Semester or Year Abroad
A semester abroad is a great way to immerse yourself in a new culture and earn 12-18 credits towards your RMU degree.
You can also do an internship or work on a research project abroad. For the really adventurous student, it might even be possible to study abroad for two semesters!
The earlier you start planning to study abroad for a semester, the better. Freshmen are welcome to make an appointment with a study abroad advisor to start discussing their options early! If you didn’t start early, that’s totally okay. Your options might be a little more limited, but we can still work with you to find a program that fits your needs.
For a semester abroad, you will need to fill out an RMU application and an application to your program abroad.
RMU application deadlines typically fall before program application deadlines, but you should double check your program deadline to make sure you are meeting both application deadlines.
Note that many study abroad scholarship deadlines fall before application deadlines. If you plan to apply for scholarships, start early!
Recommended RMU Application deadlines:
- Spring Semester Abroad: September 30th
- Fall Semester Abroad: March 31st
- Full Year Abroad: March 31st
The cost of a semester abroad varies by location, but typically, costs end up being similar to the cost of a semester living on campus at RMU.
For a semester abroad, you pay:
- RMU tuition and fees, with your financial aid package typically applying just like you’re on campus*
- Housing abroad ($1,200-$5,500, depending on the program)
- Meals abroad (costs vary widely, depending on cost of living and student preference for cooking, cafeteria, and restaurants)
- International insurance ($80-$400, depending on the program)
- Flight ($500-$2,000)
- Passport, if you don’t already have one ($140)
- Visa, if necessary ($0-$500)
- Books and supplies
- Local transportation
- Personal expenses and independent travel
*All students should speak to their RMU financial aid counselor to understand how their financial aid package applies to a semester abroad.
The resources below can be useful for you in planning your budget for a semester abroad:
- Create a budget for a semester abroad (worksheet)
- Scholarship/Grant Tax Information Worksheet - If you received a scholarship or grant for studying abroad, use this worksheet to determine what taxes, if any, you owe on the money received.
In order to participate in a semester abroad, RMU students must:
- have earned 45 credits at RMU, not including transfer/AP credits*
- not be in their final semester of study at RMU
- have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA**
- have a clean disciplinary record at RMU OR be willing to discuss their record with a study abroad advisor, who will approve/deny eligibility based on the conversation
*Transfer students may speak to their study abroad advisor about this requirement.
**Some programs have a higher requirement than this.
RMU has approved semester abroad programs in 25 countries around the world!
- Click here for a list of current Global Approved Programs. The last two pages have a summary chart for quick comparison between programs. You can click on the name of the program in the left column of the summary chart to learn more about each option.
Note that business majors must attend a program that is AACSB-accredited if they wish to take 3000- or 4000-level courses in their major.
How to Apply
- Interest Form - submit this form to be receive emails about studying abroad. You will need to be signed into your RMU account for this form to work.
- Pre-Advising Goals Form - this must be completed before your first advising meeting
- Make an advising appointment with Karis or Jessica.
- Talk to your academic advisor about your plans to study abroad, and work with them to save electives and general courses (e.g., History, Literature, Principles of _____, etc.) to take while you are abroad.
- Apply for your Passport now! It's never too early to get your passport, and delays could cost you more money.
Note that your RMU application must be complete before you will be nominated and able to apply to your study abroad program. Please consider this when determining appropriate timelines.
Your study abroad advisor will not nominate you to complete your program’s application until after your RMU application is complete and approved. You will receive information about your program’s application at that time.
Passport and Visa Requirements
Your passport is issued by the country where you are a citizen. It is an identity document.
Some countries require that your U.S. passport be valid not only for the duration of your visit, but also for up to six months after your entry or return from their country. This means you have to check your passport expiration date carefully. For example, if your passport expires on September 1, 2020, and you want to return home in May 2020, you will need to renew your passport before you go.
A visa is a sticker put in your passport by the country you are going to. It gives you permission to enter the country for a specific purpose, such as studying or working. Many countries allow US citizens to enter as a tourist without a visa but require students to apply for a visa.
Every country's visa requirements differ. You should receive information from your host university or program provider once you are accepted about the visa process. If you do not feel like you are getting this information in a timely manner or have questions about the process, please reach out to your study abroad advisor.
Grades earned on a semester abroad program are listed on your transcript with the US equivalent of the letter grade earned abroad. Grades do not factor into your GPA.