IU-Sponsored Student Travel Abroad: Update and Approval Process
September 13, 2021
Providing a rich array of opportunities for education abroad is one of the central pillars of our commitment to integrate international and intercultural perspectives into the IU curriculum. Last fall we were happy to see our efforts recognized by the 2020 Open Doors Report
. That report ranked IU Bloomington fifth among U.S. institutions for the number of domestic students studying abroad. In 2018-19, the latest school year for which data is available, 3,244 IU Bloomington students studied abroad. Of those, 1,329 students spent a semester abroad, ranking the campus third in the nation for mid-length study abroad programs. At IUPUI, 640 students traveled outside the United States as part of their academic programs. Many thanks to the faculty members and administrators who develop, promote, teach, and support these activities.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19-related health advisories, quarantines, and travel bans around the world, international mobility has decreased considerably. Nevertheless, Indiana University supported study abroad for undergraduates this summer and fall on a limited number of programs that implemented appropriate protocols to address the ongoing pandemic. Student interest in spring semester programs is robust, and IU officials hope to permit participation in programs with strong protocols in place.
This means that all Indiana University individuals involved with directly arranging activities that take place outside of the United States for IU graduate, undergraduate, or pre-college students must submit a proposal to the university-wide
Overseas Study Advisory Council (OSAC).
Anyone planning to take students abroad in 2022 on previously approved IU programs needs to have those plans reviewed by the Office of Overseas Study, whose staff, in consultation with IU’s Medical Response Team, will assess the program’s virus mitigation strategies
Individual travel by graduate students during 2021-22 is subject to case-by-case review by an OVPIA committee. It will be approved if the travel is essential to the traveler’s academic program and reasonable safety measures are fulfilled. Requests for approval should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for review and must be accompanied by a statement of approval from the relevant dean.
For anyone who is planning to engage IU students in new study or travel abroad activities in the future, I am setting out below important information regarding the approval process, which is designed to maintain the integrity of IU’s study abroad programs. The most important thing to bear in mind is that all activities involving IU students studying or traveling abroad with institutional assistance must be approved by the Office of Overseas Study.
Examples of such activities include:
Please note that there is an abbreviated proposal process for student activities involving conference attendance, field research, sports activities, or music performances organized or designed by IU faculty and staff.
Courses with an overseas component designed by an IU faculty member, school, or campus
Opportunities abroad for which IU directly facilitates local arrangements, including internships, research, conference attendance, and independent study
Non-credit-bearing activities abroad arranged by an IU office, department, or organization that involve clubs, choruses, or teams engaging in volunteer work, sports activities, music ensembles, theater outings, etc.
The Council’s approval procedure provides consistency in the process of granting credit (where relevant) and ensures that overseas activities adhere to IU’s high academic standards. It also helps to safeguard the health and safety of all IU participants. The process also serves to introduce best practices to all program organizers, including how to minimize risk.
The Overseas Study Advisory Council, chaired by the Associate Vice President for Overseas Study, Kathleen Sideli, must approve all proposals before any recruiting, advertising, or scheduling for the proposed program begins. Please refer to the Overseas Study web site to review the Guidelines.