The University of Massachusetts, through its International Programs Office (IPO) and the Asian Languages and Literatures unit of the Department of Languages Literatures and Cultures, sponsors a variety of semester and/or year long study and/or work programs in Japan, the People's Republic of China and Taiwan. (There are also opportunities for summer programs abroad, though these are not generally exchanges). An overview of the exchange process and its various programs follows. More detailed information may be obtained from Ms. Laurel Foster-Moore, Exchange Coordinator in the International Programs Office in Hills South for programs in East Asia.
You could also contact the International Programs Office directly.
We presently sponsor study abroad programs at the following locations:
Information and applications for all programs are available from Ms. Foster-Moore (545-2710)at IPO. Information sessions are held in October/November each year for students who are thinking about going on exchange and would like to know more. In addition to Ms. Foster-Moore and IPO representatives, these information sessions are attended by departmental faculty and students who have already participated in the programs. Slides of the various locations are shown; academic and residential matters are discussed; experiences are shared; and refreshments are provided. We strongly suggest that all students interested in participating in our programs attend one of these information sessions.
Before you leave campus in the semester prior to the term in which you will go on exchange, you must file papers with the Registrar's Office, by means of the International Programs Office, in order to be considered 'Withdrawn on Exchange. You must follow the guidelines for the various forms which are detailed in IPO's booklet Guidelines for Studying Abroad.
Failure to complete this process properly may change your status at the university, and may affect your financial aid. If you don't complete this process at all, your return to the University after an exchange program may find you without financial aid, without housing, and having to apply to the University as if you had never been here at all!
Among the forms you will have to complete is one called the Preliminary Registration/Approval Form (PRAF). Please see your major advisor if you need assistance in completing this form. His or her signature is usually required on it.
If you successfully complete the curriculum in a UMass-sponsored overseas exchange program, you can expect to receive credit for it, but credits taken abroad are not automatically transferred. Upon your return from exchange, you must contact the IPO office and complete the transfer process by completing a Transfer of International Credit (TIC) form. This form will convert foreign course credit into University equivalents, and will validate credits when official documentation of overseas coursework is submitted to IPO. IPO cannot process your overseas transcript unless you complete this form. Contact IPO for more detailed information.
Although overseas exchange coursework does not carry General Education credit, it may be possible to obtain such credit through your academic dean at the Advising Services Center, if the course in question appears to satisfy the General Education requirement of an introductory level course which is broad in scope. You must submit a petition to Advising Services, and make a very solid case for it in order to obtain General Education credit.
The policy (described above under the Chinese major) of not giving automatic credit toward the major for any courses taken abroad, whether on a UMass exchange program or otherwise, holds true for Japanese majors as well. However, the means for challenging courses is different than that for Chinese majors.
In the Japanese program, Japanese majors returning from overseas must make an appointment to see the major advisor as soon as possible. They must take to this appointment all of the course material acquired while on exchange, as well as a copy of their overseas transcript. The major advisor will review this material, talk to you (most likely in Japanese) at length about the work that you did, and from this s/he will decide if you have reached a level of expertise in the exchange course which is directly comparable to the departmental course for which you seek credit. The major advisor may send you to the instructor whose course you seek to challenge, for your interview. If the major advisor determines that you have successfully completed work in an overseas program which is comparable to one (or more) of our major courses here, s/he will put this in writing and this will be placed in your file.
When either a Chinese major or a Japanese major successfully challenges a course and obtains credit for the major, this is not reflected on the degree audit form or the University's transcript.
Once a semester, normally around the time of preregistration in mid-semester, the undergraduate advisor makes adjustments to the degree audit, as necessary. You need not be concerned if you do not see the correction of your degree audit until the end of the first semester senior year. At that time, if this correction still has not been made to your record, please contact the advisor for your major (Chinese or Japanese).