While Abroad: Classes, Exams & Grades

Your study abroad program will give you many opportunities to experience new cultures. Be sure to refer to the Pre-Departure guide for  important information that may help you plan and stay safe while abroad.  This comprehensive guide includes information on Travel and Safety Abroad, Health Insurance, Academics Abroad and several other topics that are important for you to review prior to traveling overseas.

Class attendance abroad

While studying abroad, you are expected to attend and participate in all classes, assignments, labs, recitations, and field trips as scheduled by your program director and/or host institution. Skipping a class is considered very rude in some cultures, and may not be permitted on many study abroad programs. Please speak with your on-site director if you might need to miss class for any reason.


The exam periods at most institutions are structured differently from and usually more formal than what you may be accustomed to on campus. The official exam timetable is usually posted within a month prior to exams; you may not know your exam dates until late in the semester.  For this reason, you should purchase your plane ticket with the plan to remain in your host city until the day after your exam period finishes.  Do not expect or assume that your program will allow you to take your exams early.  If you leave your host country before completing your exams, you may fail your courses.

In truly unusual or exceptional circumstances, you may request special permission to have your exams proctored at UF after your return.  This must be approved by your on-site coordinator as well as a UF faculty member to act as a proctor, Be aware that ONLY the most exceptional circumstances, such as the host institution’s semester overlapping with the following UF semester, will be considered.  Generally speaking, the following situations ARE NOT considered exceptional: (1) needing to return early to attend a wedding, baby/bridal shower or similar celebration (2) needing to return early to start an internship (3) needing to return early to start a job or other related activity.

Essay question exams: You may find that many of your exams at your host institution are essay-style.  Remember that the quality of your essay may be a much more significant part of your final grade than what you are accustomed to here in Gainesville.

UF Grading Policy

Universities abroad have different grading systems than those in the United States.  Exchange program equivalents can be found here: Exchange Program Grade Conversions. The University of Florida relies upon the full grading scale listed by WES (http://www.wes.org/gradeconversionguide/) to determine other grades.

Pass/Fail Options

The University of Florida is required to post all overseas grades that a student receives as the actual letter grade.  This means that we cannot simply change a grade from a “C” to a “S” and so forth.  If you would like to receive pass/fail grades, you have two options:

  • Submit the required UF pass/fail forms to the UF Registrar for each relevant class before going abroad.
  • Ask the host institution to award you pass/fail instead of letter grades.

Under no circumstances will UFIC switch letter grades to pass/fail grades, irrespective of the grades you have actually received.