Getting Started: Initial Planning Aspects
With so many global experience options and formats available, students who wish to study, work or volunteer abroad will find plenty of opportunities that fit both their schedules and their interests. Students should begin by formulating their thoughts on each of the planning aspects below and consult with Director of Global Outreach as well as their academic advisor for more information. Another recommended planning resource is membership in the Office of Global Affairs Canvas group, used for circulating information to interested students about opportunities for global engagement. To be added to the group, please e-mail your request to: Office of Global Affairs.
Independent vs. Group Travel
The first aspects to consider when thinking about a global experience is whether to travel independently or as a member of a group. Independent travel allows for more flexibility, but many students may feel more comfortable participating in a structured group experience.
Timing and Duration
Some nursing courses include optional short field experiences. These may be in the form of service learning trips, as support for faculty research, or as part of a clinical integration associated with a class. For experiences of more than a few weeks, the best option is usually for travel in the spring and/or summer.
Many spring/summer programs have early winter application deadlines, so students should begin investigating options, consulting with academic advisors, and getting courses pre-approved for credit (if applicable) in the fall term of that academic year. Campus-wide events such as the U-M Study Abroad Fair and the International Opportunities Fair take place in early fall and provide options to think about.
Study abroad programs charge tuition as well as program fees for housing, food and activities. Federal financial aid may cover some of these expenses if they provide academic credit. Consult an advisor in U-M's Office of Financial Aid or visit Financial Aid for Study Abroad for more information.
Internship and service learning programs also charge fees. Some programs offer scholarships to their own participants, and there are some grants and scholarships available.
Enrollment in more than 18 credit hours per term requires additional tuition fees. Because courses with global travel components can provide more credit hours than traditional courses, students considering one of these options should pay particular attention to the timing and tuition costs when discussing their plans with advisors.
Curricular Vs. Co-Curricular Experience
Do you need to earn academic credit while on your global experience? Programs that provide the opportunity to earn credit are called "curricular experiences" or "study abroad." Those opportunities that do not allow the participant to earn academic credit are considered"co-curricular experiences" and often are categorized as internship, volunteer or service opportunities.
For many spring/summer study abroad (curricular) experiences, the credits earned may be counted towards program requirements or as electives. However, the fact that they are in addition to fall and/or winter term courses makes the need for credit less urgent for nursing students. On the co-curricular front, there are plenty of challenging and fulfilling opportunities to intern or volunteer abroad. These experiences can greatly enhance both professional and personal development.