Getting Started

Getting Started

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

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

Faculty Led 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.


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?


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