PSU Education Abroad Policies and Procedures


Grades for courses taken on PSU approved Programs will transfer back and count towards your GPA. All courses will be recorded  as a graded course, unless previously approved through your Education Abroad Advisor.  You cannot request to change a grade to P - NP after the Program has concluded.
Course Approval (does not apply to Fac Led)

In most cases PSU cannot guarantee final course equivalency until you have returned from your Program (though courses taken while on a PSU approved program will receive PSU credit).
Each PSU department will review the course materials (a combination of course syllabus, course texts and sometimes your course work) to determine the equivalent PSU course number.  It is the student’s responsibility to save and submit any materials required upon return (or while abroad) in order to manage the credit articulation process.  Your Education Abroad Advisor will notify you if you are required to submit any additional materials for final approval.

PSU Placeholder Course Registration 

Prior to the beginning of the term, the Education Abroad Office will register confirmed students for a PSU placeholder course.  This course ensures that the student remains in PSU student status while they are studying abroad.   If the student has a hold on their account, the Ed Abroad office will email the student the placeholder CRN number and the student will register for the course once the hold is removed.  Please note that unresolved holds impact your ability to receive financial aid, and may jeopardize your place on the Program.  

Grade Report Approval     

Once your courses have been approved by the appropriate PSU academic departments, you will receive an email with your final grade report.  You are responsible for contacting the Education Abroad staff with any errors or issues within two weeks of receipt of the report.  Any grade appeals will be resolved by the Program directly, and the Education Abroad Advisor cannot independently authorize any changes.  If you have not replied within two weeks upon receipt of the report, the grade report will be sent to the PSU Registrar’s Office to finalize your transcript for the term(s).

Please note: It can take 3-6 months for grades to be reported by the Program and processed by each PSU academic department.  If you are planning on graduating shortly after you return from your Program, it is your responsibility to notify your Education Abroad Advisor and to make arrangements in advance.

Course Load

In order to maintain the requirement of full-time status, students need to be enrolled in a minimum 12 undergraduate and 9 graduate credits per term.  Students on semester programs: remember that 1 semester credit hour abroad generally equals 1.5 quarter credits at PSU. For example, if you are participating in a spring semester program (PSU winter and spring quarter), you should enroll in at least 16 semester credits, which equals to 24 undergraduate quarter credits.  Full time status is required in part for financial aid purposes and, in some cases, to maintain your immigration status.



PSU Scholarships that are considered “tuition waivers” can only be used on programs that charge PSU tuition.  Most programs do not charge tuition, but rather a program fee.  Your Education Abroad advisor and Financial Aid Counselor can help advise you whether your PSU scholarship funding can apply to your program fee.

Veterans Benefits

Students who currently receive Veterans benefits can apply their benefits to the cost of the program.  It is your responsibility to notify your Education Abroad Advisor that you plan to do use your benefits, as a special budget will need to be submitted to the Veterans Services office on campus. Please note: your benefits can not typically be applied to housing costs or other non “academic-related” expenses.  


In most cases, PSU pays the program fee directly (to the program provider or in-country organizing entity) and then bills the associated fees to the PSU student account. Students will be billed the Program fee by X date, and are responsible for complying to  the PSU Payment Policy.

Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy


The application fee and Education Abroad fee are non-refundable, unless the program is cancelled.    Program fee refunds are determined by the refund policy of each program. Carefully review the details of the program refund policy before committing to the program. Once you have confirmed your place on a program, expenses and commitments for future expenses will be made on your behalf, and you will be responsible for covering those expenses whether you attend the program or not. No refunds will be considered for students who have fully completed their program.  PSU is not responsible for any losses incurred by students who become ineligible to attend the program, or who are dismissed once the program has begun.

Withdrawal Policy

Students may officially withdraw from a program by providing written notification of their withdrawal to the Education Abroad Advisor in the PSU Education Abroad Office.  Students are not considered withdrawn from a program until written notification is received. Withdrawing from a program does not, however, absolve you of your responsibility of covering program costs.     If the student withdraws from a program after they have changed their online application status to “committed” they will be billed the non-refundable fees, as stated above, as well as any non-recoverable program costs, as determined by each program refund policy.  

Application Fee: An application fee of $50 is due for all applications on the deadline.  Students who do not intend to complete a program application are required to withdraw before the deadline, otherwise the $50 application fee will be assessed to the students' account. 

