Standards of Good Practice

The Forum is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the Standards Development Organization (SDO) for the field of education abroad. The Forum’s commitment to developing and promoting standards of good practice for the field of education abroad lies at the core of The Forum’s mission. The ultimate goal of the Standards is to improve practices in education abroad, so that our students’ international educational experiences are as rich and meaningful as possible.


Standards Toolbox


Form and Function: Working with the Standards of Good Practice

The Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad support the complex responsibilities inherent in offering education abroad opportunities to students. They act as a means to develop, manage, assess and improve education abroad programming. As a commonly-developed and accepted set of standards, they provide a framework for accountability.

Each Standard is structured by:

  • Statements: the broad principles of the Standard, detailed in bullet points. These define the baseline best practices that should be observed by any entity operating within the field of education abroad, according to their type of education abroad activity.
  • a set of Queries following the Statement: prompts for evaluation, designed to elicit a response that demonstrates how the Standard is being met and encourages discussion rather than a yes or no response.

Supporting each Standard are:

  • Fundamental elements: a dynamic feature defining essential expectations of implementing the Standards;
  • Member Resources: a resource featuring best practices, keyed to the Standards. These examples are vetted by The Forum’s Standards Committee, and are made available exclusively to Forum members,
  • Standards Guidelines: guidance that contextualizes various specific areas of education abroad practices, particularly where these practices may differ from the same practice in the home campus context.

Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, 5th ed. (2015)

Standard 1: Mission and Goals

Standard 2: Student Learning and Development

Standard 3: Academic Framework

Standard 4: Student Selection, Preparation, and Advising

Standard 5: Student Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Measures

Standard 6: Policies and Procedures

Standard 7: Organizational and Program Resources

Standard 8: Health, Safety, Security, and Risk Management

Standard 9: Ethics


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