Freshman Seminars Abroad
- How do I book international plane tickets for the program?
Students do not book their own international plane ticket for the FSA programs. Plane tickets are booked for the group by MSU and are included as part of the program fee. Students are responsible, though, for arranging their own transportation to East Lansing, MI for the on-campus orientation prior to the international portion of the program, and for their transportation to get home from the final U.S. destination at the end of the program, usually the Detroit Metropolitan Airport or East Lansing, MI.
- Can I book alternative flights for my student?
All students must leave MSU and travel as a group to the program site, and the MSU group flight will return students to either the MSU campus or the Detroit airport, depending on the program.
Alternative return arrangements might be possible for early applicants depending on the flight contract. To inquire about alternative return routes or additional flight segments, please call the Office of Study Abroad at (517) 353-8920. Please note, any additional costs beyond the group flight's price are the student's responsibility.
Cost and Financial Aid
- Do I have to participate in the FSA orientation?
All students must participate in the on-campus pre-departure sessions which begin on the first day listed for each program.
It is possible to align MSU's academic orientation program with the FSA orientation. If you have questions about timing and scheduling, please contact the Office of Study Abroad at (517) 353-8920.
- Can parents attend orientation?
Although not a requirement or expectation for parents, the first day of orientation is designed for parents and families to learn about the program with their student. The parent portion of orientation ends after dinner on the first day.
Students will have the opportunity to let the Office of Study Abroad know how many guests they will bring along to orientation when they receive their acceptance information.
- How much do programs cost?
There are three types of costs associated with the FSA programs. First, all students will pay for three (3) credits of tuition for UGS 102 during Fall semester. This cost is billed at the normal MSU rate for the student, and the credits count toward a student's GPA and graduation requirements. The money paid in tuition supports student's field experiences and books.
Second, each program has a unique program fee. The program fee includes orientation, international plane ticket, in-country transport, lodging, and some meals. Third, each program has additional costs associated with it that are not included in the program fee. Additional costs include costs for a passport, visa (if needed), as well as spending money for souvenirs and additional meals.
See the individual program pages for more information about the specific program.
- When do I receive a bill for the program?
MSU bills students electronically through their MSU email system. Bills can be viewed using the Student Information System: https://stuinfo.msu.edu
When a student applies to the program, MSU bills a $100 application deposit, and once a student confirms his or her attendance, MSU bills an additional $200 deposit. This $300 total charge is applied toward the student's program fee and is due on the due date. The remaining program fee is billed in late July at the same time as the fall tuition bill.
Tuition for the program may be deferred and paid in installments as with the rest of the Fall Semester bill.
- Are there scholarships and financial aid?
Students have the opportunity to apply for scholarships when they apply for the program. They also have the ability to indicate that they plan to use financial aid by checking the appropriate box during the application process.
Once the application is submitted, the Office of Study Abroad will send the Office of Financial Aid the program cost information to be included in the students' fall semester aid package. See the Costs and Financial Assistance page off the FSA main page for more details.
Many of the scholarships for the programs require some form of financial need. All students considering scholarships and/or financial aid must have a current FAFSA on file.
There are some special scholarships for Honors College students on a first-come, first-awarded basis. These awards are not need-based.
Lodging and Meals
- Where do students stay while abroad?
All students stay as a group in close proximity to the faculty and staff.
Lodging style depends on the program. See the program specific pages for more detailed information. Generally though, students will stay in youth hostels, hotels, or university dorms during these programs. All programs provide some access to laundry and internet unless otherwise noted.
- How are meals handled while abroad?
All programs provide at least one meal a day, plus a few additional meals throughout the program. The number of meals provided depends on the exact program. See the program specific pages for more detailed information about the number of meals offered.
- Can you handle special dietary needs?
The program faculty and staff will always seek to provide students with a range of food options that can accommodate diverse diets and tastes; however, the specific program location—and factors such as housing and host culture—will determine aspects of the foods available.
If you have specific dietary requirements—including food allergies, you should consult with the Office of Study Abroad (517-353-8920) before orientation. Please note: the longer you wait to make your needs known, the harder they will be to accommodate.
- Can students have guests while on the program?
Non-program individuals are not permitted to participate in program activities, which include joining meals, field trips, bus trips, etc. and/or staying in the program accommodations with the student.
- If we have family or friends near the program location, can the student visit with them while abroad?
Some of the main goals for the FSA programs are to help students to make new friends, interact with MSU faculty and staff, and learn to be more independent in preparation for their university experience. As such, we ask that friends and family consider limiting their interaction with the students while abroad to provide them with the room to focus on the academic experience.
Having said that, students can—during their free time—visit with local family and friends. We ask that students notify a leader of their decision. In instances that involve significant time away or distance, the program leader may ask for additional information, such as a contact phone or confirmation from the family.