Changes in Enrollment

It is your responsibility to notify both your PSU Education Abroad Advisor as well as the Program if you change your enrollment status.  If the Education Abroad Advisor is not notified in a timely manner, we may be limited in our ability to assist you with any follow-up required.

Pre-Departure Requirements

Mandatory Orientation

All PSU students are required to attend a mandatory in-person orientation prior to departure. It is your responsibility to communicate with your Education Abroad Advisor if you have difficulty fitting the orientation into your schedule and make alternate arrangements.
Mandatory Advising

All PSU students applying to an education abroad program are required to attend at least one advising session with their Education Abroad Advisor prior to the interview stage.  

Mandatory International Health Insurance

All students conducting academic work overseas are required to be covered by international health insurance, either through PSU, or through the insurance provided by the PSU approved Education Abroad Program.  No waivers are allowed.

Student Behavior

Student Code of Conduct (see: Statement of Responsibility, Release from Liability, and Assumption of Risk )

As a participant of a PSU Education Abroad program, you are still responsible for abiding by the policies of the University while engaged in the Program, and particularly, all the provisions of the Student Conduct Code to the extent that its provisions apply to the conditions of the Program. You must also comply with the host institution's and/or Program's expectations and policies while participating in University-sponsored or supervised activities.  Even though you will not be physically located in Portland during your program abroad, you should consider yourself to be studying on an extension of PSU’s campus.

Failure to meet the requirements of either PSU or your Education Abroad Program could cause an authorized representative(s) or agent(s) of the University to discontinue your participation in the Program at any time if, in the judgment of the representative(s) or agent(s), your actions or general behavior are determined to be unacceptable.
Depending on the incident, follow-up disciplinary review may occur upon the student’s return to campus.

Students with a history of disciplinary action at PSU

The Education Abroad Office requests a report of history of disciplinary action for all education abroad applicants from the The Office of the Dean of Student Life .  If a student has a history of disciplinary action at PSU, they may be asked to sign an additional behavior contract for their term of study abroad, or it may be recommended that they do not participate on an education abroad program.

Travel to a country with a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning

Students wishing to participate on an education abroad program to a country with a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning will be asked to sign a US Department of State Travel Warning Waiver and Release form when completing their online education abroad program application.

Portland State University has numerous officially approved education abroad programs spanning the globe. The University has selected these programs, in part, based on the knowledgeable program personnel that our partners have stationed in-country; the program infrastructures they have in place; and the due care and attention they devote to enhancing the safety and security of our students. In spite of our confidence in the measures our partners abroad take to enhance student safety and security, from time to time the University finds it appropriate to suspend approval in an officially recognized education abroad program or destination for which students may have an open application due to serious concerns, such as political unrest, social instability, contagious disease control, military operations, or terrorism concerns within the host country.

Portland State University, in its discretion, may suspend approval for an officially approved education abroad program or destination for any of the following reasons:

  1. The U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Warning that specifically directs Americans to leave the country in which the program is located or to forego travel to that country.
  2. The U.S. Department of State has issued either: (1) Travel Warning that urges Americans traveling to or within the country in which the program is located to consider carefully the risks of such travel and remain vigilant with respect to their personal safety and security if they choose to travel to or within that country, or within a specific region of that country that the Department of State has determined poses particularized risks for American travelers; or (2) Travel Warning outlining significant risks to the safety and security of Americans traveling to or within the country in which the program is located.
  3. PSU personnel have received recommendations that participants refrain from travel to a specific country or region by either: (1) PSU faculty who are knowledgeable in the sociopolitical dynamics of the country or region in which the program is located; (2) private security firms with personnel stationed in-country; or (3) PSU’s peer institutions who are advising students to decline participation in programs located within the country or region.

Traveling with Dependents

Some Programs may allow students to travel with dependents, however this is determined on a program by program basis. If a Program allows dependents to join, it is important to note that the dependent is the responsibility of the individual accompanying the student, and not PSU.  As such, the dependent is not officially invited to participate on any of the program related excursions or activities. All costs incurred by the dependent are the responsibility of the accompanying student, and will not be factored into the student’s financial aid budget.

By participating in a PSU Education Abroad Program you are agreeing that you have read and understand these policies and procedures.