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Non-UWM Study Abroad Programs: Information for Accepted Students

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There is a special course registration number for non-UWM study abroad programs. It is a zero credit, zero tuition course that will keep you registered at UWM while you are studying overseas. For students receiving financial aid, this registration will be recognized by the Financial Aid Office as denoting full-time enrollment and will prevent loan "repayment status" while you are away. However, you must maintain FULL-TIME enrollment on your study abroad program. By working through the UWM study abroad office you will receive continuing registration privileges without having to file a UWM re-entry application and without having to provide transcripts from your overseas program to prove eligibility before registration. The study abroad office will process your course registration after your study program fees have been paid.

Financial Aid Clearance

In order to have financial aid applied to your study abroad program, you must submit a written statement of program costs associated with your program to the study abroad office (cost information is usually available on the program provider's website). Using these figures, your study abroad advisro will then develop and submit a special program budget to UWM's Financial Aid Office. Without a budget on file you will be unable to receive your aid.

You will also be required to send a Consortium Agreement to the educational institution sponsoring your overseas program. The sponsoring institution agrees that it will not be furnishing you with financial aid and that you will be enrolled full time while overseas. Your UWM financial aid will not be disbursed until this Consortium Agreement is signed and returned. It is your responsibility to send it to the sponsoring institution and follow through with its delivery to the UWM Financial Aid Office. You may also need to meet with an advisor in Financial Aid before traveling overseas.

It is very important that you remain enrolled full-time while on your overseas program to ensure that your aid will not be reduced and that the aid you receive will not have to be repaid.

Pre-departure Information

UWM's study abroad office has information on obtaining passports and visas, health precautions through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), State Department travel warnings, inexpensive airfares, travel tips and train passes, hostels, etc. This information can be found in the study abroad office library (Pearse Hall 166, M-F 8-4:30). Although the study abroad office can assist you with resources for making travel arrangements, it is your responsibility to follow through with the logistics and paper work necessary for your study abroad program. Check before you leave on deadlines for registration, financial aid applications, dorm reservations, or housing arrangements. Also make sure that you check PAWS to determine if you have any holds on your record. If you owe money to UWM (tuition, library fine, etc), you cannot register for your study abroad program and will not be able to register for future semesters at UWM.

Change of Address

While abroad, you should update your official address using PAWS. The new address should be where you want all of your official UWM mail sent, including financial aid checks and registration forms. Make the change effective the date you leave the United States.

Documenting your Academic Experience

While abroad, it is important that you document all your academic work. Keep your course syllabi, term papers, graded exams, even lecture and reading notes. Having a record of your academic experience while abroad is wise regardless of whether or not the faculty signing your pre-approval course form has requested such items. Even if you are confident a course will transfer to UWM, you may still need the documentation in order to have the course accepted at the upper division level or to fulfill a specific requirement. If the syllabus and other course materials seem inadequate, ask for a written description of the course from your professor while abroad. Bring the most important of these materials with you on the plane home; do not trust international mail for essential, irreplaceable items.


If your program is sponsored by a U.S. university or college or by a foreign university, request in writing that the institution send an official transcript of your work to:

Center for International Education
Study Abroad Office
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
P.O. Box 413/ Pearse Hall 166
Milwaukee, WI 53201

If you are directly enrolled in a foreign university, you may ask that the transcript (or its equivalent) be given to you directly. Some educational systems generate a record quite unlike an American transcript. For example, a separate certificate from each course sometimes constitutes the official record. Regardless of what it looks like, you are responsible for obtaining your host institution's nearest equivalent to an official, original transcript. If you have any questions about this process or what the document should be, ask your study abroad advisor.

Maintaining Contact While Abroad

Be sure to contact your family after arriving at your study abroad site. You should also contact your study abroad advisor after settling in. It's important that your advisor have current contact information (address, phone, e-mail) for your, so s/he can assist you with any issues that may arise. The advisor is also available if your immediate family has questions. Remember, however, it is against Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Acts (FERPA) regulations for your advisor to release specific information about you, even to your closest family members, if you have not previously completed and submitted a FERPA form to the study abroad office.

The study abroad office is here to help you enjoy your overseas program, while ensuring that all goes as planned. Do not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns; the sooner our office is aware of potential problems, the sooner the problems can be resolved without affecting your coursework or UWM eligibility.