Below are common study abroad related questions students and parents ask. If you can't find the answer to your question, please contact us with your questions firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eligibility and Application
What are the eligibility requirements?
- Be a Michigan Tech student for two or more semesters prior to applying
- Have a 2.75 GPA or higher
- Receive approval from the Dean of Students
Do I have to be a Michigan Tech student to apply?
You must be a Michigan Tech student to participate in a Michigan Tech study abroad program. Students from other universities are welcome to study abroad through our study abroad program after first being admitted as Michigan Tech guest students.
How do I apply?
What are the application deadlines?
First, you need to submit the Michigan Tech study abroad application and receive approval to study abroad. When you are approved, then you can apply to your specific study abroad program.
Michigan Tech study abroad application deadlines are:
- Summer term: March 1
- Fall term: April 1
- Spring term: October 15
Can I study abroad during my last semester?
Yes. But be aware of timing. There’s a risk that study abroad transcripts may not be forwarded to Michigan Tech in time for you to graduate that same semester. Please consider this carefully when deciding on your timeline for studying abroad.
Can I participate in more than one study abroad program during the same term?
No. You may only participate in one program at a time. But you can take Michigan Tech online courses during the same term.
What about Michigan Tech's 36-hour rule?
Michigan Tech policy states, "No student may be considered a candidate for a degree unless the final 36 credit hours required for the degree are earned in residence at Michigan Tech and approved by the major school."
Credits earned on Michigan Tech programs abroad are considered Michigan Tech credit hours in residence. So you can go abroad on Michigan Tech study abroad programs while earning your final 36 credit hours.
Study Abroad Programs
What types of programs are offered?
Can I participate in a study abroad program not offered through Michigan Tech?
Yes, however, you will not receive Michigan Tech credits and you cannot apply your Michigan Tech financial aid to a non-Michigan Tech study abroad program.
What will study abroad cost?
Total cost of study abroad varies, depending on:
- Program length
- Services provided
- Amount of travel included
- Cost of living in the host country
In addition to airfare, host university fees, textbooks, passport and visa fees, and personal expenses, there are other expenses you're responsible for.
Michigan Tech Exchange and European Project Semester
- You will be charged your Michigan Tech tuition
- Michigan Tech study abroad application fee
Third-party program providers (ISA, USAC, JCMU, Semester at Sea, Frontiers Abroad, Global Semesters, ENSEA FAME, Dakar Institute of African Studies)
- You will be charged whichever is greater, your Michigan Tech tuition or the third-party program fee
- Michigan Tech study abroad application fee
- Program provider application fee that is deducted from your program fee
- Any applicable housing deposits and fees (this varies for each program)
Michigan Tech Faculty-Led
- You will be charged your Michigan Tech tuition plus the program fee
- Michigan Tech study abroad application fee
- Note: You will be required to pay a deposit fee that is deducted from your program fee
More detailed information on costs is provided when you are accepted for study abroad by Michigan Tech. Study abroad tuition and the Michigan Tech application fee will be applied to your Michigan Tech tuition bill, follow the tuition payment schedule set by Michigan Tech.
Can I apply my financial aid to study abroad?
Your Michigan Tech financial aid and university scholarships can be applied towards your study abroad costs. If you have questions about your financial aid, please contact Michigan Tech's Financial Aid Manager, Ashley Laux.
Can I use financial aid and scholarships towards a summer study abroad program?
If a student takes a cumulative 6 or more credits over the course of the summer (between Track A and B), they may be eligible for half-time amounts of Federal aid (loans, pell grant) if they are receiving any. To receive any University aid over the summer (scholarships), a student must be enrolled full-time (12 credits).
Financial aid in the summer is usually quite limited. Students must apply for summer aid in February and each student's award package is looked at to determine if they have any financial aid available to use.
For more information, please contact Michigan Tech's Financial Aid Manager, Ashley Laux.
Are there study abroad scholarships?
Yes, there are many. Some go unclaimed. Visit our Financial Resources page to begin your search.
