Establishing International Agreements & Exchanges

The establishment of relationships with international institutions is an important part of campus internationalization and meeting the goals of Vision 2020.  However, it is important to be strategic in establishing these relationships, especially when reciprocal student exchanges are planned.  It is important not to oversaturate a given discipline or location so as to maintain exchange sustainability.

The information below is intended to help guide faculty members interested in establishing international relationships.

Questions to Consider

  • What type of relationship is envisioned with the partner?
  • How does the proposed collaboration fit with the mission and goals of the academic unit and The University of Akron?
  • If intending to establish a reciprocal exchange, are there existing partnerships that would compete for students?
  • Is potentially competing partnerships exist, how/why is the proposed partner better suited to the needs of UA and/or more sustainable?
  • Is there sufficient student interest to make an exchange sustainable?
  • Is someone within the academic unit willing to take responsibility for the relationship?

Role of the Academic Unit

The academic unit at UA has a significant role in the establishment and maintenance of international agreements and exchanges.  A representative will collaborate with the Office of International Programs to draft and conclude the agreement and take responsibility for the established program itself once the agreement is concluded.

Those who initiate exchanges must consider carefully the following issues:

  • Reciprocity interests of students and faculty wanting to visit exchange site
  • Hosting visitors from the exchange institution (time/budget)
  • Overall objectives for this particular institution, clearly identified
  • Identifying and maintaining a good rapport with our counterparts
  • Course equivalencies for specific courses
  • Involved in assessing the appropriateness of specific student/faculty exchanges Know well the services provided by sister institution
  • Available to counsel students about particular institutions
  • Have adequate understanding, trust, and knowledge of the site to adequately advise students about their experience there.
  • Campus contact must be long-term or have someone else in mind to take responsibilities in the event they leave Univ. of Akron
  • Regular sight visits to assess student satisfaction, changes, and opportunities

Role of the Office of International Programs

The Office on International Programs will assist the academic unit’s representative in forming and concluding the agreement.  If an exchange is established, the Office of International Programs will be the primary contact for facilitating application and admission and will cooperate with the unit representative on promotion of the exchange, as well.

Expressing Interest or Intent

The first step in the process of concluding an agreement with an international institution is for both parties to agree that a relationship would be consistent with the mission and purpose of each institution and mutually beneficial for any or all of the following: students, faculty, research scholars and administrators.  Thereafter, either party should officially express interest in establishing such a relationship.

Meeting with the Office of International Programs

Once interest is officially established, the academic unit’s representative will meet with the Office of International Programs to clarify the type of agreement most appropriate and discuss issues such as:

  • Clearly defining reciprocity, obligations and institutional commitments
  • Establishing institutional contacts for both accredited institutions
  • Establishing focus of the agreement: faculty, students, internships, research, etc.

Draft Agreement

Following the initial meeting between OIP and the unit representative, a draft agreement will be produced and circulated to unit representative and other appropriate officials, such as department chairs, college Dean, Graduate School Dean (when graduate-level tuition and fee waivers are involved) and the Office of General Counsel, as well as the prospective partner institution, for review and comment.

If required, a translation of the agreement in the language of the prospective partner institution may be prepared as well.

If necessary or desired, a second meeting between OIP and the unit representative may be set at this point to discuss any suggested changes.


Once the language of the agreement is finalized, the Office of International Programs will circulate the agreement for signature by the necessary parties, including the Office of the General Counsel, the Provost and the partner institution.

Final Agreement

Once the final, fully executed agreement is received, the Office of International Programs will forward copies to the unit contact and the Office of the General Counsel.

Current Partner Institutions

Active Student Exchange

  • Henan University, China
  • SIAS International University, China
  • ESC Rennes International Business School, France
  • Euromed Management/Kedge Business School, France
  • SKEMA Business School, France
  • Université du Maine, France
  • EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht, Germany
  • Universität Göttingen, Germany
  • Universität Konstanz, Germany
  • Kansai Gaidai University, Japan
  • Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey - Campus Ciudad Mexico, Mexico
  • Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey - Campus Cuernavaca, Mexico
  • Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey - Campus Monterrey, Mexico
  • Hanzehogschool Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola, Peru
  • Busan University of Foreign Studies, South Korea
  • Kyung Hee University, South Korea
  • University of Ulsan, South Korea
  • Yonsei University (Main Campus), South Korea
  • Yonsei University-Wonju, South Korea
  • University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

Affiliation Agreements (Education Abroad)

  • Academic Programs International (API)
  • American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)
  • Athena Study Abroad
  • CAPA International Education
  • CISabroad
  • Colegio Menor San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador [College of Education]
  • Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA)
  • GlobaLinks Learning Abroad
  • IES Abroad
  • Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University (IFSA-Butler)
  • International Studies Abroad (ISA)
  • Intrax Global Internships
  • Knowledge Exchange Institute (KEI)
  • Ohio International Consortium (OIC)
  • PALAZZI Florence Association for International Education
  • ProWorld
  • University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC)

Affiliation Agreements (Other Programs)

  • Arts et Métiers ParisTech, France [College of Engineering]
  • Institut Supéieur des Matériaux du Mans, France (College of Engineering)
  • Hochschule Aalen, Germany
  • Department of Financial Studies, University of Delhi-South Campus, India [College of Business Administration]
  • Zachodniopomorski Uniwersytet Technologiczny w Szczecinie, Poland [College of Engineering]
  • Universidad Valladolid, Spain [Department of Modern Languages]
  • Hitit Üniversitesi, Turkey [Department of Mechanical Engineering]