Veterans, Active-Duty, ROTC, and Students of Service Members Abroad


Many veterans, active-duty service members and dependents are able to use their benefits to help fund their overseas experience but may face additional obstacles in terms of logistics and identity. Working closely with the Global Engagement Office, UM Vets Office and with the appropriate benefits office will be important to ensure a smooth experience. If a student is a member of ROTC, they will need to speak with their reporting office regarding expectations and requirements for their program. If a student wishes to use their benefits to help fund their program, planning ahead will be imperative because you might not be eligible for your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) or it might be delayed. In this case, it is important to have a back-up plan.  

Some questions to consider prior to this experience include:  

  • Will I need to list my military status on my student visa? If so, how will I do that? 
  • How does your host country perceive American service members and the military? How will you discuss this with locals and foreigners?  
  • Do I need to maintain a specific fitness schedule when abroad? Will facilities be available for me?  

If you are a veteran, active-duty service member or a dependent, please reach out to the staff at the Global Engagement to discuss your funding options and the above questions. The staff at Global Engagement are eager to work with you to tailor a study abroad experience for you in concert with the UM Vets Office and your academic advisors.   

Below are resources to help you be prepared for an international experience. We encourage you to discuss these topics with your advisors on campus and previous study abroad program participants.  

UM Resources

UM Vets Office - Speak with a representative from the UM Vets Office VA benefits and other questions you have throughout this process  

UM Financial Aid Office - Speak with the UM Financial Aid Office to determine your financial path and scholarships  

Nutrition Counseling  - Speak with a UM dietician to discuss what the food is like in your host country and to create a nutrition plan for while you’re abroad to support your fitness plans 

Resources, Guides, and Personal Stories

Helping Military Veterans Study Abroad - National Association of International Educators advice for veterans studying abroad  

Gilman-McCain Scholarship - Provides awards of up to $5,000 for child dependents of active-duty service members to study or intern abroad on credit-bearing programs  

GI Bill Benefits for Study Abroad - Information regarding the availability of GI funds for international experiences such as study abroad