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FSA Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a 2023 seminar, you must have graduated from high school in 2023 and been admitted to MSU for the first time as a full-time college student for the 2023-24 academic year. Please note that if advanced placement (AP) and dual-enrollment credits (college classes taken while in high school) place you at sophomore or junior status, you're still eligible to participate as long as you are a first-time, full-time student.

To apply for a seminar you must have paid your Advanced Enrollment Deposit (AED) to MSU. The payment is required in the system to have access to the online application process. If you have NOT paid your AED, you will be unable to apply for a First-Year Seminar Abroad or Away.  Be aware that after paying the AED, it might take a day or two for the system to update and allow you access.

If accepted, applications may be denied or approval to participate revoked if academic and/or behavioral conduct before departure raises doubts as to your suitability for seminar participation. This includes behavior at New Student Orientation (NSO), MSU summer transition programs, as well as the First-Year Seminar Abroad/Away pre-departure orientation. In addition, if you have your MSU admission revoked, for any reason, you are NOT eligible to continue participation on a First-Year Seminar Abroad/Away.

How to Apply

Before applying to a First-Year Seminar you will need to make sure your MSU NetID has been activated (See Activate your ID).

Once your NetID is activated, you will need to complete a profile in the Office for Education Abroad's online platform called Via TRM to complete the FSA application. After completing your profile, simply search for the seminar you wish to apply for (or use the link from the FSA webpage) and complete the application for that seminar.  Much of the information in your application will be automatically pulled from MSU's Student Information System (SIS).

Do NOT apply for multiple seminars at the same time. If your selected seminar is full, MSU staff will contact you about possible alternatives.

When you submit an application, your MSU Student Account will be billed a $100 application deposit.

You may withdraw from a seminar at any point and for any reason prior to your acceptance into the program with no financial penalty. The $100 application deposit will be refunded back to your MSU Student Account.

Once you are accepted into a seminar, you will need to commit to your participation. When you commit, you will be billed an additional $200 commitment deposit to your MSU Student Account. The $200 commitment deposit is non-refundable at this point.

The application and commitment deposits are applied to the overall cost of your seminar.

If under the age of 18 at the time of application, you will need to submit a "Parental/Legal Guardian Education Abroad Participation Permission" form, which can be accessed under the "Agreements" header on the application checklist.

If 18 or older at the time of application, MSU regards a digital indication of your signature just as it would your handwritten signature. Your electronic signature confirms that you have reviewed your application for accuracy and completeness and that you understand the policies associated with the billing.

Deadlines

Application deadlines depend on the seminar’s departure date and logistical planning; therefore, applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis starting in February 2023. Students are accepted until the seminars are full or logistical factors (e.g., plane ticket deadlines) make it impossible to add participants.

To ensure a spot on the desired seminar, apply as early as possible. In the past, programs have filled as early as March.

Although not required to apply, a valid passport is required to travel internationally.  Please be aware this process can take 12 weeks or longer so it is highly recommended that you apply for your passport early if you do not already have one.

If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, your application must be submitted by June 5, 2023.  See FSA Costs and Funding for more information about scholarships.

Acceptance

Once the online application is completed, you'll be notified of acceptance via e-mail by the Office for Education Abroad. In the email, instructions to commit to the seminar are included.

Once you commit, you'll be billed a non-refundable and non-transferable $200 deposit. This deposit will be posted and due on your MSU student account and must be paid by the due date indicated on the e-bill. Like the application deposit, it will be applied to the program fee. If you do not pay the application and/or deposit by the due date indicated on the e-bill, the fees will accrue monthly late charges until paid in full. (If you are wait-listed because a seminar is at capacity, you will not be billed the $200 deposit until formally accepted.)

NOTE: Program fees, dates, and arrangements are subject to change due to unexpected circumstances.

Upon acceptance, you will receive an email (sent to your MSU account) with next step topics, such as:

  • Confirming attendance
  • Submitting a copy of passport (if applicable)
  • Paying bills posted to your student account
  • Checking into financial aid and scholarships
  • Contacting MSU with flight deviations
  • Scheduling New Student Orientation (NSO) before your departure

As you wait for detailed correspondence about your pre-departure orientation (usually sent via email in early June), keep the following in mind:

  • MSU staff will enroll you in UGS 102/103 for fall semester. This course is associated with the First-Year Seminar Abroad/Away and you must be enrolled to participate. (DO NOT drop this class) If you attend New Student Orientation (NSO) and are not enrolled in this class, please send an email to fsabroad(at)msu.edu as soon as possible.
  • You will receive information about using the UGS 102/103 class to substitute for a university requirement by mail and e-mail over the summer. Make sure to consult with your academic adviser and indicate a substitution preference online by December 1, 2023.
  • Different than New Student Orientation (NSO), you will attend a pre-departure orientation for your specific seminar.  Directions, schedules, packing list, etc. will be emailed in early June.
  • Billing for the program fee (minus the $300 already paid) happens in late-July or early-August. Billing for tuition happens in August as part of your normal fall tuition bill. (It is probable that you will be abroad when payment is due so it's important to make arrangements to have bills paid while abroad.)
  • Along with pre-departure orientation information, you may be contacted by the program leader with reading materials or homework.

Most correspondence is via your MSU email so it is imperative to check that account REGULARLY!

Withdrawal

You may withdraw your application at any time by logging into your Via TRM account and going to your “Applications” tab to find your seminar application. The last line should read “Decided not to go?” and give you the option to defer or withdraw from the seminar.  In addition, you must also send an email to abroad(at)msu.edu with your full name, PID, location of the seminar and your reason for withdrawal. (NOTE: Telling your seminar leader is not sufficient.)

Be sure to review the Refund and Charge Policies to see if you will be financially responsible for any deposits or fees.

If you have not yet been accepted into the seminar, the $100 application deposit will be refunded to your MSU Student Account once you have withdrawn your application in Via TRM and sent an email to abroad(at)msu.edu with the appropriate details.

If you’ve been accepted and have committed to the seminar, you will be responsible for the $100 application deposit and the $200 commitment deposit, as well as any additional financial penalties per the refund schedule found on the Refund and Charge Policies webpage. If you are withdrawing 60 days or less from the seminar’s first day, financial penalties range from a 75% refund to no refund of program fees.

You will receive a full refund of tuition and matriculation fees if you withdraw from the seminar prior to the seminar’s first day. If you withdraw after the seminar's first day and/or do not maintain your enrollment in the UGS 102/103 credits during or after the seminar (including withdrawal from MSU), you may be dismissed from the program and/or billed and responsible for paying an additional program fee. Once this additional fee is posted to your account, you CANNOT be retroactively enrolled in any courses. Your enrollment status will be monitored by the Office for Education Abroad during and after the program.

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