There are many resources available when you are seeking to study abroad. Click on the tabs below for more information, and contact our office directly with any further questions.
You CAN study abroad! There are choices available all over the world, in all budget ranges, and for students in every major. However, no one else can choose a program for you. Selecting a program is the end result of a process that you go through. Studying abroad is a choice that will enhance your life, and help you to stand out as you move into graduate education or your future employment.
We encourage you to come to our office to start the conversation; one size definitely does not fit all when selecting a program. Our Peer Mentors and Director will help you explore the following questions as you narrow down choices: potential destinations? Total time away? Group or individual experience? Financial resources? Housing options? Courses available? After you work through these questions we’ll help you narrow down the kinds of programs that will best fit your interests and budget.
Two important things to keep in mind: plan as early as possible (come in during your first semester here if you’re curious), and save every penny to help make your dream possible.
PDF How to Begin your Study Abroad Search
All courses taken on approved programs will transfer back to MSUM as electives and will count toward graduation. In some cases the courses might apply to your major or a LASC/transfer curriculum goal. Students select courses offered by their program provider and obtain approval before departure. All courses applying to the major must be approved by your faculty advisor and department chair. We have forms and information available for this and will help you through every step along the way.
Pay attention to whether the courses you are taking abroad are upper or lower division; Writing Intensive courses cannot be taken abroad.
Some programs offer service-learning and internship options. The Office of Study Abroad will help you explore these options as you go through the program selection process.
Students typically register for classes when they arrive at their destination; some external programs have you register in advance. If you receive financial aid you will need to confirm your registration as soon as your courses are finalized, so your aid can be released.
All students must take at least 12 credits while on a semester program abroad (minimum to be full time). Summer study abroad students can take fewer; consult our office for how this will impact your financial aid award.
All courses taken while studying abroad must be letter graded; no pass/fail or audits are allowed. Your study abroad grades do impact your GPA here.
Be aware when abroad that “Incomplete” is generally not an option- you will be graded on the work you complete during the semester or session you attend.
Transcripts and Transfer of Credits
At the end of the semester arrange to have your official transcript sent to the Office of Study Abroad.
You should also obtain contact information for the International Office and the Registrar’s Office at the institution you attend in case you need to obtain another copy of your official transcript in the future (in case you transfer to another institution, or apply for graduate school).
MSUM financial aid, in general, applies toward the cost of studying abroad. Your student will meet with a Financial Aid officer individually, since the types and amounts of aid received vary case by case.
If you are a military veteran, you can use your benefits on certain kinds of programs. Contact our office, Financial Aid, and the Veteran’s Resource Center for details.
MSUM has some scholarships available for study abroad. Students on applicable programs are provided with application information for these scholarships.
Some students use crowdfunding, but carefully consider the pool of potential donors (family and friends) before devoting time and effort.
Be creative: is there a local group in your hometown that might award a scholarship in return for a travel talk from the student when they return? (Churches, parent groups such as Lions, etc.).
Encourage your student to save every penny. Every single one. They should also save any overage they can. If they live frugally, little things add up. For example, if one spends $3.50 per day on a cup of fancy coffee or juice, after saving that amount for one year they’d have $1,277.50, the price of a plane ticket to many destinations.
Spending while abroad
Students need to make and stick to a spending budget while abroad to ensure they’ll have enough funds for the entire duration.
Some students arrange with their bank for a family member to have access to their account while away, in order to make deposits if necessary.
Various web sites calculate the current exchange rate in countries globally:
All students must have international health insurance while studying abroad. External providers include this cost in the student’s program fee. Other programs may require this as a separate fee. Some U.S. health insurance policies do not cover people while abroad; if they do cover incidents, they may require the traveler to pay cash for services obtained and request reimbursement later. Our office has information on international health insurance for students.
This health insurance must include coverage for health issues, accidents, emergency evacuation, and repatriation of remains.
Travel insurance is different from health insurance; in general it covers reimbursement of costs for trip interruption or cancelation. This can be purchased from travel agents. Most travel insurance does not cover a change of mind, so students must be sure of their plans when applying to their programs. MSUM does not require student to purchase travel/trip insurance, but it is strongly recommended.
The International Student ID Card (ISIC) is a globally recognized student ID. Benefits include a layer of insurance and discounts at numerous vendors, domestically and abroad. Cards can be purchased in our office or online.
Centers for Disease Control
The U.S. CDC provides information on travel destinations, including what kinds of immunizations are recommended or required.
U.S. Department of State - STEP Program
MSUM students must enroll in the STEP program while abroad. This enables them to receive updates on travel safety from the U.S. State Department relevant to their specific destination.
World Health Organization
The UN’s World Health Organization provides destination-specific information on health issues.
All MSUM students will participate in pre-departure orientation. Eternal providers include this for all programs; students on MSUM exchanges and programs will receive this orientation from faculty and staff here on campus and at their exchange partner campus. MSUM also offers re-entry orientation to returning study abroad students.
All students should complete a Safety Log before departure. This is basic information shared by the student, their emergency contact, and the Office of Study Abroad so that assistance can be more easily provided in case of an emergency. The Safety Log form will be provided to all study abroad students as part of their pre-departure planning; students provide a copy to their emergency contact.
US Department of State passport information
All US citizens need a passport to travel abroad. Passports can be obtained at many post offices and court houses, information is available in our office. We also host a Passport Drive on the MSUM campus each November, with a one-stop shop to apply for or renew your passport. The US State Department web site also provides travel information and application forms and instructions.
US Embassies and Consulates by country
The US State Department provides an interactive list of Embassies and Consulates by country.
Students are responsible for determining whether they need a visa in order to travel to their country of destination. Once accepted into a program students will receive information from their provider or partner school about the need for and process of obtaining a visa.
All student who study abroad on a semester, school year, or external summer program will be invited to attend a re-entry workshop that includes reflection, connection with other study abroad alumni, and resume’ and job interview tips.
Career Development Center
MSUM’s Career Development Center has information on how to effectively incorporate your study abroad experience into your resume’ and how to talk about being abroad in future job interviews.
Work options abroad for further travel
The Office of Study Abroad has information on work options abroad for students who want to have further international experiences. GoAbroad.com also provides resources.
Fulbright Scholars: The Fulbright program provides grants for individuals to study and research abroad for one academic year outside of the US, and for English Teaching Assistant programs.
Marshall Scholars: This scholarship finances young Americans of high ability to study for a graduate degree in the UK.
Peace Corps: This volunteer program is run by the US government, and places people to assist with social and economic development.
Rhodes Scholars: Full financial support to pursue a degree or degrees at the University of Oxford.
Mobility International: national clearinghouse on disability and exchange.
Student travel websites for students and young people
Travel guides provide in-depth local information for many destinations. Here are a few to get you started:
Travel Leaders Moorhead is a local travel agency with information about trip insurance and other services.
Public Safety: 24/7 switchboard will contact the Director of Study Abroad and other university officials in case of emergency.
Office of Study Abroad: Students abroad on semester, year, and external summer programs, and faculty leading short-term study courses are provided with a 24/7 number for the Director of Study Abroad.