International Studies & Programs

Education Abroad Refund and Charge Policies

Prior to Departure

Application and acceptance to a Michigan State University Education Abroad program is a three-step process. Refunds depend on when, in the process, you withdraw officially from the program.

  1. Application: Applications to Education Abroad programs are submitted via your My Education Abroad account.
  2. Acceptance/Denial: Once your application has been reviewed, you will be notified via email of the program director’s decision.
  3. Confirmation: Confirmation to participate in a program is done via the Decision Form in your My Education Abroad account. 

Prior to departure

Application

Upon submission of your application to an Education Abroad program, your MSU Student Account will be billed a $100 application deposit. You may withdraw from the program at any point and for any reason prior to acceptance into the program with no financial penalty. The $100 application deposit will be refunded to your MSU Student Account. Withdrawal prior to acceptance is done through the My Education Abroad portal.

Acceptance / Denial

If you are denied acceptance into the program, your application will be withdrawn and you will be refunded the $100 application deposit.

If you are accepted into the program, you will have two weeks from the date of your electronic acceptance letter to decide whether to commit to or withdraw from the program.

If you decide to withdraw, you must do so through the My Education Abroad portal. Notifying your program leader or the Office for Education Abroad is not sufficient. Upon submission of your electronic withdrawal, within the two-week window, the $100 application deposit will be refunded to your MSU Student Account.

Failure to withdraw officially through the My Education Abroad portal will result in the $100 application deposit remaining on your account. Late fees will accrue if this bill is not paid by the due date.

If you do not withdraw from or confirm your participation in the program within two weeks of the date of your acceptance letter, the Office for Education Abroad will assume that you no longer wish to participate and you will be withdrawn from the program. The $100 application fee is non-refundable at this point.

If you confirm your participation in the program within two weeks of the date of the acceptance letter, you will be billed an additional $200 deposit to your MSU Student Account.

Confirmation

If you wish to withdraw after confirming your participation in the My Education Abroad portal, contact the Office for Education Abroad for assistance.

If the start date of the program is more than eight (8) weeks away, you will be financially responsible for the $100 application deposit and the $200 confirmation deposit.

If the start date of the program is less than eight (8) weeks away, you will be financially responsible for the $100 application fee and the $200 confirmation deposit and any non-recoverable program fee costs (such as housing payments and deposits, field trip pre-payments, fixed program costs, etc.) incurred and/or committed on your behalf by MSU at the time of your withdrawal.

It is your responsibility to inquire as to the estimated non-recoverable costs incurred at the time of your withdrawal. In most cases, Education Abroad staff will not be able to provide you with these exact costs until they have determined what refunds will be available. This information is often not available until after the program returns and has been financially reconciled. In extreme cases, it could mean that you will be financially responsible for the entire program fee.

If you withdraw from a program, it is your responsibility to withdraw, if applicable, from any Michigan State University education abroad courses.

Students who must withdraw from an education abroad program because they lack a passport and/or visa, are on State or Federal Probation and are not allowed to leave the U.S., or for any other legal reasons, are held to the same withdrawal policies, procedures, and penalties as for other reasons.

Refunds for air transportation are subject to the rules and regulations of the appropriate airline or travel agency.

After the Program's First Day

Voluntary Withdrawals

If you are considering withdrawing voluntarily from a program after arrival on-site, you must begin by discussing the situation with the MSU personnel (program leader, resident director, or foreign student adviser) on site. The MSU personnel will work with the Office for Education Abroad to determine if a solution exists for the situation. If, after consultation, you still plan to withdraw from the program, you must submit a signed and dated statement of explanation to the on-site personnel. This statement must indicate your understanding that, effective on the date indicated, you will no longer be considered a participant in the program, and are therefore responsible and liable for your own behavior, housing, insurance, transportation home, etc.

If you withdraw after the program's first day, you will be financially responsible for the entire program fee.

Michigan State University's academic policies regarding withdrawal may apply. Please consult the Office of the Registrar's website.

You should also consult with the Office of Financial Aid regarding the impact of your withdrawal on your federal financial aid and other financial support. Withdrawal from any semester during the regular academic year may result in cancellation of a student's financial aid award for the remainder of the academic year.

If you withdraw from a program for any reason, you will be required to return any scholarship funds disbursed by the Office for Education Abroad. If the program withdrawal is done after the award is disbursed, you will be billed for the award amount. This amount will be posted to your MSU student account.

Removal from Program

When you are abroad you are part of a program and serve as a representative of MSU, Michigan, and the United States. You must comply with the Statement of Responsibility that you signed when you applied to your program, any rules and restrictions established by your program director and/or host institution, and the laws of your host country/countries. In addition, you must comply with MSU policies and regulations including MSU's Spartan Life Student Handbook, General Student Regulations, and Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Violation of any of these policies may result in your being removed from the program.

For full details regarding the implications of student misconduct, please refer to the Office of International Health and Safety.

If you are removed from a program after you arrive on site, all conditions as stated in the Statement of Responsibility apply including the withdrawal refund policies described above. Please note that this may include academic dismissal according to MSU academic policy.

Refunds in Case of Cancelation

Refunds in case of cancellation

If MSU suspends a program for safety and security reasons prior to departure:

The Office for Education Abroad will provide a full refund of all program fees paid to MSU.

If MSU suspends a program for security reasons after it has started:

Additional expenses related to bringing the participants home (or to another approved program location) will be borne by the Office for Education Abroad (for example, airline ticket change fees associated with early departures home or to a new program location). Refunds of program fees paid to MSU will be prorated and may be limited due to non-recoverable contractual obligations.

Refund of tuition fees paid to MSU will depend on how much academic credit the student in the program will still be able to receive for work already completed or to be completed through alternative arrangements. The Office for Education Abroad will make every attempt to arrange with program leaders and departments suitable alternatives to completing planned academic credit.

If MSU does not suspend a program, but a student chooses to withdraw from a program due to safety and security concerns or for any other reason, the regular refund policy will apply.

Unauthorized Absences

Unauthorized Absences

If a student misses three or more consecutive class days without explanation, the program director will seek to determine the location of the student. Once located, the student will be reminded that attendance is an indispensable part of the education abroad experience and academic consequences as outlined in the course syllabus will apply. If the student cannot be located, it will be considered an emergency situation and the emergency contacts listed on the student's application may be contacted. Failure to attend any required program activities (including field trips, classes, guest lectures, etc.), will not be considered an official withdrawal from the program and students will be held to the regular Education Abroad refund policies.

Housing Infractions

Housing Infractions

In the event of serious infractions of housing regulations or behavior that negatively impacts the housing situation, the procedures outlined here will apply. If a student is removed from housing but remains in the program, the student will be responsible for locating and paying for alternative housing. No refund of the program housing will be granted. If alternative housing cannot be found, the student will be removed from the program and forfeit academic credit and any financial refund. If the Office for Education Abroad becomes aware of or is invoiced for damage to on-site housing, the responsible student(s) will be held financially accountable and the costs will be passed on to the student(s) as a charge to their MSU Student Account.