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Before You Go Abroad

This section covers many of the important questions students have before studying abroad.

Types of ProgramsEligibilityTravel Restrictions

Types of Programs

There are three main types of study abroad programs: ExchangeFaculty-Led, and Other (Provider, Affiliate, and Consortium). The type of program you choose affects the credit you earn, the costs you pay (and who you pay them to), and the experience you will have.

If you already have a program in mind, the first thing you should do is determine which type of program you are applying for. You can find this information in the Fact Sheet area of the program’s page on Triton Globetrotter.

Exchange Programs

An exchange program is when an UMSL student attends a foreign university as a visiting student and, in exchange, a student from that university attends UMSL. The exchange may not happen simultaneously and is only available at universities with which UMSL has an exchange agreement. UMSL currently has over 60 exchange agreements in over 40 countries, giving students a lot of choices. Exchange programs are only open to degree-seeking UMSL students.

Exchange programs typically run for either the fall or spring semester, or for the full academic year. (There are a limited number of summer exchanges.) These longer programs are ideal for students wanting to fully participate in a foreign culture, become proficient in a foreign language, complete an internship, travel extensively, or live a typical student life in another country.

Participants enroll directly in the foreign university and take classes with local students. There may be more UMSL students at the same university, or you may be the only one. There will be an international office at the host university to help answer your questions and provide guidance and support, but this type of program requires students to be independent and motivated. Exchange programs provide the most cultural immersion and are usually the most affordable.

Time Abroad: 1 semester or academic year

Credit: UMSL in-residence credit. This means that the courses you take abroad fulfill residency requirements, and the grades earned abroad appear on your transcript and are factored into your UMSL GPA exactly the same as courses taken on campus.

Billed Costs: UMSL tuition, processed regularly as if the student were on campus, including non-resident fees and tuition if those usually apply to a student.

Additional Costs: All expenses outside of tuition (travel, housing, meals, insurance, etc.) are paid individually by the student to the respective university, organization, etc. All students must purchase mandatory health insurance soon after acceptance. (See Health, Safety, and Travel tab above.)

Faculty-Led Programs

Faculty-led programs are created and taught primarily or in part by UMSL faculty. Participants enroll directly in one or more UMSL courses offered by the program and participate alongside other UMSL students.

These short-term programs range in length from two to six weeks and are usually held during the summer semester or winter intersession. The shorter length may be ideal for students with full-time jobs, family responsibilities, or little flexibility in their academic degree program. Students earn UMSL credit for almost all faculty-led programs; however, there are a few for which you may earn transfer credit.

Time Abroad: 2-6 weeks, typically in the summer semester or winter intersession

Credit*: UMSL in-residence credit (most programs). This means that the courses you take abroad fulfill residency requirements, and the grades earned abroad appear on your transcript and are factored into your UMSL GPA exactly the same as courses taken on campus.

Billed Costs*: Tuition and Program Fee. Tuition is processed regularly as if the student were on campus except that all students pay only resident tuition and any non-resident fees are waived if applicable. Most faculty-led programs have a program fee that covers additional expenses. These costs are billed to your student account after you have been accepted but before the program happens. You can find out what the program fee covers in the Fact Sheet area of the program’s page on Triton Globetrotter.

Additional Costs*: Any expenses not included in the program fee. You can find out what is not covered by the program fee in the Fact Sheet area of the program’s page on Triton Globetrotter.

*Exception: A few faculty-led programs are run like affiliate programs. If you are participating in one of these programs, read the following section on Non-UMSL/Affiliate/Consortium Programs instead. These programs are Business and German in BremenIrish Studies in Galway, and Summer in Florence.

Provider, Affiliate, and Consortium Programs

Other study abroad programs include affiliate programs and provider programs. These programs are distinct from exchange and faculty-led programs because they are organized by private organizations or other universities. There are thousands of these programs available. They are ideal for students who want to study in a location in which UMSL does not have any partner universities.

