About International Education
The mission of International Education is to strengthen the global dimensions of teaching, learning, research, and service throughout the University System of Georgia. The primary goal is to ensure that all USG students attain an appropriate level of international knowledge and understanding that enables them to participate fully and successfully in a global society.
The vast majority of international education activities are initiated at the campus level. USG institutions direct literally hundreds of international projects and programs in teaching, research, and service. The University System Office supports and monitors these important activities as part of its continuing pursuit of educational excellence. Whenever possible and beneficial, the University System Office seeks to facilitate collaboration and communication among related institutional programs.
System International Initiatives
- Strategic Planning: The System is pursuing strategies that align USG international programs and assets with the Board of Regents Strategic Plan and with the state of Georgia’s international goals and needs.
- Benchmarking: The System collects and monitors a variety of data about USG study abroad participation, international student matriculation, foreign language enrollments, and other key aspects of international education. It publishes an annual USG International Briefing Book that compiles this information into one convenient resource.
- Financial Aid for Study Abroad: The System supported five direct-aid programs for USG students on study abroad, exchange, and international internship programs. STudents Abroad with Regents’ Support (STARS) funds pre-study employment, program assistantships, and travel grants. USG institutions are required to provide at least equal matching dollars. Other stipends are available for selected study abroad experiences.
- Study Abroad Learning Outcomes Assessment: The USG is conducting a major longitudinal research study (GLOSSARI - Global Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative) to document the effects of study abroad on student learning outcomes, including academic performance measures such as retention and graduation rates.
- Cooperative Study Abroad and Student Exchange Programs: USG institutions have developed collaborative System summer programs for students to study in Great Britain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, Russia, Italy, India, Greece, Argentina and China. A systemwide membership in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) permits USG students to enroll in more than 100 universities in over 30 countries at essentially the same cost as study in Georgia.
- Foreign Languages and Technology Initiative: This multifaceted effort is designed to improve and strengthen foreign language instruction, both in major and less commonly taught languages through technology applications. A six-year federal grant from the National Security Education Program (NSEP) has supported on-line course development in Japanese, Chinese, and Russian.
- European Union Center of Excellence: One of ten centers established in 1998 with major funding from the European Commission, the USG center located at Georgia Tech unites System faculty and program resources to focus on policy analysis, research, and instruction related to the EU. A unique transatlantic certificate program taught via the internet involves students and faculty from both Georgia and Europe.
- International Curriculum Development: The System has increased course offerings in international fields, including several recent new degree programs and collaborative certificates in European Union, Latin American, Canadian, and African studies.
- Conferences and Special Events: The System hosts periodic conferences, workshops, and other special events, often cosponsored with other organizations, that focus on key international issues.
- Best Practices: The System promotes best practices through two annual competitions recognizing the USG’s Most Internationalized Academic Unit and Degree Programs with Integrated Study Abroad.
Coordination/Communication/Governance for USG International Policies and Procedures
- System Council on International Education: Composed of representatives appointed by the presidents of each of the 31 USG universities and colleges, the Council is the primary forum for all international issues and policies.
- Communication: The System maintains websites, listservs, and other mechanisms to facilitate communications and coordination of activities.
- World Regional Councils: Five World Regional Councils (Africa, the Americas, Asia, , Europe, and the Middle East) coordinate a variety of system-wide student and faculty programs. Each Council receives System support to pursue activities suited to its particular mission.
System International Services
- International Students and Scholars: The System supports advising, training, and referral services on immigration and other issues related to the nearly 20,000 students and scholars from other countries who are in residence at USG institutions.
- Study Abroad: In support of the Board’s goal to increase study abroad participation to 25% of undergraduate degrees awarded, the System publishes an on-line edition of a catalog that contains 359 USG study abroad programs. It supports study abroad fairs and workshops to assist nearly 5,000 USG students each year in selecting overseas programs that best meet their specific needs and ambitions. In 2004-2005, more than 19% of students earning undergraduate degrees studied abroad.
- Exchange Visitor Program: The System holds authority to invite foreign individuals and delegations to Georgia for teaching, research, study, and other educational exchange activities under the U.S. Department of State’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.
USG International Relations
- International Visitors: The University System Office hosts international guests and foreign delegations who visit Georgia to pursue educational exchange goals.
- Government Relations: The University System Office serves as the System’s primary liaison with foreign governments, their embassies and consulates. It also intersects with federal, state, and municipal agencies with international responsibilities.
- Corporate Relations: The University System Office provides a principal System point of contact with international businesses and corporations.
- Community Relations: The University System Office is the primary liaison with the international communities of Georgia and metropolitan Atlanta.