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Know your Responsibilities

By applying to an education abroad program, you agree to following Office for Education Abroad student responsibilities.


Effective August 22, 2019
I am applying to an MSU Education Abroad (EA) program and, if accepted, I agree to the following.



A. University Policies, EA Website, and Program-Specific Expectations. I am responsible for knowing and abiding by the rules, policies, regulations, and expectations outlined in this agreement and outlined below. I understand that as a participant in an Education Abroad program, I am considered a student and the Education Abroad and MSU policies outlined in this agreement and below are applicable.

Any program-specific conduct and academic expectations outlined by my program director(s), host institution, and/or on-site provider.

B. Local Laws and Customs. I will abide by the laws of my host country/countries. I will be sensitive to local cultures and customs. I will treat my hosts and local communities with respect and dignity.

C. Alcohol and Drugs. I must abide by host country laws and local institutional regulations with respect to alcohol and other drugs. Unless permitted by host country law and local institutional regulations, I will not possess, consume, furnish, or distribute any alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, I understand that Michigan State University has a zero-tolerance policy with respect to the possession, use, manufacture, production, sale, exchange, or distribution of illegal drugs. Whether a drug is illegal is governed by U.S. federal drug laws, the laws of the State of Michigan, and host country laws. I am responsible for knowing and obeying the laws of the host country, as well as all local institutional regulations, regarding alcohol and other drugs. I will adhere at all times to the Office for Education Abroad’s Alcohol Misuse and Drug Use policy. I understand that violations of law or policy may result in disciplinary action upon my return to campus and may result in (i) probationary requirements for the remainder of the program abroad; (ii) removal from the program (grade determination will be made by the Sponsoring College’s Associate/Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education in consultation with the instructor); and/or (iii) academic withdrawal from MSU for the semester in progress and/or suspension or expulsion from MSU.

D. Disciplinary Action. I understand that violations of this Statement of Responsibility, MSU policies, or policies, regulations, and expectations outlined by my program director(s), host institution, and/or on-site provider(s) may result in disciplinary action on-site and/or upon return to campus, academic consequences, removal from the program, and/or suspension or expulsion from Michigan State University. A description of disciplinary procedures is available online on the Office for Global Health, Safety, and Security’s Student Conduct While Abroad webpage.

E. Program Removal. If it is determined that my continued presence is likely to impede the achievement of program objectives or to disrupt program activity, or that I pose a danger to the health or safety of myself or others, I may face summary removal from the program. A decision to remove me from an MSU-sponsored education abroad program is the responsibility of the Executive Director of the Office for Education Abroad. If my program includes an internship placement, takes place at a host institution, is offered by an EA program provider, and/or is a medical rotation/clerkship, and if I am removed from such a placement by decision of the institution/organization offering the experience, I may also face summary removal from the associated education abroad program. Any decision to remove me from a program would be final with no refund and take effect immediately. Housing and transportation back to the United States would be my responsibility and at my own expense.

Academic | Financial


A. Deposits. Upon submitting my application, I will be responsible for the non-refundable application deposit. Upon confirming my acceptance into the program, I will be responsible for the non-refundable acceptance deposit. I understand that if I withdraw from my program after confirming my acceptance to the program, I may still be responsible for some or all of the costs associated with program participation according to the policy described below.

B. Withdrawal. If I wish to withdraw from the program after confirming my participation, I understand that it is my responsibility to send a written notice of my intention to the Office for Education Abroad. I understand that notification to my program director and/or Office of Admissions is not sufficient[ii]. To be officially withdrawn, I understand I must send an email to abroad(at) and include my full name, PID, and the name of the program that I wish to withdraw from. I understand that the consequences of my withdrawal will be based on the date and time my email is received by the Office for Education Abroad.

I understand that the withdrawal penalty will be based on the type of program I am withdrawing from. If I do not know my program type, I understand that I should contact the Education Abroad program coordinator to determine program type.

For all program types, I understand that I will be financially responsible for the $100 application deposit and the $200 confirmation deposit once I have confirmed my acceptance to the program.

For all internships, exchange, direct-enroll, independent study, and Non-MSU program types, I will be held to the refund policy of the host institution or provider organization.

For faculty-directed and First-Year Seminar Abroad programs, the policy detailed below will apply.