There may be less cultural immersion and interaction with the host country on these programs, but there is more support provided for students. Many US students will be going to the same destination on the same program, and classes are may be held with other US students instead of local students.

Students should research study abroad programs and providers online to find a suitable program. UMSL can only accept transfer credit from programs that issue a transcript from an accredited university.

For more information on provider programs, visit the provider program page.

Time Abroad: Depends on the program.

Credit: Transfer Credit, which does not fulfill residency requirements. Transfer credit grades appear on your transcript but are not factored into your UMSL GPA. Students that have already transferred credits to UMSL from another school should check with their academic advisor to ensure they do not exceed the maximum number of transfer credits allowed for their degree program. Students nearing graduation also need to be mindful of residency requirements; again, check with your academic advisor for details on your degree program.

Billed Costs: Nothing due to UMSL. Tuition and fees are set by the sponsoring organization, and students earn transfer credit. See the provider or host university's website to see what tuition and fees include. 

Additional Costs: Any expenses not included in the host institution’s fee. All UMSL students must also purchase mandatory health insurance soon after acceptance. (See Predeparture Resources below.)

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All Students:

  • Demonstrate evidence of maturity, responsibility and preparation for study abroad and interning on an international program
  • Demonstrate intellectual curiosity, academic rationale and social flexibility as well as independent thinking
  • Meet program specific requirements (i.e. prerequisites, language proficiency, etc.)
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Maintain the required GPA until the start of the program. Students whose GPA drops significantly after acceptance but before going abroad could be dismissed from the program. Check the program webpage to see your program's GPA requirement.In cases where a student is slightly below the stated requirement at the time they wish to apply, the student should talk with a study abroad advisor to determine eligibility. 
  • Students applying to to study abroad for a semester or more must be enrolled full time at UMSL during the semester in which they apply.

Transfer Students:

  • Must have completed at least two semesters at their previous institution(s)
  • All transfer students’ mid-semester grades  may be reviewed.
  • If you are a transfer student, your transfer GPA may be considered in determining eligibility for a program.
  • Can study abroad on short-term programs during their first semester at UMSL providing they have met all other transfer student requirements. 
  • Can study abroad on semester programs during their second semester as an UMSL degree seeking student providing they have met all other transfer student requirements and are enrolled full-time at UMSL at the time they apply.
  • If letters of recommendation are required for your application, only one can be from a previous institution. The other must be from a current UMSL professor.

External (non-UMSL) Participants:

  • Students from other universities may apply for most of our short-term faculty-led programs and the Missouri Consortium semester programs in London, Ghana, Greece, Portugal.
  • Community members and alumni are also welcome to participate in many of our short-term programs.
  • Whether a program is open to non-UMSL (external) participants is indicated in the Fact Sheets section of each program's page. It is also possible to search for programs that are Open to External Participants on the Program Search page.
  • If they are not accepted, non-UMSL students are not eligible to apply for an appeal.
  • External participants are not eligible for UMSL scholarships. 

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Travel Restrictions

The University of Missouri-St. Louis does not support travel to countries for which the US Department of State has issued Travel Advisories of Level 3 or 4. Additionally, UMSL does not support individual students traveling to Level 2 countries that have areas  that are considered Level 3 or 4. In an effort to ensure the health, safety, and security of its students and constituents, the Office of International Studies and Programs adheres to these recommendations.

If a student or constituent chooses to study in one of these countries against the advice of the University, he or she must take a leave of absence and will not have access to university support, resources, or facilities during that time. Students returning to UMSL will need to apply for readmission and will not be granted prior credit approval.

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Financial AidBudgetingScholarships

Financial Aid

In most cases a student’s financial aid will apply towards UMSL study abroad programs. Students planning to use financial aid during their term abroad should meet with a Financial Aid Coordinator well in advance of their term abroad. Detailed questions should be directed to Lauren Kocimski in the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Last Names A-K Last Names L-Z
Kathleen Foster
Financial Aid Coordinator
327 MSC
Vicky Luabeya
Financial Aid Coordinator
327 MSC

Scholarships and financial aid are disbursed to student accounts no sooner than ten days prior to the beginning of the semester or summer session abroad. If financial assistance is required prior to disbursement, students should talk to Financial Aid about an "emergency loan," which provides money prior to scholarship or financial aid disbursement.

