Regardless of whether it is a full course or a semester abroad – if you want to study abroad, you need a so-called Transcript of Records or Record of Study. The transcript of the foreign university is after the return along with the ” learning agreement ” the most important document for the recognition of studies abroad services is.
But what about a transcript for studying abroad? How do students get the document and how does it differ from other certificate documents? The following advisory text answers these questions.
Components of a transcript for studying abroad
The Transcript of Records is an instrument of the European Credit Transfer System. It is a performance overview or a transcript of records that provides information about a student’s academic performance.
A look at the Transcript of Records provides information on the following points:
- All modules and courses completed so far
- Types of examinations and the semester in which the student has provided the respective proof of performance
- ECTS credits achieved
- Grades achieved
In addition, a transcript for studying abroad should include the name of the student and the university, the matriculation number, the subject including the major and minor as well as the desired degree. In order for a transcript for studying abroad to be accepted by the host university, the stamp and signature of the home university are also required.
Since different grading systems exist in other countries, the transcript for studying abroad ideally also contains an explanation of the grading system used at the home university.
Because the application for a semester abroad is made with a preliminary transcript of records, there are often modules for which no grade has yet been obtained. In this case it is advisable to add the note ” pending ” or ” not graded yet ” at the appropriate point. ECTS points are only given for completed modules.
Function of a transcript of records
A transcript for studying abroad provides the target university abroad with important information. For example, if you want to spend a semester abroad and attend advanced courses, you usually have to have certain prior technical knowledge.
Many universities require successful participation in specific courses. The Transcript of Records provides information on whether the student has attended courses with comparable content at his home university and has acquired certain specialist knowledge and thus fulfills the necessary requirements.
After the semester abroad, the host university of the home university provides an overview of all study achievements abroad. This is the basis for having courses completed abroad recognized.
Apply for a transcript for studying abroad
Many universities in Germany create a transcript for studying abroad on the basis of their databases. Then it is possible to request a performance overview from the Examinations Office, the International Office or another official university body.
However, there are also universities that provide a template for a transcript of records. This must be completed by the student and submitted to the responsible department at the university. In the event that the home university does not have a transcript form, we will provide students with a template.
When creating a transcript for studying abroad, it is important that it is written entirely in English or in the corresponding national language. It is not enough to fill out the head of the form in English. In addition, an English translation of all courses taken so far is required. Otherwise the host university abroad cannot get an impression of the applicant and his / her qualifications.
In the event that there are no English-language course names, students can translate the course names as literally as possible.
Due to the grade explanation on the transcript, it is not necessary to convert your own grades. After the semester abroad, the home university converts the student’s grades obtained abroad into its own grading system.
Other certificate documents
In addition to the Transcript of Records, there are a number of other documents that are part of the final documents: the Diploma Supplement, the diploma and the diploma.
The so-called Diploma Supplement supplements the diploma and is created as an English-language document by default.
The Diploma Supplement is intended to make it easier for domestic and foreign universities and employers to evaluate and classify course content and academic degrees. It provides information on the individual data of the graduate and contains uniform information on the following areas:
- University status
- Type of degree
- Formal and content-related features of the study program (study objectives and content, course of study, application requirements, qualifications acquired with the degree)
- Standardized explanation of the German higher education system (National Statement)
- If necessary, relevant additional information
Graduation certificate and diploma
Once all of the work has been completed and the bachelor’s or master’s thesis has been assessed, students receive a certificate and a certificate. A Bachelor’s or Master’s certificate confirms the successful completion of the course.
The Bachelor’s / Master’s certificate, on the other hand, lists the individual modules with module grades and points according to ECTS as well as the topic of the thesis. The difference to the Transcript of Records is that the general module names are noted on the final certificate, whereas the transcript documents the individual course of study.
Important information about a transcript for studying abroad
Before applying for a postgraduate course, it is important to find out whether the host university will accept a preliminary performance overview. At some universities it is possible, under certain conditions, to submit the diploma later. At other universities, applicants can only apply with the complete degree documents.
There are also different procedures for delivering the transcript, depending on the university. Some universities request the transcript for studying abroad directly from the issuing university, sometimes in a sealed envelope. Applicants at other institutions can submit the transcript themselves. We take over this step for students and ensures that all application documents are sent at a coordinated time.
Have a transcript certified
In contrast to the bachelor’s degree or other graduation documents, a transcript of records can generally be made several times, after all it is a current overview of the applicant’s performance. For this reason, a transcript for studying abroad usually has to be submitted in the original and not as a certified copy to the target university.
In the event that a copy of the transcript is sufficient, an official certification of the document is required. This can be recognized by the following features:
- a note certifying that the copy is identical to the original
- a signature from the certifier
- an original copy of the official seal
All public bodies that have an official seal are authorized to issue official certifications. These can be federal, state or local authorities, notaries or churches organized under public law. Certifications by lawyers, auditors and auditors, associations, banks or insurance companies are not recognized.
In the event that a transcript for a study abroad consists of several single sheets, each side of the copies must contain an imprint of a seal. If the sheets are stapled together and part of the seal imprint appears on each side, this is also recognized.
Good to know: At some universities in Germany, transcripts for studying abroad are created automatically and are valid without a signature or stamp. However, since the target universities abroad cannot verify the authenticity of the document, a machine-generated transcript without a signature is usually not sufficient.
It will only be accepted for an application if it has a so-called verification code: a multi-digit number printed on the transcript. Using this code, it is possible to verify the transcript via a publicly accessible link from the university.
If such a verification code is not available, the transcript must also be signed and stamped by the examination office of the respective university in order to confirm the authenticity of the printout.