If the start date of the program is 60 (sixty) days or less away, I understand that the following refund schedule will apply:

  • 46-60 days before official program start date: 75% of the remaining program fee balance will be refunded
  • 31-45 days before official program start date: 50% of the remaining program fee balance will be refunded
  • 16-30 days before official program start date: 25% of the remaining program fee balance will be refunded
  • 0-15 days before official program start date: no refund

I understand that it is my responsibility to know the financial implications of withdrawal and to ask for clarification from the Office for Education Abroad if I do not.

If I withdraw from a program, it is my responsibility to withdraw, if applicable, from any Michigan State University education abroad courses. Any tuition refund[iii] will be dependent on university policy.

If I am put on academic and/or behavioral probation or recessed from Michigan State University after acceptance, I understand I am responsible for withdrawing from my education abroad program.

I understand that I will be held to the same withdrawal policies, procedures and penalties if I must withdraw from an education abroad program because I lack a passport and/or visa, am on State or Federal Probation and am not allowed to leave the U.S., or for any other legal reasons.

Refunds for air transportation are subject to the rules and regulations of the appropriate airline or travel agency, over which the Office for Education Abroad has no jurisdiction or control.

C. Credit. I will comply with the MSU Office for Education Abroad program course credit requirements and with MSU's academic policies and procedures. I will maintain enrollment for the duration of the program in the specified courses for at least 12 credits (MSU credits or equivalent MSU credits) for a semester program (unless the particular program requires more) or the minimum number of credits specified for my short-term program. If I enroll in more than the minimum number of MSU credits, I will be financially responsible for additional tuition charges. If I fail to enroll (or fail to remain enrolled) in the minimum number of credits, I may be removed from the program and/or I will be billed and responsible for paying an additional program fee equivalent to the tuition amount. Even if I pay this additional fee after completion of the program, I cannot be retroactively (re-)enrolled in my desired courses.

If I miss a substantial portion of the program, for whatever reason, the number of credits awarded and any point or grade deductions will be determined at the program director’s ’s discretion. If I withdraw, depart or am removed from a program before its formal completion, I may be ineligible for academic credit. Should I receive permission to return home early, I may be eligible to receive a grade of “W” on my academic transcript. Any refund of tuition and fees would be according to the policy stated on the MSU Office of the Registrar website.[iv]

I understand that if I participate in an exchange program, I will be enrolled by the Office for Education Abroad in the minimum number of credits. I will be financially responsible for,paying tuition for the minimum number of credits, and I will not receive a refund if I enroll in fewer credits.

If I am a non-MSU student and participate in a faculty-directed program, I understand MSU will issue the transcript. If I am a non-MSU student and participate in a co-sponsored program, I understand that MSU will not issue a transcript. I am responsible for ascertaining whether and how my home institution will accept such credit from the institution abroad.

Logistics | On-site


A. Travel Arrangements. MSU may make changes to the program itinerary, including cancellation, at any time upon EA’s determination that such is necessary. I will be responsible for any costs paid to outside agencies (such as airlines or travel agencies) due to such cancellation or change. MSU is not responsible for penalties assessed by air carriers or any other associated costs based on operational and/or itinerary changes. If I travel independently and arrive after the start of the program, I will notify my program director or the Office for Education Abroad personnel and am responsible for all academic consequences such as lost class time and missed assignments. I must confirm departure and arrival times and locations with my program director. My property is transported at my risk. MSU is not responsible for travel delays. I will notify my program director or on-site personnel of my itinerary whenever I leave the site for longer than one day. MSU is not responsible for any injury or loss I may suffer when I am traveling independently or am otherwise separated from any University-sponsored activities. If I become separated from the program group, for any reason, I will rejoin, at my own expense, the group at the first opportunity. MSU may substitute hotel accommodations or housing at any time. Specific room and housing assignments are within MSU’s sole discretion.[v]

B. Countries with High-Risk Designation. I understand that MSU has specific waiver requirements associated with student travel to countries that have been designated high-risk and that this may impact my program. Furthermore, I understand that I am not permitted to travel independently to a country that is designated high-risk unless participating in an education abroad program for which a waiver to the policy has been granted.

C. Accompanying Family Members. MSU is not responsible for providing support for accompanying non-participants, e.g. spouses/partners, parents and children. I am advised to obtain international health insurance for any accompanying family members. Such persons cannot attend classes or other activities formally associated with the program. If such a person disrupts the program, it may be grounds for my removal from the program.[vi]

D. Health. I will be responsible for my own health maintenance. In the event of illness, accident or emergency, I will inform an appropriate program official so that assistance may be secured and so that my designated emergency contact may be notified. If I am applying more than one year before the beginning program date, I agree to update my Student Health/Emergency Treatment Authorization within two months of my scheduled program departure.

