UMD: A Globally Connected University
Why should I study abroad?
Study abroad is your opportunity to challenge yourself and broaden your academic and professional experiences. In addition to strengthening any resume in today's globalizing workforce, many study abroad programs are designed to advance students of specific disciplines through innovative approaches to learning such as community engagement, hands on research, and international collaboration. Whether you are an emerging entrepreneur, scientist, educator, or academic, study abroad will provide you with the skills and experience you need to reach your goals.
When is the best time to study abroad?
The best time to study abroad is different for each student. It will depend on your academic major and minor, study abroad goals, and other factors in your life. The sooner you meet with your EA advisor and academic advisor, the easier it will be to incorporate study abroad into your 4-year plan. Check out how to apply for more information.
Do I need a visa to study abroad?
It depends. Visa requirements are dictated by the host country and usually depend on how long you will be staying in country as well as the purpose of travel. Students are responsible for identifying if a visa is required for participation in study abroad and going through the proper application process if needed. You should not begin the visa process until you are accepted to a study abroad program but EA advises you to do research as part of the application process.
- U.S. State Department information for study abroad students: Includes country specific info from the State Department, including guidelines on entry/visa requirements for U.S. Citizens
- Embassy/Consulate website for your study abroad host country to determine if a visa is necessary and what the process entails. Reference the list of embassies in the U.S. maintained by the U.S. Department of State for more information. You should search for the "Consulate" or "Consular Services" section of the website for information on visas and visa requirements.
- Travisa - UMD's affiliate visa processing agency offers visa processing services for UMD students as a discounted rate.
- EA's Visa Guidelines Page - Visa guidelines for countries where UMD has sponsored semester-long programs.
How far in advance do I need to plan my study abroad experience?
Ideally, you should start exploring study abroad programs at least one year prior to when you plan to study. Please refer to the application deadline for the program and term you are interested in. The sooner you start to plan your study abroad experience, the more flexibility in timing, program type, and course selection you will have.
How much does study abroad cost?
Study abroad programs vary in cost depending on program type and length. Did you know that it can your cost of attendance for a semester abroad could be less than in College Park? Explore the "Money Matters" section of this website to find more information about the cost of study abroad and how financial aid and scholarships work. Your EA advisor can also help you find affordable program options that match your academic goals and interests.
Can I do an internship abroad?
Yes. Global Entrepreneurship Semester, Maryland-in-Barcelona, and Maryland-in-Sevilla offer credit-bearing internships during the fall and spring semesters. Some Maryland Short-term programs also offer internship or research experiences for academic credit. Internships are a great way of gaining marketable work experience in an international environment while you explore your professional interests. On our program search page, you can search under "Engagement Opportunities" for all programs with an internship component or other engagement options.
Is study abroad safe?
Safety abroad is our top priority. Our health and safety policies are designed using a comprehensive approach to student safety by vetting programs, preparing students about health and safety issues abroad at pre-departure orientations, and enrolling all study abroad students in our risk management program. The risk management program includes comprehensive international insurance, pre-departure student conduct and health review, and emergency response services when necessary. All EA advisors and UMD faculty and staff participate in regular trainings related to health and safety abroad topics. Please review the "Health and Safety" section of our website for more information.
Can I study abroad as a graduate student?
Yes. As a graduate student, you are eligible to apply to select Maryland Short-term programs. You will have a slightly different procedure for receiving credit for their program. All accepted non-UMD graduate students will receive special instructions on this process and will be required to pay a $75 application fee to the UMD Graduate School.
How do I get a copy of my study abroad transcript?
Approved study abroad coursework is posted to your UMD record. If you received transfer credit for study abroad and require an official transcript from your host university, you will need to contact the institution directly. Please contact your regional EA advisor if ou need additional instructions. If you participated in a program as a member of the military, or studied abroad before 1981, visit the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) transcripts page or the UMUC website.
What programs can I apply to as a non-UMD student?
As a non-UMD student, you are eligible to apply to select Maryland Semester and Maryland Short-term programs. You should check with your home institution's study abroad office or your academic advisor to understand the policies regarding transfer credit from a UMD study abroad program. You will also need to check with your home institution's study abroad or financial aid office to verify how your financial aid will apply to a UMD study abroad program. In most cases, students are able to use the majority of their financial aid on UMD programs. Non-UMD students will receive a UMD transcript for coursework on study abroad programs taught by UMD faculty or for courses offered at partner institutions that have been evaluated and given a UMD course number. For all other courses on programs at partner institutions, you will receive a transcript from that host institution.
Can I use tuition remission benefits for study abroad?
Yes. Tuition remission benefits can apply to Maryland Semester programs, Maryland Short-term programs, Exchanges and Affiliate Programs. Note that tuition remission benefits generally cover a per-credit rate and may not cover study abroad program fees in full. You should check with the benefits coordinator in the employee’s department or unit to confirm the value of tuition remission. Read more about tuition remission on the Financial Aid page.
Can I study abroad on a program that is not listed on this website?
You must receive approval from our office in order to attend a program that is not listed on our website. To do so, you must contact the EA advisor for the region in which you hope to study abroad who will help you start the program petition process. Keep in mind that we can only approve programs that provide a transcript from an accredited degree granting institution.
Can I go abroad on a non-credit bearing program such as an internship or research abroad?
Education Abroad does not formally sponsor non-credit bearing international programs. If you choose to independently pursue a non-credit bearing international program, EA recommends that you take the following actions to ensure that you have access to proper health and security services while abroad:
- Register your trip with the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
- Check in with the UMD Health Center's International Travel Clinic
- Purchase international health insurance. As a UMD student, you may purchase a policy through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), which is UMD's insurance provider for Education Abroad sponsored programs. Please note that you would be purchasing coverage as an independent enrollee.
- Visit the U.S. State Department’s travel warning website to see if there are warnings about the location to which you are traveling. If there are, carefully review and adhere to the guidance provided in the warning.
- Visit the U.S. State Department’s Students Abroad website for excellent travel advice.
How do I get a sublet if I'm going abroad next semester?
If you will need to “sublet” or re-lease your apartment while you are studying abroad, there are numerous housing posting boards and exchanges for you to utilize. EA does not manage any separate posting boards but we do direct incoming exchange students and returning study abroad students to the posting boards mentioned below. We recommend that you start this process as early as possible so that you maximize your opportunity to find someone to take your place.
- Courtyards guide to releasing
- South Campus Commons sublet FAQ
- Off campus housing database
- Uloop: online forum for CP housing for UMD students
- Free & For Sale Facebook Group (UMD) - Exchange board for individuals within "UMD network" for housing and non-housing
Where can I learn about working or volunteering abroad after I graduate?
Our office focuses on credit-bearing opportunities for degree-seeking students, but you may find opportunities for post-graduation international experiences on the Going Global career portal.