by Martina Ottani
Erasmus doesnt mean only having fun abroad with other students from all over the world, it means also confront yourself with another academic world with its own rules and laws.
In order to make the most of your Erasmus you should be able to understand this new academic environment, accept its rules and be ready to apply yourself in study hard in order to demonstrate to others, especially to your professors at home and your foreign teachers in your host country, but mostly to yourself that you are able to face the new academic system and the study challenges and result as a winner in your study career.
If you are an Erasmus student you should be used to fill papers and application forms about every single step or course or exam you have made and attended while in Erasmus. The most famous one is of course the Learning Agreement which is this tricky form you should have filled and have been approved by both your Erasmus coordinator at home and by the International Office or the Erasmus coordinator in your host university.
Well, this Learning Agreement, once approved and accepted, is the model or, maybe better, the cast on which the Transcript of Records is being drawn up.
The content of a Transcript of Records
The Transcript of Records (ToR) consists basically of a list of the course units taken, the exams you have passed and the credits gained in your host university.
In the Transcript of Records normally you can see the Course Unit Code (basically the code the host university gives to a specific academic course which can be attended by Erasmus students), the Title of the Courses you have attended at your host university, the duration of them (if one semester or two), the Local grade (your exam mark, which is very important in order to get your ECTS credits) and lastly the ECTS credits you have gained by passing the exam.
This document can be filled either by yourself or by the host university International Office (if they get automatically the results from the professors), it depends on your host university custom. Normally it is being filled once you have passed all your exams inserted in your Learning Agreement.
This is why at the beginning of this article I have pointed the attention on the importance of the study effort for Erasmus students. Passing all the exams you have put in your Learning Agreement means you get all the ECTS credits for these courses and your Transcript of Records it is the perfect copy of your Learning Agreement. This allows students to avoid annoying problems with your home university about the courses and the exams that can be accepted and transferred into your study career.
When to request a Transcript of Records?
The Transcript of Records is one of the last documents an Erasmus student should fill or ask for, just because it contains the list of the exams passed (or failed) during your Erasmus.
In order to fill it, once you have passed an exam you have to ask your host professor to write in your Transcript of Records rough copy your exam result in the Local Grade part, while the other parts should be filled by you with all the information needed.
This procedure takes normally quite long time because you have to wait until your professors have checked your exam and given you the grades. So after the exams ask your professors when the results are ready and write down their consulting hours.
When your Transcript of Records is completed you have to deliver it to your home International Office together with your Erasmus documents at the end of your Erasmus study period in order to gained the credits for the exams attended abroad.
If you have to leave before your Transcript of Records is completed and filled up you do not have to worry. You simply send an e-mail to the professor telling him/her to send the result directly to the International Office that will fill the document with the information needed and then send it to your home International Office.
This happens very often to Erasmus students simply because normally the exams take place on the very last weeks of your Erasmus period and getting all the grades in a very short time it is almost a record.
Check your transcript!
Once you got your Transcript of Records you have to make sure it has been filled in every part of it, especially the Date, the Signature of the administration officer and the Stamp of the Institution. The incomplete document could cause problems because it can be denied by your home university. So, be careful.
Finally, the layout of the Transcript of Records is different from one university to another so the information provided above refer to the general one and can be found in every Transcript of Records. However if you have any doubt about this document you have to ask both your home and your host International Offices and have your ideas as clear as possible about it.
For further information about the Transcript of Records and Erasmus Program in general you could check on your host university website or at the website of the European Commission.