Indiana University allows its students to select from a wide variety of programs abroad, available through a range of institutions and organizations. Given the range of choices student have, IU has developed policies to ensure transparency with regard to program access and IU's relationships to various institutions and organizations that provide program opportunities.
- Program Access
IU encourages students to select programs abroad from a wide range of available options. These include programs that grant direct IU credit such as 1) programs administered by IU, either through the Office of Overseas Study or autonomously through another IU division or campus and 2) programs co-sponsored by IU through a provider or institution. Students also have the option of participating in external programs for which they can earn transfer credit as long as the program or institution provides a transcript from an accredited institution. Institutional, federal and some state financial aid can be used across this broad range of programs, depending on academic rationale, student eligibility and parameters set by various grantors.
- Program Approvals
The president of Indiana University, through the Vice President for International Affairs, appoints a faculty council (Overseas Study Advisory Council—OSAC) charged with evaluating and approving all administered, autonomous or co-sponsored programs through a highly structured proposal process. The Council’s approval procedures provide consistency to the process of granting credit and ensure that overseas activities adhere to IU’s high academic standards. They also help safeguard the health and safety of all IU participants. OSAC meets as a group on a consistent basis and has a number of active subcommittees.
When OSAC considers proposals that incorporate a formalized relationship with a provider or institution, deciding factors include a set of criteria: the reputation of the organizing agency or institution, the perceived quality of the program and its high academic standards which must be in consonance with IU’s other administered and co-sponsored programs and the perceived demand for the program which should satisfy an important niche in the IU portfolio (i.e., a certain program model, a curricular design, a geographic priority, etc.).
- Financial Arrangements for Students
Providers often recognize that students from state institutions may not be able to meet the high price of programs so they provide discounted fees and/or scholarships or grants to IU students. In all cases, IU passes these financial advantages directly to students and reference is made to these financial arrangements on the program flyer and/or on their bursar bill. Often such provider scholarships or discounts are used to encourage students to consider locations that are underutilized or are awarded on the basis of financial need and merit. IU does not retain any of these discounts.
- Program Familiarization and Evaluation Trips
IU staff and faculty visit programs abroad in order to achieve a greater understanding of programs by meeting the program administration on site, speaking to faculty, visiting classes, going to see host families, etc., in order to assess program quality, including questions related to student safety and security. Some visits are facilitated as part of familiarization trips sponsored by agencies or institutions or are formal evaluations conducted by a review team. IU does not promote in a special way such programs based on these visits which always involve cost sharing between IU and the organizations. IU requires written reports from all individuals who participate in familiarization and evaluation trips.
- Governance Activities
IU staff and faculty are often invited to share their expertise with a range of providers and organizations through advisory, academic or fiduciary boards related to international education. In all cases, the position is considered one of professional service to the field. Sometimes the agency or organization covers travel, meal and lodging costs related to meetings or required conference attendance but no other remuneration is involved. Since OSAC is responsible for program approvals, such activities do not influence the selection of programs. By this type of involvement in governance activities, IU is able to shape best practices of the field as well as contribute to the development of new programs as well as oversee the evaluation of ongoing ones. IU staff and faculty strictly adhere to IU Conflict of Interest policies while participating in such governance activities.
- Recruiting Policies and Procedures
The Office of Overseas Study welcomes representatives of organizations and institutions, which provide programs abroad of potential interest to Indiana University students, to visit Indiana University Bloomington. Inquiries should be made NO LESS THAN three weeks in advance of the proposed visit.
Overseas Study is the central advising body for ALL overseas study opportunities. All Indiana University-Bloomington students MUST work through this office to receive authorization for enrollment in programs.
What Overseas Study Can Do
Overseas Study can authorize a reservation for a table space in the Commons area of the Indiana University Memorial Union (student union building). Table space is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a flat fee of $125. Space is subject to availability. There is also an institutional requirement for an IU student to be present at all times. Please note that payment and confirmation of which IU student is scheduled to be present must be completed a minimum of two weeks prior to the visit, or reservations will be cancelled.
How to Announce Your Campus Visit
- Representatives can place an advertisement in the daily student newspaper. See the Web site of the Indiana Daily Student for details and rate information.
Representatives will be asked to meet with a member of the staff of Overseas Study prior to interaction with Indiana University students on campus. At this time we will review relevant institutional procedures and policies (credit transfer, portability of financial aid, etc.) that are important to understand. Returning representatives should meet briefly with a member of the staff so that any updates can be exchanged.
Please note: Indiana University programs, schools and departments ask that representatives NOT contact them directly to try to arrange appointments with faculty members, advisors or administrators. Representatives must contact our office directly.
The Office of Overseas Study is not able to make transportation or housing arrangements. General advice can be found on the IU Visitor Information Center Web site. Notice: The staff of the Office of Overseas Study regrets that it may not be able to accommodate all requests for table reservations or meetings.
Ongoing Representation on Campus
It is important that organizations that employ student returnees to promote programs on campus have students identify themselves to Overseas Study as soon as they return to Bloomington. Overseas Study will guide the students to refer interested students to Office of Overseas Study so they can process the appropriate paperwork for their program of interest as well as learn about alternative program options. Overseas Study cannot facilitate reserving a space at the IMU Commons Information table for student representatives outside of program provider visits.