Study Abroad programs, also known as Global Experience programs, can be taken during any semester at UIS.  Students wishing to study abroad must complete a Global Experience Application with The Office of International Programs. The Office of International Programs will help guide the student through the pre-approval process and determine if the program can be used for educational credit at UIS. Once the program has been approved, the student may apply for financial assistance to assist with the cost of the program.

Study Abroad Programs

UIS-sponsored study abroad programs

These programs allow you to study off-campus in an approved program through UIS. This is the most common and often the most affordable study abroad option for UIS students who are participating in financial aid programs, as all financial aid is applicable to these programs.

Non-UIS programs

These are programs not sponsored or offered through UIS. They are typically offered by other universities or by external agencies. Financial aid opportunities can be more limited for these programs, and additional financial aid paperwork is always required once academic approval is obtained. For complete information, please visit the Office of International Programs website.

Financial aid resources available for Study Abroad

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and the Federal Direct Grad Plus Loan are the most common funding sources for study abroad opportunities.

Financial Aid will be awarded for the study abroad/global experience in the same manner aid is awarded to all students.  The student’s Cost of Attendance may be increased by the cost of the study abroad/global experience program (air fare, housing, tuition (if paid to the study abroad institution). Financial need will be determined by subtracting the EFC (changing to the Student Aid Index (SAI) starting from the 2024–25 academic year) from the total Cost of Attendance.

Depending on the cost of the study away/global experience program, the financial aid received may or may not meet the student’s full demonstrated financial need. Students may need to apply for a private scholarship or a supplemental loan, to bridge the gap between their aid and the cost of the study away/global experience program.

Global Experience Program Application Procedures

  • Interested students should schedule an appointment to meet with the Director of Study Away Programs, to review the proposed study away program and to go over the application procedures.
  • The student should then schedule an appointment to meet with their academic advisor to review their progress towards degree and the students proposed study away program.
  • The student must complete the Global Experience Program application.
  • The student should arrange to have an official transcript of your college/university course work sent to Study Away Programs.
  • The student must obtain two letters of recommendation.
  • Upon acceptance the student will be asked to fill out and sign three additional forms:
    • Acknowledgement of Risks and Responsibilities
    • A Financial Agreement Specific to the program for which you are applying if you are applying for a UIS program.
    • Signatures Form:
      • Academic Advisor
      • Director of Financial Assistance (if you are applying for aid)
      • The Dean of Students or proxy
      • The student
  • For students who are applying for non-UIS programs they will also need to submit the application for that program. This will be forwarded to the program by Study Away Programs along with your transcript, relevant letters of recommendation and an official letter from the Office on International Programs certifying that you have been approved to study abroad on that program. Non-UIS Programs may not be eligible for federal financial aid.

Additional information is found at the Study Away/Global Experience Program website.

Frequently Asked Questions About Study Away

Does the student need to register at UIS?

Yes. Study Away Programs will assist the student in registering for UIS courses in order for the student to receive financial aid payments.

Program course (UNI 480) for the same number of credit hours as (s)he is taking at the corresponding institution. The student will be charged $50 for enrollment in this UIS course and will pay actual tuition and fees at the institution sponsoring the program.

Will the student receive more grant eligibility as a Study Away student?

Study Away students’ grant eligibility is based upon enrollment level, and the student’s Expected Family Contribution (RFC) not on the student’s educational cost. Loan eligibility may increase as a result of the increased cost of Study Away.

What if more financial aid is needed?

If the student needs additional funding and (s)he is a dependent student, then his/her parents may wish to consider a PLUS loan. An independent student may pursue alternative loan options to meet expenses if grant and federal Stafford loans do not meet the complete need.

How is the bill at the away institution paid?

The student is responsible for making sure his/her study away fees are paid in a timely manner. Usually all financial aid will be credited to the student’s UIS billing account, once the Office of Financial Assistance receives confirmation of the student’s arrival and registration at the study away institution. The student’s excess funds will be direct deposited into his/her bank account.

Will financial aid disburse early because the student is participating in a Study Away program?

No. All study away students receive financial aid payments on the same disbursement schedule as other UIS students. Financial aid is scheduled to disburse no earlier than 10 days prior to the start of every semester per federal regulation.

What if the study away institution expects payment prior to departure or inquires about pending financial aid?

Provided the student’s completed his/her award letter online and completed all financial assistance paperwork the student’s designated financial aid advisor, may be able to create a letter for the student which details his/her financial aid and informs the study away institution of the pending disbursement date. Most institutions will accept this letter as proof that the student has pending aid and may be willing to work out a payment plan or postpone the due date for the bill. Please remember that the decision is at the discretion of the student’s study away institution.