What’s a SIP?


Besides doing faculty-led or exchange programs through the University of Kansas, students can also participate in Student-Initiated Programs, or SIPs.

SIPs allow KU students to earn resident KU credit for study abroad programs sponsored by other accredited U.S. universities and colleges. Many American universities, including KU, have specific study abroad programs that allow students from other universities apply for.

The SIP category also  applies to degree-seeking KU students who directly enroll in foreign institutions accredited by the Ministry of Education of the host country for a summer, semester or academic year.

Examples of SIPs

  • Enrolling in urban design at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS).
  • Studying in Istanbul through the University of Minnesota‘s program in Turkey.
  • Directly enrolling in the University of Bologna in Italy, not through any universities or programs.

Here are a few other international study abroad organizations a student can study abroad through.

Benefits of students participating in a SIP

  • Students remain enrolled at KU during the study abroad program and receive KU resident credit and grades for the coursework they complete.
  • Continuous KU enrollment allows for access to state and federal financial aid as well as deferment of loan repayments.
  • Students on a SIP receive academic, cultural and safety information at the mandatory Office of Study Abroad (OSA) orientation and have contact (including 24-hour emergency assistance) with the OSA while abroad.
  • Students also receive emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage for the study period.


Undergraduate or graduate students may participate in a SIP as long as they meet the minimum 2.50 GPA requirement and are in good academic standing at KU. As with other programs, students must complete at least one academic term at KU prior to participating in study abroad. In all cases, the student must meet the sponsoring institution’s eligibility requirements and must be accepted by the sponsoring institution.

Student Responsibilities

1. Program Selection

Students must schedule an appointment to meet with an OSA program coordinator before beginning the application process. The program coordinator will help the student determine if the non-KU program meets University of Kansas and SIP guidelines. The program coordinator will also explain the application process in greater detail.

Due to concerns for student and faculty safety, the University of Kansas does not sponsor study abroad at locations where a U.S. State Department Travel Warning has been issued. See a list of countries under a travel warning here.

2. Application

It is entirely the student’s responsibility to monitor deadlines and application procedures for the non-KU program. In addition, students must complete the KU Office of Study Abroad SIP application and scholarship application (if applicable) by the deadlines listed below, regardless of the non-KU program deadlines.

Winter break, spring break, spring semester programs: October 1

Fall, academic year, or summer programs: March 1

As with other study abroad options, students must meet with departmental faculty advisors and their academic advisor to complete an academic plan. This is how they will determine what equivalent KU credit they will receive.

3. Orientation

All students who participate in SIPs are required to take part in the KU OSA pre-departure orientation.

4. Credit Posting

Students are required to maintain full-time student status while abroad and to post all credit earned during the study abroad program to their KU transcript. Grades will be calculated into the student’s GPA at KU.


The Office of Study Abroad SIP fee includes the OSA administrative fee, KU enrollment (placeholder credits), OSA pre-departure orientation, 24-hour emergency contact services, and emergency medical evacuation and repatriation services.

Currently, the total KU fee for participation in a Student-Initiated Program is as follows:

  • Summer/Short-term: $440
  • Semester: $820
  • Academic year: $1,230

The SIP fee is in addition to any tuition, fees or other expenses related to the non-KU program.

So, you want to choose a SIP?

Students are encouraged to meet with a peer advisor in the OSA resource library, located in 105 Lippincott. No appointment is necessary, and brochures for many SIPs are available here. Students who decide to do a SIP are responsible for researching their options, finding an appropriate program, and meeting with a program coordinator to discuss the SIP.

Helpful websites for researching non-KU programs

  • iiepassport.org
  • goabroad.com
  • studyabroad.com
  • petersons.com