Study abroad and off-campus learning

Most types of financial aid may be used for study abroad or off-campus learning opportunities, including grants, scholarships, and student loans. However, National Scholarship and reciprocity waivers do not apply to study abroad programs. Veteran benefits may be used for study abroad.

Financial aid for study abroad

If you are a University of Minnesota-Twin Cities undergraduate student and plan to use financial aid to study abroad, you must request an official Study Abroad Cost Estimate from the Learning Abroad Center and submit it to the Office of Student Finance in 333 Bruininks Hall. The SACE documents all financial aid-eligible costs of your study abroad program and is used to adjust your cost of attendance.

The Learning Abroad Center offers semester, academic year, and winter break and May/summer term international study programs.

You should complete your financial aid requirements at least two months prior to your departure. The LAC website describes the wide variety of programs and financial resources available to you, along with the steps required to finance your study abroad experience.

Veteran benefits for study abroad

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has set limitations on the use of veteran education benefits for the payment of study abroad programs. The VA will only cover tuition on University of Minnesota faculty-led programs or via direct enrollment at a VA-approved university that is listed under the VA WEAMS database of approved institutions. Veteran education benefits cannot pay any fees related to a study abroad program offered by a third-party/study abroad program providers/companies. Additionally, veteran education benefits cannot be used to pay study abroad related fees (program fees) unless study abroad is a required part of your degree.

In order for a study abroad program to be eligible for benefit payment, these conditions must be met:

  • Study abroad programs must be approved for payment by the VA (UMN Faculty-led program or at a University listed on the VA WEAMS database).
  • Students must be enrolled in courses that will apply to their degree program.
  • The courses at the "host" school in the foreign country must be approved and apply towards degree.
  • VA cannot pay any fees specific to studying abroad (study abroad program fees) unless the student is required to study abroad as part of their degree.

If you are a veteran or a dependent of a veteran and are interested in using your funding for a study abroad program, please contact University Veterans Services to confirm that your program of interest is qualified for veteran education benefit payment.

Off-campus study in North America

The Center for Community-Engaged Learning offers several Off-Campus Study Programs in the Twin Cities, the US, US territories, and Canada.

The National Student Exchange (NSE) is the domestic equivalent of study abroad. Students may attend NSE for a semester, summer, or academic year. The NSE Consortium includes schools all over the United States (including Hawaii and Puerto Rico), as well as Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada.