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Nontraditional Students

UW-Eau Claire defines nontraditional students as students who are:
  • 25 years or older
  • students who are married or are parents
  • students who are U.S. military veterans, and
  • any student who had a significant break (two or more years) in their education
This page is intended to help all nontraditional students with questions about study abroad. For specific information on how veterans' benefits apply to study abroad, please visit our Veteran Benefits page.

The Center for International Education recognizes that nontraditional students often have familial or professional commitments that may complicate the decision to study abroad. Others may simply be worried about fitting in with their study abroad peers. However, despite these obstacles, we know from nontraditional students who have successfully studied abroad that it is possible!

Here are a few things you may want to consider:

Length of Program

Short-term study abroad programs may work better for students with multiple commitments. There are programs available in both Winterim and summer terms, ranging from two to eight weeks. However, don’t automatically discount longer programs, because UW-Eau Claire nontraditional students have gone abroad for as long as an academic year!

Living Situation

If you feel uncomfortable living with a host family or a roommate, several programs offer the option of a single room. Check with the CIE to find out which programs have this option.

Level of Independence

Some programs are very group-oriented, while others offer a much more individual and independent environment. Many programs involve groups of American and non-American students from various universities around the world, and there is always a chance you may meet other students of your age. In addition, in most programs, students are given time to discover the location by themselves and meet new people outside of their program.

Financial Assistance

Financial aid will travel with you on UW-Eau Claire programs. There are also a number of UW-Eau Claire Foundation scholarships that support study abroad, including one, the Herlihy Women of Substance Study Abroad Scholarship, specifically for nontraditional women students. Find details here.

Other Resources

No age limit for study abroad - An article about a 29-year-old who studied abroad in France.

Learn more from Mike Gehrke, a non-traditional student who studied abroad:

Interview With Mike