UW Study Abroad has sent several veterans, military connected students with the GI Bill®, and actively serving Guardsmen and Reservists abroad on our programs. We recognize that some of you have traveled quite extensively, while others may not have. Either way, studying abroad gives you the opportunity to explore another culture and/or language in an academic setting.
Here are some things to consider when selecting a program
- Do I need to maintain a fitness schedule abroad and are facilities available?
- What military responsibilities do I need to take into consideration when choosing a program?
- Do I have or will I need a future security clearance?
- Will I need to list my military service on a visa application and how will I do so? Will there be an issue with my visa if I served in certain countries?
- Will I discuss my military experience with locals? How will locals perceive my service?
- Does my host country have a military or required service requirement? How are people who serve in the military treated in my host country?
- Has the U.S. military been involved in prior action in my host country? Historically and currently, what is the local perception related to U.S. military involvement?
- How might previous international experiences help with my adjustment on the program?
- Do I currently work with a mental health professional and will I be able to do so while on my program?
- What new skills do I want to gain abroad?
- How might other parts of my identity affect my experience abroad?
Worried about a current or future security clearance? Create a spreadsheet to store sustained foreign contact information for serious connections you make abroad. Keep track of your addresses abroad and details for two references per address. You can check out the SF-86 form for more info.
Many veterans and their dependents can use their benefits to help fund their study abroad experience. Contact University Veteran Services for more information and review their website for specifics.
The Gilman-McCain Scholarship is a congressionally funded initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and is named after the late senator John S. McCain from Arizona. The Gilman-McCain Scholarship provides awards of $5,000 for child dependents of active duty service members to study or intern abroad on credit-bearing programs.
Project GO is a Department of Defense initiative aimed at improving the language skills, regional expertise, and intercultural communication skills of current ROTC members. Project GO at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was able to fund the study of Hindi, Indonesian Russian, and Urdu for summer 2021. Summer 2022 languages will be posted on the Project Go website when they are known. Study of these critical languages may take place on campus at UW-Madison through intensive or immersive summer programs, or through study abroad programs. You are encouraged to apply to the program options for which you are eligible.
We ask students to share their experiences on how various parts of their identity impacted them while they were abroad in their program evaluations. Below are tips and advice given by Badgers about their individual experiences and thoughts. These do not represent all experiences in a location. Our staff is happy to talk with you about any questions you may have.
“Being in the military is a huge part of my life, and you’re not really supposed to talk about that due to safety concerns. Knowing when and where and with who it was safe to share experiences and opinions was sometimes difficult. Remember you’re a student first. It may not seem like a big deal to talk about, but you never know who is listening.” –India past participant
“My veteran/adult/vegetarian student identity actually enhanced my experience. Everyone was very welcoming and accommodating. Do not be afraid to share your life experiences. The locals and other students will be excited to hear them.” –Mexico past participant
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.
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