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Study Abroad Program Policy

Policy Number: GE-2400-003

Policy Title:  Study Abroad Program Policy

Vice Chancellor/Associate Chancellor: Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Unit Responsible for Policy: Office of Global Engagement

Effective Date: July 1, 2020

Contacts: Vice Provost for Global Engagement

Policy Statement: All study abroad programs offered to University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) students by UIC faculty, staff, or units must be approved in advance by UIC.  All new study abroad program proposals will follow a uniform submission and review process to determine whether program will meet UIC standards for safety and security.  In addition, existing study abroad programs will be subject to periodic reviews.  Faculty, staff, or units seeking to develop a study abroad program must submit a proposal that has been approved by their unit and college (or equivalent) to the Office of Global Engagement.  The Office of Global Engagement will coordinate the review of new study abroad program proposals and the periodic review of existing programs.

Exclusions:  Although subject to the International Collaboration Policy and the UIC International Travel Safety Policy, international exchanges, most field and clinical placements, and direct-enrollment programs for students are excluded from the Study Abroad Policy.

Also excluded from this policy but subject to the UIC International Travel Safety Policy are international activities such as independent academic travel (e.g., presentations, individual travel for research), travel that falls under the purview of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (e.g., sponsored project activities, research grants and contracts), and Registered Student Organizations (RSO) travel.

Reason for Policy: UIC seeks to be an international leader in teaching, research, scholarship, and innovation to address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.  Increasing access to and participation in study abroad programs is essential for our globally engaged faculty, staff, and students.  This policy will increase UIC’s global engagement by expanding study abroad while continuing to promote the University’s safety and security standards and adhering to the best practices in study abroad as articulated by the Forum for Education Abroad and the University of Illinois System.

Minority Impact Statement:  The policy will not have a disproportionate or unique impact upon UIC’s minority students, staff or faculty.

Who Should Read the Policy:  All UIC faculty and staff members.


  • Study Abroad Program is any ongoing or sustained student program that includes travel outside the United States and its overseas territories and for which 1) academic credit is awarded or 2) the results of the international program will be used to meet University degree requirements.  This includes international programs regularly offered to individual students such as field placements, internships, research abroad, student exchanges, direct-enrollment programs or placements through partner universities or organizations.  However, some study abroad programs are subject to the International Collaboration Policy instead of the Study Abroad Policy when the program is conducted through a memorandum of agreement with a non-U.S. university or organization.  Study abroad programs do not include 1) non-credit and non-academic programs, 2) individual student travel for research or other academic purposes that is not ongoing in nature, 3) travel by Registered Student Organizations, or 4) personal non-University travel.
  • Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are student organizations that are formally registered by the University.  RSOs are formed by currently enrolled students who share a common goal or interest and have completed the necessary forms on time and agree to adhere to guidelines established by the University.  However, RSOs are not units or agents of the University and they should not represent themselves as such.  Events and activities conducted by RSOs are not considered University-sponsored under this policy.  RSOs will comply with all policies and procedures for RSOs, as identified within student-group and University policies.
  • Students are any undergraduate, graduate, or professional student enrolled in an academic degree or non-degree program at the University.  Anyone who is enrolled as a student in a study abroad program is considered a student with regard to this policy regardless of their UIC status at other times.

Procedures: The Office of Global Engagement will create and manage a process for Study Abroad Proposal submission and review at the campus level.

Forms: The Proposal Form will be made available through the Office of Global Engagement website.

Related Laws, Regulations, Statutes, and Policies:  

Document History: This is a new policy.  The UIC Internationalization and Global Engagement Task Force Report of June 29, 2018 recommended increasing student access to and participation in study abroad [Strategy II, Goal B, Items 1-5].  The International Advisory Council unanimously approved the Study Abroad Policy on February 13, 2020.