Choosing a Program

Considerations in Choosing a Program

Before committing to any travel program, you must meet with your advisor and Florence Tolbert, Student Travel Coordinator.

Below is a list of some of the things to consider as you choose a program.

1. Accreditation:

a. All accredited programs earn some academic credit; students should be certain, however, that their time off campus would not jeopardize the fulfillment of the TSA graduation requirements. Also, students need to take into consideration academic requirements for their potential college plans.

b. If the program is not accredited, students may not receive credit at TSA for the schoolwork completed abroad or at another school in the United States. It will be the decision of TSA whether or not credits can be applied toward TSA high school graduation. There are several ways to earn credit upon your return to TSA. (See “Non-Accredited Programs” section)

2. Length of time:

a. Summer Programs can offer many of the same opportunities as semester programs without missing any credits or classes. For many students, this may be the best option.

b. Two to three weeks: Some students have participated in shorter, intensive programs. These can be very satisfying. This takes planning ahead and coordination with teachers regarding missed work.

c. Semester programs: generally, students who travel for a full semester, will travel during their junior year. There are a variety of accredited programs available.  However, with most of these, students will miss part of a course needed for graduation or for college. Refer to the Academic Requirements web page for information on what additional credits a student might need.

d. Year-long programs take the most planning and work if the student will be missing school. For this reason, many students choose to take a gap year (after graduation and before college) and to travel during this time. If the student will be missing a year of TSA, please refer to the Academic Requirements web page.

3. Non-Credited Programs:

If your program is not accredited, there are several ways to earn some credit upon your return to TSA based on the work done while abroad.

a. Complete an Independent Study presentation centered on your time abroad for 1⁄2 credit.

b. If you were in a non-English speaking country, you could receive up to 2 credits for language depending on your proficiency and the amount of time you were away.

c. If you were in an English speaking country, attended a school accredited in that country, received report cards and have course descriptions, TSA may be able to accept some or all of the transferred credit and would attach that school’s transcript for college application purposes.

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