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Non-UM Study Abroad Programs

While our goal is to encourage every student at UM to participate in Study Abroad during their academic career, we recognize that not all students may find a program through UM that fits their academic interests and needs. For this reason, many students choose to participate in a Study Abroad Program that is not sponsored by UM. To learn how to find and apply for such a program, along with other important information to consider, please follow the steps below.

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Programs

Step 1: Finding a Program

In selecting a program, bear in mind such concerns as cost of program, and your personal goals for study. Above all, remember to consult your academic advisor concerning his/her recommendations for your study plan. Your advisor and the chair of your department will determine if the classes you take abroad may count towards your UM degree. You may find information about Non-UM Study Abroad Programs through a number of resources:

  • Use materials from the International Program's resource library:

    • Consult reference books such as Academic Year Abroad and Short-Term Study Abroad;

    • Skim our collection of brochures and fliers from various language institutes, foreign institutions, and other American universities.

  • Be aware that the presence of brochures in our library does not automatically guarantee UM approval of credit. UM can only transfer credit based on an official transcript from a regionally accredited institution of higher education and provided that your credits have been pre-approved by the appropriate departments (see Step 4: Ensuring Credit Transfer)

Step 2: Considering Your Safety

Student in Chilean rainforest

It is imperative that you and your family carefully evaluate the safety and location of any study abroad program in which you may participate. UM requires all students to register their travel. On the U.S. Department of State's website, you will find a list of current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, Consular Information Sheets, Travel Publications, and other safety information about every country you may be considering for study abroad. In addition, we encourage you to consult resources available to you on our website, through the program provider, and even through personal contacts who may be able to advise you about travel in the location you are considering.

Please note that the presence of a program's brochure in the OIP library does not guarantee that the program's location is considered safe by UM standards. Also note that UM professors, department chairs, and admissions evaluators who approve your credit transfer for a study abroad program are not approving the safety of a program location. They can only approve credit transfer; it is up to you to assess the safety of any program you choose.

Please also be aware that UM cannot be held liable for the safety conditions of any non-UM study abroad program.If you have questions about the safety of any study abroad program, please do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with the staff of the Office of International Programs at studyabroad@umontana.edu or 243-2296.

Step 3: Applying to a Program

Once you have selected a Non-UM Study Abroad Program, it is your responsibility to contact the program and complete the application as required. Some programs will request signatures from a Study Abroad Advisor, Dean of Students, Registrar’s Office, or other offices at UM to approve your application. If your program requires UM's approval to participate in the program, please see:

  • The Registrar's Office if the form asks you to verify your enrollment or good academic standing at UM

  • The Vice President for Student Affairs if the form asks to verify disciplinary standing at UM

  • Your academic advisor and major/minor department chair or Admissions & New Student Services if asked to verify that you will receive credit participating in the program

  • Office of International Programs if the form asks you to get approval from a Study Abroad Advisor or International Office on campus

Gargoyle overlooking a city in France.

Step 4: Ensuring Credit Transfer

  1. Stone roadway lined with buildings in Latvia

    Verify with the Admissions and New Student Services office in Enrollment Services that the institution is regionally accredited and that UM will recognize and accept credit from that institution.  

  2. Get approval from your academic advisor and the heads of the academic departments for which degree requirements you want the credits to apply to.  Whether the credit will apply for your major, minor, or general education requirements is up to you, your academic advisor, the department chair for your major and/or minor, and the UM Admissions and New Student Services office in Enrollment Services.  Complete the Study Plan Approval Form for Non-UM Study Abroad Programs according to the instructions provided on the form. Keep a copy of the form for yourself and ask your advisor to also keep one in your file.  Submit the original copy of this form to International Programs. 

Step 5: Financial Aid

There are several different resources available to find out about funding opportunities:

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  • Consult the Financial Aid Office to see if your program qualifies for any UM scholarships and/or student loans and to also inquire about a Consortium Agreement.

  • Check the website of the program that you are attending to see if they offer any financial aid or scholarship options.

  • Perform a general web search for non-UM scholarships and funding available.

  • Browse the International Programs’ Resource Library.    

Step 6: Preparing for Your Departure

2011 Greece - People boarding plane in Greece

Before embarking on your overseas adventure, there are many details to consider, so be sure that you register your travel with UM. You will find many helpful resources and learn about important UM requirements, such as minimum health insurance and other useful considerations.

Step 7: While You are Abroad

  1. Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, RussiaSave your syllabi, course notes, papers, homework, etc. from classes that you take while abroad in order to facilitate credit transfer upon your return to UM.
  2. Access the course catalog and class schedule while you are away.
  3. Pre-register for classes at UM via CyberBear; you will need to contact your advisor in order to obtain your advising PIN (for this reason, obtain his/her email address before your departure).
  4. Before you leave your host institution, request at least one copy of your official transcript (it may be difficult to obtain extra copies later) to be sent to the Office of International Programs at the address below.  Once OIP receives your original official transcript from your program, the office will submit it along with a copy of your Study Plan Approval Form for Non-UM Study Abroad Programs to UM's Enrollment Services, Admissions and New Student Services to be evaluated for credit transfer.