Note: If a student plans to study abroad during the summer, it is important that financial details be discussed at the beginning of the academic year so that sufficient financial aid funds will remain to finance summer study. To qualify for summer financial aid a student must be registered for at least 5 credit hours. 

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Budget Planning

Budget Worksheets are designed to help you compare the costs of study abroad against your costs here in St. Louis or other programs. Completing this worksheet will help you to create a realistic budget.  As you do some research, you may notice that programs vary considerably in cost and features. 

Semester Programs Budget Worksheet 

Short Term Programs Budget Worksheet

Budget sheets provide you with an estimate of expenses for an individual program. You can find information on estimated expenses for each program in the Program Costs section of the program page.

  1. Visit the program page for your program (under Program Search)

  2. Locate the Program Costs under the university or program name (above the program dates)

  3. Select the program cost page for the term you are interested in

A “billable” item is one that will be charged to your UMSL student account.  “Non-billable” items are any expenses not billed to your student account; they are estimates of expenses that may be incurred during your term abroad. Each program varies in what is included in its price, and actual costs are subject to change. Additionally, costs may vary widely from student to student depending on personal spending habits.

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UMSL Scholarships

Study Abroad scholarships are available for qualified applicants (UMSL degree-seeking students only) through International Studies and Programs. These scholarships are primarily based on merit and generally require a minimum GPA of 2.75 (with a few exceptions). Priority is given to students who participate in UMSL-sponsored programs and those who have not studied abroad before.


The scholarship application not only determines your eligibility for study abroad scholarships through the Office of International Studies & Programs but for all study abroad scholarships on campus (such as the Pierre Laclede Honors College and College of Business Administrations study abroad scholarships).


  Summer, Fall, Academic Year Winter and Spring
Application Period March 1-31 October 1-31
Award Notification Late April Late November
Award Received Early June or mid-August Mid-January


Follow these directions to apply for an UMSL study abroad scholarship (including the Gift Scholarships listed below). 

  • In the two weeks following each application period, the applications are reviewed and scholarships are determined
  • Late in the month following the application period you will receive notification of any study abroad scholarship you have received
  • Log back into the UMSL online scholarship application site to accept your scholarship and write a thank you letter.
  • The scholarship will be credited to your student account with all other financial aid at the beginning of the semester in which you are going abroad.

Please note that scholarship announcements are not made until late in the semester before a program happens, so students should not base their participation in a particular program upon whether they receive a scholarship.

UMSL Gift Scholarships

  • Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond International Scholars Award: five $5,000 scholarships annually for students on semester and year-long programs
  • Dr. Allen B & Helen Shopmaker Study Abroad Scholarship: Amount varies
  • Blanche M. Touhill Study Abroad Scholarship: $500-$1,000 award with preference given to students studying in China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong
  • Bob Baumann Prize for International Studies: $2,000
  • Alyn and Marlyn Essman Scholarship: amount varies
  • Eileen and Bob Sherrill Study Abroad Scholarship: About $500 for study in Ireland
  • Judge Robert W. Van Dillen Study Abroad Scholarship: About $600 for study in Ireland
  • Jane M. & Bruce P. Robert French Studies Scholarship: awards for study in France
  • Joel Glassman and Kathy Cochrane Endowed Scholarship: awards for study on any UMSL program
  • Greek Professorship Scholarship: Award amount varies; awarded for study on the Missouri-Greece or Iklaina Archaeology Project program with Dr. Cosmopoulos
  • Henry Mitchell Scholarship: $2,000 award for study in South Africa at University of the Western Cape
  • International Studies and Program: Amount varies
  • Manfred Rommel Scholarship: Up to $1,000 award for study in Germany, with a preference for the University of Stuttgart
  • Rolando Lara Zavala Memorial Scholarship: Multiple awards available; $1,250 per semester for study in Mexico
  • Smurfit Stone Professorship Scholarship: Award amount varies; awarded for study on faculty-led Irish Studies program with Dr. Wall and semester programs in Ireland
  • Tatini Family Scholarship: $1,000 award with preference given to International Studies students
  • Thomas L. and Brenda M. McPhail Award for Study Abroad: numerous scholarships for covering pre-travel expenses

