Developing a New Study Abroad/Exchange Program

Developing a new exchange/study abroad program* requires considerable thought about the many aspects of administering a program. A significant amount of faculty and staff time is required to maintain a successful program, thus the college or department must ensure there is sufficient support from all levels for such a proposal. Below is a "viability test" for new program development. It provides a valuable starting point for faculty interested in developing a new study abroad/exchange program.

*An exchange program is a two-way program where OSU and another institution send and receive a pre-determined number of students (usually the same) in a given time period. A study abroad program is a one-way program where OSU students are either hosted by a foreign institution or led by an OSU faculty to visit various sites (e.g. study tour).

Viability Test (adapted from the University of Georgia)

The following questions will help you determine your program's viability. If you need assistance in answering the questions, contact OSU GO.

1. Is there demand for additional study abroad opportunities in this location?

This can be determined by the following: the existing programs in this location regularly fill to capacity; students often participate in non-OSU programs in this location; students frequently request to study in this location; or the polling of students in your unit shows a demand.

2. Is there demand for additional study abroad opportunities in this major?

This may be determined by the absence of programs in this major, by existing programs in the major that fill to capacity or by students in the major enrolling in non-OSU programs.

(If the answer to both of these questions is no, then the program may not be viable. if the answer to one is yes, continue to the next questions.)

3. Are there any conflicts of interest that might prevent this program from going forward?

Would this program directly compete with an existing program sponsored or co-sponsored by OSU? See OSU study abroad Web site for details on existing programs available to OSU students.

4. Is this program to a location for which there is a current State Department warning or which is considered unstable or unsafe?

This might be indicated through personal experience/knowledge of the location, current events, media portrayal and/or the State Department Consular Information Sheet.

5. Do you have broad-based support from your department, dean, etc to start this program? Is there sufficient administrative support for the program?

Advising interested students, processing paperwork and providing support to incoming and outgoing participants requires a significant commitment of staff time and resources. Be sure there is sufficient interest and support in your department to maintain the program into the future. Ensure that the infrastructure will allow the program to continue even if faculty or staff change. Be sure to inform the Chief International Officer of your College of your plans to create a new program.

Proposing a New Study Abroad Program

Proposals to create a new study abroad program are accepted throughout the year. Please Contact OSU GO for assistance in developing your proposal.  Complete proposals will be discussed by the Education Abroad Committee that meets on a need basis. Programs must be approved before you can publicize your program to students.

Timeline for developing a student exchange agreement/study abroad program

Generally speaking, the process can take 12-18 months.

Renewing an Existing Exchange Agreement

Renewals of existing Exchange Agreements must be be approved by OSU Procurement and Contract Services (PaCS) and the head of International Programs before being signed by the departments or the international institutions. Please contact OSU GO for more information.

OSU's International Partnership Agreements

For more information about OSU's International Partnership Agreements, including a search directory and instructions for developing various types of agreements, visit