Study Abroad 101


Study abroad offers students an academic experience that can enhance and compliment their GVSU education. Your primary role in study abroad advising is to help students make informed decisions about what courses to take abroad.
Below are some important facts to be aware of when advising students on study abroad. Visit for more information. 


Please direct students to stop by PIC during office hours for Study Abroad Advising or to attend a Study Abroad First Step Meeting


Please take a few minutes to watch the online version of a First Step Meeting: 


Quick Facts
  • Students can participate in 3 types of programs: Faculty-Led, Partnership or NonGVSU
  • International internship opportunities are available
  • Students can study abroad during fall, winter or summer semesters or for the full academic year
  • Students must have completed 1 semester at GVSU before applying to study abroad
  • 2.5 GPA (Undergraduates) and 3.0 GPA (Graduates) required 
  • Students are able to meet major, minor and General Education requirements while abroad
  • Study abroad applicants must have completed one semester at GVSU before applying
  • Students do not have to be bilingual to study abroad 
  • Financial aid, scholarships and grants can help cover the cost of study abroad
  • There are about 15 programs that may save students money when compared to the cost of a semester at GVSU


WHEN should a student study abroad?

When to study abroad varies based on what academic program a student is pursuing. However, the time to start planning is NOW! Even if a student is studying abroad her junior or senior year, planning ahead allows her to schedule her courses appropriately and leaves time for applying for scholarships and grants.  



WHAT type of programs can a student participate in? 

While our advising team is always there to help, picking the right program is a personal decision that should be based on what will help a student fulfill his academic, personal and professional goals.


GVSU offers 3 types of study abroad programs: 



2 – 8 week programs typically during the summer. Your group will consist of at least 12 GVSU students and a GVSU professor will teach courses. 


GVSU Partnership:

Semester/Year long programs during the fall, winter or summer semesters. You will go to a university that GVSU has a partnership with as an international student, studying with local students and other internationals from around the world. This option allows for flexible course options and student lifestyle and offers significant opportunities for scholarships and grants.  There are 15 partnerships that are less expensive that spending a semester at GVSU, including airfare. 


Non GVSU Programs: 

Short term, semester and year log programs during the fall, winter or summer semesters. If GVSU does not offer a faculty-led or Partnership program that fits your needs, we are happy to use non-GVSU Programs through other universities or 3rd Party study abroad providers to offer you a customized study abroad program. 


PIC also facilitates International Internships, Independent Studies, Work Abroad and Volunteer Abroad opportunities. 


HOW will a student fund study abroad? 

Any financial aid or scholarships a student receives at GVSU can be applied to her study abroad program in most cases. There are 15 Partnership Programs that are LESS EXPENSIVE, including airfare, than spending a semester at GVSU.  Attending a Study Abroad Funding 101 meeting and filling out a Funding 101 Packet are great ways to help make a financial plan. The Padnos International Center believes study abroad should be accessible to everyone and offers several Scholarship and Grant opportunities. Students are encouraged to apply for external scholarships and grants as well.


WHERE can a student study abroad? 

ANYWHERE! GVSU offers programs in every country around the world, except those that have been listed under the U.S. Travel Warnings, which require special permission. 


WHO is a good candidate to go abroad? 

ANYONE! There are programs for every major and minor at GVSU. 


Visit for more information. 




Page last modified March 7, 2014