Scholarships Offered by Partner Institutions

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External Scholarships

You should not limit your scholarship search to offerings available through UMSL; many UMSL students have been awarded scholarships from outside organizations in addition to their UMSL scholarships! Deadlines are generally February to April for Fall, Winter, and Summer semesters, so plan ahead!

Note: Deadlines may change from year-to-year, so check the sponsor's website for the latest information. This list is NOT exhaustive; be sure to do some research on your own.

External scholarships include general (not specific to a destination) awards, regional (destination-specific) awards, and awards for graduate or PhD students.

External—General Scholarships (not destination specific)

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships: Awards up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduate students underrepresented in study abroad. A limited number of $3,000 Critical Need Language Supplements are available for students studying a critical need language for a total possible award of $8,000.

Boren Awards for International StudyAwards up to $20,000 per academic year to U.S. undergraduates for study in foreign countries deemed critical to U.S. national security. UMSL Students requesting their application to be reviewed and evaluated for advice must turn in a completed copy to the Study Abroad Office prior to January 20

NAFSA: Resource for additional scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Study Abroad Funding: This resource features detailed descriptions of hundreds of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, grants, and paid internships for U.S. undergraduates, graduates, post-graduate students, and professionals.

Fund for Education Abroad: The program serves underrepresented groups; LGBT, regional, and athletic awards are also available. Award amounts range from $1,250 to $10,000.

Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants: Applicants need not be members of Phi Kappa Phi. Fifty $1,000 grants are awarded each year. 

Diversity Abroad Scholarships: These are various scholarship programs aimed at increasing the number of minority students who study abroad. Amounts and deadlines vary.

National Italian American Foundation: Awarded to undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, medical, and legal students who are members of the foundation or have family members in the foundation. Awards amounts range from $2,000-$12,000.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, this is a fully funded summer language and cultural immersion program that assists American undergraduate and graduate students in studying critical foreign languages. 

Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship: The fellowship will help fund a proposal designed by the applicant to conduct brief work in a foreign country related to the mandate of UNESCO – using education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and/or communication and information to build strong ties among nations. Award amounts average $2,500.

Rotary Club Scholarship / Tortuga Study Abroad ScholarshipThe scholarship may be used for tuition, room and board, books, or travel. Approximate award amount is $1,000.

External—Regional/Destination Specific Scholarships

The Americas:

Canada: The Killam Fellowships Program assists U.S. undergraduate students in participating in exchange programs for either one semester or a full academic year in Canada. Approximate award amounts are $5,000 US per semester and $10,000 for a full academic year.


Asia- General: Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia.

Japan: Bridging Scholarships for Study in Japan provides awards ranging from $2,500-$4,000 for semester or year study in Japan. The deadline for the Fall semester and Academic Year is in early march; the deadline for the Spring semester is in early October.

Japan: JASSO Scholarship Award of 80,000 Yen per month for living expenses plus round-trip airfare to Japan. Students apply for this scholarship through the Japanese host university (ask your study abroad advisor for details). Preference is given to students studying abroad for the academic year. Deadline: March.

Japan: The Watanabe Scholarship covers the entire cost of the exchange program of the applicant's choice. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, and preference is given to students raised by a single parent or who have lost both parents.

Korea: The Global KU Scholarships are offered on a competitive basis by our partner, Korea University. Several awards are available up to 1.6mil KRW.

Taiwan: The TUSA (Taiwan-United Sates Sister Relations Alliance) Ambassador Scholarship is a unique program designed for students who will be representing their home state as well as the United States and will be acting as ambassadors to Taiwan. 

