Students who have studied, worked, and lived abroad receive a unique educational experience. There is much more to studying abroad than just taking classes in a foreign country. An experience abroad can open doors to new opportunities, new friends, and new career paths. And, it will give you a global perspective and cross-cultural competence which are crucial for success in today’s world.
Think you can't afford it? There are many resources both at the University of Michigan and at outside foundations to help you make studying or working abroad a possibility.
Study Abroad FAQs
I want to study abroad! Where do I start?
The best place to start is the Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) which is located in G155 Angell Hall. Their Ready, Set, Go Global! info sessions held every Monday through Thursday from 3-4pm are a great way to get basic questions answered. If you wish to do language study abroad, it is also a good idea to talk to the appropriate ALC Language Program Director to inquire which program(s) s/he recommends.
Do study abroad credits transfer automatically?
It depends on which program you have chosen. If it is a UM-affiliated program—one that CGIS lists as being approved—then the credits usually do transfer automatically. Always double-check this with CGIS, though. Otherwise, students should speak to their general advisor about the transfer credit process for study abroad course work. Are you an LS&A student? Then check out the LS&A Transfer Credit page to help answer any preliminary questions you might have.
Do I go through ALC to transfer my credits from study abroad?
No. ALC does not play a role in the transfer credit process unless the offices that are in charge ask us to help evaluate a course’s content. Students should plan to talk to their general advisors about transferring credits and the paperwork involved.
I have already chosen my program and have been accepted. How do I get the culture courses I am taking abroad pre-approved to be used towards the Asian Studies major or one of the minors?
The first step is to get the syllabus, course description, and basic information (textbook, credits, etc.) for the courses you wish to take. Then, make an advising appointment, choosing “Study Abroad in Asia” as your reason. The ALC advisor will look over your remaining requirements and determine which of the courses will be appropriate. These pre-approvals will be entered on your advising file. As long as the courses transfer successfully onto your UM transcript and you earn a C or better, you can use them towards your program. You should make an appointment after you return and after the courses are appearing on your transcript to get them officially added to your audit.
I already did study abroad and didn’t get my culture courses pre-approved for my major/minor. What do I do now?
The process is similar to getting pre-approval except that you should first make sure the credits have transferred and are appearing on your UM transcript. Once you have confirmation of this, you should gather the syllabus, course description, and basic information (textbook, credits, etc.) for the courses you took. Then, make an advising appointment, choosing “Study Abroad in Asia” as your reason. The ALC advisor will look over your remaining requirements and determine whether the courses are appropriate to use. The approved courses will be entered onto your advising file and added to your program audit.
I am taking language courses abroad. How do I use those towards the Asian Studies major or the Asian Languages and Cultures minor?
If you are using the courses to gain the proficiency required for the prerequisite, you simply need to take a placement exam upon your return to move into the appropriate level. We do not need to do any kind of formal credit approval. If you are taking third-year level or above language courses to be used towards the major or minor requirements, then you should have the courses pre-approved by the appropriate ALC Language Director. You can schedule an appointment with an ALC Language Director by emailing him/her directly. This is to make sure that the course work is as academically rigorous as UM courses and that you will likely gain the proficiency you need. You should also go through the proper transfer credit process to get the course(s) applied to your UM transcript. Upon your return, you will need to take a placement exam to verify that you have gained the supposed proficiency.
Completing an Asian Studies Internship
Students who complete an internship focused on Asian studies are eligible for 1 academic credit by enrolling in the independent study course ASIAN 396: Asian Studies Internship Reflection Seminar. Students may enroll in any term, but preferably when they will be working on and completing their internship experience.
ASIAN 396: Asian Studies Internship Reflection Seminar
To enroll in ASIAN 396, students need to submit a proposal to the ALC Student Services Assistant no later than two weeks before the start of the term in which they will enroll. The two-page proposal should outline where the student will be completing the internship, the contact information for a supervisor, their anticipated work schedule/hours dedicated to the internship, how this experience will compliment his/her studies, and at least one research question the student seeks to answer by the experience. This proposal will be shared with the ALC Director of Undergraduate Studies who will either approve or deny the request for academic credit.
If approved, the student will be required to keep a reflection journal of no less than ten 600-word entries. The journal may take various forms, i.e. a Word document, blog, etc. The journal entries should address related experiences that are helping the student answer his/her proposed research question. Upon completion of the internship, the student will submit an 8-page, double-spaced paper to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. This paper should reflect on the experience and offer conclusions regarding the research question and/or avenues for further study.
Upon successful completion of ASIAN 396, students may petition a department advisor to use the credit towards an Asian Studies major. ASIAN 396 credit is not permitted towards an Asian Languages and Cultures minor or an Asian Studies minor. Students are not permitted to retro-actively receive credit for an internship that has already been completed.
The LSA Internship office is a valuable resource for students looking to find internships and secure funding. The College of LSA provides resources to UM sponsored internships, experiential learning opportunities, and international internships. Students who are looking for financial support can apply for need-based scholarships. Please check here to determine eligibility.
The Career Center is another great resource for LSA students looking to explore internship opportunities. Their website offers information on internship openings, job fairs and events, and The Public Service Intern Program. For students who are unsure about where to begin, the Career Center offers tools on how to start your research. Check out these tips on how to begin. The Center is also available for in-person appointments for career advising and counseling. Current students may call the Information Desk at (734) 764-7460.