Most student-athletes believe that they do not have time to fit a study abroad experience into their college career. The Center for Global and Intercultural Study (LSAs Study Abroad Office) wants to help break that misconception and assist student-athletes in taking their education overseas while at Michigan. 

Did You Know?

  • CGIS has partnered with the Athletic Department to increase student-athlete access to study abroad opportunities
  • CGIS offers over 100+ programs, with many short-term (3 - 4 week programs) available, especially during the spring/summer semesters!
  • If you are a scholarship athlete, in most cases, your athletic scholarship will cover most, if not all, of your study abroad costs!
    • Even if you are not receiving an athletic scholarship, there are a number of other scholarships and funding opportunities available to you
  • Studying abroad was second ("more sleep" was first) on a list of things PAC-12 student-athletes said they wish they could have done during their undergraduate studies but couldn't due to athletic commitments (PAC-12, 2015).

Where do I start?

Attend a First Step Session! CGIS will hold First Step sessions for student-athletes at the Academic Center (Rm 1230) during the Fall & Winter semester. 

Check back here for First Step session dates. 

Regular First Step sessions are also held every weekday from 5–5:30pm in the CGIS Office, 200 Weiser Hall. First Step sessions provide you with an overview of all CGIS offerings and allow you to ask any preliminary questions that you may have. After you have attended a First Step session, you may schedule an individual advising appointment with a CGIS advisor. At any point, you can open a study abroad application on M-Compass.

Why Study Abroad?

Studying abroad leads to significant personal growth and academic development. It also sets you apart from other applicants as you seek out jobs and internships, plan for graduate school, an begin the interview process.

When you study abroad, you get an opportunity to distinguish yourself from those without international experience. Fewer than 10% of all US college students study abroad during their undergraduate career.* So study abroad returnees possess a resume that reflects an experience that 90% of candidates do not have. *(2015 Open Doors Report)

It is never too early nor too late to study abroad. Michigan offers programs for first-year students and programs for seniors and can also help you find programs for international experiences after your undergraduate years.

Study Abroad and Your Future

International experiences make you desirable to future employers because of the skillsand knowledge gained through international exposure. 

As the global marketplace expands, so does the need for candidates who have acquired the key competencies that international experiences provides. Competencies gained from study abroad include:

  • independence
  • flexibility
  • cultural adaptability
  • language and communication skills
  • problem solving

Study abroad provides unique opportunities to:

  • visit a variety of work environments
  • improve communication skills
  • gain critical thinking and travel skills
  • live and study with a diverse group of people
  • gain professional experience interning or volunteering
  • work with a team on a targeted project or presentation engage in research
  • build a network of global connections, including the thousands of UM alums who live and work abroad

Things to consider


  • Do you have a (at least) 3 to 4-week "off-period" in the spring or summer semesters?
    • Are you required to be 'on-campus' during this time?
  • Are there particular requirements that you should or should not try to complete while abroad?
  • Can you continue your off-season training from off-campus?
  • Are there any other team commitments that you need to be on campus for during your off-period?

Meet with your ASP advisor for more advice on when the best time may be to study abroad!

Compliance & Eligibilty

  • The NCAA has strict compliance rules about participating in outside competitions. Make sure to meet with the Compliance office and/or your ASP counselor if you have any questions about compliance or eligibility before you leave.


  • As an athlete, your diet is likely to be quite strict and specific. Meet with a CGIS study abroad advisor to discuss what the food is like in your host country and meet with the Athletics Nutritionist prior to your departure to create a nutrition plan for while you are abroad.

Funding Sources

If you are not a full scholarship athlete or are not receiving a scholarship at all, there are still a number of other ways to find funding to help pay for your experience abroad! Please see below for a link to get you started and visit your CGIS Advisor for more information.

UM Student-Athlete Study Abroad Alumni

Since 2016, CGIS has sent 58 student-athletes on study abroad programs, which is a 450% increase over the previous two years. 

In 2017, we sent 46 student-athletes from 9 different athletic teams at the University of Michigan.

See below for just a small sample of our recent alumni:

  1. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (M Basketball) -- Sports and Society in Barcelona, Spring 2017
  2. Noah Furbush (Football) - Food, Energy and Water in Costa Rica, Spring 2017
  3. Leah Crockett (W Soccer) - Sports Psychology in Seville, Spring 2017
  4. William Hart (Football) - Reading and Writing Fairytales in Iceland, Spring 2017
  5. Kimberly Johnson (Water Polo) - Summer in Athens, Spring 2017
  6. Clara Smiddy (W Swimming) - Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Summer 2016
  7. Matthew Zimmerman (M Swimming) - University of Oxford, St. Peters, Summer 2016
  8. Maurice Hurst (Football) - Athletic Contests in Israel, Spring 2016
  9. Chris Wormley (Football) - Athletic Contests in Israel, Spring 2016
  10. Libby Murray (Rowing) - Athletic Contests in Israel, Spring 2016
  11. Claire Borchers (W Track) - GIEU Peru, Spring 2016


If you have questions about your status as a student-athlete and how it might affect your study-abroad experience, contact the CGIS Athletic Department liaison, Rachel Reuter, at

If you are interested in learning more about a specific program, contact the CGIS advisor listed for that program.