Turkey: The Turkish Coalition of America provides awards between $500 and $2,000 to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying in Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), or Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Applicants should be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents and must be of an eligible background (see link for details).


Austria: The Ernst Mach Grant provides a monthly stipend for study at an Austrian Fachhochscule (such as UMSL exchange partner IMC Krems). Applicants must have completed 4 semesters of college in the U.S. before going abroad. Monthly stipend estimate: ~940€.

Austria: OeAD offers various grants for study in Austria. Deadlines vary. See database for details.

Bosnia: The Turkish Coalition of America provides awards between $500 and $2,000 to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying in Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), or Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Applicants should be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents and must be of an eligible background (see link for details).

France: Alliance Francaise Scholarship for semester/year study in France. Deadline: Mid-February. See the French department for application details and deadline.

France: St. Louis-Lyon Sister City Scholarship awards up to $1,000 per semester for study at Universityé Jean Moulin in Lyon, France. Deadline: April. Apply through the Study Abroad Office.  

France: The Benjamin Franklin Travel Grant is open to sophomore, junior, and senior students who are enrolled in a double major, including one major in French and one major in another discipline. Approximate award: $900.

France: The Walter Jensen Scholarship for Study Abroad.

Germany: DAAD provides funding for study abroad and internships in Germany.

Germany: Baden-Wuerttemberg Scholarship provides funding for study at Stuttgart University. Apply through the Study Abroad office by early March. Award amount varies, with a maximum of 500€ per month for up to 11 months. 

Hungary: University of Debrecen Incentive Funding. See UMSL Scholarship page.

Poland: Kosciuszko Foundation Study Abroad Scholarships in Poland. These scholarships are for students who wish to study in Poland, either for the semester or the summer.

Poland: The Tadeusz Sendzimir Fund provides scholarships to students, preferably of Polish descent, who are studying Polish language, history, or culture.

United Kingdom: BUTEX provides funding for study in the UK at a BUTEX member school (check their website to see if your host institution is a member). Approximate award amount: £500.


Australia: La Trobe Affiliate Incentive funding. See UMSL Scholarship page.

New Zealand: Education New Zealand Study Abroad Travel Awards (ENZTA) offers US$2,000 to help U.S. students fund their flight to New Zealand. NZUEA Excellence Awards offer US$500 for study at one of eight New Zealand universities.

External—Opportunities for graduate or PhD students

General—Not region specific:

If you are an UMSL student participating in independent research or other academic program abroad (regardless of whether or not you receive credit), make sure to visit the UMSL Travel Registry page for the required processes. Below are grant, fellowship, and program opportunities. You will also want to review the above scholarship/fellowship programs.

Fulbright Program for US Students: Grants cover nearly any type of study all over the world. Most provide round-trip travel, living stipends, health and accident insurance, and full or partial tuition. Read this information sheet and contact Bob Baumann in the Office for International Studies and Programs as soon as you consider applying.

David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships: The National Security Education Program (NSEP) enables U.S. graduate students to pursue the study of languages, cultures, and world regions that are critical to U.S. national security but are infrequently studied by U.S. graduate students, i.e., regions other than Western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Council of American Overseas Research Centers: Awards up to $9,000 to U.S. doctoral candidates and scholars who have already earned their Ph.D. in an eligible field and who wish to conduct research of regional or trans-regional significance. Fellowships require scholars to conduct research in more than one country.

Council for International Exchange of Scholars: Established in 1947 to cooperate with the U.S. government in the administration of the Fulbright Scholar Program.


NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for US Graduate Students (EAPSI): Provides U.S. graduate students in science and engineering first-hand research experience in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, or Taiwan.


American Councils Research Fellowships for research in Belarus, Central Asia, Russia, the South Caucasus, Ukraine, or Moldova.  

American-Scandinavian Foundation offers fellowships (up to $18,000) and grants (normally $3,000) to individuals pursuing research or studying in one or more Scandinavian countries for up to one year.


NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for US Graduate Students (EAPSI): Provides U.S. graduate students in science and engineering first-hand research experience in Australia, China, Japan, Korea, or Taiwan.

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AcademicsCourse ApprovalEnrollmentGrading


Studying abroad is, first and foremost, an academic activity (that's not to say you won't also be having the time of your life while you're learning!). Studying abroad is not just traveling abroad, and you're not on an extended vacation; rather, you are taking classes, studying, and earning academic credit towards your UMSL degree, and you are expected to fully participate in every aspect of your program from orientation to final exams. With proper planning and departmental approval, classes taken abroad can fulfill distribution, major, and minor requirements.

Search programs by subjects available

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Course Evaluation and Approval

Before going abroad, you will work with your academic advisor and the study abroad advisor to create a Learning Agreement. This agreement indicates that the student understands how the courses taken abroad will fulfill specific degree requirements here at UMSL. It also confirms that the department is aware of the student’s decision to study abroad and earn credit towards their degree program at UMSL. The course approval process will officially begin after you are accepted to a program that requires it, but it is usually helpful (and necessary) for students to begin thinking about their coursework abroad as they are choosing programs. Most of the program pages in Triton Globetrotter have links to the host university's course catalog to help you with this process.

If you are already abroad and need additional course evaluations, please follow the procedures outlined in the Learning Agreement in your Globetrotter application.
Students should submit a list of prospective courses to their study abroad advisor by the following deadlines:

Fall, Academic Year, & Summer programs April 1
Spring and Winter Intersession programs November 1

NOTE: Most students studying abroad will not need to complete the course approval process. If you are unsure whether your program requires course approvals, please contact


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Enrollment Requirements for Semester/Year Programs

  • It is necessary for semester and academic year students to enroll in and complete the equivalent of at least 12 UMSL credit hours per semester while abroad. Some programs require students to take 15 credits to be considered full-time abroad.
  • You should reference your Learning Agreement to make sure you are clear as to how many foreign credit hours equal 12 UMSL credit hours.
  • You should also verify the dates of your final exams before beginning a class to ensure you will be able to complete the course before returning to the US.
  • If you drop your classes while abroad, fail your classes, or are unable to complete 12 credit hours, this will negatively affect your GPA and may negatively affect your financial aid.
  • You may not take “Pass/Fail” courses abroad unless you have written approval from your department prior to the start of the semester abroad. This approval must be communicated to your study abroad coordinator.
  • The grade of FN will be appropriate if no grade or credit is awarded on your foreign transcript. The FN grade will count as an F in your GPA.
  • Although we want you to enjoy yourself and travel while abroad, it is important to remember that you are participating on an academic program and should maintain the same or higher dedication to your courses while on your program.

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Grading System for Courses Taken Abroad

 Grading systems vary from country to country. UMSL Study Abroad will convert the foreign grade to the US equivalent using the guidelines provided by the host university or the International Grade Conversion Guide for Higher Education through WES.

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HealthHealth InsuranceEmergency Insurance

SafetyTravel Tips


The University of Missouri system requires that each student participating on an UMSL study abroad or university-sponsored program enroll in health insurance, emergency security/evacuation insurance and the State Department’s STEP program.

In addition to taking advantage of the resources available through GeoBlue and UHC Global, we encourage students to research their host country in order to be fully informed, make preparations for  potential challenges,  ease the transition, and reduce cultural stress. Research your destination to ensure that you understand what the major health risks are as well as to see if you need any specific immunizations to live in that country.

U.S. Department of State Study Abroad Resource 

Centers for Disease Control Traveler’s Health
CDC Advice for Health and Safety for Students

GeoBlue Health Insurance

All University of Missouri students and people participating in any UM program are required to purchase GeoBlue international health insurance. It is affordable and provides many benefits above and beyond your current insurance provider. Most students have a perfectly safe study abroad experience and return to the US without ever having a major incident.  However, accidents and illnesses can and do occur, and you must be prepared.

