University Of California, Irvine: A model to formally develop international exchanges


It is imperative for institutions across the world to provide their students with the knowledge and experience they will need to engage our increasingly global world. One of the key initiatives to bring about this outcome is to foster international relationships between institutions and develop exchanges. This distinctive opportunity not only integrates education abroad into the academic careers of faculty and students participating on the exchange, but also incorporates an international perspective into the greater campus community through the exchange of ideas, innovative collaboration on teaching and research, and the receiving of participants from abroad.

At the University of California, Irvine (UCI), faculty and staff have recognized the value of these international relationships and exchanges and have begun to take steps to develop them. Unfortunately, bureaucracy, administrative barriers, and a lack of standards have inhibited their success. For the last ten months I have taken on this challenge and treated it as an opportunity to learn how to leap over administrative obstacles and find solutions to complex problems to allow these exchanges to reach their full potential. Using the UCI example as a model, other institutions around the world can develop their own exchanges or improve existing ones and build successful mutually beneficial international relationships with institutions abroad.


International and Comparative Education

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