When will I receive my Michigan Tech tuition bill for my study abroad term?
You will receive a Michigan Tech tuition bill the semester before you go abroad. You can refer to the Michigan Tech billing calendar to find out when Michigan Tech tuition bills are made available to students, and when the billing deadline is.
Study Abroad Courses and Credits
I've been approved to study abroad, and I've created a study abroad course plan. Am I required to register for Michigan Tech courses for the semester I'm studying abroad?
If you are taking online Michigan Tech courses while you're studying abroad, you are required to register for the online courses through the Michigan Tech course registration process.
For the Michigan Tech credits you're earning through study abroad courses, you are not required to register for those Michigan Tech courses. Michigan Tech Registrar will add placeholder credits to your registration for the term(s) you're studying abroad.
Note: Your study abroad program provider or host university will most likely require you to submit a course registration before your program starts. Make sure you complete their requirements to ensure you are placed in your desired study abroad courses.
How do I receive course credits?
As part of the Michigan Tech Study Abroad application you will complete the study abroad course evaluation and planning form. The form lists all courses you're taking abroad that are pre-approved for Michigan Tech credits.
- Pre-approved study abroad credit will be applied to your Michigan Tech degree audit as Michigan Tech credits.
- All coursework taken abroad is posted on your official Michigan Tech records/transcripts as the Michigan Tech course equivalent (for example, HU2700). Grades will be recorded as Exchange Pass (EP) or Exchange Fail (EF). The name of the host country and university is also noted on the transcript
- If you change courses while you're abroad it is your responsibility to notify your study abroad coordinator and academic advisor, and update your study abroad course evaluation and planning form in order to determine a Michigan Tech course equivalency.
- Any changes in your program such as early termination, extension, or going from full to part-time status must be submitted to the study abroad coordinator in writing
I completed my study abroad program, what are the acceptable ways for Michigan Tech to receive my host university transcript for credit processing?
It is important to note that it can take one month to four months for your host university transcript to arrive to Michigan Tech.
Host university transcripts can be received three ways:
1. Via postage mail to Pavlis Honors College Study Abroad Coordinator
2. Via email through a secure, third party agency such as National Student Clearinghouse, Parchment, or the institutions own in-house secure system
3. Via student's unopened original envelope with host university's international office stamp or signature over the seal
When will my study abroad credits appear on my degree audit?
It is important to note that it can take one month up to four months for your host university transcript to arrive to Michigan Tech. Once your transcript is received it can take two weeks up to six weeks for your study abroad credits to be processed.
If you are studying abroad during your last semester it is important to understand that your graduation date may be delayed due to the timing that Registrar receives your host university transcript. This could also impact your ability to start working after graduation if you don't have your diploma yet. If you have any concerns about this you are encouraged to speak with the study abroad office and the Registrar office.
Do I need to speak a foreign language?
Many study abroad courses are taught in English. It depends on the program you choose. Some require foreign language skills. Even if learning a language is not required, we encourage you to take advantage of any opportunity, academic or extracurricular, to gain this valuable skill. Becoming proficient in a foreign language helps you communicate effectively with the locals. You’ll have a better grasp of the culture and more assets to list on your resume.
Can I enroll late at Michigan Tech if my study abroad program end date runs into Michigan Tech’s start date?
If you plan to return to campus after the semester begins, you need to speak with your instructors to see if they’ll allow you to make up missed work. Instructors are listed on Banweb's course registration search program. If for some reason your instructor is not listed, you must speak with that department to find out who is teaching your course or contact the Registrar's Office.
Are there guidelines on what students can or cannot do abroad?
All students who study abroad through one of Michigan Tech’s programs complete an Illegal Drug Use Policy and Waiver of Liability and Hold Harmless Agreement as part of the application process. By agreeing to the terms in these forms, students acknowledge that they will comply with Michigan Tech’s student conduct policies at all times. In addition, students must follow their host institution and/or program provider’s policies. In some cases, there may be conduct rules unique to a particular site or country that students are required to abide by, including certain travel, cultural rituals, or extracurricular activities that are prohibited for safety reasons.
