How I Got College Credit for my Loop Abroad Trip

by Sarah K., Alumna

Sarah K. is a 19-year-old junior at Clemson University. She participated in Loop Abroad’s Summer Veterinary Program for college students in 2014. She enjoys painting, baking, and shopping in her free time. After graduating from Clemson, she is interested in attending vet school and then specializing in marine medicine and rehabilitation. Her favorite part about the Thailand trip was being able to interact with exotic animals, such as Asian elephants and tigers.

I first heard about Loop Abroad’s summer program through a suggested page found on Facebook. After looking over the official website, I decided to apply. About a week after submitting the application, I got an email from Loop Abroad, congratulating me on getting into their program.

From there, I began researching the trip more and more. I knew that this trip would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and something I’d never forget. But I also wondered if it could count towards any of my undergraduate class requirements.

Unsure, I visited my class advisor and inquired about potential class credit. To my amazement, there were such credits that the trip would cover. My advisor offered me two options: 1) have it count as “international experience” or 2) have it count as an “internship.” After discussing the pros and cons of each option, I settled on having the trip count as international experience because it would most likely catch the eyes of any vet school’s admissions office. I was able to earn three credit hours for my two-week trip.

Gaining these three credit hours proved to be a fairly simple process. I was told to keep a daily journal, documenting the entire trip. I was told to write about not only the veterinary aspects of the trip, but also the diverse cultural experiences. When I returned to the U.S., my advisor told me to send in some sample pages of my journal. Even though this was a requirement for me to gain college credits, I now really appreciate the fact that I kept a detailed journal during the entire trip.

A note from Loop Abroad: Every college and university has a different accreditation process for student experiences. Sarah's story is fairly typical, but be sure to talk to your advisor or dean about your school's own requirements.