Study Abroad Programs Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

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    What steps are involved in studying abroad?

    Here are seven steps to studying abroad:

    1. Identify programs of interest by perusing Detroit Mercy’s Study Abroad website.
    2. Find out who runs your program(s) of interest by clicking on Detroit Mercy’s Study Abroad page.
    3. Contact the program director by email to find out application and enrollment deadlines, tuition and fees, itinerary.
    4. Complete your FAFSA for the semester you are interested in traveling/studying abroad, if not already completed.
    5. Contact Detroit Mercy’s financial aid offices as soon as possible to find out how to maximize financial aid to cover tuition and program fees during the semester you are interested in studying/traveling abroad.
    6. Complete Detroit Mercy’s one-page financial aid application for all summer programs.
    7. Remain in contact with the program director and financial aid officer to ensure your application has been processed and to determine the feasibility of your studying abroad this year.

    What is study abroad?

    University of Detroit Mercy offers several contexts for studying abroad through internationally based educational experiences, which include semester-long and short-term faculty-led programs.

    Internationally Based Educational Experiences

    The University of Detroit Mercy recognizes that given the increasingly global nature of business, science, art, and politics, students benefit from immersion in international cultures. An opportunity to experience an internationally based educational experience heightens a student's understanding of the world. The following policy has been established to maintain the academic integrity in University of Detroit Mercy.

    Please note that all Internationally Based Educational Experiences will be subject to Program Review at the time the host department is under review. Facilitators of Internationally Based Educational Programs must 1) maintain the accuracy and content of the International Programs website in collaboration with appropriate personnel as well as keep the Office of Academic Affairs, International Student Office and Language and Cultural Training Office aware of any changes in the program, eg. modification, elimination, etc.

    The following are definitions provided to assist in identifying the type of program that is being proposed:

    International Experience Definitions

    Home School: The school where the student is enrolled in a degree/certificate program.

    Host School: The school where the student is taking part of his or her program requirements through either a consortium or contractual agreement.

    Study Abroad: Per federal regulations a study abroad program must be a part of a written contractual or consortium agreement between two or more schools. To be eligible for aid as a study abroad program there must be an agreement between the home school (Detroit Mercy) and the host school (foreign school) and credits are charged and earned. Eligible for aid if enrolled at least half time if the credits are applicable to their degree, may be paid at Detroit Mercy or at the other school. If charged at Detroit Mercy, the budget will be increased to include travel and other expenses.

    Exchange Program: Part of a written contractual agreement between two schools where Detroit Mercy send students to a foreign university for one term, and the other institution sends students to Detroit Mercy another term. Detroit Mercy students are always charged here at Detroit Mercy and students receive Financial Aid here. Students from the foreign university are not eligible for aid at Detroit Mercy. Students are eligible for aid if enrolled at Detroit Mercy at least half time. The budget can be increased for travel and other expenses.

    Foreign Site Learning-Short Trip: Part of a class taken at Detroit Mercy: A home school sends faculty and students to a foreign site for a short period of time (usually no more than 10 days) as a required part of a class taken at Detroit Mercy. Actual credits are earned at Detroit Mercy, but the trip must be a requirement to pass the course. The trip can take place during the term of the course or directly after the term ends. The foreign site is NOT considered an additional location of Detroit Mercy. Students are eligible for aid if enrolled in the course that requires the trip and at Detroit Mercy at least half time. The budget can be increased for travel and other expenses.

    Foreign Site Learning -Full Term Trip: Credits earned abroad: A home school sends faculty and students to a foreign site for a longer period of time and credits are earned abroad. The foreign site is considered an additional location of Detroit Mercy and must be approved by the Department of Education. Students are eligible for aid if enrolled at Detroit Mercy at least half time. The budget can be increased for travel and other expenses.

    Foreign Trip: A trip sponsored by Detroit Mercy that does not earn any credits and is not required for course at Detroit Mercy. Students are not eligible for aid for this type of experience. If they are enrolled at least half time in other courses they can get aid for those courses and use any refund (if applicable) to cover study abroad costs. The budget will not be increased for trip costs.

    Academic Standards

    All Detroit Mercy Study Abroad programs are expected to conform to the standards herein.

    Detroit Mercy Students enrolled in an International Educational Program

    1. Undergraduate students must have earned the minimum cumulative grade point average required by each academic program at the time of application to the program. Graduate students must have earned a 3.0 at the time of application to the program.
    2. Demonstrated bilingual proficiency may be a prerequisite for some programs.
    3. Students must maintain appropriate academic standards to remain enrolled in the program and allowed to progress.

    Programs and Coursework:

    1. All coursework associated with a Detroit Mercy internationally based educational program must be offered by faculty associated with an academic unit at their respective institution of higher education.
    2. All internationally based educational programs shall be subject to the normal Program Review process.
    3. The Detroit Mercy grade point average (GPA) scale applies to internationally based educational programs and courses for which Detroit Mercy grants credit.
    4. Courses that enroll both undergraduate and graduate students must have separate course requirements for awarding the graduate credit
    5. If graduate credit is to be awarded, students must have an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

    Review the attached Handbook for more guidance regarding student expectations.


    What courses are offered?

