Veterans, Active Duty, and ROTC

Veterans and active duty military members will need to work closely with the appropriate benefits office, officers (if applicable), and Study Abroad & Global Engagement to ensure a smooth study abroad experience. 


ROTC students will want to speak with their reporting officer about expectations for their study abroad experience. 


Throughout the experience, be organized, stay on top of your paperwork, and stay cognizant of how your military association may impact your interactions with locals abroad.


Questions to Consider

  • Will I need to list my military service on a visa application, and how will I do so?
  • Do I need to maintain a fitness regimen, and what facilities will be available?
  • How will I discuss my military experience with locals, and how might it be perceived?
  • Has the U.S. military been involved in prior action with or in my host country? What is the perception of those military actions among locals?
  • How will any prior international experiences shape my perceptions during my program?
  • How will the academic and cultural context abroad shape this international experience?

Financial Considerations

If you want to use VA benefits, ROTC scholarships, or other forms of aid related to military service, you must plan ahead. Be financially prepared. You may not be eligible for your Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) or it may be delayed. Have a backup plan in case that funding does not come through.

Using Veterans Benefits to Study Abroad
Many veterans are able to use their benefits to help fund their study abroad experience.  If you are interested in using your VA benefits to assist in payment of a study abroad program, you will need to work closely with Study Abroad & Global Engagement and the KU Veterans Benefits Coordinator to find the program that fits the requirements of the VA and your study abroad goals.  In some instances the VA will only cover KU programs where tuition costs are billed through KU. VA benefits cannot be used to pay study abroad related fees (program fees) unless study abroad is a required part of your degree (KU Architecture students).  VA benefits cannot pay third-party/study abroad providers. The GI Bill (Chapter 33 specifically) covers study abroad tuition and fees. The BAH is available if the program is a KU affiliated program (direct exchange, direct enroll and faculty-led) and courses are approved as KU equivalencies. Study Abroad & Global Engagement provides cost breakdowns showing tuition and program fees. 

In general, three conditions must be met:

  • Students must be enrolled in courses that will apply to their degree program.
  • The courses at the "host" school in the foreign country must be approved.
  • VA cannot pay any fees specific to studying abroad (study abroad program fees) unless the student is required to study abroad as part of their degree (KU Architecture students).

If you are a veteran or dependent of a veteran and you are interested in using your funding, please call 785-864-3742 and make an appointment with Michele Arellano - Associate Director Study Abroad & Global Engagement as soon as possible.

Security Clearance
Worried about a current or future security clearance? Create a spreadsheet to store sustained foreign contact information for serious connections you make abroad. Keep track of your addresses abroad and details for two references per address. You can check out the SF-86 form for more info.


VA Benefits Information Sheet on Study Abroad

Post-9/11 GI Bill - Study abroad

KU Veterans Services


Deadlines Extended for Spring 2020 & Winter Break 2020 Programs !
List of Programs (PDF)

Study Abroad Information Center

Walk-in advising
Monday - Friday. 9AM - 5 PM
Lippincott Hall, Room 105
1410 Jayhawk Boulevard

Study Abroad Financial Advising
Financial Aid and Scholarship Info Session
Wednesday, 4:00 pm &
Thursday, 2:00 pm
105 Lippincott Hall


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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.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times