Study Away

It isn’t necessary to go abroad to learn about different cultures, discover potential opportunities, and explore unique environments. The Office for Experiential Learning's Study Away programs offer courses and internships at locations within the United States. These programs allow students to apply classroom knowledge in professional settings.

  • Chicago

    The goal of this program is to provide firs-generation college students with an opportunity to earn academic credit while getting to learn about different communities and careers in Chicago. Students will meet social scientist and community leaders transforming the human experiences for the people of Chicago and, hopefully become inspired to shape their own leadership potential in their respective communities.

    Semester: Spring 2024 (April 29th – May 4th)

    Courses: SSC 490 (2- or 3-credits)

    Housing: Downtown Chicago

    Application Deadline: Conctact Cristian Lambaren (  

    Application Link:

    Program Fee: $300
    Program fee covers travel, lodging, and some meals. If program fee is an obstacle, please contact Cristian Lambaren -

  • Detroit - InnovateGov

    Interested in being a part of Detroit's comeback story? Then the College of Social Science's InnovateGov Internship program is for you. Students work with local government agencies, nonprofits, and community organizations throughout Detroit to address some of the city's most critical challenges, while balancing weekly class sessions, all to strengthen you as a public servant and civic leader.

    Semester: Summer 2024

    Application Deadline: February 12, 2024

    Program Fee: ~$350

    : ISS 335, PLS 422, PLS 494, SSC 493

    Housing: TBD
  • Flint

    Whether you are a student from the Flint area or someone from outside Michigan who wants to make a difference, MSU's Flint Internship Program is for you! Benefit from hands-on learning in fields of interest while contributing to the mission of a community organization and revitalization of the Flint area.

    Flint - Michigan

    Semester: Summer 2024 (June 1 - August 1)

    Application Deadline: Contact Cathy White (

    Courses: SSC 493 (3 credit minimum) 

    Housing: River Front Center Residence Hall - University of Michigan Flint

    Program Fee:  No Program Fee 
    Program participation includes 8-week housing and orientation. Students are responsible to pay for tuition, most meals, transportation, and personal spending money.

    Application Link


  • Flint Community Initiative

    Our internship program pairs students and leaders of nonprofit community and civic organizations to engage in collaborative, community-driven projects that help expand community assets and contribute to a thriving future for Flint residents.

    Program Orientation: May 30 - June 1

    Program dates for 2024:
    June 30 - August 9

    Semester: Summer 2024 (May 30 - August 9)

    Application Deadline: January 12, 2024

    Enrollment: on-going by permission of Program Coordinator, contact

    To learn more about the program, visit the  Flint Community Initiative website  or contact:  Monica Villarreal,

    Application link:




    Experience life in a culturally rich setting which provides students with an opportunity to expand their worldview without leaving the U.S. THe Hawaii Summer Program offers an academic focus on Hawaiian culture, tourism, and other social issues and includes class meetings with University of Hawaii professors and students, field experiences and community service work. 

    Semester: Summer 2024 (July)

    Courses:  IAH and ISS credits available; Independent study credits available

    Housing: University of Hawaii 

    Application Deadline: TBD

    Program Fee: ~$2700 (based on last years program)


  • Las Vegas

    This study away program explores cultural diversity and sustainability in the greater Las Vegas Valley through food cultures. We will do this via team-based qualitative and interdisciplinary research methods, and our process and findings will be presented in the genre of a short documentary film. There are so many facets involved in such a project that there will be diverse roles for nearly all student interests.

    Students who are interested in participating in the Study Away Las Vegas program for Spring Break 2024 are asked to submit a video application addressing the following prompt in a 3-5 minute video (it is best if you submit your video as a MSU media space or YouTube url link).  We ask that you articulate in your short video (1) why you are interested in this particular topic, (2) how this study away program will potentially enrich your educational experience in both personal and professional ways, and (3) how the process of completing undergraduate research in the form of a visual story (via the genre of a documentary film) aligns with your experiences or interests as a citizen of our interconnected global world. 

    (Note: If you have questions or need assistance with the application video process, please contact Dr. Eddie Boucher directly at

    Semester: Spring Semester 2024. Actual travel to Las Vegas occurs during the week of Spring Break 2024. Please note this is a full semester program that meets once per week pre-and-post travel to Las Vegas.

    Application Deadline: Friday, December 15th, 2023

    Application Link

    Courses: Earn 4 credit hours (ISS 315). Students can substitute SSC 490 if ISS 300-level course is not needed.

    Housing: Homewood Suites by Hilton. Housing cost included in the program fee.

    Program Fee: $1,500.00 (estimated)
  • New York City

    New York City is a global economic and cultural powerhouse that is home to opportunity seekers from around the world. It is also a world-class center of culture and entertainment, from Carnegie Hall and Broadway to the Guggenheim Museum and Yankee Stadium. The program is in partnership with Global Experiences - an organization that facilitates all on-site aspects of the program including identifying customized internship placements for each student in industries.   

    Semester: Summer 2024

    Application Deadline: Contact Oumatie Marajh (
    Courses: SSC 493 (6 credits) 

    Housing: Furnished apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The apartment is walking distance to public transportation, shops and restaurants. Single housing is available for an additional $1,500. 

    Program Fee: $8990 program fee includes accommodations, some meals, and field research trips. Excluded from the program fee are tuition, airfare, course books, some meals, and personal spending money. 
  • Traverse City

    Immerse yourself in real time research along Michigan's beloved coast in Traverse City Michigan! The Coastlines and People Study Away Experience will give you the opportunity to work with some of the world's most renowned experts on Michigan's coast. You will learn about erosion, sand dunes, the processes that shape the coast and the impact on the people living there.