I just got back from studying abroad - can I go again?
Yes! You can check out our Go Abroad Again web page.
How can I market my study abroad to recruiters?
Check out our career resources page!
What happens if I'm asked to evacuate my host country?
Any decision to evacuate students from a study abroad site will be made largely on the advisories and warnings of the US State Department and after consultation with on-site staff. Should students be asked to evacuate, on-site staff (resident director and/or the host institution's international office) will provide instructions. Some program sites may have a predetermined emergency meeting place where students should go; or in other cases, students may be asked to remain with their host families or stay in residence hall rooms or apartments until further arrangements are made. As in all emergency situations, it is important that students remain calm, not act impulsively, and follow instructions that are given by program staff or the US Consulate. Once students are safe, they should contact their family members in the US at the earliest available opportunity.
Parents are encouraged to contact the Michigan Tech Pavlis Honors College (906-487-4371) to receive the latest information available. Parents may also email the study abroad coordinator for information (email@example.com). We strongly recommend parents or a designated emergency contact have a passport in case they need to travel to the student.
What happens to my academic credit if I am asked to evacuate my host country or if I depart from a program prior to completing the term?
Michigan Tech works closely with institutional partners regarding course completion and fulfillment of academic objectives. Students will be able to work with our Dean of Students office and the Pavlis Honors College to have exams proctored on campus or offered online in order to fulfill unmet course expectations abroad. In most instances, full or partial credit can be negotiated.
What roles do Michigan Tech, the host institution, and/or program providers have in an emergency response situation?
Michigan Tech reacts to emergencies abroad by working with a team of institutional partners in the US and abroad. Program providers have additional staff that work 24/7 to monitor situations around the world and are quick to inform us by phone or email when an emergency arises. In the case of host institutions where a provider relationship does not exist, emergency response and decision-making are equally shared by Michigan Tech and that institution. Our host institutions have developed protocols unique to their campuses and IPS staff travels as regularly as possible for site assessments.
Will my child be safe while abroad?
It's natural to be concerned about your son or daughter venturing into strange territory. Study abroad programs and offices, including ours, cannot guarantee safety. They can't monitor the decisions that your child makes while abroad. Michigan Tech Pavlis Honors College is vigilant in its responsibility to remain in contact with program administrators, resident directors, and other staff who is in direct contact with students abroad. We monitor US Department of State safety updates. And we prepare students with a series of orientation sessions and safety guidelines.
What documents does my child need to take abroad?
FYI, your child will attend two study abroad pre-departures led by the Michigan Tech Study Abroad Coordinator, and your child will be advised to bring the following items with them abroad.
- Passport with appropriate visa stamp
- Proof of health insurance
- Any necessary legal documents or medical records related to specific conditions, such as a copy of a medication prescription.
- Digital and printed list of the following contact addresses and phone numbers
- Nearest U.S. Embassy
- also include email, and hours of operation
- On-site study abroad program director
- Homestay/dorm/apartment address
- Needed for Customs arrival card
- Michigan Tech Public Safety (906-487-2216)
- in the unlikely event your child needs to contact Michigan Tech Pavlis Honors College staff after business hours, Public Safety can connect your child to the Study Abroad Coordinator
- Parent's contact
- Nearest U.S. Embassy
- Digital and hard copies of
- Debit and credit cards (front and back)
- Health insurance card(s) (front and back)
- Flight itineraries
- Host university acceptance letter (if applicable)
- Students should leave Social Security cards, extra credit cards, and other documents they don't need at home to avoid theft
It's wise to obtain or update your passport. In the unlikely event there is an emergency, you'll be prepared to go quickly.
How will I communicate with my child while they are abroad?
Expect a Slowdown
Prepare yourself for lack of communication, especially in the beginning. Habits and access change with new barriers of time and space. Try not to worry. Gaps are normal. Letters take a long time, the phone is expensive, and in some countries, email access is difficult to find or costly. When available, email in general tends to be the least expensive option. Setting up weekly or bi-weekly 'phone dates' works for some families.
