Choosing a Program

There a lot of factors to consider when choosing a study abroad program. Below are a list of questions you should ask yourself when thinking about a program. Also included below are step-by-step instructions taken directly from the Study Abroad Guide and Workbook on what you should do and who you should see when thinking about which study abroad program to choose.


  • What are your academic goals while abroad?
  • Do you need to complete major, minor, cognate, or writing credits?  
  • Are you planning on taking electives?
  • How many credits do you need to take while abroad?
  • Which is the most academically-flexible semester to study abroad?


  • Do you have a specific culture, region, or country of interest?
  • Would you prefer a traveling program with multiple destinations?
  • Would you prefer to live in a major metropolitan area, a small city, or a rural area?
  • What do you hope to achieve while living in this new location?
  • What is the social and academic culture like in places that interest you?

Program Type

  • Are you interested in a UProgram, UM Partner Program, Faculty-Led program, or Non-UM Program? Which program would work best for you and your goals?


  • How much time do you want to spend abroad –weeks, an entire summer, a semester, an academic year, or a calendar year?
  • How much flexibility do you have for when you can study abroad? Can you only study abroad during a specific term?


  • Can your current scholarships, grants or tuition waivers be used during a study abroad program?
  • How much does a semester abroad at the location of interest to you cost in comparison to a semester at UM? 
  • Do you plan to travel while you are abroad?


  • Do you meet the minimum eligibility requirements for study abroad and the admission requirements for your selected study abroad program?
  • Do you have any outstanding issues with the Dean of Students or Student Accounts?

Special Circumstances

  • Do you have any special needs to consider while abroad? This could include a medical condition, mobility consideration, learning disability, mental health condition or dietary restriction that may need accommodation while abroad?


Meet with Academic Advisor

When considering studying abroad, it is important to identify the timing (which semester(s)) and duration (summer, semester, or year) that works best in your academic plan. The best way to do that is to meet with your primary academic advisor in your respective school/college/department.  Often, academic advisors will highlight a semester or year when there is more flexibility in your academic plan and will encourage you to study abroad during that time.  When you participate in a UM study abroad program, it is important to note that you will earn UM credit that is included in your UM GPA. Many of the classes that you take abroad may count for major, minor, and cognate requirements; look for the section on course equivalencies in the Pre-Departure section of this guide for more information.