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.


Step 1

  1. Search the web through a general search or at sites such as:
  2. 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.
  3. 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

A student standing with a group in traditional Korean garbIt 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 our 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 Education Abroad at or (406) 243-2296.

Step 3

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. You can also request this form via CyberBear.

  • 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

  • Education Abroad Coordinator if the form asks you to get approval from a Study Abroad Advisor on campus

Step 4

  1. 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 Official Study Plan Approval Form according to the instructions provided on the second page of 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 Education Abroad

Step 5

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

  • 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 Educations Abroad's Resource Library.    

Step 6

The University of Montana's travel policy can be found at the International Travel Guidance web page on the menu bar above. Students should consult with UM Education Abroad if they have any questions or concerns about the expectations listed on that website.

Step 7

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

  1. Save 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 Global Engagement Office at the address below.  Once Education Abroad receives your original official transcript from your program, the office will submit it along with a copy of your Official Study Plan Approval Form to UM's Enrollment Services, Admissions and New Student Services to be evaluated for credit transfer.

Mail to:

University of Montana
Global Engagement - Education Abroad
32 Campus Drive Int'l Cntr
Missoula, MT 59812 USA