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