Grand Valley State University – Allendale, Michigan

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is a public liberal arts university in Allendale, Michigan which has a diverse student population of 24,000 representing over 70 different countries. It offers 94 undergraduate degree programmes over eight different colleges which are: Business, Community and Public Services, Education, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Computing, Health Professions, Nursing and Interdisciplinary Studies. 

Sustainability is a key principle for GVSU, and it has been ranked as 16th in the world for environment-friendly university management by GreenMetric World University Ranking.

Programmes of study

Grand Valley State University offers a wide range of programmes of study that include Business, Management and Marketing, Communication Studies, Journalism, Computer Science and Information Studies, Social studies and lots more. Full details of the majors on offer can be found on the GVSU website.

Exchange students will be required to follow a full programme of study for the academic year based at Grand Valley State University.

DMU student stories

Sophie’s exchange year in Michigan, USA

Sophie Bartrop is a final year student on the Design Crafts course and specialises in metalsmithing. She went to Grand Valley State University in Michigan and describes it as being one of the best years of her life. Why did you decide to study on exchange? I was desperate to discover and experience new things…

Travel & accommodation

  • Travel – GVSU suggest that students fly to the Gerald R. Ford Grand Rapids International Airport (GRR) where pick-up is organised by the university on designated arrival dates. It is strongly suggested that you do not attempt to take a train or bus from the Chicago or Detroit airports.
  • Accommodation – you will need to apply to live in the Carleton University student halls of residence. For more information check out  the  GVSU Housing webpage. Although GVSU has various housing types available, on-campus apartments are what the university recommends for exchange students. Specifically, Laker Village is recommended as most international students live in this community and it is home to the International House. Meal plans are also available, more information regarding this can be found here.

Visas & insurance

  • Visas – To take part in this exchange you are responsible for ensuring that meet US immigration requirements.
  • Insurance – DMU insurance is not sufficient for studying on exchange in the US, and students are required to purchase health insurance  while attending Grand Valley State University.


Living costs in the US tend to be higher than those in the UK. We recommend that you do further independent research to gain a better understanding of the cost of your year abroad. To help you, we have a created a simple cost comparison between the UK and USA: