Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, 6th Edition

6. Student Learning and Development

6.1. Before Program

Responsible parties shall prepare all students to be successful abroad throughout the program design, outreach, advising, application, and pre-departure processes.

6.1.1. Responsible parties shall keep specific learning outcomes and educational objectives central to program design.

6.1.2. Responsible parties shall communicate the value of education abroad for students’ personal, academic, and career goals.

6.1.3. Responsible parties shall endeavor to recruit and advise students from all segments of the student population, including those who are historically underserved by their organization‘s programs.

6.1.3.1. Responsible parties should develop strategies to increase participation by historically underserved groups.

6.1.4. Responsible parties shall communicate the importance of understanding the social, historical, political, economic, linguistic, cultural, and environmental context(s) for each program and location.

6.1.5. Responsible parties shall prepare students to participate in the curricular and co-curricular aspects of each program.

6.1.6. Responsible parties shall engage students in academic planning relevant to their studies and programs, including, but not limited to, consideration of:

    • course equivalencies
    • credit and credit articulation
    • academic differences
    • assessment and grading
    • relevant career plans

6.1.7. Responsible parties shall evaluate student competencies and place students in language and other courses at their level.

6.1.8. Responsible parties shall communicate expectations for conduct and consequences of behaviors to participants.

6.1.9. Responsible parties shall prepare participants to navigate the cultural transition and to engage in culturally-relevant, ethical, and reciprocally-beneficial activities in relation to the local context.

6.1.9.1. Responsible parties should encourage students to consider the social, cultural, economic, and environmental impact of each program and to mitigate negative or harmful impacts.

6.1.9.2. Responsible parties shall communicate to participants the significance of identities including, but not limited to, racial, ethnic, sexual, gender, religious, ability, citizenship or nationality, and socioeconomic status in relation to the program context.

6.1.10. Responsible parties shall provide students with information related to accessing physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being services.

6.1.11. Responsible parties shall prepare students to manage their safety by providing resources related to concerns including, but not limited to:

    • physical risks
    • behavior
    • property crime
    • liability and legal issues
    • sexual misconduct
    • identity-based discrimination
    • country-specific recommendations

6.1.12. Recognizing that not all countries have in place the same support and infrastructure as the home institution, responsible parties shall:

    • clearly convey to students the importance of disclosing mental and physical disability status, accommodation, and other specific needs;
    • work with other responsible parties and students to determine how their needs may be met on the program;
    • and advise students on other program options if their needs cannot be met.

6.1.13. Responsible parties shall publish and provide full program cost estimates to students in writing prior to acceptance.

6.1.13.1. Responsible parties should provide information on financial topics, including, but not limited to:

      • all costs of participation
      • financing options
      • financial aid
      • scholarships
      • loans
      • budgeting
      • currency conversion and exchange rates

6.1.13.2. Responsible parties should support students in identifying and accessing sources of funding, including competitive scholarships and grants.

6.1.14. Responsible parties shall prepare students to manage program logistics including travel, housing, and group dynamics.

6.1.15. Responsible parties shall communicate the need to obtain passports or alternative travel documents for students of all citizenship statuses.

6.1.15.1. Responsible parties can support passport and travel document procurement processes.

6.1.16. Responsible parties shall communicate the need to comply with host country immigration and/or visa processes for students of all citizenship statuses.

6.1.16.1. Responsible parties should support the immigration and/or visa processes with information and required documentation.


Shall = minimum requirement | Should = recommendation | Can = possibility


Prompts for Self Assessment
  1. How do you prepare all students to be successful?
  2. How do you communicate the value of education abroad for students’ personal, academic, and career goals?
  3. How do you recruit and advise students from all segments of the student population, including those that are historically underserved?
  4. How do you communicate the importance of understanding the social, historical, political, economic, linguistic, cultural and environmental context they will be entering?
  5. How do you prepare the students for both the curricular and co-curricular programming at each site?
  6. How do you support applicants/participants to identify their goals for participation in education abroad?
  7. In what ways do you engage the students in academic planning relevant to their studies?
  8. How do you confirm that students have sufficient academic preparation and/or competencies before enrolling in a particular course or program?
  9. How do you inform students about your behavioral guidelines before departure?
  10. How do you ensure that students understand the potential sanctions they face for disciplinary infractions and the process to appeal?
  11. How do you prepare students for transitions necessary due to the social, linguistic, cultural, economic, historical,and environmental context they will be entering?
  12. How do responsible parties communicate to participants the significance of identities including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, ability, and socioeconomic status?
  13. How do you help students prepare for personal, health, and safety issues that might arise and how to manage them or seek assistance when needed?
  14. What are the pre-departure discussions and activities (as part of orientations) that prepare students to recognize and explore the learning opportunities of a broadly diverse cohort?
  15. How do you prepare participants in managing program logistics including travel, housing and group dynamics?
  16. How do you communicate governmental compliance issues (passports, visas, etc.) to participants of all citizenship statuses?
  17. How do your pre-departure trainings and orientations equip students to achieve academic success and broader program goals?
  18. How do you support participants on matters of credit articulation and/or course equivalency procedures?
  19. How do you prepare students to engage in culturally relevant, ethical and reciprocally beneficial activities in the local context?

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