Foreign transcripts – transfer credits from another country

man on computer checking his foreign transcripts

Every country has a different school system. Learn how you can get your foreign transcripts evaluated so you can use your past education in the United States.

If you want to start school in the United States, you will need to show what education you got in your home country. Employers may ask about your education, too. You will need your foreign transcripts evaluated. But even if you have a degree or certificate in your home country, you might need to take more classes or tests to work in your old job.

Words to know

  • Transcript
    A paper that lists what classes you took in high school or college. Most people get them after they graduate. You can usually order more foreign transcripts from your school.
  • Academic evaluation
    Academic evaluations are done by companies who translate and research your transcript. They decide if the education you got in your country is the same or similar as in the US.
  • School credits
    American schools and universities use a credit system. Credits are numbers assigned to each class or course. Usually, classes are 2-3 credits. Before you graduate, you have to earn a certain amount of credits.
  • Degree
    A degree is a diploma from a university or college.

When and how to get foreign transcripts evaluated

If you are looking for an unskilled job, you may not need to prove your education. Apply for a few jobs and see if they ask you for foreign transcripts. Also, some jobs pay more if you have a high school diploma or a university degree. If you do not need your foreign transcripts evaluated, you can save money on evaluation fees.

If you are applying for a professional position, you should definitely get your degree evaluated. Get started as soon as you search for jobs because it can take a long time.

First, get a transcript from your school. Then submit it to a transcript evaluation company. There are usually two type of evaluations:

  • Course by course evaluation: The transcript evaluator looks at foreign transcripts to see all the classes you took one by one. They are looking to see if the classes you took are similar to the ones you need in the US. This is done when you want to apply to college. It usually costs $150–$200.
  • General evaluation: The transcript evaluator looks at foreign transcripts to see if the degree you have from your home county is the same as a degree in the US. This is usually done when you are applying for jobs. It costs around $400.

Problems with evaluations

Sometimes, the school you went to may be closed. It could also be in an area that is not safe. Either way, you might not be able to get you school transcript. If you are trying to get a transcript for work, explain to the company’s human resources department. If it is for school, call the school admissions department about your problem.

Evaluation results

You may learn that you need to take more classes to complete your degree in the US. This can feel very frustrating. Remember that there is a reason for this. For example, an architect in Iraq and an architect in the United States might do the same job. But there are different regulations to learn.

If you had a job that took a lot of education in your country, you probably will need to work on getting a new certification or taking more classes. Doctors, lawyers, and teachers all need to to this. For jobs that don’t require degrees, you may be not need new certification. Your skills will be enough to show you can do the job.

If you are confused about your evaluation results and would like more help, you can contact the company who did the evaluation. You can also meet with a school counselor. They will help you read your evaluation and will tell you what classes you need to take.

Companies that evaluate foreign transcripts

Other useful links

  • Upwardly Global  can help you adapt your skills, education, and previous career into the U.S. workforce and demonstrate the value of your experience to employers.

Resources from the Refugee Center Online

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