BBA Outgoing Exchange

It’s important to note the key differences between study abroad and semester exchange. 

For undergraduate students interested in going abroad for an entire semester, there are two primary options: Ross Semester Exchange or LSA’s Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS). While both are great options, it’s important to note that there are key differences between the two.

Ross Semester Exchange offers students the opportunity to directly enroll in a top international business school while earning business elective credits. This program can also be very competitive for certain partner schools and requires a high degree of independence and comfort in navigating ambiguity.

Students will be responsible for securing their own flight, transportation to campus, housing, visa (if applicable), and registering for courses.

Going abroad with CGIS generally offers more geographic flexibility and logistical support to students, but most programs are solely composed of US-based students and don’t offer business elective credits. Students can work with their academic advisor to explore Distribution credits.

Pre-Application Steps

While students won’t be able to apply for semester exchange until the winter semester of their second year, Ross Global Initiatives encourages students to begin their research early so that they can make the best decision for their individual goals. Some of the actions that students can take prior to applying are:

Researching partner schools that may be a good fit for their interests.

Meeting with a Global Education Advisor to learn more about specific programs offered by partner schools.

Meeting with their academic and financial aid advisors to see how a semester exchange program during the winter semester of their junior year might impact their academic or financial situations.

Meeting with current visiting exchange students to learn more about their home institutions.

Application/Placement Process

The application for semester exchange is released during the winter semester and is evaluated based upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to the student’s GPA, participation in an information session, participation in a global/cultural event, meeting with a Ross Academic Advisor, and a personal reflection essay. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the information sessions to gain a better understanding of the semester exchange program and important steps in the application and commitment process. Decisions are released in the early summer, allowing students ample time to plan for their global experience the following winter. 

To apply for a semester exchange program, students will create an application to the Ross Undergraduate Semester Exchange Program within M-Compass

Within the application process, students will have the opportunity to rank several partner schools that they are interested in attending.

During the application review process, students are then matched to their highest-ranked school that has an opening. Students will matched in order of high scores. Students are only considered for the programs that they rank and are never placed in a program that they did not rank and will only be matched to one school. Students may choose to decline their offer and go on the waitlist. Students who do not receive an initial match will have the opportunity to rerank and expand their preferred programs. Students will be considered in subsequent waitlist rounds. In each application cycle, there are typically two to three waitlist rounds. Students will be notified when it is the final round. 

More information on this process, including how many schools a student can rank, will be made available during information sessions.

Next Steps After Receiving Placement

Students will receive an email offer letter notifying them of their placement. Upon receiving your offer, you can accept your offer, decline your offer and join the waitlist, or decline and withdraw. Be sure to read all communications from Ross Global Initiatives during the application process to learn how to navigate the next steps of the decision process.

Upon Acceptance

Once students have confirmed their acceptance to their semester exchange placement, Ross Global Initiatives will nominate the student to their host institution. Once this process is completed, the host school will begin to contact the student directly in order to support their semester exchange experience. Communication with the host institution typically begins in the Fall semester prior to going abroad. 

  • Please note! All programs will require a valid passport that lasts the duration of the exchange term as well as several months beyond the end date. Students should apply immediately if they do not have one yet or have one that will expire during that time.  Many programs will require a Student or Tourist Visa. You can learn more by visiting Visa Information at UM.


Semester exchanges offer Ross students the chance to earn business elective credits that can be applied toward their minor, major, or graduation requirements during the winter semester of their junior year. Students are advised to connect with their Ross Academic Advisor to discuss their plans. 

If a student participates in a semester exchange, their enrollment at the University of Michigan is not impacted and they are continuously enrolled throughout their time abroad.

Visa resources/Canvas page

Students may be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in a program of study at their host institution. More information about the visa process can be found by viewing the Visa Acquisition guide on Canvas. 

Financial Aid

Ross Global Initiatives Funding for Undergraduates: Ross undergraduate students can apply for limited funding for this global program by submitting the optional Global Initiatives Participant Funding Award questionnaire within their M-Compass application. Funding essays are due by the same application deadline as the program. Late funding applications will not be accepted. Students will be notified of their application and funding award decisions simultaneously. Please note that Ross Global Initiatives funding is intended to supplement costs of the semester exchange experience and does not often cover all travel-related costs (flights, incidentals, etc.) for the duration of the semester abroad. Applicants are strongly encouraged to explore multiple funding options.

Financial Aid: Students may apply for financial aid or a loan increase to help offset the costs of this academic experience and should speak with a U-M Financial Aid Advisor to determine coverage and eligibility.

Additional U-M Funding Resources: The University has several resources for students who need help funding their study abroad experience; however, students must be proactive in seeking these resources and apply as early as possible. Go to the U-M Study Abroad Funding Resources webpage to begin your search.

Funding Resources Outside of the University: There are also funding opportunities available beyond the University of Michigan. Again, students must research the deadlines and apply for these scholarships early. Go to the External Funding for Study Abroad webpage for more information