UMD: A Globally Connected University




Planning for Study Abroad

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.

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.

Do students studying abroad still graduate on time?

Studying abroad will not hinder a student’s ability to graduate on time. In fact, more study abroad students graduate in four years than students who do not study abroad. Start planning as early as possible with your academic advisor and EA advisor!

Can I apply to more than one study abroad program in the same term?

You are limited to one study abroad application per term. As long as you have done sufficient research on your study abroad options, you should be able to apply to one program that will meet your goals. However, should you need to open a second application for special circumstances, your Education Abroad advisor can assist you. Please contact your EA advisor to discuss the possibility of opening a second study abroad program application.

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 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.


How much does study abroad cost?

Study abroad programs vary in cost depending on program type and length. Did you know that 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 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 do an internship abroad?


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.


What if I change courses while abroad after I have completed and submitted by Study Abroad Course Approval form (SACA)?

It is not uncommon that students might need to take a different course than what is listed on their SACA form due to changing course offerings, timetable conflicts, etc. If you take a course that is not listed on your SACA form, you will need to make sure that the course is properly reviewed for acceptability and applicability before you can be assured it will count towards your UMD degree. Taking the steps below will make sure you

  1. Check to see if the course is already deemed acceptable by UMD
    • For Maryland-in or USAC programs - check the course lists on the EA website (for Maryland-In or USAC only). Courses listed as resident credit (RC) have already been reviewed and are deemed as acceptable.
    • For any course not offered as resident credit (RC), credit, check the Registrar's Transfer Credit Database (TCDB). If a course is listed with an approved equivalent, Gen Ed or L1/L2 code, it is deemed as acceptable.
  2. Request review of courses that do not appear on the EA course lists or in TCDB.
    • Send the syllabus for each course that is checked off as “Needs Evaluation” to the appropriate department evaluator(s). For further instructions visit:
    • GenEd Reviews: Departmental Evaluators can evaluate courses for GenEd. Departmental Evaluators may send to Transfer Credit Services for further review.

What happens if I don't take a full-time course load of courses acceptable at UMD?

UMD students are required to maintain full-time degree-seeking status while they are abroad for a full semester. To be considered full-time, you should take a minimum of the equivalent of 12 approved UMD credits per term. Some UMD scholarships require students to take and pass an equivalent of 15 approved UMD credits per term in order to maintain eligibility for scholarships.

Students who drop below full-time status may lose financial aid, scholarships, insurance or delay graduation. Please speak with your EA advisor for more details.

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 you 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.


Can I apply to a University of Maryland study abroad program if I do not currently study at the University of Maryland?

Education Abroad at University of Maryland welcomes degree-seeking and non-degree seeking applicants from other institutions in the U.S. and other countries on 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. 

Please refer to the eligibility information posted on the program brochure of each program you are interested in to determine whether you are permitted to apply and review the Frequently Asked Questions for Non-UMD Students for more details. 

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.

Types of Programs

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:

  1. Register your trip with the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
  2. Check in with the UMD Health Center's International Travel Clinic
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Visit the U.S. State Department’s Students Abroad website for excellent travel advice.

Professional Opportunities

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.