Your scholarship does apply to programs where you will be paying NDSU tuition and fees such as NDSU exchange, ISEP exchange and faculty-led programs.
The cultural sharing scholarship only applies to students paying non-resident international student tuition. Keep in mind that some faculty-led programs are through NDSU's Distance and Continuing Education (DCE) which charge North Dakota tuition rates instead.
Study abroad counts as cultural sharing hours, so you may submit 10 hours before you leave the semester that you will be abroad or while you are abroad. Be sure you complete the form stating that your study abroad fulfills the cultural sharing requirement.
As long as you are not physically out of the U.S. for more than 5 months, your visa will still be valid. However, if you are physically absent from the U.S. for more than 5 months, you will need to apply for a new U.S. visa before re-entering the United States after you complete your study abroad experience. If you plan to be out of the country more than 5 months, please make an appointment with your international student advisor.
You will need to obtain a new visa before returning to the U.S. or you will be denied entry.
Yes, you will be registered as a student here at NDSU and your I-20 will still be valid. However, before re-entering the United States again after studying abroad, make sure you have a valid signature on page 3 of your I-20. Signatures are valid for 1 year. Have your I-20 signed for your re-entry before you leave for studying abroad (or mail it to the OIP for a recent signature while abroad).