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 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 your 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 study abroad 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 sure you complete all the forms with the KU VA office.

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 Questionnaire for National Security Positions SF-86 (.pdf) form for more info.