GeoBlue Enrollment Instructions:

  1. Go to the enrollment link.
  2. Read the paragraph, and then click on “I Agree”
  3. Make sure “New” is checked (unless you have registered with GeoBlue before, in which case you would check “Renewal”), then click on “Continue”
  4. Complete all required fields, including student ID
    1. Enrollment is for 30-day periods (i.e. January 8-June 8 = this equals 5 months coverage charged). Additional days over a 30-day period will be charged as an additional 30-day period. Select your coverage to start at least one day before your departure date and extend a few days beyond your return date in the event that your return is delayed.
  5. Continue following the instructions on the website
  6. Your insurance card will be emailed to you. You can also print a card from the website approximately two days after enrollment. Any time after that, you can log on under "Already enrolled users" to print your card and access your account and other helpful information.
  • Students participating on exchange, non-UMSL, and affiliate programs must enroll themselves in GeoBlue. Students participating in faculty-led programs will be enrolled by the Study Abroad office.
  • From the GeoBlue website, you have 24/7 access to English-speaking physicians, prescription information, and 24-hour phone assistance.
  • GeoBlue insurance covers you outside the US (or your home country) only, so you will not be covered upon return.

Click here for the GeoBlue Brochure 2018-2019.

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UHC Global Emergency & Security Insurance

UHC Global provides 24-hour travel and security-related assistance services to you while traveling.  Participants on all programs are responsible for enrolling themselves in UHC Global. There is no cost to register in UHC Global as long as you follow these registration instructions:
  1. Visit 
  2. In the login area to the left, select “Create User”
  3. Enter the Curators of the University of Missouri’s UHC Global ID Number (330331)
  4. Accept the User Agreement and click “Next”
  5. Enter in your personal account information to designate yourself a unique username and password, and then click “Register”
  6. Print the UHC Global ID card and always carry it with you when traveling.

Always carry the UHC Global ID card with you while traveling. If you have a security travel problem, call UHC Global by using the phone numbers listed on the back of your ID card. Call the toll-free number for the country where you are traveling. If you are in a country not listed, call the Baltimore, Maryland, Emergency Response Center collect (1-410-453-6330). A description of UHC Global’s services is available on their website.

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 US Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

All UMSL students of American citizenship or permanent residency are expected enroll in the Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service to allow US citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling in STEP, you will receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country; help the US Embassy contact you in an emergency (including natural disasters, civil unrest, or family emergencies); and help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency. If you are not a US citizen or national, please contact your home country embassy or consulate for information on their travel registration processes.


Of course there is crime everywhere in the world. However, the crime that a study abroad participant is likely to be a victim of (if any) is usually of the non-violent type: pick pocketing, theft, etc. A few common sense measures can minimize your risks of being the victim of a crime: travel in groups, do not call attention to yourself by clothing or mannerisms, be especially wary in tourist locations, and do not participate in political or social demonstrations. Use resources like the US Department of State Travel Homepage  to learn more about your destination before you go.

Universities throughout the world are certainly cognizant of dangers and have implemented their own policies and procedures to ensure a safe and healthy experience for all their international students. Check with the international office of the host institution or your faculty director and ask for assistance if necessary. Also, know what the emergency number is for the country (remember, it is not 911 for every country). We will cover many of these issues during the orientation.

Legal Differences

While abroad, students must live according to the laws and regulations of the host country. In case of a dispute, ignorance of local law is no defense. Some countries' laws are very different from US laws, especially regarding drug use, drinking, and driving under the influence of alcohol. Legal procedures also vary from nation to nation, and rights assumed in the US are not always granted in other countries. The US embassy may assist students in finding legal representation but cannot get a student out of jail once he/she has been accused of or arrested for a crime.

