Use the information on this page to explore the considerations, opportunities, and challenges of traveling abroad as a military-connected college student.
As you consider and prepare for an international experience, use the following questions as a guide. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, and you may relate to multiple identities. You are encouraged to discuss these topics in person with an education abroad advisor in your school or college.
If you are currently serving in the military, you are required to speak to your military service unit about the possibility of studying abroad. If your military service unit declares you eligible, speak to the Office of Veteran & Military Services at the University of Michigan for additional procedures.
If you receive BAH while at U-M, you can receive the same benefits on a for-credit global experience. The rate is based on the home location (U-M) unless the student pays tuition directly to the international host school. To receive this allowance for your education abroad experience, consult with Veteran Services at the Office of the Registrar prior to committing to your international experience.
Additional documentation may be required when using military benefits, so allocate enough time for choosing, applying to, and preparing for your time abroad. The School Certifying Officials in the Office of the Registrar (email@example.com) can provide guidance as you prepare for your global experience.
Explore global experience options through M-Compass and be sure to talk to advisors to ensure you’re meeting all requirements:
Many resources available to you on campus are also accessible during your time abroad. These include but are not limited to, the following: Your education abroad advisor and academic advisor, Services for Students with Disabilities (firstname.lastname@example.org), and U-M Counseling and Psychological Services (www.caps.umich.edu), as well as resources offered by your international host institution and your health care provider. The Veteran & Military Services (email@example.com) can also provide guidance and resources as you prepare for your experience.
Additional resources are listed below.
Explore these helpful resources regarding studying abroad as a military-connected individual:
As a military-connected student, you may be eligible to use your GI Bill benefits towards for-credit education abroad programs if the associated courses count towards the completion of your degree and the VA has approved the foreign school for GI Bill funding. VA benefits only cover educational costs (e.g., tuition) and do not cover personal expenses such as lodging, meals, flight costs, or any third-party charges.
Since program costs can vary, however, it will involve research on your part. Additionally, many U-M education abroad offices offer extensive funding, and there are many national scholarships available! For a more extensive list of U-M and national scholarships, visit M-Compass (mcompass.umich.edu).
Depending on the type of program, additional steps may need to be taken. Please consult with the U-M School Certifying Officials for veterans benefits at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to committing to your international experience.
While your military service is greatly appreciated in the United States, be aware that foreign cultures may have different perceptions of the United States Armed Forces and U.S. foreign policy. Do the research and act according to local cultural norms. Additionally, since students are subject to local laws, you should research your host country’s laws prior to your departure. For example, some countries limit camouflage clothing to local active military personnel only. Be sure to check out the other identities abroad pages as you may relate to others!