This policy formalizes the procedures used by IUP personnel (IUP students, alumni, and all IUP employees, including recognized volunteers) when creating and/or participating in an official Education Abroad activity. This policy will allow IUP to govern and review its Education Abroad programs and practices to ensure their effectiveness and appropriateness.


This policy assists IUP personnel with the process of developing and proposing Education Abroad experiences and planning international educational activities. As with any travel, a degree of risk is inevitable. This policy will implement safeguards to further mitigate the risk for participants, the university, IUP personnel, and host programs.

The following do not fall under the scope of this policy:

  • IUP personnel traveling as part of an official IUP Education Abroad activity without students
  • IUP personnel traveling abroad for personal travel
  • IUP personnel traveling abroad for purposes of professional development
  • IUP international students doing an internship in their home country


Education Abroad is defined as any activity outside of the United States (noncredit or credit-bearing) undertaken by IUP personnel which contributes to the participants' academic development and, in most cases, counts toward an academic degree.

Current IUP Education Abroad Options


This is defined as an international program directed by an IUP faculty or staff member who leads students abroad. Typically, these are two to eight weeks in duration. May include many different types of programs, including, but not limited to, traditional semesters, travel seminars, and field studies.

Traditional Semester, Year-long, and Summer Programs

  • Crimson Exchanges: Bilateral exchanges with IUP international partners
  • Study at IUP-approved third-party providers
  • Independent Study Abroad (direct enrollment at an international university or via an alternative US institution or third-party provider)

Travel Seminar

A program in which students travel to many different cities/countries and receive instruction in each location, often regarding a unifying topic. Examples include shipboard education programs or European cultural studies tours.

Field Study

An education abroad experience whose pedagogy revolves around experiential study outside the classroom setting with varying duration. Examples include:


The pedagogical focus is placement in an activity that serves the needs of a community.

Internship Abroad (also, Externship, Practicum, Practical Training, Co-op)

A work abroad placement, usually including work with professionals, with a primary purpose which is educational. An internship program may be offered for the experience in its own right, or it may be combined with coursework and offered within the context of a study abroad program for academic credit.


A sub-type of field study program in which the main focus is research conducted by participating students which includes, but is not limited to, field schools, studios, competitions, and conference participation.


A noncredit placement allowing the participant to engage with the local community in a structured but unpaid capacity (some programs may provide a stipend). Although this term is often used interchangeably with service-learning, it differs in that academic credit is not awarded and there is typically less structured learning.


All Education Abroad undertaken by IUP personnel under the auspices of IUP, whether credit or non-credit-bearing, must be vetted and processed through the Office of International Education.

Roles and Responsibilities

IUP Students

All IUP students will contact the OIE to prepare for their international experiences optimally not less than the semester before departure. OIE staff will assist each student based upon time, location, duration, course of study, etc. Students will follow the requirements of the OIE application process and any other necessary documents associated with their applications to IUP education abroad as directed by the OIE, academic advisors, and other associated personnel.

Students will also be responsible, under the guidance of the OIE staff, to secure any required travel documents (passports, visas, residence permits, etc.). All non-IUP students will be responsible for the necessary paperwork associated with the "State System of Higher Education Visiting Student Status" application.

All students participating in any international program will be responsible for communication using their IUP email address. Transfer of credits will be handled by the OIE and the Office of Transfer Services. All students will be responsible for following program-specific code of conduct as related to student behavior. Violations of this code may result in referral to IUP's Office of Student Support and Community Standards.

All registration and financial issues will be handled by the appropriate IUP offices: OIE, Student Billing, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Financial Aid, Registrar, Office of Extended Studies, and Foundation for IUP, as applicable.

The OIE and the IUP Office of the Provost have final decision regarding application status and requirements.

For IUP students who violate the policy, the following may be withheld or adversely affected:

  • Transfer of credits
  • Award of financial aid
  • OIE fees associated with international travel retroactively added to account
  • Disciplinary and legal action may be taken, as appropriate

IUP Employees

IUP employees will contact the OIE to prepare international experiences falling under the auspices of IUP and involving IUP personnel. OIE staff will assist based upon the type of program being proposed. IUP employees leading a group abroad will be required to follow the OIE procedures. These requirements include but are not limited to:

  • Submit proposal for IUP Faculty-led Education Abroad
  • Once approved by chair, dean, OIE, and provost, design a web presence for program with OIE staff
  • Complete OIE paperwork:
    • Verify each student's completion of IUP Education Abroad Application
    • Provide detailed information concerning:
      • final travel itinerary
      • final list of student participants
      • contact phone number for every day abroad (understanding that hotels and
        locations may change frequently in some cases)
      • list of transportation companies and accommodations to be used (airlines,
      • buses, ferries, hotels, hostels, etc.)
      • list of host families and their contact information, if applicable
      • list of proposed emergency procedures
    • Maintain contact via IUP email and other agreed-upon means
    • Complete appropriate export paperwork
    • Complete fiscal procedures
    • Follow all IUP and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania policies and directions regarding fundraising

For IUP employees who violate the policy, the following may be withheld or adversely affected:

  • Travel reimbursement
  • Opportunity to lead future international programs
  • Management of designated account
  • IUP Travel Card privileges
  • Future IUP travel funds
  • Disciplinary and legal action may be taken, as appropriate

Office of International Education

The OIE will facilitate all Education Abroad opportunities for IUP personnel and provide guidance, support, and troubleshooting during all phases of such programs which include but are not limited to:

  • Development: Brainstorm program details (locale, duration, and courses), outreach to IUP partners and affiliates, develop a program fee and budget, establish deadlines, scholarship opportunities, etc.
  • Application Process: Develop a marketing plan and program details, customize electronic application, interview students, confirm completion of application and compliance with required documentation, registration, and billing, submit materials to IUP overseas partners and affiliates, etc.
  • Pre-Departure: Orientation program including preparation for overseas experience, academic expectations, safety, security, risk mitigation, visa applications, student conduct, etc.
  • In-Country: Point of contact for any emergencies (health, natural disasters, financial, student conduct, political turmoil, etc.)
  • Re-Entry: Point of contact for receipt of original transcripts, hold event for returned students, assist students with re-entry culture shock issues, resources for future/post-graduation Education Abroad opportunities, graduation cords and certificates, etc.


For more information about specific procedures, consult the OIE's web page.


Not applicable.

Publication and Distribution Statement

This policy will be distributed directly to IUP students and employees. It will also be posted on the Office of International Education's website and posted annually in IUP Now.

Notary Public Walk-In Hours For Education Abroad Materials

International Education Abroad Students Only

Please bring your government-issued photo ID (driver's license or passport).

Hours for this service at the Office of International Education are:

  • Tuesday 1:30–3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday 9:00–11:00 a.m.

Not sure what a notary is? No problem; chances are this is the first time you have had to have something notarized. The National Notary Association explains all about it.