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Partnership and Exchange Programs

Establishing Partnerships with International Institutions or Partner Organizations

Arizona State University (ASU) encourages colleges, schools, departments, and faculty to initiate new international programs to foster ASU’s international mission to "engage globally."  In order to assure that new programs meet appropriate academic standards, avoid duplication, and support the university’s strategic global engagement goals, all new program proposals must be reviewed and approved by the Chair of the Department/Section and the Dean of the college proposing the program, as well as the Director of the Study Abroad Office. This review process is facilitated by the ASU Study Abroad Office (SAO).

For more information, please click on the links below. For additional guidance, or to request a new program application packet, contact Shira Burns, Assistant Director, ASU Study Abroad Office.

Getting Started

To begin the Program Proposal process, the faculty/staff member proposing the new program should contact Shira Burns, Assistant Director of Study Abroad, to discuss program ideas. It is also recommended you consult the SAO website for additional details on proposing new programs and a list of current exchange programs.

While most international exchange programs flourish, many others wither due to lack of intentional planning, departmental commitment, curricular fit, or student interest. Be sure to consider the following (the SAO can help collect data on any of these topics):

  •  ASU student interest. Will ASU students be interested in the exchange? Are they interested in the location? It is essential to keep a balance between the numbers of students coming and going on an exchange. How many students that the proposer currently teaches participate on student exchange at ASU?
  • Curricular “fit.” Is there curricular support for the exchange? Are the potential host institution’s syllabi available? What are their grading policies, style of instruction? What is their academic reputation? Will ASU students be able to find courses that fit into their major and advance them toward their degree?
  • Faculty “buy-in.” Is there broad faculty/departmental interest in supporting the exchange? Students require faculty support to go abroad, and the SAO needs support from the entire academic unit to promote the opportunity and encourage students to participate.
  • Competitiveness/Redundancy. Are there already established exchanges (or other study abroad programs) in the same country or region? Are similar courses offered? There should be something unique for ASU students that does not already exist within other approved study abroad programs.
  • Depth of the institutional partnership. Are there already ties between ASU and the partner institution beyond undergraduate exchange? Or the potential for additional collaboration? Relationships with multiple levels of cooperation can help to support the relevance and success of the exchange in the long-run.
  • Student services/policies. What support services does the partner institution offer to visiting students? Do they provide orientation, academic advising, and medical/psychological services? Are the institution’s policies compatible with ASU’s policies? Do they provide or arrange housing for exchange students?
  • Emergency preparedness. What are the health and safety conditions in the host city/country? What mechanisms exist to assist students in a time of emergency, and for communicating with ASU?
  • Cost of living. How much will it cost for ASU students to live in the host city (i.e. housing, meals, transportation, etc.) What kind of housing is available to students?
  • Academic calendar. When does each term begin and end at the partner institution? Is their academic calendar compatible with ASU’s? Can students spend one semester there, or only a full year? Are summer courses available for ASU students to take as part of the exchange?
  • Language of instruction. What is the language of instruction? If not English, do enough ASU students have sufficient proficiency in the host language to make the exchange viable? Or, does the foreign instruction offer a sufficient array of courses instructed in English?
  • Exchange balance. Very often, there is greater interest among students at the partner institution to come study at ASU than there is interest from ASU students wanting to go to the partner institution. In order to make this a reciprocal relationship, how will your department promote the exchange? Can your department and/or the partner institution provide incentives like scholarships, subsidies or flexible course approvals?

Agreement Application Process

Any ASU faculty member who wishes to propose and develop a new Exchange or Partnership program should contact Study Abroad Office Assistant Director, Shira Burns, to request a New Program Application Packet. All new programs must be reviewed and approved by both the leadership of the initiator's academic unit and by SAO. Before proposing any new ASU Exchange or Partnership program, please review the list of ASU's current international partner institutions, courtesy of International Initiatives, Graduate Education (IIGE).

