Nonaffiliated Programs—What you Need to Know Before Committing

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMTC) students are occasionally interested in participating in programs that are not vetted or approved by the Learning Abroad Center (LAC) or another unit on campus. These programs are referred to as "non-affiliated programs." Directly enrolling in a foreign university is included in this category. The non-affiliated process exists to facilitate participation on a program or at an institution that the UofM does not have contractual relationship with.

The nonaffiliated program process cannot be used for the following:

The University of Minnesota strongly encourages students to only participate on UofM-sponsored or affiliated programs, which have been vetted and approved by the Learning Abroad Center or another unit on campus. The UofM has close working relationships with hundreds of affiliated programs that are high quality in terms of academic standards, housing, cultural immersion, health and safety and administrative support services.

These programs are listed on the LAC Program Search. Additionally, UMTC students are able to attend any programs offered through any of the LAC affiliates, even if they are not specifically listed in the search. These programs are referred to as non-promoted affiliate options. To see a list of the LAC’s affiliates and the fee reductions they offer UMTC students, visit the Affiliated Program Fee Reduction webpage.

The UofM strongly encourages you to choose one of the program options found on the Learning Abroad Center website. If you still decide to choose a non-affiliated option, note:

  1. Transfer Credit: Transfer credit is the only type of credit you will earn on a non-affiliated program. Transfer credit does not count towards your UofM GPA. Not all programs or courses available abroad are eligible for transfer credit at the UofM. In rare cases, a student will be registered for Directed Study credit and will therefore receive resident credit. 
  2. Independence: Pursuing a non-affiliated program requires significant independence from you, as the LAC and the UofM is not able to assist you with your program arrangements before, during or after your participation. You will need to explore program details including housing, cultural immersion, health and safety issues and support services on your own as well as facilitate your own transfer of credit once back on campus.

What the LAC does/does not do: 

The Learning Abroad Center offers the non-affiliated program process as a service for students who want to study abroad on a non-affiliated program and retain UofM student status and still have access to financial aid, loans, or Learning Abroad Center scholarships during their time abroad. LAC staff do not advise on the safety or quality of non-affiliated programs or the application process to any specific program.

Next Steps and Essential Information