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Application and Acceptance

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a 2021 seminar, you must have graduated from high school in 2021 and been admitted to MSU for the first time as a full-time college student for the 2021-22 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 the FSA program.  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 the summer Academic Orientation Program (AOP), MSU summer transition programs, as well as the FSA program's pre-departure orientation. In addition, if you have your MSU admission revoked, for any reason, you are NOT eligible to continue participation on the FSA program.

How to apply for an FSA

If you wish to apply, complete an online application via the student portal. Before applying, you will need to create an account using your MSU NetID. (Activate NetID here) To create an account, click the "Register" button on the left side of the screen. Once an account has been created, you can begin your application.  Do NOT apply for multiple programs at the same time. If your selected program is full, MSU staff will contact you about possible alternatives.

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.

A $100 application fee is required and billed to your MSU account (accessed through StuInfo) upon submission of an application. The application fee is applied to the program fee and is non-refundable once you accept admission into the program. If MSU denies admission or cancels the seminar, you will receive a full refund of the $100 application fee.

Upon acceptance to the seminar, you are required to log back into your student portal and complete the Decision Form within two (2) weeks of acceptance. A non-refundable and non-transferable $200 confirmation deposit will be billed to the your MSU account. This money will be applied to the program fee.

Deadlines for 2020

APPLICATION: Application deadlines depend on the seminar’s departure date and logistical planning; therefore, applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis starting in January 2020. 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 six (6) weeks or longer so it is highly recommended that you apply for your passport early if you do not already have one.

FSA SCHOLARSHIP: If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, both the FSA application AND the scholarship application must be submitted by June 5, 2020.  See FSA Costs and Funding for more information about scholarships.

Acceptance to an FSA

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 confirm admission are included where you must complete and submit the online "Decision Form" within two (2) weeks of the date of acceptance. If admitted into a seminar less than six (6) weeks prior to the seminar's departure date, the "Decision Form" upon must be completed upon receipt of the e-mail.

Once you confirm admission, you'll be billed a non-refundable and non-transferable $200 deposit. This deposit will be posted and due on the your account and must be paid by the due date indicated on the e-bill. Like the application fee, it will be applied to the program fee. If you do not pay the application fee 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
  • Sending a copy of passport to Education Abroad
  • Pay bills posted to your student account
  • Check into financial aid and scholarships
  • Contact Education Abroad with flight deviations
  • Schedule Academic Orientation (AOP) before your departure

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

  • MSU staff will enroll you in UGS 102 for fall semester. This course is associated with the FSA program, and you must be enrolled to participate. (DO NOT drop this class) If you attend the Academic Orientation Program (AOP) and are not enrolled in this class, please send an email to fsabroad(at) as soon as possible.
  • You will receive information about using the UGS 102 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 October 2020.
  • Different than the Academic Orientation Program (AOP), 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 FSA 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!

Withdrawing from an FSA

Prior to Acceptance

If you have not yet been accepted into a seminar, you may withdraw your application at any time. To withdraw an application, complete the online Decision Form (accessible in your "My Study Abroad" account). It is not sufficient to let the seminar program leader know. Prior to acceptance, the $100 application fee is refundable if you choose to cancel. Even if you have officially withdrawn from MSU, you must still complete the online Decision Form.

At Acceptance

If you have been accepted into a seminar, you have two (2) weeks after the date of the acceptance letter to withdraw without financial obligation, using the online Decision Form. Even if you have officially withdrawn from MSU, you must still complete the online Decision Form. If you have not submitted your online Decision Form within the two (2) weeks of the date of the acceptance letter, the Office for Education Abroad will assume you no longer wish to participate and you will be withdrawn from the seminar. The $100 application fee will remain on your account.

After Acceptance

If you decide to withdraw after confirming participation, you cannot do so online. You must contact the Office for Education Abroad in writing, indicating your decision to withdraw.

It's important to understand that all First-year Seminars Abroad are financed through course tuition and the program fee. The following paragraphs describe the financial ramifications of withdrawing following your acceptance into a program:

(A) Program fee: If you choose to withdraw your application after accepting admission into a seminar, you will be financially responsible for the $100 application fee and the $200 deposit. If you withdraw from a seminar after accepting admission and your written withdrawal is received at the Office for Education Abroad less than eight (8) weeks before the seminar's first day, you will be financially responsible for the $100 application fee and $200 deposit, or any non-recoverable costs (such as airfare, housing deposits, field trip pre-payments, etc.) incurred and/or committed on your behalf by MSU and its affiliates at the time of your withdrawal (whichever is more). It is your responsibility to ask about the estimated non-recoverable costs incurred at the time of your withdrawal. If you withdraws on or after the seminar's first day, you will be financially responsible for the entire program fee. The date the Office for Education Abroad receives the written withdrawal notification is the date by which the financial calculation will be determined.

(B) Tuition: If you withdraw from the seminar prior to the seminar's first day, you will receive a full refund of tuition and matriculation fees. If you withdraw after the seminar's first day and/or do not maintain your enrollment in the UGS 102 credits during or after the program (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.