Living in an increasingly interconnected world, it is important for students to grasp the nature of today’s global economy, politics and cultures. Northwood’s Study Abroad program provides students with the opportunity to live and learn abroad, preparing students to participate in, and lead, a globalized world.

A decision to study abroad could be a life-changing decision made during your time in college; this decision is not to be entered into lightly. There are many important matters pertaining to your academic requirements, personal objectives and investments into this venture that must be addressed in a timely manner. Below are steps that will assist you through the process.

Exploring Your Choices

Academic Credit

Choosing a Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Exploring Your Choices

It is important to be aware of the differences (academic, financial and other) between the different programs offered when choosing a Study Abroad program.

Northwood Sponsored Programs

These programs are designed and managed by Northwood’s International Programs office. They are led by Northwood professors who also teach the course/courses.

Short-Term Programs

These programs are short, earn three credits and are led by Northwood professors. Travel period is one to two weeks, with students required to participate in the orientations and complete pre- and post-travel work.

Long-Term Programs

These programs are longer, earn anywhere from six to fifteen credits and are led by Northwood professors. Travel period is four to twelve weeks; however, students are required to participate in the orientations and complete pre- and post-travel work during the semester. It is not necessary for students to reside on campus in order to complete course work – before and after travel – but it is important that all assignments are completed in order to receive credit.

You might want to consider these programs if you:

  • Feel more secure traveling and learning with Northwood students.
  • Would like a controlled introduction into international travel.
  • Desire on-site support from a Northwood program leader.

Exchange Programs

Participants in these programs study at partner universities around the world for a summer, semester or full year.  Participants will pay regular tuition to Northwood and will be enrolled as full-time regular students at the partner university. Students will earn credit from partner universities for coursework completed and transfer those credits back to Northwood. Unless indicated otherwise, exchange programs are taught in English. Students will have the option to take courses to learn the local language as part of the program, even though the main courses will be conducted in English.

You might want to consider these programs if you:

  • Would like to integrate yourself fully into a local culture.
  • Would like to plan your own study abroad activities.
  • Enjoy independence.
  • Prefer a wide selection of courses.

You may want to talk to the Director of International Education or the Dean of International Programs about programs you are seriously considering. A meeting can be scheduled by calling 989.837.4327.

Incoming Exchange Students, please click here.

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Academic Credit

The Study Abroad program allows you to earn academic credits toward your graduation requirements. The credits earned through the Study Abroad program will be documented on your Northwood academic record. Credits earned have to be a C or above in order to transfer in. It is essential to develop a study plan as early as possible in order to ensure that a program fits into your graduation plan and time frame.

After meeting with the International Office personnel and narrowing your destination, you will need to set up an appointment with Ms. Amanda Swafford, the Associate Academic Dean, to map out your plan of study.

Ms. Amanda Swafford
Associate Academic Dean

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Choosing a Program

Once you decide to study abroad, the next step is to select a school or program that will fit your needs. The International Programs Office is available for advice and support in your search for a program that fits you.

Here are some important points to consider when assessing which program is right for you:

  • Your key objectives
    • A good starting point in your study abroad journey is examining what aspects of study abroad are important to you. Is it course work, location, learning a language, cultural experience, travel, etc.?
  • Program considerations
    • What length of time are you interested in – short-term, summer, semester or a year?
    • Where would you like to study?
    • What is your foreign language ability? (Programs are available in English and in local languages.)
    • What is the cost of the program?
    • What financial resources are available for you and the specific program you are considering?
  • Academic considerations
    • Does your GPA meet the requirement for the program?
    • At the start of the program, will you have successfully completed at least 30 semester hours at Northwood University (e.g., be in your sophomore year) or, if a transfer student, have successfully completed the equivalent of 30 semester hours and completed at least one semester at Northwood University?
    • Does the program fit into your academic plan?
    • Do you want to take classes in English or the local language?
  • Personal considerations
    • Do you prefer to study with mainly Northwood students, other Americans, a mixture of international students, students of the host country or a mixture?
    • What type of living arrangement do you prefer? Host family or dorm life?
    • Do you want to plan your own excursions, or would you prefer a set itinerary?
    • Do you want to plan your own study abroad experience?
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it expensive to study abroad?
How expensive or inexpensive a study abroad experience is depends on you. The type of program that you choose and the cost of living for programs varies a great deal. Another big factor that can affect your budget is how much independent travel you do.

Does financial aid apply?
Students participating in the Study Abroad program are eligible for Federal Financial Aid (U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen).

Are scholarships available for studying abroad?
Yes. Please check Financial Resources for more information.

Will my classes transfer back to Northwood?
Yes. You will be able to receive Northwood credits for your classes. You will need to start working with an academic advisor and the International Programs Office six months prior to the start of an exchange program or three months prior for a short-term Northwood faculty-led program to make sure everything works out smoothly.

Am I eligible to apply to study abroad?
Students who meet the following criteria are eligible to study abroad:

  • Meet the required GPA of the program.
  • Complete the necessary prerequisite courses (if applicable).
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the time of application and at the start of the program.
  • Be in your sophomore year or higher or, if a transfer student, have completed at least one term at Northwood.

If I am an international student at Northwood University can I still participate in the Study Abroad program?

Do I have to speak a foreign language to study abroad?
Not necessarily. The majority of our programs courses are taught in English. There are options to learn in the native language but unless indicated, the courses for our programs are all taught in English.

How long can I study abroad?
Anywhere from a week to a year depending on the program you pick.

Where will I live?
Housing options vary depending on the program. Typically you can choose between dormitories, shared apartments or home stay with families if studying as an exchange student. Your accommodation during a faculty led trip, will vary according to the specific trip but will usually be dorms and hotels.

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