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Student Conduct While Abroad

Statement of Responsibility

As a student on an MSU education abroad program, you signed a Statement of Responsibility and COVID-19 EA Community Commitment at the time of application. These documents outline the behavior that is expected of you while you are on an MSU education abroad program and the consequences for violating these behavioral expectations.

In addition, you must comply with MSU policies and regulations including MSU's Spartan Life Student Handbook, General Student Regulations and Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy, any behavioral requirements established by your program director and/or host institution, and the laws of your host country.

As a condition of participation in the Education Abroad program, you agree to not participate in and to avoid any demonstrations and protests. Even those with peaceful intentions may become unsafe and/or involve negative confrontations with local law enforcement. If you are accidentally caught up in a demonstration, you must leave the area as soon as it is safe to do so. If you have any questions or concerns about civil unrest before your program or while abroad, contact us. If you participate in a local demonstration or protest you are subject to local laws and may be subject to disciplinary action by MSU, your host institution, and/or program provider.

Remember that you are serving as an ambassador of MSU and the United States.

Consequences for Student Conduct Issues Abroad

Should you violate the Statement of Responsibility or any other behavioral expectations outlined by your program, host institution, or host country, you may be subject to disciplinary action including the consequences detailed below.

If you are participating in exchange, direct enroll, or provider programs, you are reminded that you must comply with the behavioral expectations set forth by both MSU and your host institution. Be aware that the process for responding to conduct issues may vary by institution or organization and may be different while on study abroad than on campus.

Verbal Warning

Student conduct issues that do not jeopardize the health and safety of the individual or others and do not prevent the program from functioning (for example, tardiness to class or a single instance of rudeness toward a host) may result in a verbal warning being issued. The program director will have a frank discussion with you regarding your conduct and will clearly outline expectations and consequences should the behavior continue. The program director will give you the opportunity to respond and to ask questions. The program director will inform the Office of International Health and Safety and the Office for Education Abroad. 

Written Warning

Student conduct issues that jeopardize or have the potential to jeopardize the health and safety of the individual or others and/or is disruptive to the program (for example, alcohol misuse or property damage) may result in a written warning being issued. Failure to respond to and correct behavior outlined in a verbal warning may also result in a written warning. The written warning will describe the reported student conduct issue, outline the behavior that must change, and highlight the consequences should the behavior continue.

Removal from Program

If unacceptable behavior outlined in a written warning does not improve or your behavior is such that it is determined that your continued presence on a program is likely to impede the achievement of program objectives, disrupt program activity, or jeopardize health and safety, you may be removed from the program. Depending on your location, you will have 24-48 hours to vacate program-arranged housing. There will be no refund of the program fee. 

If you are removed from a partner's program and/or dismissed from a host institution, you may also be removed from the MSU education abroad program.

When removed from a program, you are strongly encouraged to return to the U.S. since the program and its affiliates will no longer have any responsibility towards you.

Campus Disciplinary Action

The Office for Education Abroad, the Office of International Health and Safety, the sponsoring College, or a program director may submit a student conduct complaint to Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution for possible disciplinary action upon return to campus. 

Alcohol Misuse and Drug Policy

If you are of legal drinking age in your host country, you are permitted to consume alcohol during non-program hours. However, alcohol must be consumed responsibly and cannot be misused. Alcohol misuse is consumption of alcohol that is or has the potential to be harmful to the individual and/or is disruptive to the program. Alcohol misuse is often a factor in student conduct issues abroad.

The MSU Drug and Alcohol Policy applies to EA programs. MSU has a zero-tolerance drug policy that prohibits the possession, use, manufacture, production, sale, exchange or distribution of illegal drugs by education abroad participants. Whether a drug is illegal is governed by U.S. federal drug laws, the laws of the State of Michigan, and host country laws. Students should be mindful that marijuana is prohibited on EA programs regardless of any local laws.

Students that violate this policy face removal from the program and disciplinary action upon return to campus.

Alcohol Safety

Tips for consuming alcohol responsibly:

  • Remember that education abroad is primarily an educational opportunity, not a vacation.
  • If you choose to consume alcohol, do so responsibly and in compliance with local norms. In most countries, alcohol is consumed socially and in moderation.
  • Look out for your friends and do not hesitate to seek assistance for a friend who may be in danger.
  • Research local attractions and activities that are nearby and may offer a safe, fun alternative to drinking alcohol.
  • Ask your program director about obtaining extra credit for exploring things to do in the area and reporting back to the group.

For more information or assistance with alcohol misuse, please see Olin Student Health Services

Medical Amnesty

Under the MSU Medical Amnesty Policy, the University exempts MSU students from discipline resulting from its drug- or alcohol-use/possession policy violations if they seek immediate medical assistance for themselves or persons experiencing drug- or alcohol-related emergencies; and/or if they require medical attention related to a drug- or alcohol-related emergency.

If a student meets these criteria, the University will not pursue disciplinary action through its student conduct process for violations of its alcohol and drug use and/or possession policies; however, students may be held accountable for any violations of their Education Abroad agreements, including dismissal from the program.

For more information about medical amnesty at MSU, please see Office of Student Support & Accountability.