Study Abroad Student Leadership Program

Leadership. Citizenship. Service. Support.

The Study Abroad Student Leadership Program prepares returned study abroad students to be active global citizens. The Study Abroad Student Leaders (SASL) serve as liaisons to the KU campus, support the outreach goals of the Office of Study Abroad, develop and implement projects that serve the needs of the community, and raise awareness of global issues. Made up of a group of carefully selected volunteers, the SASLs are advocates for study abroad, social and environmental justice, and cross-cultural understanding. The program has four objectives, which are outlined below:

Outreach & Recruitment: Increase study abroad participation by reaching out to diverse campus populations to encourage study abroad participation, promoting study abroad on campus, and recruiting students to study abroad through meaningful conversations. Develop events and other activities to promote study abroad. For example, SASLs help with the study abroad fair, tabling, and outreach to student organizations.

Student Support: Support students before, during, and after their study abroad experience. Assist current and prospective study abroad students by answering questions, offering advice, helping with complications, and keeping them connected to the OSA. The student leaders will serve on panels and serve as representatives for their study abroad program.

Global Responsibility: Contribute to the community through meaningful service projects that apply the knowledge students gained abroad to helping others and creating change in local communities. For example, the group will do work to support an environmental cause or assisting the homeless.

Global Citizenship: Promote active global citizenship. Educate the KU community about global issues. Inform KU study abroad participants about global issues and news so that they are aware of what is happening when they are abroad. Promote art, culture, and language at KU. This might include educating the KU campus about international immigration issues or learning more about the political issues in Kansas, the U.S., and abroad.

The Study Abroad Student Leadership Program consists of up to 20 returned study abroad student volunteers. The Office of Study Abroad, the Graduate Peer Advisor, and the Outreach Coordinator provide support for the program, but SASLs are expected to be leaders and active participants. All student leaders will work on every objective. Students are divided into teams that split the work, allowing each member of the program an opportunity to have a leadership role. For example, each team will plan and implement a service project, but they will coordinate the project so all members of the program are able to participate.

Student Abroad Student Leader Program Eligibility
SASLs must have studied abroad on an approved program through the KU Office of Study Abroad, maintain a 2.25 GPA, and be in good standing at the university.  All ambassadors are required to go through a formal training process. Training for the fall 2015 semester will be on Sunday, August 23. 

Students must commit to a minimum of 30 hours per semester to the program, which will include group activities, team meetings, service projects, outreach activities, and more.

This program aims to provide all students with an understanding of leadership, global citizenship, and project management. The program should enrich and further the knowledge and skills students gain while studying abroad. In addition, the Office of Study Abroad will recognize the ambassadors’ voluntary work and contributions through:

  • Letter of Recommendation from Outreach Coordinator written on LinkedIn  (if student meets expectations)
  • Career Development Workshop

For more information, please contact Melody Stratton at


Deadlines Extended for Summer, Fall and Academic Year Programs.

See list of programs below:

Study Abroad Financial Advising

The Office of Study Abroad has weekly 'You Can Afford to Study Abroad' Financial aid and Scholarship Info Sessions/Open Meetings on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-5:00 pm and Thursday afternoons from 12:30-1:30 pm in room 203 Lippincott Hall.  For those that can not attend the weekly Info Sessions, we also offer individualized study abroad financial planning as well as financial aid and scholarship advising for students.  Please visit 108 Lippincott Hall or call 785-864-3742 to set up an appointment.

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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
28.5% 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
The Office of Study Abroad 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.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times