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General program standards and policies

All study abroad programs must go through a program approval process and follow the guidelines established by MU. The director of the International Center is responsible for reviewing all proposed study abroad programs involving MU students.

Program standards

All MU study abroad programs should follow basic guidelines to ensure that responsible standards are employed in the development and implementation of the programs.

To be effective, study abroad programs should:

  • Have clear learning objectives.
  • Offer courses that meet MU standards in regard to academic rigor.
  • Offer a logical connection between the curriculum and travel sites.
  • Seek to maximize students’ exposure to and understanding of the host culture.
  • Begin with an appropriate orientation process and use appropriate assessment tools that will allow students and the program director to measure progress and evaluate the course.
  • Follow MU and national health, safety and security standards.
  • End with a post-program debriefing that offers a natural conclusion to the program.

At the end of the program, students should feel that they have been fully engaged in an academic process. This should imply an academic rigor similar to what they would expect had they been enrolled for a similar number of credit hours on campus. However, students abroad are, in many cases, involved in the learning process throughout the day. It is recognized that the academic rigor and objectives of a study abroad program are measured by much more than class hours and assigned readings. An appropriate balance of academics and hands-on experiences defines a well-organized and effective study abroad program.

National standards

MU policies

The following policies apply to all study abroad programs at MU.