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individual who attends, provides, or teaches an education abroad program (3.40), including, but not limited to:

  • program leader
  • on-site administrator
  • student


party involved in the processes of sending students (3.45) abroad or receiving students abroad (when at least two parties are involved), including, but not limited to:

  • home institution
  • host institution
  • independent provider
  • consortium
  • travel or logistics provider
  • government agency
  • scholarship organization
Note 1 to entry: Education abroad is by its very nature collaborative. Partner relationships are not always formal partnerships but working relationships with entities that may include, but are not limited to, travel agents or local transportation providers.


a formal or informal agreement between two or more responsible organizations (3.42) to manage and operate education abroad (3.11) programs (3.40)

  • Note 1 to entry: Partnerships may also be formal or informal agreements with vendors for provision of goods or services involved in the management or logistics of education abroad (3.11) programs (3.40).

Peer Advisor

A paid or volunteer student, usually a recently returned education abroad alumna/us, who is trained to provide assistance to prospective students by answering questions about the education abroad application process, identifying programs that are appropriate to meet academic and personal needs, and finding resources and related information on studying abroad.

Peer Ambassador

A student, usually a recently returned education abroad alumna/us, who volunteers to represent the program she or he attended by responding to inquiries from potential participants. Although this interaction typically takes place through electronic communication, it may also involve some telephone and face-to-face meetings or visits to classes.


individual(s) with responsibility for any aspect of the portfolio (3.36) or program (3.40), including, but not limited to:

  • full-time and/or part-time faculty (3.16)
  • hourly employees
  • administrators
  • staff
  • paraprofessionals (e.g., student employees, interns, graduate assistants, and volunteers)

Point Person

Primary contact at an organization or institution who is responsible either for responding to communications from partners or identifying the appropriate contact and promptly forwarding the inquiry. 


plan to address anticipated conditions that guides and determines present and future decisions and acceptable procedures (3.38), including, but not limited to:

  • reimbursement for early withdrawal
  • student conduct
  • admissions

Portability of Aid

Ability to use financial aid awarded by one institution for an education abroad program sponsored by another institution. This is facilitated through a written agreement between the institutions.

Portfolio of Programs

set of experiences that include all specific programs (3.40) offered or approved by a responsible organization (3.42)


educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education, including, but not limited to, a high school, secondary school, university-preparatory school, gymnasium, home schooling at the secondary level, or General Education Development (GED)

  • Note 1 to entry: Also known as higher or tertiary education, postsecondary education is in the US taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education. Colleges, universities, institutes of technology, and polytechnics are the main institutions that provide postsecondary education.
  • Note 2 to entry: Adapted from USLegal. [8]

Pre-Departure Orientation

Programming intended to prepare students for a meaningful, successful, and educational experience abroad. Pre-departure orientation addresses everything from practical concerns with passports and student visas, health and safety, and academics to cultural adjustment, intercultural learning, and diversity awareness. Includes information on what to expect in the education abroad program, including such matters as housing, finances, transportation, and emergency contacts. Orientation may consist of written materials, in-person meetings, webinars, online training modules, e-mail correspondence, phone conversations, or (typically) some combination of these elements.


In-country programming offered in the weeks between the beginning of an education abroad experience and the beginning of regular classes. Typically, pre-sessions are used in university-based programs and are designed to provide intensive preparation for coursework in the host university system. This may involve intensive language or discipline-specific study. Successful completion may be a required provision for participation in the education abroad experience. Academic credit is usually awarded.


a set way of doing something driven by the completion of a task with a focus on satisfying the rules, for example, in the event of:

  • emergency evacuation
  • response to sexual misconduct
Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO Terms Definitions. [9]


a series of actions completed to achieve a desired outcome, including, but not limited to:

  • enrollment
  • withdrawal
Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO Terms Definitions. [9]


specific education abroad (3.11) experience, including, but not limited to:

  • regular offering of a faculty-led or instructor-led experience
  • ongoing direct exchange opportunity
  • regular offering of a host institution abroad
  • internship opportunity
  • service learning experience

Program Assistant

An individual who supports the various and diverse operations of the education abroad office. Responsibilities may include office reception and answering general inquiries, managing student appointments, programming, maintaining database records and student files, updating websites, tracking course approvals and student evaluations, maintaining the office email account and calendar, and supervising student workers in the office.

Program Design

The basic structure of an education abroad program. Combines such considerations as duration, scheduling, level, phases (for example, a one-week orientation followed by 10 weeks of classroom study and a four-week internship); and pedagogical model (for example, field study, integrated university courses).

Program Director

1) A Faculty Program Director or Resident Director. 2) In some education abroad offices, a Program Manager.

Program Manager

Staff member in an education abroad office who has lead responsibility for one or more programs within the portfolio offered by the institution or organization.

Program Model

A combination of characteristics that provide a shorthand description of an education abroad program. Examples: short-term, faculty-led travel seminar; summer intensive language program; geology field research program; integrated program in a Spanish-speaking university; student exchange program in business studies; work abroad program; internship program in environmental studies.

Program Provider

(or Independent Program Provider, or Third-Party Provider, or simply Provider) – An institution or organization that offers education abroad program services to students from a variety of institutions. A program provider may be a college or university, a nonprofit organization, a for-profit business, or a consortium.

Program Review

The comprehensive evaluation of a program based on a critical examination of its component parts. Evaluators may be from inside the organization (internal review) or from outside of the organization (external review). A review (with of without an on-site component) may be of an individual program or a set of programs offered by an institution or program provider organization, of an education abroad office (campus-based or organizationally-based) that offers the programs, or both.

Program Site

The geographical location at which an education abroad program takes place. Most commonly, a site is identified by the name of the host city or town, but it may sometimes be named for a different unit; for example, a region, a rural community, or an archaeological site.

Program Sponsor

An institution or organization that is the primary administrator and manager of an education abroad program.