Last Updated on January 21, 2022

Cadets and midshipmen in ROTC benefit greatly from doing a study abroad during their time in ROTC. Studying abroad helps students learn new languages, appreciate other cultures, overcome challenges of living in another country, and gain a greater understanding of the world.

These are all things that the military emphasizes given the likelihood of deploying overseas and working with partner countries in executing military missions in defense of our country.

This post will look at the study abroad semester during a fall or spring academic term while an ROTC cadet or midshipmen.

One should note that there are summer study abroad options through ROTC known as Project Go as well as independent study abroad options—one of our favorites is language instruction and immersion such as the one here and here. They are both great opportunities but will not be covered in this post.

Study Abroad and ROTC Scholarship Benefits

What is outstanding about a study abroad semester is that the ROTC scholarship will pay for the semester while one is taking courses abroad. Tuition at the host institution must not exceed tuition at the home university. Any tuition in excess of the tuition will be the student’s responsibility to pay.

  • Any cadet or midshipman desiring to study abroad must obtain the authorization of their Commanding Officer.
  • It is important to ensure that the study abroad program and the courses taken progress towards academic degree completion as outlined in the ROTC contract.
  • Finally, if the institution is providing room and board in addition to the scholarship, there is the possibility that lodging and a meal plan could be provided also by your university. You can find those ROTC institutions that provide room and board to the ROTC scholarship at this link.

Cadets and midshipmen will take the semester aboard during the sophomore or junior year depending on the Service ROTC. Semesters are normally not taken during the freshman year due to the need for orientation or the senior year because of the leadership development that takes place in the year before commissioning. Here is the breakout by Service ROTC:

Air Force ROTC

Most Air Force ROTC scholarship cadets take their study abroad their junior year. It is not taken earlier because cadets are preparing for Summer Field Training (SFT) at Maxwell Air Force Base Alabama during their freshman and sophomore years. After clearing SFT, the junior year allows for time to take a semester to do a study abroad.


Army ROTC encourages cadets to take their semester during the fall or spring term of their sophomore year. The junior year is discouraged because cadets are preparing for Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky.


Midshipmen can do study abroad both their sophomore and junior years and are highly encouraged to do so.

Overall, the Study Abroad option is a fantastic opportunity for ROTC scholarship cadets and midshipmen to experience another culture with their college classmates. They must make sure that any study aboard program aligns with their college academic program and is approved by their ROTC commanding officer. Once those hurdles are cleared, it’s time to book the plane ticket!

We at ROTC Scholarship Consulting wish you the best as you look to serve your country as an officer in the U.S. military.

Want to maximize your potential of earning an ROTC Scholarship?

Take Our Course