Forms of Cooperation with Institutional Partners Abroad



Forms of Cooperation with Institutional Partners Abroad


Visiting Scholars:

The most common form of cooperation, UNI academic departments frequently host scholars from abroad. These scholars may be self-sponsored or sponsored in whole or in part by the host or home institution.  The institution sending the scholars does not have to have an agreement with UNI. Host departments are required to assign at least one person as host, to provide help and guidance for the visiting scholar while they are on campus. All international visitors must be entered in the UNI International Visitor Registry.  Please go to for details on the host process and visitor registry.


Student Exchanges:

A common form of cooperation is to have partner institutions send students to study at each other’s campuses.  This activity can be done as a one-for-one exchange, in which case students pay tuition to their home institution while paying for room and board at the host institution (usually for a year or less).  However, one-for-one exchanges require that parity in numbers be maintained and that students in each institution be prepared for and feel attracted to study at the partner institution so that parity can be maintained. Non-parity exchanges are another option, but these usually involve students paying full fees to the host institution or receiving scholarships. Finally, in all cases, academic departments must accept student coursework done at the partner’s institution in order for credit to be awarded.


Study Abroad courses:

Short term Study Abroad courses traditionally involve a UNI faculty member (course leader) accompanying and teaching a group of UNI students abroad for credit for a period of 2-6 weeks. Long term study abroad programs are a semester in length. The UNI Study Abroad Center (SAC) oversees the pre-departure and enrollment requirements for the students and course leader. Student fees support the salary of the course leader. Students usually purchase their own airfare.


Student/faculty/staff ambassadors:

This activity involves sending students, faculty, or staff to a partner institution for the purpose of cultural and academic exchange. These “ambassadors” can present topics, meet with peers, and tour local establishments or places of cultural significance. Often this involves spending time at the partner institution and meeting various parties.  Student “ambassadors” can be accompanied by staff or faculty, but the purpose of travel is not to earn course credit but to interact in a meaningful way with the members of the partner institution.  Examples of meaningful activities include students making presentations, teaching sample English language lessons to children at the partner’s laboratory school or camp, faculty members discussing their research, and staff members meeting colleagues to learn about the host school.  In all cases, the hosting partner organizes the itinerary for the short visit (usually a week or less). Back at the home institution, student “ambassadors” can help host student “ambassadors” visiting from the partner institution and reciprocate for the efforts made by the partner institution who hosted earlier. Departments or colleges at the home institution often sponsor these activities for their students, faculty or staff.


Event centered experiences:

These are instances when students travel abroad to participate in an activity organized by a department, school, college, city, company, professional organization or other entity in order to showcase the students’ talents or allow them to gain practical knowledge. Examples of these types of activities include the UNI School of Music sending a group to perform at an event abroad or UNI students enrolled in Textiles and Apparel showcasing their creations in a fashion show abroad. Normally this type of activity would not involve a partner institution unless the event is hosted by them.  The UNI department, school, or college would work with the Study Abroad Center and ISSO to secure visas and travel insurance, but the majority of the effort would likely be done by UNI faculty and staff in the department, who may be accompanying the students.


Faculty Exchanges:

Faculty members can travel to each other’s campuses for research, teaching, workshop presentations, etc.  These can be one-for-one exchanges that offer support to faculty (i.e. salary, housing, etc.) and require parity in numbers, or these can be less formal exchanges. Usually these types of exchanges are done for a semester or less and require special visas. However, some faculty exchanges can occur over the course of a year.  All student and faculty exchanges require legal agreements co-signed by the partners so as to establish the responsibilities of the host and home institutions and protect the safety and well-being of participants. In addition, if a visiting scholar is teaching credit-bearing courses, the host institution must accept and approve his or her credentials.


Dual Degree Programs:

Not to be confused with joint degree programs, these academic plans involve both partners awarding separate degrees to a student who has started studies at their home institution and later finishes his or her degree requirements by enrolling at the partner institution abroad. In most instances, but not all, the student would spend equal amounts of time studying at both schools. However, due to the graduation requirements of either school, the student may spend more time studying at one institution than the other, or the total time spent studying for the dual degrees is longer than studying for a single degree at one school.  This is especially true when there is a difference in educational philosophies and approaches to education in the partner schools.  Liberal arts courses, for example, may not be offered or required by a partner institution which focuses on offering a curriculum comprised of courses directly related to the major discipline. In addition, dual degree programs require effort on both partners to analyze syllabuses, course descriptions, and other materials to determine the value and equivalency in credits for courses offered at one another’s institutions.  Unless special arrangements are made for support or parity, students usually support their studies. Dual degrees, however, can be very attractive to students who believe that study at the second institution will help them in the domestic or global job market.


Joint Degree Programs:

These programs are rare, but occasionally partners will organize a curriculum by which a single degree recognized by both institutions is awarded. This type of program requires a great degree of synchronization between the two schools. Usually there are legal and academic policies hampering the creation of these types of arrangements.


Camps/Short Term Programs:

This activity usually involves students coming to learn and study at the partner institution for a short period of time (i.e. 2-4 weeks) in a setting especially organized to host them and meet their educational needs. A language or music camp is an example this type of activity. The activity may or may not result in participants earning credits from their home institution.


Conferences/symposiums/workshops organized by partner schools:

Partner schools often organize events that attract local and regional participation but they desire participants from abroad as well. So long as language is not a barrier, attending a symposium, workshop or conference hosted by a partner institution is a good way to learn about the school and the research interest of its faculty.  In some instances, partner schools may purposely co-organize an event to be held for the benefit of the faculty members at both schools. The event can be repeated and hosted by one partner institution then the other at a later time.


Co-research for faculty/staff/students:

Faculty, staff or students from partner institutions can be engaged in research that requires communication and school visits by members of both institutions. Co-research can be done most anywhere in the world, but having results presented to faculty and students at each school is an important benefit. Co-presentations and co-publications are also a nice result of co-research, which broadens the expertise of both universities in a particular field.


UNI students seek admission to partner school outside of agreement:

Students can seek study abroad opportunities with a partner school outside of formal agreements between UNI and its partner.  The student undergoes the normal admission process to the partner school and is accepted on his or her own merits.  UNI Study Abroad should assist the student to be certain that course credits transfer and apply towards the student’s degree program.


                                                                                                                                                                PP-KCS 7/2017