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Academic Matters


Faculty-Led Programs: On faculty-led programs, students go abroad with one or more dedicated faculty members teaching courses for MSU credits. These programs typically travel abroad for a shorter term during summer, spring, or winter breaks. Faculty-led courses use the setting overseas to complement and enrich the academic content, often building in excursions to popular sites in their host countries. Specially designed programs allow faculty to teach content differently than on main campus, making the most of the location. Having smaller groups and faculty accompanying students ensures built in support for students, and a great opportunity to get to know the professors. 

Partner Programs: Students participating on a partner program enroll in courses with an international institution, transferring credit back to Michigan State. Typically a semester in length—though there are some summer or full academic year options—these programs are a great opportunity for students to fully immerse themselves in the culture of their host country. Student support services in-country are provided by the host institution, at varying levels depending on location, as well as through MSU when needed. Partner Programs are divided into two categories:

Internships: Internship programs abroad give students the opportunity to gain work experience in a new country and culture. These programs can range in length from a few weeks to a full semester. Students earn academic credit for completing their placement and follow-up assignments. Please note that internship programs often have different visa requirements than other study abroad programs.

Freshman Seminars: During the summer between high school graduation and starting classes in East Lansing, students have the opportunity to study abroad with a group of other new Spartans! Freshman Seminars Abroad typically spend two days on campus for orientation, then travel as a group for 10-14 days overseas. 

Non-MSU Programs: Independently minded students seeking experiences not directly offered by MSU can (in many cases) participate in study abroad programs sponsored by other universities or organizations. To do so, students will have to make arrangements with a host program and work closely with the Office of Study Abroad and their academic advisors to ensure approval and credit transfer. Students will pay the host institution directly, plus some MSU fees through their student account.

Independent Study: An individual learning experience abroad for which an MSU faculty member agrees to sponsor academic credit and serve as the professor of record.