Duke University : Global Education for Undergraduates

Statement of Ethical Practices

Duke University has long been a leader in offering quality study abroad programs, and supporting our students who choose to participate in quality study abroad programs. Nearly half of every Duke undergraduate class has a study abroad experience by the time they graduate. Duke places the academic, safety, and security interests of students as our priority and our policies and procedures reflect that commitment. The Duke University Global Education Office for Undergraduates (GEO-U) supports membership in NAFSA: Association of International Educators (NAFSA) and abides by the NAFSA Code of Ethics.

The Faculty Study Abroad Committee (FSAC), a standing committee of the Arts and Sciences Council that includes representation of the faculty, students and relevant administrators, "recommends new Duke-sponsored study abroad programs to the Dean of the Trinity College following a careful review of detailed proposals. It shall review periodically all Duke-sponsored and approved programs for study abroad in terms of changing educational and academic needs at Duke."1

External reviews of Duke administered programs ensure the quality of the academic and programmatic experience abroad. Teams of study abroad professionals and faculty from institutions other than Duke visit and evaluate these programs. Their reports are reviewed and acted upon by the FSAC and GEO-U.

Well defined procedures that focus on the academic quality of a program and how it complements the Duke student's academic experience govern the process by which approved programs are reviewed. These steps involve faculty throughout disciplines across campus periodically reviewing program specifics and determining their compatibility with the academic standards Duke maintains.

Petitions and program approvals are predominantly student initiated, though academic departments may also petition program approval. The petitioning and approval of new programs involves the FSAC as well as the Directors of Undergraduate Studies from the relevant departments who approve the courses students take for transfer credit. Multiple students in different semesters must participate in the same petitioned program. Upon their return, program materials (syllabi, exams, papers, etc.) must be evaluated as equivalent to the Duke academic experience before a program is approved for addition to the Duke Approved List. Approved programs not utilized by students for five years fall off the approved list.

Duke approved programs include various study abroad models, including direct enrollment opportunities at foreign universities, enrollment in foreign universities through program providers who offer additional services for participants, and programs offered by other accredited institutions. Students choose the programs they attend based on which program best meets their individual needs.

The GEO-U does not enter into exclusive agreements with any study abroad providers nor do we accept any financial benefit (e.g. travel, stipends, discounts, or cash bonuses) in exchange for arrangements with them. Site visits of foreign programs are an integral component of the study abroad profession because advisors must familiarize themselves with the various aspects of the programs their students attend.

As a recognized leader in the field of study abroad, Duke representatives are invited to serve on national advisory boards and professional organizations in unpaid capacities. It is Duke's policy that travel, hotel, and related expenses incurred by Duke administrators while serving in these capacities will be funded by the University.

1 - Arts and Sciences Council, Trinity College, Study Abroad Standing Committee Charge

    • Postcard from Abroad
    • Postcard from Abroad
    • Dear Global Education Office:

      The experience which defined my year studying abroad in Strasbourg, France, was not skiing in the French Alps or taking a moonlit stroll along the Champs-Elysees, but the sporting trips I took to Toulouse and Grenoble with the students from my university. As the only foreigner among 900 French students at this four-day competition in the French southwest, I played basketball, cheered my team along, and really got to know my teammates-- all while not speaking a word of English from start to finish! The more casual French attitude towards sports did not extend to the playing field, where my team screamed our heads off in a frenzy to rival the Cameron Crazies -- but it did allow me to start on the basketball team, where I played with a lack of talent which would NEVER have let me touch court in America.

      In twenty years, if I go back to France, I can still go skiing in the Alps or take a stroll under the Eiffel Tower. What I can't do, however, is paint my face blue and gold, join a hundred chanting French students around a dusty old soccer field, and scream ‘til I'm hoarse about Toulouse being "la LOSE". And I suppose that's my greatest piece of advice for students considering study abroad: More than buildings, monuments or picture-perfect views, it's the people you meet who will shape your time overseas. Take advantage of it-- you never know where they'll take you!

      – Kathryn Minshew

    • Postcard from Abroad
    • Postcard from Abroad
    • Dear Global Education Office:

      One of my favorite aspects of the Duke-in-Spain program was getting to see and learn about so much artwork from the Prado, Reina Sofia, and Museo Sorolla, in addition to making a trip to the Thyssen. I am fascinated by Art History, and actually being able to see masterpieces up close was amazing!

      Such an experience will be immensely helpful as I continue on my own Spanish art journey with a class related to the Nasher exhibit this fall. Definitely take advantage of the student rates at museums while abroad...it's well worth it!

      – Carlon Matthews

  • Principe Pio - Madrid, Spain