    Most Detroit Mercy short-term international experiences are open to students in all majors. The best way to find out which courses are associated with each program is to contact the program director directly. Consult the Study Abroad page and search by program to locate the program director in charge of scheduling this year’s program.

    For exchange programs and longer-term programs available through Detroit Mercy and the AJCU, you should consult the program director listed to obtain a list of courses associated with your program to find out the courses/majors of study, as well as all other relevant program information.


    Where would I stay while abroad?

    Short-term internationally-based experiences: Accommodations may vary from program to program, and accommodations may be covered as part of the program fee. Types of housing can include hotels or university dorms.

    Longer-term programs may provide on-campus or off-campus housing. Housing and meal fees may be assessed separately from tuition or may be bundled. You must check with the program of interest to find out more information about your accommodations and meals. For each program, the type of housing available for students should be indicated on either the website or information brochure. Students are encouraged to find out all fees associated with exchange programs prior to enrolling in programs of interest.


    Can I participate in a Detroit Mercy study abroad if I am not a student?

    Short-term international experiences: Many of our faculty-led programs welcome non-Detroit Mercy participants ages 18 and over (no minor children are able to travel in Detroit Mercy programs). All non-Detroit Mercy participants, including alumni and students from other universities, are subject to the same program fees, terms, accommodations, meal plans and itinerary as Detroit Mercy students. If you are joining us from another university, it is important to check with your home institution’s financial aid offices to determine financial aid eligibility. All non-Detroit Mercy participants may be required to enroll in one-credit hour of study, are expected to adhere to the program’s itinerary and program objectives while abroad, and are required to participate in all predeparture orientation sessions.

    Do I need to know a foreign language to study abroad?

    Study abroad is a great opportunity for students who would like to develop their foreign language skills; however, knowing a foreign language is not a requirement for all study abroad programs. Some programs may require a certain level of proficiency in a different language and this information can be found on the description in the program search.

    Do I need to have a passport to study abroad?

    All Detroit Mercy programs require a valid passport to study abroad. Make sure your passport will be valid 60 days after the program return date. Additionally, many countries require that you obtain a travel visa. Both passports and travel visas are out-of-pocket expenses not covered by financial aid.

    Here’s what you’ll need to do to get your passport:

    1. Birth certificate
    2. State identification (or driver’s license)
    3. Two passport photos — ask for government-regulated photos. Affix one picture to your passport application. The passport may require two photos be mailed with your application.
    4. Visit your local post office to apply for a passport, or click here.

    Do I need vaccinations before traveling abroad?

    You are advised to check with the Centers for Disease Control’s website to obtain information about recommended or required vaccinations. Please consult the website regularly.

    Can international students participate in Detroit Mercy’s programs?

    Detroit Mercy international students may participate in certain programs. Consult the country’s consular website to find out regulations and requirements prior to enrolling in the program of interest.


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    Is financial aid applicable?

    Financial aid may be available to help cover tuition, airfare and other fees associated with the program. Contact Detroit Mercy's Financial Aid office for more information.

    • Students need to be enrolled in 6 credits undergraduate or 4.5 credits graduate in the semester the international experience takes place in order to qualify for Federal Financial Aid, including loans.
    • Make sure you have completed a FAFSA for the year you will travel abroad.
    • For international experiences over the summer term, make sure you submit your summer application financial aid to Detroit Mercy’s Financial Aid Office at least three months prior to the program departure date.
    • Students may not receive enough aid to cover all expenses. It is best to assess early on so you are aware of any out of pocket expenses not covered by financial aid.
    • Student's enrollment in a study abroad program approved for credit by the home institution may be considered enrollment at the home institution for the purposes of applying for federal financial aid.

    How much does study abroad cost?

    Students who study abroad in a faculty-led short term international experience pay the same amount per credit hour abroad as they do here on campus. In addition, program fees are charged. These include airfare, accommodations, some meals, and many site visit entrance fees. Check with your program advisor to get a checklist of what is and is not covered.

    For full-time undergraduate students traveling in a short-term program during winter, tuition may be covered under your flat rate as long as you do not exceed 18 credits. Tuition discounts may be available for programs that run during summer term. For longer term programs, costs may depend on length of time abroad, housing, and tuition charged at the institution through which you study (for non-Detroit Mercy programs). Estimated costs are dependent upon program year and focus. Contact the program director of the program(s) of interest to find out program fees and tuition for this year’s programs. Don’t forget to consult Detroit Mercy’s Financial Aid offices to maximize your award.

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    • Each student must sign a Detroit Mercy Waiver/Hold Harmless Agreement.
    • Each student must sign a Code of Conduct Form.
    • Each student must have his/her own health/travel insurance that will cover them while abroad. Detroit Mercy does not provide this insurance. It is up to the student to investigate what kind of alternative coverage is available. Pricing is dependent upon program’s duration and participant’s elected coverage.


    Assessing Study Abroad: Student Learning, Engagement & Impact of Experience

    Students are encouraged to reflect on learning experiences abroad and the impact of studying abroad on academics, global awareness, personal and professional growth. These surveys can help them do this. Faculty may use these tools at various stages of international programming. Once completed, students submit these surveys to the director of the program they participated in.