Postal Service takes Patience
'Snail mail' is neither cheap nor fast. It's expensive to ship packages and letters overseas via airmail. Surface mail—literally by ship—is cheaper but can take more than a month to arrive. That's not to say your son or daughter won't be thrilled by a care package full of treats from home.
Email is Easiest
Email is a reliable and common way to communicate, though the Internet may not be readily available in all countries. A word of caution about using smart phone hot spots: Charges can run into thousands of dollars. Form your electronic communication plan and consult your phone provider before your student leaves for study abroad.
Tracking Down Addresses
Don't be surprised if your child leaves the country without a direct residential address. Most often students don't know their addresses. But they can give you the address and phone number for the international study abroad coordinator or resident director. In an emergency, parents can contact their child via the coordinator.
Can parents send money to their child abroad? How?
In some countries and programs, students may open a bank account in the host country. This facilitates any money transfers and wire transfers. Be aware that wire transfers can be expensive, and are only a good option for sending large amounts of money. One easy, inexpensive way to send smaller amounts of money is to open a joint checking account in the US. You can deposit money into the account; your child can use a debit card to withdraw the money abroad. This is a workable option in most countries; talk to your bank about it before the trip.
What is culture shock? How can I understand what my son or daughter is experiencing?
Culture shock is physical and emotional discomfort experienced while living in a culture different from your native culture. It can't be avoided. Patience and effort ease the adjustment. Parents can help by listening with love and patience, and reminding their son or daughter that culture shock is normal and temporary. Some common symptoms:
- Sadness, loneliness, depression
- Preoccupation with health
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Feelings of vulnerability or powerlessness
- Isolationism, irritability, or loss of identity
- Inability to solve simple problems
- Lack of confidence
- Developing stereotypes about the new culture
- Obsessing about small things, like over-cleanliness
- Feelings of being lost, overlooked, exploited
Here are suggestions for study abroad students to cope with culture shock:
- Develop a hobby
- Do something fun that reminds you of home and celebrates the present moment, like going to a café and reading a novel in English
- Include regular physical activity in your daily routine.
- Maintain some contact with Americans for a sense of belonging. Just remember that spending time with only Americans won't enhance your study abroad experience.
- Stay confident in yourself. Remind yourself of your original ambitions and plans. Set small goals each day and evaluate progress.
What is reverse culture shock? Will my son or daughter experience it? How will it affect me?
Your child is finally here! But something is different. You don't understand their negative reactions to everyday activities. They're irritable and critical. It's confusing. Parents have a right to wonder: after a summer, semester, or year abroad, shouldn't they be as excited to see you as you are to see them?
Culture Shock in Reverse
It's not uncommon to feel out of touch at home after working so hard to acclimate to a lifestyle abroad. Returning students may remember words in their host-country language before the English comes to mind. They may want to eat later in the day, eat different foods, or denigrate the way things work in the States.
Other signs: Feeling alienated from friends and family, feeling like no one cares about their stories or photos from the trip—or having a hard time describing the experience. They may feel bored or directionless.
What to Do
Reverse culture shock is usually not severe or long-lasting, just frustrating. Parents may notice outer changes that students don't see. Students notice their inner changes that parents can't see. The best advice is to wait out the period of adjustment, dealing with it in the same ways you dealt with culture shock. Resuming an academic routine—and interacting with other study abroad students—is part of the cure.
Encourage your child to focus on responsibilities that come with coming home, including setting up living arrangements, finding roommates, registering for classes and other forward-looking activities.
A fiscal year is different from an academic year, and I need to show that I paid tuition in two semester payments. How can I straighten this out?
This is common for parents whose child attends a year-long study abroad program. It’s easily solved. If you or your accountant needs to show additional detail for tax purposes, Pavlis Honors College Study Abroad Coordinator, or the appropriate study abroad program provider can give you an invoice.