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Uganda by Jenna Trost
Once you get abroad there is so much to explore and experience that it's easy to forget all the work and preparation you've already put into your course planning. Remember your resources, your course plan, and never hesitate to connect with Ed Abroad or your academic advisor if you need guidance, additional course evaluations, or recommendations on your overall course load. 

Registration and Language Placement Exams

On many programs you will register for your classes on-site and not in advance of your program start. There are opportunities and pitfalls that come with doing this so soon after you arrive on-site. These could include:
  • Language classes & placement exams: if you place too low, you risk not earning credit for the course you enroll in if it's determined to be a direct equivalent to a course you already took at CU.

  • Deviating from your original course plan: refer to your Ed Abroad course evaluation forms and academic planning worksheets that you developed with your academic advisor when you register for your classes. If you discover new and exciting classes that might be a better match for your schedule and/or academic interests, keep in mind that they may not be approved to fulfill the degree requirements you need to take during your program in order to stay on track with your degree. Be sure to communicate this change to your academic advisor, and submit additional course evaluation forms as needed.

Confirming Your Final Enrollment

Once your course enrollment abroad has been finalized, confirm the specific classes that you're taking with your academic advisor. They can use this information to determine how these courses will help you complete your degree & provide guidance on what CU classes to register for in the term you get back as appropriate.

Getting Academic Support While Abroad

If you find yourself struggling with your courses while you're abroad, there may be resources and support available to you. Talk to your on-site staff about what support systems, such as tutoring, may be available to you. If you continue to find the academics of your program challenging after taking full advantage of these support resources, you should notify Education Abroad and your academic advisor as early as you can. Your Education Abroad program manager can discuss your options regarding your program course enrollment, and your academic advisor can work with you on adjusting your CU registration for the term you get back to CU as needed. 

Attendance and Participation

You are responsible for following your program’s/host institution’s attendance policy for classes and program activities and for completing assigned work. Failure to participate fully in a program may constitute academic misconduct and result in dismissal from the program.

Final Exams

Exams must be taken onsite at the regularly scheduled times.


It is your responsibility to finish all coursework and to take all final exams before leaving your program site. Incomplete grades cannot automatically be completed – it depends on the policies of your education abroad program and on-site faculty and staff. Neither your abroad Professors/Instructors nor CU Boulder Professors/Instructors are obligated to help you complete an incomplete class. In most cases, incomplete education abroad grades/classes are unable to be completed. The class will not be posted to your CU record, and you will not earn any credit for the class.
If you officially withdraw from a program, you will receive “Ws”, not incompletes, for courses you did not finish before you withdrew. You will receive credit and grades for courses that were completed before you withdrew.

Registering for CU Classes While Abroad

For students on semester or year-long programs, you will register for the CU Boulder classes you'll take when you get back to the U.S. while you're abroad. Your registration window and processes will match what you are used to in Boulder, which may fall during odd times when you're in different time zones. 
  • Spring and Academic Year students: you will register for fall classes during your enrollment appointment, which you will be able to view in Buff Portal beginning in early March. Enrollment appointments will vary, but the earliest possible enrollment appointments typically start in late March or early April.
  • Fall students: you will register for spring classes during your enrollment appointment, which you will be able to view in Buff Portal beginning in early to mid-October. Enrollment appointments will vary, but the earliest possible enrollment appointments typically start in late October or early November.
The Office of the Registrar will email you with specific registration instructions and detailed enrollment dates as you approach your registration window. Be sure to keep an eye on your email account while you're abroad so that you don't miss this email. 

Additionally, keep in mind the following:
  • Neither Education Abroad nor your Academic Advisor can register you for your CU classes while you are abroad. It's important that you have access to the internet and clear your schedule for your registration window.
  • You should start planning for your CU registration before you even start your Ed Abroad program. Keeping notes on your academic plan will make this registration process far easier and less stressful while you're abroad.
  • Check for holds and get them removed in advance of your time assignment. Even though you'll be abroad, you may still be flagged with an advising stop/service indicator from your major department or college on campus. Look for this as soon as you receive your registration time information, and email your Academic Advisor to have the hold removed. Do not wait to do this until your registration time, as you may delay your registration and jeopardize your ability to get into the classes you need.
  • If you've changed your course enrollment while you're abroad from what you originally had planned out with your academic advisor, this could impact your CU registration plan. Make sure to keep your academic advisor up-to-date on your final course enrollment on your program and review the Course Approvals List and your course evaluation forms to make sure you know what specific degree requirements you're fulfilling while abroad. 
Last Updated January 2023
Photo - Uganda by Jenna Trost