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Program Development

Study Abroad & Global Engagement offers a broad range of reciprocal student exchange, direct enrollment, faculty-led, internship and research programs (pdf) for KU students.  These programs are derived from formal agreements with international and domestic partners, programmatic relationships, and faculty contacts (for research programs).

Some of the greatest advantages of KU-sponsored programs are quality assurance and being able to leverage institutional knowledge and relationships for the benefit of KU departments and students.  A diverse array of program types provides opportunities for the greatest number of KU students to have an experiential educational opportunity abroad.

Academic departments and individual faculty play a vital role in the development and success of KU-sponsored study abroad programs.   As all programs are academic in nature, new program development stems from an identified need, collaborative opportunity, or creative initiative brought forward by individual faculty or their academic units.

New program development is a highly collaborative effort between the faculty member, his/her academic department and Study Abroad & Global Engagement. Study Abroad & Global Engagement staff look forward to assisting faculty and academic departments in the development of international educational opportunities for their students.

Reciprocal Student Exchange

KU has formal student exchange agreements with more than 50 institutions worldwide. These programs allow KU students to enroll in regular university classes at the host institution for the semester or academic year. Participants on exchange pay tuition and associated fees to KU and then study at the partner school. Reciprocal student exchange programs can be the most economical option for KU students to study abroad for the semester or academic year.

Departments interested in the development of new reciprocal student exchange agreements should review the information provided in the New Reciprocal Student Exchange Agreement Initiation Request form (pdf) and schedule a meeting with the Director of Study Abroad to discuss program opportunities.

Faculty-Led Programs

Faculty-led study abroad programs enrich the curriculum, open new doors for students, and provide assurances to other faculty, to the administration, and to students and parents that the program will be of high quality.

For KU students there are many benefits to participation in a short-term, faculty-led study abroad program.  In addition to linguistic, cultural, and comparative learning, short-term programs can offer:

  • Accessibility for those students facing curricular, extra-curricular (Athletics, ROTC, etc.), financial or personal constraints (family obligations, etc.) to longer duration study abroad;
  • Structured and highly supported international study opportunities for those student who may not have significant travel experience;
  • Unique curricular opportunities to study courses/disciplines not regularly offered at KU;
  • Internship or field research experiences;
  • High-touch mentorship experiences with KU faculty and staff.

While highly valuable to students, the development and leadership of study abroad programs can also greatly benefit a KU faculty member.  Specifically, faculty may benefit from the following:

  • opportunities to highlight and share their international expertise with UG or Grad students;
  • opportunities to develop or strengthen collaborative arrangements with faculty or institutions abroad;
  • opportunities to pursue research interests abroad, or to explore new intellectual territory;
  • opportunities to teach new courses and to explore new teaching methodologies and practices;
  • opportunities to develop deep and rich relationships with KU students;
  • salary and/or travel compensation for program teaching and leadership.

Developing a new faculty-led study abroad program is a highly collaborative effort between the faculty director(s), his/her academic department and Study Abroad & Global Engagement.  A faculty member interested in new program development should review the resources below and then meet with the Director of Study Abroad & Global Engagement and the responsible Program Coordinator to discuss his/her ideas for a study abroad program.

Additional Resources for Faculty-Led Program Development:


Summer 2022 programs now accepting applications !

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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
Study Abroad & Global Engagement and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times