E. Housing Infractions. In the event of infractions of housing regulations and/or behavior that negatively impacts the housing situation, the Student Conduct while Abroad procedures will apply. If I am removed from housing, I may be removed from the Education Abroad program. If I am removed from housing but remain in the program, I 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, I 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.

F. Unauthorized Absences. Attendance and engagement are indispensable parts of the education abroad experience and academic consequences as outlined in the course syllabus will apply. Unauthorized absences may be considered an emergency situation and the emergency contacts listed on my 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 I will be held to the regular Education Abroad refund policies.

G. Demonstrations and Protests. As a condition of participation in the Education Abroad program, I agree to not participate in and to avoid any demonstrations and protests. Even those with peaceful intentions may become unsafe and/or involve negative confrontations with local law enforcement. If I am accidentally caught up in a demonstration, I agree to leave the area as soon as it is safe to do so. If I have any questions or concerns about civil unrest before my program or while abroad, I know that I should contact the Office for Global Health, Safety, and Security. If I participate in a local demonstration or protest I understand that I am subject to local laws and may be subject to disciplinary action by MSU, my host institution, and/or program provider.

Risk | Release of Claims


A. Acknowledgment of Risk. I understand that international travel has varying degrees of risk that are dependent on location and unpredictable events such as natural disasters as, well as my own conduct. I am aware that I may contact the Office for Global Health, Safety, and Security for assistance with travel planning and emergency preparedness. Recognizing the risk of loss and serious injury that could occur, I affirm that the decision to travel internationally is my own choice.

B. Release of Claims and Indemnity. For myself and all those who may claim through me, I release MSU (and its employees and representatives) from liability for all injuries, illnesses, and losses, including death, I may sustain to my person and/or property, which are in any way connected to my program participation, except as regards any claim of “gross negligence” that is actionable under Michigan’s Governmental Tort Liability Act. I further agree to defend and hold MSU harmless with respect to any loss, claim or expense it may sustain by reason of my behavior.

C. Governing Law. Any dispute arising from this Statement will be determined according to Michigan law.

In submitting my program application, I acknowledge that I have had an opportunity to ask any questions I have about this Statement of Responsibility, that I have read and understand it, that I accept its terms, and that I have signed it knowingly and voluntarily.

[i] Responsibilities may vary by program type. MSU-Sponsored Programs refer to faculty-directed, direct-enroll, exchange, provider, and First-Year Seminar Abroad programs arranged by MSU, including the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU). Non-MSU-Sponsored Programs are credit-bearing programs offered through unaffiliated third-parties and external institutions and organizations. In some cases, this will include certain independent internships and COM/CHM rotations. MSU and the Office for Education Abroad assume no responsibility or liability for programs not sponsored by Michigan State University. Nevertheless, students participating in non-MSU-Sponsored programs are expected to adhere to the responsibilities outlined below unless otherwise specified.

[ii] If you are participating in a First-Year Seminar Abroad program, deciding not to attend Michigan State University does not automatically withdraw you from the First-Year Seminar Abroad program. Official notice must be sent to the Office for Education Abroad.

[iii] Participants in exchange or direct-enroll programs will be withdrawn from the carrier credits (CSX or CSP) associated with the program by the Office for Education Abroad. First-Year Seminar Abroad (FSA) participants, will be withdrawn from the FSA course(s) by the Office for Education Abroad

[iv] Only applicable to MSU-Sponsored Education Abroad programs.

[v] Only applicable to MSU-Sponsored Programs. Students participating in a Non-MSU Sponsored Program are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the program’s stated travel policies. I understand that if I am a participant on a First-Year Seminar Abroad program that I am responsible for any costs associated with travel to campus for orientation. I must obtain written permission from a parent or guardian if I plan to travel independently from the group, otherwise I must stay with the group at all times and will notify my program director if I am accidentally separated from the group.

[vi] I understand that FSA programs do not allow accompanying family members or guests. If I have family or guests in the area with whom I would like to spend time, I must have written permission from my parents or guardians submitted to my faculty leader and the Office for Education Abroad.