Global Experiences: Getting Started

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.

  1. Begin by looking at the types of travel below and start thinking what would fit in well with your goals.
  2. Meet with Beste Windes at to learn more about your options.
  3. Join our Global Nursing Canvas Page to receive weekly announcements and other important Global Health communication. Email to join.

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 email your request to the

Aspects of Global Experiences:

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.



(Most) Program applications are due in December!


Once admitted to a program, your pre-departure meetings will begin, and you can apply for financial aid/scholarships for your travel. 


Travel takes place.


(Most) Program applications are due in May!


Once admitted to a program, your pre-departure meetings will begin, and you can apply for financial aid/scholarships for your travel. 


Travel takes place.

Begin investigating your options, consulting with academic advisors, and getting courses pre-approved for credit (if applicable) in the term before you wish to travel. UMSN organizes a Global Poster Fair every Fall in October where you can learn more about study abroad programs. 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 consider as well.


Study abroad programs (including most internship programs) charge a program fee that includes housing, in country ground transportation, food, excursion, activities etc. Most program fees do not include passport or airfare expenses. Federal financial aid may cover some of these expenses if they provide academic credit. There are some grants and scholarships available to all UMSN students. Please contact Beste Windes at if you need wish to discuss how to fund your study abroad experience. You may also consult an advisor in U-M's Office of Financial Aid or visit Financial Aid for Study Abroad for more information.

Attention undergraduates!

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.

For credit or not for credit?

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.

Ready to start looking for a global experience program to fit your interests?