The Assistant Director of the Study Abroad Office will only approve new program proposals that are in the best interests for both ASU and the partner institution. Understand that submitting an application packet is not an automatic approval of a program.  The promotion, planning, and recruitment for a program cannot begin until the inter-institutional agreement is signed by both parties. 

The signed agreement must be finalized at least 2 months prior to the application deadline for the program before student mobility can take place.  If it is not, the start date of the program will be delayed until the agreement is finalized.  Incomplete New Program Application Packets will be rejected and sent back to the applicant. PLEASE NOTE: The application deadline for ASU students participating in fall, summer and academic year programs is March 1; the deadline for ASU students participating in spring and calendar year programs is September 25. 

If you pursue completing a New Program Application Packet, please carefully answer the application questions, keeping in mind that SAO will place very high importance on your ability to assure that this balance can be maintained.  Please understand that programs where student mobility is out of balance cannot be continued and will be terminated.

It is extremely important to ASU that SAO sponsor only exchanges programs that will be equally beneficial to ASU students in ways beyond what is already available to them through existing programs.  A common problem with exchange programs is that many students from one institution want to attend the other, while on the other side few students are attracted to the partner institution.  This creates an imbalance, and the partnership ends up benefiting primarily only one partner.

Program Proposal Checklist

After meeting with the Assistant Director of Study Abroad, and addressing the key considerations outlined above, the proposer should complete the following steps:

  • Obtain two (2) Program Proposal forms from the Assistant Director of Study Abroad.
  • Complete the proposal documents in consultation with the SAO.
    • Form #1 is to be completed by the ASU proposer
    • Form #2 is to be completed by the proposed partner institution and returned to the proposer
  • Seek approval of your college dean and school director. The SAO strongly recommends that you meet with the Assistant Director of Study Abroad before seeking approval from your dean and/or director.
  • Submit both Program Proposal forms to the Director of Study Abroad.

Program Approval Checklist

Once the Exchange Program Proposal forms have been submitted to the Assistant Director of Study Abroad, all proposals are reviewed by the Assistant Director of Study Abroad, the Associate Director of Student Safety and Engagement, and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Once both forms are received, the proposer can expect to hear back within 20-30 days.

  • Once the proposal forms have been approved and signed, the SAO will ask the partner institution for 10-15 syllabi to be sent through the ASU Transfer Credit Guide. The goal is to ensure a good curricular fit for these courses before approving the proposal. If the courses at the partner institution are not equivalent to courses that your students need to graduate, we will need to revisit the viability of the proposed program.
  • Respond with any requested clarification/updates.
  • If the proposal is accepted, the Assistant Director of Study Abroad will collaborate with the Office of General Counsel to write and develop the exchange agreement. The agreement will be signed by the Assistant Director of Study Abroad, your school director and if requested, the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. New exchange agreements are initially approved for a three-year term. If the program is successful in reaching its goals, the exchange agreement can be extended for subsequent five-year terms.
  • Assist the SAO International Coordinator assigned to support the exchange program with the creation of a web brochure page on the SAO website. Though the SAO International Coordinator will prepare the website, you will be asked to contribute content and to answer any clarifying questions.
  • After the exchange agreement is signed, be sure to schedule information sessions (or other outreach events) to promote the program to students within your college/school.

Initiating Department's Responsibility

The initiating department understands that they have a responsibility for the success of this program and will need to work closely with SAO to ensure its viability.  This may include the signing of an inter-departmental agreement between SAO and the initiating department outlining each party's responsibility.

Term of New Agreements

New agreements are initiated for a three year period, and can be renewed if the program is a success.

Renewal Agreements

During the third year of activity, the program will be reviewed by SAO. Program renewal or termination depends on the degree to which the program has met the goals outlined in this proposal, the level of support demonstrated by the initiating department, level of student interest and mobility, and the degree to which the program meets ASU international initiatives.

Renewal agreements are generally established for an additional five years.