – 99 copies $1.25 each $1.50 each
100+ copies $1.15 each $1.25 each

*Shipping costs are not included.




Member Resources

There are 5 items in the toolbox. Please log-in or join The Forum to access these essential resources.