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 the Office of Study Abroad 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?
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 the Office of Study Abroad 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. The Office of Study Abroad 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 Office of Study Abroad as soon as possible.
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