Students with Dependents


Studying abroad is the experience of a lifetime to many students, and the Education Abroad team wants to make these opportunities as accessible as possible to everyone -- even students with dependents. A "dependent" can refer to a student with a spouse, registered domestic partner or child, as well as an elderly or sick parent. The application process will be very similar to students without dependents, but you'll need to follow some careful planning in order to create an education abroad experience that will benefit yourself as well as your family.

Students with dependents or families have two main options:

  • Semester(s) abroad - with a semester abroad program, the student and their dependents are guaranteed to make memories together, as they explore new places, try new foods and experience new cultures. This option will entail additional planning and careful consideration of accommodation needs and application requirements.
  • Short-term program - with short-term excursions, students can travel during winter session or summer break. This option can be more feasible and easier logistically to plan. Whether it is possible to secure care for the dependents to stay at home during the program or travel alongside the student, the student is bound to benefit academically, professionally and personally with a tailored short-term program that meets their interests.

We encourage you to discuss these topics with your advisers on campus and previous study abroad program participants. Additionally, we invite you to also explore the following resources and insightful stories below.

Things to Consider

When preparing for or looking into an education abroad opportunity that will allow for dependents to join, consider the following items that you'll need to add onto your preparation:

  • How long would I/we like to be abroad? (i.e. for a semester, academic year, or short-term program)
  • Will my host country provide housing options that accommodate my family?
  • Will someone in my family be traveling with me that can take care of younger dependents while I am in school, or what childcare options will be available?
  • How much does childcare cost in my host country?
  • What will be the schooling options for my dependents while abroad, if needed?
  • What immunizations might my dependents or I need before traveling abroad?
  • What is the application process for visas / residence permits?
  • How much do visas / residence permits for myself and my dependent(s) cost?
  • What type of housing do we need to meet our needs?
  • Will I be able to find and prepare meals according to our needs?
  • Will I need childcare abroad? If yes, how much will it cost, and where can I find it?
  • Will I have a child who needs to enroll in school? If yes, what is that process?
    • Please note that homeschooling is not legal in all countries. So, you would need to contact the consulate or embassy of your host country for specifics on this detail.
  • What international insurance will we want, and how much will it cost?
  • Do I have the financial support I need, or will I need to pursue additional resources?
  • What will be our transportation abroad, and how will we need to make adjustments?

Next Steps

If you wish to go on a program abroad with a dependent, we are happy to help you! You will need to take the following steps:

  1. Set up an appointment with the Education Abroad Office to determine your program options.
  2. Determine which program is best for you, and submit an application before the deadline.
  3. Create a budget sheet for costs anticipated abroad in order to support yourself, your family, or your dependents.
  4. Sign a Release of Information with the Education Abroad Office, in order for the team to discuss your dependents and the accommodation needs with the host institution or program leader.
  5. Search for financial assistance opportunities and familiarize with the resources below.
  6. Prepare accommodation logistics, such as applying for housing or finding childcare abroad.
  7. Meet with a travel nurse at Curry Health Center to discuss immunizations and develop awareness regarding medical treatment within and any concerns about your host country.
  8. Enroll in international insurance through the Education Abroad Office that includes coverage for dependents.

Non-UM Sponsored Programs for Students with Dependents

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. Non-UM sponsored programs options are limitless, but the following have been found to help students on a case-by-case basis in finding the right program for the student and their families.

However, it is important to note that students might not be able to apply their financial aid to these programs. Please contact the Financial Aid Office for clarification on whether or not your aid can be applied to a specific opportunity. Students are also responsible for making sure that the Admissions - Enrollment Services office recognizes and can therefore transfer the academic credit over from a non-UM sponsored program. In order to find out if a program you like below has the proper accreditation, please reach out to the Admissions - Enrollment Services Office.

Underneath each organization listed below is an email address at which students can find out what options are available for themselves and their dependents. If you find a program you like, you will then need to follow the guidelines on our page for non-UM sponsored programs.