Studying abroad as a graduate student can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Opportunities to conduct research, gain work experience through an internship, or enroll in unique course offerings can contribute meaningfully to your educational and career aspirations. However, the opportunities open to graduate students are limited compared to undergraduates, so it's important to plan ahead and take initiative.
Follow these steps to find a program that matches your personal and curricular needs and fulfills your goals.
Talk with Your Adviser & Department
- Tell your academic adviser about your interest in including an international component in your degree program. Advisers can supervise independent projects, provide professional contacts, and approve courses to fulfill degree requirements.
- Determine your goals and priorities for study abroad in consultation with your adviser. This may affect the model, length, and location of the program that you choose.
- Contact the Director of Graduate Studies in your department to discuss registration and credit arrangement options to remain in status while abroad. Failure to maintain your UofM student status may impact your financial aid and insurance options. All credit and status arrangements are managed by your academic department.
Explore Your Options
- Search the Learning Abroad Center program catalog and filter your options to find programs that will best fit you. Under Student year, select Graduate Students to view programs that are open to graduate students. Some but not all of those programs listed offer graduate credit.
- Ask UofM colleges and departments about their short-term programs abroad. Many colleges offer short-term programs abroad taught by UofM faculty. Program offerings may change each year. Check with the sponsoring department about eligibility, coursework, dates, and fees.
- Consider non-credit options if you do not plan to earn credits toward your degree. Non-credit options abroad can include teaching, internships, volunteering, research, or language study. These options may provide more flexibility in cost, timeframe, and program features.
- Check if you can use any federal financial aid you receive for organized programs or directed study credits. For more information on how to use your financial aid for your program abroad, contact One Stop at 612.624.1111.
- Research funding options specifically for graduate students. You can learn about grants, scholarships, and fellowships for UofM graduate students going abroad from the Learning Abroad Center and the Global Programs & Strategy Alliance.
- Use scholarship databases to broaden your search. The Learning Abroad Center's Study Abroad Scholarship Search includes more than 250 study abroad scholarships. Many additional scholarships are available on external databases such as UCLA's GRAPES database and StudyAbroad.com.
Apply for Programs & Scholarships
Allow yourself plenty of time to complete program and scholarship applications or to make the necessary professional contacts to secure your own placement. Application deadlines range from three months to one year before the program start date.
Follow Required University of Minnesota Policy
- Travel to countries on the State Department Travel Warning List require special approval. UofM ITRAAC (The International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee) approval is required for activities abroad involving credit, use of University funds (financial aid, scholarships etc.), to fulfill degree requirements, or on an activity led by a University faculty/staff on behalf of the University. Note that approval takes 6-8 weeks so you are advised to apply early. Travel warning updates occur regularly and students should consult the State Department Travel Warning List frequently. Popular locations that have a State Department Travel Warning include; Israel, Kenya, and Mexico.
- UM-CISI international travel, health, and security insurance is mandatory for students engaging in activities abroad involving credit, use of University funds (financial aid, scholarships etc.), to fulfill degree requirements, or on an activity led by a University faculty/staff on behalf of the University, as stipulated by University of Minnesota policy. To see details of the coverage, visit the international travel, health, and security insurance web page. To read the University of Minnesota policy, go to the University of Minnesota policy web page. Note that the University of Minnesota also requires students maintain their US health insurance whenever enrolled, including while learning abroad. Learn more.