Global Education

Independent Education Abroad

Independent education abroad programs are those in which students are not enrolled at Ohio State, but rather participate through another university—either the university offering the program or the accredited institution facilitating it. Before you choose to study abroad independently, consider all Ohio State approved study abroad programs.

Learn the differences between studying abroad through Ohio State and studying abroad independently. Participation on an independent education abroad experience is very different from studying abroad with Ohio State. You will not be registered at Ohio State during the term(s) in which you are abroad, but will instead take a “leave of absence.” This means you will not pay Ohio State tuition, will have limited or no access to Ohio State financial aid and may receive transfer (K) credit on your Ohio State transcript.

Ohio State education abroad Independent education abroad
Maintain registration at Ohio State Do not maintain registration at Ohio State
Earn Ohio State graded credit Will not earn Ohio State graded credit, but rather (K) credit
Determine course credit prior to your departure May determine preliminary course credit prior to your departure (in some cases)
Retain access to Ohio State scholarships and/or grants Will not retain access to Ohio State scholarships and/or grants
Retain access to federal financial aid May retain access to federal financial aid; subject to consortium agreement eligibility
Will be enrolled in International Supplemental Insurance providing health insurance, coverage for emergency assistance, evacuation and repatriation Will complete the OIA travel registration. Students will not have access to the university's supplemental international insurance.*

*Students participating in non-OIA travel that is supported by the university are required to enroll in the supplemental insurance.

Determine if an independent education abroad experience is the best academic and financial fit for you. The use of transfer (K) credit toward major/minor requirements varies widely. Consult your academic advisor to determine if/how this type of credit will apply toward your degree requirements before making a financial commitment to the program. Be sure to consider potential program costs and funding sources.

Should you determine that an independent education abroad experience is appropriate for you, carefully evaluate your options. Considering the following features:

Before applying you must:

When applying, you will likely need: 

While you await your admission decision:


Ohio State Travel Policies and Independent Study Abroad Travel Registration

All Ohio State students pursuing independent education abroad that are related to their Ohio State academic or co-curricular objectives (regardless of if the program is Ohio State approved or non-Ohio State approved) are required to adhere to the policies and guidelines set forth by the University’s International Travel Policy Committee.

Once you have been accepted to your program, be sure to complete the online individual travel registration (contact Jenny Kraft for access) and the independent pre-departure checklist.