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Travel Tips


For most programs, you will need to secure and purchase your own airfare. There are many discounted flights available for students, so be sure to shop aroundHere are a few tips:

  • Reserve flights as early as possible after you are accepted to your program to take advantage of possible low fares.
  • Watch for specifications, restrictions, and cancellation penalties.
  • Set up a flight alert (sites such as Kayak allow you to sign up for emails that will tell you when the cost of your prospective ticket goes up or down).
  • Consider trip cancellation insurance if you have any doubts as to your plans.
  • If you are considering buying an open-ended return flight, be sure to book a return date as soon as possible. You may have trouble getting a seat in the busy travel season at the end of the term when so many others are flying. Also, some countries may not let you have an open-ended ticket for immigration purposes. They want to know that you will actually be leaving. Check on the immigration policies of your destination.
  • Consider flying out of a nearby city such as Chicago—sometimes this is cheaper than flying from St. Louis. Just don’t forget to calculate whether this is both practical for you and cost effective.


  • All individuals traveling in and out of the United States are required to have a passport; therefore, it is advised that you apply for a passport as soon as you have decided to study abroad.
  • Generally, US passports are valid for ten years and must be valid for up to a minimum of six months past your return date from abroad.
  • Regular passport processing times are typically 4-6 weeks, though it can take longer during busy times of year. Expedited passport services are available for an additional fee.

The Office of International Studies and Programs at UMSL operates a US Department of State designated passport application acceptance facility. Click here for more information on the UMSL Passport Office.


In many countries students are required to obtain a visa in order to study for a summer, semester, or year.  Consult your host country’s embassy or consulate website to find out its requirements.

The average time it takes to process a visa and the application process varies. For some countries, a student needs to appear in person to obtain his or her visa. However, for others they may be able to mail their application or use a visa service that acts as a stand-in for the student. Some agencies you can consider using include Zierer Visa Service ( or Perry Visa (

Each country will have different requirements; however, the items that are most typically required are things such as passport photos, a fee, proof of funds to support the student while abroad, proof of enrollment, proof of housing in country, fingerprints or other biometrics, etc. In some cases, students will need to show that they do not have a criminal background. Depending on the country this may be done through their local police station; some countries specifically require an FBI background check.

It is the sole responsibility of the student to determine whether he or she needs a visa, to gather the information, and to apply. The Study Abroad coordinators are unable to advise on visa-related questions but may be able to assist students in finding information online; it does not help if we call consulates or embassies on your behalf. 


International Studies and Programs and Study Abroad offer a general pre-departure orientation for each study abroad semester. All UMSL students studying abroad are required to review and complete an online orientation on Triton Globetrotter and to attend a mandatory in-person orientation, regardless of their program type. This is a general orientation for all UMSL students participating on any program. As an orientation, it is intended to provide students with general preparation guidance; students are expected to research site-specific information. Topics covered include:

  • Health & Safety
  • Cross-cultural adjustment
  • Expectations
  • Academics & Registration
  • Administrative paperwork
  • Financial Aid
  • Travel tips and side trips
  • Making the most of your experience abroad

The orientation dates and locations will be announced to accepted students through Triton Globetrotter. Parents and significant others are welcome to attend the in-person orientation.

Students participating in faculty-led programs may also be required to attend a site-specific orientation hosted by their faculty director. Information on this orientation will come directly from the faculty director.

Learn about your host culture

It is important to become culturally aware about your host country. If you have never been to your host country before, how do you know what is appropriate and what is not? We have some resources below that may help you learn more about your country’s social customs, etiquette, and daily cultural life.

  • Kwintessential: Become culturally aware about your host country, including the social customs and etiquette, with these free international etiquette guides.
  • Culture Crossing Guide: Learn basic customs and social forms from a community-based resource.
  • The Culturosity Group: Explore other resources to get to know your host country’s unique culture.
  • Become friends with local students: If you get to pick housing with local students or with other international students, consider picking the former in order to learn more about your host country and to become more comfortable in your new home. You may also find valuable travel buddies. Going on weekend trips solo can be fun and a great learning experience, but you are almost always guaranteed to have more fun with a few other people.

Additional travel preparation tips

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