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Study abroad

Study Abroad is a life changing educational experience that gives a fresh and unique perspective on the United States and the world. By living and studying in another country, students learn about different cultures while expanding their horizons and opening their minds.

The Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship serves as the university’s resource for students interested in study abroad. We provide advising and information on study abroad opportunities. 

Choosing A Study Abroad Program 

There is no one way to choose a program. Different factors will take priority depending on who you are and what sort of goals you have. There will likely be several programs that fit most of your criteria, but perhaps not one program that meets all of them. It is important to know what priorities are most important to you.

In selecting your program, there are a number of considerations that will narrow down your decision making. 

Length of stay

Study abroad providers typically offer a variety of program lengths, ranging from a few weeks to a full academic year.  Consider what makes sense for your academic timeline, personal commitments, and cost.

Program content

Study abroad experiences are diverse depending on the program, and could include classroom study, educational tours, research, intern- or externships, and service-learning. A few questions for you to consider:

  • What is your intended major or areas of emphasis, and do you want to earn credits towards those while abroad?
  • Do you have elective credits or General Education and Liberal Studies (GELS) requirements that you would like to complete in a study abroad experience?
  • Do you want experiential opportunities, or a more traditional classroom setting?
  • Do you want to develop language skills?  Do you want classes that are offered in English or in the home country’s language?  Through what kind of opportunities do you want to develop language skills (i.e. formal instruction or informal experiences like homestay)?

Living arrangements

What kind of housing situation do you want for the study abroad experience?  The most common living arrangements are:

  • Homestay where you live with a family
  • Dormitory where you live in shared space with host country and other international students
  • Living in an apartment where you have your own space and independence and are often responsible for managing your relationship with a property manager


Study abroad programs are offered across the globe.  Some focus on a single country or city, while others offer opportunity for travel and experiencing multiple regions.  A few questions for you to consider:

  • Are you interested in a region of the world or a specific country?
  • Is there something happening in a particular part of the world today that you want to learn more about?
  • Is there a certain political system that intrigues you?

Personal Identity

Study abroad experience can be a formative space where students come together in a different country and culture.  Think about how your multiple identities may play into your host cultural experience abroad.   A few questions for you to consider:

  • Do you want to explore family roots?
  • Do you want to study in your home country?
  • How will local legislation affect how you might express your identity in your host country? (i.e. laws affecting the LGTBQ+ community in some countries)
  • What is the historical relationship between your host country and the United States?
  • How is race/ethnicity viewed differently in your host country than at home in the U.S.?

Study Abroad Program Providers

Searching for a study abroad program can be overwhelming.  One of the first ways to narrow down the search is to make sure that the study abroad experience and academic credit you receive can count towards your degree at Metro State and is compliant with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MinnState) policy.  

MinnState Programs

We recommend you start the search process with other MinnState universities and colleges.  Earning credits through another MinnState college allows for more seamless credit transfer, and many of their programs are very affordable.  Our MinnState partner schools also offer many short-term experiences that are well-suited for the busy Metro State student! 

Here are a few of MinnState universities with study abroad programming:

3rd Party Providers

Metro State students can also explore 3rd party providers.  These organizations specialize in providing learning abroad experiences but are not part of a college or university.  Metro students should select a 3rd party provider from the Preferred Programs list of St. Cloud State University or the Partner Programs List of Minnesota State University, Mankato.  These lists offer a vetted selection of study abroad programs that provide a broad set of study abroad options and comply with MinnState Policy. 

In addition to independent 3rd party providers, many universities across the country lead study abroad programs with opportunity for students from outside their university to participate.  Here are few examples of Minnesota universities where Metro students have participated in their study abroad programs:

*NOTE: Metro State University is not contracted with any 3rd party providers and the above information does not constitute an endorsement or approval of programs.

Metro State Faculty-Led Study Abroad (uncommon)

Metro State faculty-led study abroad programs are designed and delivered by a Metro faculty member and are part of Metro curriculum.  Faculty-led study abroad programs are promoted by the individual faculty member and bear the course designation “A” at the end of the course number in e-services.  (i.e HIST 365A). 

Transferring Study Abroad Credits to Metro

You will want to meet with your academic/faculty advisor to determine how study abroad credits can apply towards your degree completion at Metro State.

Still have questions?  

Students interested in study abroad should first consult with their academic advisor and can email to contact a member of our team.

Study Abroad Policies and Procedures

System Policy 3.41 Education Abroad Programs

System Procedure 3.41.1 Education Abroad Programs

Metro State Policy 2140 Study Abroad Programs 

Metro State Procedure 214.A Study Abroad for Individual Students

Metro State Procedure 214.B Metro State Faculty/Staff Designed Study Abroad Programs