Religious, Spiritual, and Non-Religious Students

The religion of a country is closely tied to its culture, often manifesting itself in laws, customs, writing, food, and communication. Navigating the belief system of your destination can help deepen your understanding and cultural experience abroad. Understanding the local religious customs may even be essential to navigating day-to-day life. Even if you are not religious yourself, these are still important elements of your host country identity to be aware of. For example certain stores or restaurants may have limited hours during certain religious holidays, or you may not be able to find certain foods in your host country at all. 


Overall, students should aim to be respectful of the religious or non-religious practices of their host country. Observance of certain religiously imbedded customs or laws may even be required by local law. Take some time to examine your own religious or non-religious identity, such as how to safely and respectfully avoid religious practices in which you don’t feel comfortable being involved, or which ceremonies and traditions are open for participants of any religious or non-religious background.  


If you have religious practices such as dietary restrictions or accommodations that need to be made, please let your program coordinator know as soon as possible.


Questions to Consider

  • Is it safe to openly practice my religion in the country I wish to study?
  • Will I be a part of the religious minority or majority?
  • What is the tolerance of my host country to my religious beliefs (or lack thereof)?
  • Will I have to adjust the way I practice my belief system? 
  • What religious services are offered in my language?
  • How can I respect the religion of my host country, even if I don’t practice that religion?
  • What religious holidays occur during my stay? What will they entail?
  • Will my religious dietary restrictions be accommodated in my host country?
  • Will my host country’s religion dictate cultural norms regarding food?
  • What religious beliefs within my host country will influence how people interact with me because of my identity?




Study Abroad Information Center
To learn more about your study abroad options, we encourage you to visit the Study Abroad Info Center (105 Lippincott Hall). The Study Abroad Info Center offers walk-in advising for current and prospective students. Drop by to learn more about program options, make an appointment with a study abroad program coordinator, get information on scholarships and financial aid, and talk to returned study abroad students. We also encourage you to explore the resources available on our website to learn more about the application process, KU Core Approved programs, and the cost of study abroad. 

Study Abroad Information Center
Lippincott Hall, Room 105
1410 Jayhawk Boulevard
Hours: Monday - Friday. 9AM - 5 PM

Study Abroad Financial Advising
The Office of Study Abroad has weekly 'You Can Afford to Study Abroad' Financial Aid and Scholarship Info Sessions/Open Meetings on Wednesday afternoons at 4:00 pm and Thursday afternoons at 2:00 pm in the Info Center (105 Lippincott Hall). The financial aid officer will be happy to take any questions and can offer individual advising at the end of sessions for specific concerns. For those that cannot attend the weekly Info Sessions due to scheduling conflicts, we also offer appointments for financial planning as well as financial aid and scholarship advising for students. Please visit 108 Lippincott Hall or call 785-864-3742 to set up an appointment.


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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
The Office of Study Abroad and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times