Non-UM Programs


What are Non-UM Programs?

As a U-M student, you have the option to study abroad outside of the University of Michigan. You can study abroad through an independent study abroad provider, study abroad through another U.S. institution, or directly enroll at an institution in the desired country of study. Here are some of the most common reasons why U-M students choose to study abroad outside of the university:

  • Students might want to study in a particular location and/or take classes in a particular field of study. If they cannot find a U-M program that matches their interests, they might find a non-UM program that satisfies their needs.
  • Study abroad providers' program cost, other U.S. institutions' program cost, or the tuition at an institution in the desired country of study may be cheaper.
  • Study abroad providers often have later application deadlines. Students who miss U-M application deadlines will often study abroad through a program outside of the University.

However, it should be noted that studying abroad through a non-UM program can make it more challenging to transfer credit back to the University of Michigan. See our Academic Credit page for more information on this.

Health and Safety Considerations:

If you decide to study abroad through a non-UM program, you should still register your travel in the U-M Travel Registry (it takes just a few minutes!) and consider getting U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance, even if health insurance is already provided by your program.

You should also keep in mind that while studying abroad through a non-UM program, your primary support before, during, and after the experience will be provided by your chosen study abroad provider — not the University of Michigan. This may come into play during a crisis situation, for example. 

Choosing a Non-UM Study Abroad Program

There are many different opportunities and programs available outside of the University of Michigan. We recommend visiting the International Center to speak with an advisor about program options. Learn more about advising availability here.

Factors to consider when choosing a study abroad program:

Sponsoring institution Is the institution an accredited institution of higher learning?
Language of instruction What are the language requirements for participants? Are classes conducted in English or in the host country's language?
Duration of the program Are academic year, Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer options available?
Credits Meet with your general and concentration advisors to discuss credit transfer issues before committing to a program. Students should see Academic Credit to learn how to transfer credit.
Level of Immersion in the Host Culture Would you be taking courses with other U.S. study abroad students, or with students from the host country?
Living Arrangements Will you be living in a home-stay, in a dormitory, or in a private apartment? Is housing with other U.S. study abroad students, international students, or host country nationals?
Fees What do the fees cover? Are any excursions included?
Financial Aid Does the program offer any scholarships? Will you be able to transfer your aid to a non-UM program? Going on a non-UM program could potentially make you lose your U-M scholarship. Federal aid will often transfer while aid specific to U-M does not. Contact the U-M Office of Financial Aid for more details about how specific aid packages apply towards studying abroad.
Eligibility Requirements and Number of Participants Is this program open to students from other universities? What level of foreign language fluency is required? Is there a minimum GPA? Ask the program representatives how many other participants are in the program.
Contacting Past Participants Contact the study abroad provider or the International Center ([email protected]) to see they can put you in touch with alumni from the program you’re interested in.
Read Student Reviews Search for your programs of interest on study abroad review websites such as Abroad101 or GoOverseas.

Study Abroad Search Engines 

Below is a list of search engines designed to find study abroad programs. Contact the International Center for assistance in narrowing down options. 

Application Process for Non-UM Programs

Most study abroad programs that are not sponsored by the University of Michigan require prospective students to fill out an application. Applications may require additional fees, essays, recommendations, and a GPA requirement.

When filling out program applications:

  • Follow program protocol and apply directly to the program
  • Check in with your school or college academic advisor(s).
  • Inform program sponsors that an official transcript of your academic work will need to be sent to:

Credit Evaluators, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
300 Student Activities Building
515 East Jefferson
Ann Arbor , MI 48109-1316
Or if electronically: [email protected]

  • “Study Abroad Advisor Approval Forms” or “Host Institution Approval Forms” should be directed to your general academic advisor; for the purpose of these forms, your "study abroad advisor" is your academic advisor.
  • For LSA Students: If the form is also asking for disciplinary approval or questions regarding academic standing, you may need to request a Dean’s Recommendation Form. For non-LSA students: Please speak with your academic advisor.
  • Requests for background checks should be directed to the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.