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.

Check out this video to hear more to hear from our study abroad alumna to learn more about studying abroad as a non-traditional student after her time in the Air Force. 

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 and veteran dependents 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.  VA will only cover tuition on KU faculty-led programs (where students enroll in KU courses and tuition costs are billed through KU) or VA approved universities that are listed under the VA WEAMS database of approved institutions.  VA benefits cannot be used to pay study abroad related fees (program fees) unless study abroad is a required part of your degree (currently this applies to only KU Architecture students).  VA benefits cannot pay third-party/study abroad program providers/companies. The BAH is available if the program is a an approved study abroad program through VA.  Study Abroad & Global Engagement provides cost breakdowns showing tuition and program fees on all online program brochure pages. 

In general, these conditions must be met:

  • Study abroad programs must be approved by the VA (KU Faculty-led program or University listed on the VA WEAMS database.
  • 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 and apply towards degree.
  • 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 (only KU Architecture students).

If you are a veteran or dependent of a veteran and you are interested in using your funding, please make a virtual 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 Institution Search - WEAMS database

Lt. Gen. William K. Jones Military-Affiliated Student Center (MASC) 

KU Veterans Services - Using VA Benefits FAQ

Parent School Letter Request Instructions


Summer 2022 programs now accepting applications !

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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
Study Abroad & Global Engagement 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