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Global Exchange Programs

Bilateral, reciprocal student exchange programs

Global Exchange Programs are reciprocal, academic year exchange programs with key research and pedagogical peer institutions and programs around the world.

For details on the active Global Exchange Programs offered at UC San Diego, visit

UC San Diego faculty who are interested in establishing a Global Exchange Program will need to carefully read the guidelines below.

Responsibilities of the Faculty Member and Academic Department

 The following responsibilities will be discussed during an initial meeting with Global Initiatives staff. The initiating faculty member will complete this proposal form addressing the following:

  • Demonstrate the strategic priority of the exchange;
  • Provide evidence of student interest;
  • Review any existing exchanges for redundancy or overlap;
  • Map the curricular pathway for each targeted major so that student participation will count for their degrees (e.g. identify direct course equivalencies or courses that will be approved by the department to fulfill major or minor requirements);
  • Commit to recruiting and selecting outbound student participants;
  • Show evidence of ability to work with partner, both for student selection and to ensure reciprocal balance;
  • Designate faculty and staff who will be responsible for working with the Study Abroad office to ensure program success;
  • Participate in the promotion of the program and recruitment of outgoing students in addition to assigning academic advisers for incoming students; and
  • As available designate grant monies in the first two years of the exchange to help students defer expenses (e.g. airfare) and to assist with promotion of the exchange.

Responsibilities of Global Initiatives

Global Initiatives, Study Abroad, and ISEO staff will:

  • provide consultation to faculty to help determine what program model best meets the goals for the collaboration;
  • draft the student exchange agreement and serve as liaison with the partner institution to negotiate the terms of the agreement;
  • obtain necessary UC San Diego administrative approval for the agreement;
  • vet proposal exchange program with the appropriate Academic Senate committees;
  • route the agreement for approval and signature;
  • manage reciprocity over the duration of the agreement.
  • Once the program is established, Study Abroad and ISEO staff will:
    • advise students on the opportunity;
    • advertise the opportunity to departments across campus;
    • develop a student budget;
    • assist outbound students with enrollment and registration at host university;
    • advise outbound students about financial aid, health insurance, housing abroad, and visa regulations;
    • provide outbound students with a pre-departure cultural, health and safety orientation;
    • maintain contact with UC San Diego students while abroad to ensure wellbeing and to advise on transcript requests upon program completion;
    • assist inbound students with enrollment and registration at UC San Diego;
    • assist inbound students with housing in San Diego;
    • process visa documents for inbound students;
    • ensure inbound students complete application materials (e.g. TOEFL/IELTS, tuberculosis screening, immunization requirements, academic integrity tutorial, health insurance requirements);
    • provide orientation for inbound students upon arrival at UC San Diego.

Checklist for Faculty

  1. Submit proposal online
  2. Schedule initial consultation with Global Initiatives staff
  3. Work with partner institution to assess curriculum equivalency
  4. Inform Global Initiatives staff once curriculum equivalency is complete
  5. Confirm reciprocity capacity with Global Initiatives
  6. Begin marketing, outreach, and recruitment for program once agreement is signed
    1. Work with Study Abroad staff on joint outreach initiatives, events, and the design and production of marketing collateral
    2. Engage department colleagues to advertise the program to their students and in classes

Embedded Study Abroad Programs

Short-term, Faculty-led programs between terms

Global Initiatives and Study Abroad staff encourage faculty to add a global component to academic courses through the submission of proposals for an Embedded Study Abroad Program.

Embedded Study Abroad Programs are:

  • undergraduate or graduate courses taken at UC San Diego that include a credit-bearing, global field or travel component;
  • taught and led by UC San Diego ladder ranked faculty (or LSOE);
  • seven to ten day global experiences taught prior to the quarter when a course with complimentary content is taught;
  • an additional cost to the course, and require student enrollment in a specific section of the course;
  • not mandatory for all students enrolled in the course.

Embedded Study Abroad Programs are a useful vehicle to allow students to accrue credits towards a department’s Global Concentration.

Please see below for useful information on how to establish an Embedded Study Abroad Program.

Pre-Proposal Phase

Faculty interested in developing an Embedded Study Abroad Program will be required to submit an initial short interest form. This form will require faculty to provide basic information such as:

  • Course name, number and description
  • Proposed destination
  • Proposed on-site or university partner (if known)

All Embedded Study Abroad Programs must be coordinated through an approved Study Abroad program provider or university partner.

  • Marketing plan
  • Availability of grant funding for student scholarships

 Once the interest form has been submitted, Study Abroad staff will schedule a consultation to review the interest form and discuss the next steps.

Proposal Phase

Following review of the interest form and an initial consultation, faculty will be invited to begin the proposal phase. The proposal phase will require the following documents:

Faculty who have proposals that are accepted will receive a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and a calendar of responsibilities. The MOU must be signed and returned to Study Abroad within one week to confirm the commitment to teach the Embedded Study Abroad Program and to adhere to UC policies.

Program Development Phase

After faculty proposals have been selected, program development and student recruitment will occur. This process will include:

  • Submission of program proposal with detailed logistics (i.e. air travel, airport transfers, housing, meals, transportation, site visits and activities, and health, safety and wellness planning) to study abroad on-site providers or university partners in a competitive bidding process (to maximize quality services at affordable prices);
  • Negotiation of contract with selected on-site provider or university partner;
  • Finalization of the program itinerary by faculty instructor based on budgetary constraints;
  • Finalization of program details prior to fall quarter to allow ample time for recruitment;
  • Active recruitment of students by faculty instructors; and
  • Implementation of risk management plan, code of conduct (including, but not limited to UC policy on alcohol & drug use, and academic dishonesty).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider teaching an Embedded Study Abroad Program?

A short international field experience can bring course material to life in a global setting. For many students a short-term study abroad experience serves as a gateway program to future global experiences. 

What faculty compensation is associated with teaching an embedded study abroad program?

Faculty compensation is included in a nine-month teaching appointment; however, all faculty travel, room and board costs will be covered. 

Will I be allowed to bring a TA on this experience?

No, a TA is not allowed to participate in an Embedded Study Abroad Program.

Where can I teach an Embedded Study Abroad Program?

We encourage faculty to lead an Embedded Study Abroad Program in a country in which the department has a pre-existing partnership or contact that is relevant to the course. For faculty who do not have a contact in their desired country, Study Abroad Office can assist in potentially matching the department with a contact in one of our current partnerships.