Five Alternatives to Studying Abroad

Five Alternatives to Studying Abroad

U-M is dedicated to enhancing global education, but studying abroad isn’t for everyone. However, there is something to be said about venturing away from our Ann Arbor haven and gaining a broader perspective on the world around us. Here are some local opportunities for students to get involved outside of the U-M classroom.

5. Semester in Detroit

Live, learn, work and engage in the city of Detroit. The program combines a semester-long residency in the Wayne State housing facilities with rigorous study and internship. U-M students take classes at the U-M Detroit Center with U-M faculty while engaging with Detroit community members and organizations through an individualized internship. Upon the completion of the program and one additional course at U-M, participants obtain a minor in Urban Studies.

4. The Ginsberg Center

The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, located on the corner of Hill and E. University, is a great resource for diversity education. The center offers volunteer opportunities with America Reads and other K-12 literacy initiatives, service advising, and alternative breaks.

3. Alternative Breaks

The Ginsberg Center offers Alternative Spring and Summer Breaks during which students travel with a group of about 10-12 people to volunteer for a week at a given topic site. Some topics include urban poverty, domestic violence and youth & education. Students may volunteer through the Ginsberg Center or plan their own Alternative Break with their student organization. Resources and grants for such planning are available at the Ginsberg Center.

2. Detroiters Speak Series

Organized by Semester in Detroit and the U-M Detroit Center, the Detroiters Speak Series serves to broaden education about the greatly misunderstood city of Detroit. Join U-M students, faculty and members of the Detroit community to reflect on various controversial and misunderstood aspects of the city. Free transportation is provided by the MDetroit Center Connector, which departs from the Central Campus Transit Center (CCTC) at 5:40pm on Thursdays. You may attend the sessions for free as a member of the public or enroll in the 1-credit mini-course, RCIDIV 350.001.

1. Detroit Partnership

DP Day is considered the largest service-learning event at U-M, but students may also volunteer through Detroit Partnership during their weekly programs. Volunteer opportunities include teaching a weekly dance class and tutoring students at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

Michigan Alumnus is made possible through the generous support of Alumni Association members. Join today to help sustain the future of Alumnus and other alumni programs. Visit