    Semester: Summer 2024

    Application Deadline: TBA

    Courses: ISS 310; GEO 206, 211, 306; SSC 493

    Housing: Eastern University Housing 

    Program Fee: $2000
  • Washington, DC - Freshman Seminar

    The Freshman Seminar Study Away program in Washington, DC is perfect for newly admitted students eager to earn academic credit, engage with MSU professors, and learn more about the country's capital. Explore unique topics around the United States as you travel with faculty and connect with experts to experience first-hand learning. The seminar is held during the summer before fall classes, carries 3 academic credits towards graduation, and fulfills the Experiential Learning Requirement for College of Social Science students.

    Washington, DC

    Theme: Politics of Poverty; The focus on global and domestic policies that impact those individuals living and surviving in poverty.

    Semester:  Summer/Fall 2024

    Program Dates: July 24th - August 2nd 

    Housing: TBA

    Courses: ISS 215 (4 credits)

    Application Deadline: June 14, 2024

    Application link

    Program Fee: $1,500
    Program fee includes lodging for 10 days while in Washington, DC, orientation, breakfasts and some meals, books/academic resources, metro card, transportation to and from field trips and cultural activities. Students are responsible for tuition, transportation to and from Washington, DC, additional meals/snacks, and personal spending money. Tuition and program fee will be billed to your MSU student account as part of your fall semester.

  • Washington, DC


    Independent Summer Internships  

    During the summer, Washington, DC is a busy and competitive place for interns. If this is the only time students can fit in a DC internship experience, the Office of Experiential Learning can assist. 

    Once a student secures an internship in DC and wishes to earn MSU Social Science Internship credit (SSC 493), there is an application process to earn those credits. 

Study Away Scholarships

Visit the experiential learning scholarships page to view a list of opportunities available.


Is there a GPA requirement?
No, but 2.5 is recommended. If your GPA is lower than 2.5, be prepared to discuss your academic record during the program interview. Applicant may consider submitting a letter of explanation with the application.

What if I don’t know what semester I want to go?
Select the nearest deadline for now and we can determine the definite semester later. 

How long should the essay be?
One page, double-spaced (300 words or less). Please put your name on it.

What if my resume is more than one page?
It is recommended that you work with Career Services to get your resume prepared for submission to internships sites on one page.  Visit for information on Resume workshops and Career Advising appointments.

If you have any additional questions not addressed in this list, feel free to email your inquiry to

Upcoming Study & Internship Program Informational Meetings 


InnovateGov in Detroit - Study Away Internship Program 


Flint Study Away Internship Program 


Check back soon for more meetings!

Students who Study Away come back with amazing stories, incredible memories and enormous personal and professional growth. Check out some recaps of past students' experiences away.

Margie Aimery
Program: Hawaii Study Away - Summer 2019
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies

Program takeaway: I had class sessions Monday-Friday and participated in community service projects twice a week. We did various projects within the community along with other University of Hawaii students and faculty. The most significant thing I learned from my study away experience is wherever I go, I will continue to embrace what it means to learn, understand and respect others and their cultures.

Advice for Future Students: My advice to students interested in study away programs is to go for it! Participating in programs likes these can only broaden students’ understanding of different cultures and people. The experience is eye-opening and will certainly waken one’s spirit of how others live within their own culture and communities!


Arianna Pittenger
Program: Flint - Summer 2019
Major: Human Bio
Placement: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Flint Area Medical Education

Program takeaway: Some of my daily responsibilities included: analyzing data, evaluating surveys and sorting through paperwork to make sure callbacks were received. I was given the same responsibilities as the other employees. My internship experience gave me an idea of what it is like working in a hospital, which reassured me that I am taking the right career path. The biggest highlight of my experience was my work environment. My coworkers were great, they made me excited to come into work every single day!

Advice for future students: Go in with no judgment. When a city has several different populations, it can be easy for people to go in with prejudgment. This can change the way you look at things or situations. Even if you’re not in a new city, you can still experience new opportunities. New experiences can take you out of your element and allow you to look at different perspectives.


Matthew Levitt
Program: New Orleans - Summer 2019
Major: Sociology
Placement: Forum for Equality

Program takeaway: My role was to conduct research on LB youths who are experiencing homelessness. Then to compile my research into a comprehensive presentation for prospective foster parents. The biggest thing I learned was to apply the knowledge I have gathered at Michigan State University to real life projects. A highlight from my internship was having the opportunity to walk in the New Orleans Pride Parade, which was a very special experience for me.

Advice for future students: My advice to students interested in an internship similar to mine would be to have an open mind about what you're assigned to do. Taking a step out of your comfort zone can help you learn to love new things! My second piece of advice would be to take advantage of every opportunity presented to you. Study away programs can help you experience adulthood while applying your knowledge to real work.


Hassan Fayz

Program: Washington, D.C. - Spring 2018
Major: Human Biology
Placement: U.S. House of Representatives

Program takeaway: The most significant thing I learned about myself would have to be my ability to function under extremely stressful situations and fast-paced environments. Working in Congress requires the utmost attention to detail and your surroundings.

Advice for future students: Go for it! Working in Congress is a rare opportunity and sets you up with so many networks. Since this internship, I have moved to Colorado to work on Congressman Jared Polis's bid for Governor. This opportunity was found through the connections I made as a Congressional Intern.


For more information, contact:

Office for Experiential Learning
College of Social Science
Phone: 517-432-4541