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Faculty and Staff Resources

  • It delays graduation/students will not receive credit. Not true. Students can earn credit towards their degree, fulfill electives and explore classes that UMSL doesn't’t offer, all while becoming comfortable in a new environment and culture. Most UMSL students make significant advancement toward degree completion while abroad, whether on a two-week program or a whole semester. We encourage students to maintain flexibility in their course selections abroad, and while possible, discourage students from studying abroad their last semester.

  • Students will spend the whole semester/year partying. Not true. While the opportunities exist to explore all parts of another country’s culture, UMSL students typically take their education seriously while abroad, as does the Study Abroad office and our partner and exchange universities.  We have an extensive application process to determine if a student will be the right fit for study abroad, particularly for semester or year programs: this is also where we utilize professor and faculty recommendations in order to assess the student’s academic readiness properly.

  • Students will gain valuable experience and many employable skills.True! In the 21st Century, having the kind of skills it takes to communicate with people from different cultures around the world is essential to being successful at most jobs. Nothing helps a student gain those skills better than study abroad.

  • It’s too expensive. Not true. There are many programs and destinations that are quite affordable. Some are even cheaper than UMSL! Additionally, for the most part, a student’s financial aid/loans/grants/scholarships all apply during their term abroad and there are opportunities to apply for additional scholarships. Students interested in applying over the summer should be aware that financial aid in the summer is more limited than during the regular semesters.

  • Students must know a foreign language. Not true. Most of our partners have departments in which courses are taught in English. The international offices at those campuses will also have English speaking staff. Unless it is a foreign language course, all faculty-led programs are taught in English.

You’ve already taken a great first step: visiting this site to learn more about study abroad at UMSL and the variety of programs and  locations available to UMSL students. Here are some more things you can do:

  • Allow us to pay your class a short visit! We keep our talks under 5 minutes, but in that time we cover where students can go, why they should, and how they can afford it.

  • Encourage early planning. The sooner students think about it, the more successful they will be.

  • Support is essential:“[Study] results imply faculty [and advisor] support is important in shaping students’ perceptions of study abroad as a feasible worthwhile education endeavor.”*

  • Credit advising: saving more flexible courses for a student’s term abroad.

  • Timing: Advise on best or worst terms to study abroad for students in your degree program.

  • Be globally minded. Inspire your students to think of the bigger, global picture, rather than a narrow one-country view of things.

  • Ask our office questions! Call 516-7195, stop by 304 SSB, or email with any inquiries on behalf of yourself or a student.

*Booker, Robert. Differences between applicants and non-applicants relevant to the decision to apply to study abroad. Diss. University of Missouri-Columbia, 2001. Print GLOSSARI, the Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative

Academic Benefits:
Based on a decade of data, the GLOSSARI(2) report finds that students completing study abroad programs show:

  • Improved academic performance in subsequent terms
  • Higher graduation rates
  • Improves academic performance for at-risk students
  • Better navigational skills & knowledge of cultural context
  • Earn credits toward their degree
  • Experience different learning environments / develop new study habits to accommodate
  • Study in programs that may be currently be unavailable to them
  • Others?

Personal and Professional Benefits:

  • Expands worldview and develops cultural awareness
  • Empowers students to better understand themselves and discover skills they never knew they had
  • Make connections and friends around the world
  • Understand and appreciate differences
  • Develop leadership skills

Booker, Robert. Differences between applicants and non-applicants relevant to the decision to apply to study abroad. Diss. University of Missouri-Columbia, 2001. Print GLOSSARI, the Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative

Would you like us to visit your class? Email the following information to

Professor's Name:
Contact Email:
Course Title(s):
Day and date of request(s):
Course Location(s):
Estimated Attendance:
Any special requests (e.g. we can focus the presentation on a specific major or country/region, provide specific country brochures, etc.): 

“I never thought that I would be able to study abroad based upon my major, nursing. After sitting down and talking to my nursing advisor and a study abroad advisor we determined that I would be able to study abroad … Every day I participated in [extra] classes because I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity that I had in Costa Rica.” – Brianne Butler, Nursing Major, Spanish Minor

“I am a visual learner so I loved learning about the rich history of London during the walks we took around the city rather than just sitting in class for three hours.” – Paul Salley, Communications Major

“All in all, it was a great experience studying in a different environment and culture. It is also very important for me to work with different people. It broadened my network and will for sure help me in my future career.” – Liwei Bai, Accounting major

Faculty, advisors, and staff play an important role in internationalizing the campus by supporting student’s efforts to study abroad and leading faculty-led study abroad programs, among other ways.

The first step towards being global citizens is becoming aware of and educated about countries and cultures outside of the United States. One of the best and most practical ways for students to do this is by studying abroad! And you, as a professor or staff member, are the first to come in contact with interested students. By encouraging students to explore their global opportunities through study abroad you are aiding in the effort to create a more globalized world. Here in the Study Abroad office at UMSL we continually strive to find the best fit for students who wish to study abroad so that they can not only expand their horizons on a cultural level, but so that they can benefit and learn from their experiences.

According to one study(1), the most important factors in a student’s  decision to follow through with a study abroad application application were:

  • Perception of encouragement from advisors and professors (stronger than the influence of family and friends).
  • Knowing how credits apply toward a degree (and thus finances by extending or reducing a term).