Returning Home

Welcome back!

We cannot wait to hear your stories. As you return, we have gathered a few resources to help you.

  1. Work with your academic advisors about any courses previously not sign off (information below)
  2. Reconnect with SF State Abroad (IEEC, AU 694, Global Ambassadors, and more) while you readjust to life in the US (details below)
  3. Write about your experience and photos with SF State Abroad
  4. Add study abroad to your resume, LinkedIn, and Handshake
  5. Utilize Big Interview to practice sharing your study abroad experience with future employers.

 

Academics:

Please allow a semester for your study abroad work to appear on your unofficial transcript in Gateway. Your transcript will be sent from the partner abroad to the SF State Abroad Office. Your SF State Abroad advisor will process it before sending it to SF State's Registrar's Office. Once it is sent there, it takes 6-8 weeks before you will see anything on your unofficial transcript in Gateway. The timeframe varies as it depends upon when the SF State Abroad Office receives the transcript from abroad. 

Please allow at least a semester for your CSU IP work to appear on your unofficial transcript in Gateway. Your transcript will be sent from the partner abroad to the Chancellor's Office. CSU IP will process it and post your transcript in your CSU IP portal before sending it directly to SF State's Registrar's Office. Once it is sent there, it takes 6-8 weeks before you will see anything on your unofficial transcript in Gateway. 

Your SF State Abroad advisors are happy to answer questions, but our office does not receive or process CSU IP study abroad transcripts. Depending upon your question, it may be helpful to email ipacademics@calstate.edu about any transcript questions before it is sent to SF State's Registrar's Office. 

Please note that study abroad coursework does not automatically appear in your degree progress report (DPR) nor does it need to do so. It is recommended that you look at your unofficial transcript in Gateway to view study abroad courses. 

If your department wants it on there, please wait until your study abroad coursework appears on your unofficial transcript in Gateway. Once it is there, reach out to your college's Student Success advisor. To find your advisor, consult the Academic Advising Directory here

Did you take GE classes abroad? Check to see that your study abroad coursework appears on your unofficial transcript in Gateway. Once it is there, then work with your GE/Student Success Advisor in your college to complete the GE petition to ensure that they fill your GE degree requirements. 

To find your GE advisor, consult the Academic Advising Directory here

Did you take major or minor classes abroad? 

If you previously had them signed off on the Overseas Course Approval Form, then no action is needed.

If you took any classes there were not signed off, then you will want to contact the department chair for your major or minor to have them approved now. This is best done before your transcript is sent to SF State. 

There are two possible ways to file for graduation:

  1. Apply from abroad. This does require obtaining signatures from a distance and review the Undergraduate Admissions’ website for the deadline and pay the $100 fee from abroad. It is recommended that you contact everyone who needs to sign off and have a friend walk the document around. You can try emailing, but for our students in the past things often get lost in someone’s email box. The advantage is that your degree would say the current, but do not anticipate receiving it until the following semester after you return. (For example, if you are abroad in the spring and apply in the spring, then you will get it in fall.) You will get an initial denial letter. This is okay and normal. Wait until you see your study abroad work on your transcript in Gateway and then write to the advisor at the end of your denial letter and let them know it is now here. This takes time and follow-up on your part. The advisor will then re-activate your graduation application (no additional cost) and backdate your graduation to the term you applied. You must be patient with this option. 
  2. Wait and apply when you return (for example abroad in the spring and then file in the summer after you return without taking any additional classes). This is our preference since it is easier.  You do not take any classes when you return just meet with everyone and get your application signed off. Since it takes a while for grades to come back from abroad it is easier since this will allow for time for everything to be processed at SF State. Your diploma would say the term you apply. If you apply in summer or fall, then you can walk in the following spring ceremony if you desired You still would not receive your diploma until the next semester after you return. 

With either option, it is recommended to include a note on top that you are studying abroad this term and that there will be a delay in your work transferring back. Also, with both, you can tell people that you have completed your degree but waiting for the diploma. 

Walking is separate from filing for graduation. For example, you can request to walk in spring and apply to graduate in the summer. Please note that walking is only possible in the spring, as there are no university-wide ceremonies in the summer or fall. Therefore, students who have not applied to walk and graduate in the summer or fall can apply to walk in the following spring.  

If you are abroad and want to walk that term, please first check the dates. When does the term end? If it is not over, can you fly back for the ceremony here and then return abroad? Just be sure to check the final exam schedule as you need to pass your classes. 

Graduation Information:

  1. Apply first online through Gateway.
  2. Some departments have hardcopy application while others do not. Check your department on the process. 
  3. Pay the Bursar. (The first deadline is $100, but if you apply by the final deadline it is only $105.) 

Review the process on the Graduation and Commencement website.

Note deadlines on the Registrar's Office website.

Readjusting to Life in the US:

Do you miss life abroad? Want to hang out with international students and other study abroad alumni? Miss the way things worked abroad?

Join the International Education Exchange Council (IEEC)

Want to unpack your study abroad experience? Connect with other students who studied abroad? Learn how to professionally market your study abroad experience?

Take AU 694 (Integrating Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Study Abroad), which is offered each fal and spring semester for 1 unit. Please email studyabroad@sfsu.edu for the add code before the sart of the semester. 

A great way to reflect and share your study abroad experience is to blog about it and post stories on Instagram. We would be happy to give you access to our accounts. Please email studyabroad@sfsu.edu

Study Abroad Enhances Your Professional Career:

Be sure to include study abroad on your LinkedIn and maintain professional connections. 

Take advantage of the expertise of the Career Services and Leadership Development (CSLD) Office. CSLD can also help you with adding study abroad to Handshake and using Big Interview to talk about it. 

Include study abroad on your resume. It can be included under multiple sections from education to experience. Be sure to work with an advisor in the Career Services and Leadership Development (CSLD) Office. CSLD can also help you with including on Handshake and using Big Interview to talk about it in an interview.