International Education

O'Dowd Hall, Room 328
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2889

Office hours
Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

In-person and virtual advising hours
Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4 p.m.

Walk-in advising hours
Mon - Thurs: 1 - 3 p.m.

Alex Zimmerman, Director
(248) 370-2843

For Faculty and Advisers

Oakland University faculty may organize faculty-led international programs offered within their own departments or Schools, and the Office of International Education is eager to advise on the necessary planning, to assist on publicity and participant recruitment, and to facilitate the successful completion of these programs.
Faculty with ideas for establishing new faculty-led programs should make an appointment with International Education Director Alex Zimmerman, complete the Program Proposal Template and review the budget template and OU International Program Leader Training Module (available on request, along with examples of completed program proposals).
The most recently proposed revision of University Policy 1220 offers an overview of the required procedures involved in proposing and running international programs.

Setting Up OU Support

  • Have your participants create accounts and complete applications on the IE website. You can provide us with your custom application questions and forms. Applicants also are cleared by the Office of the Dean of Students. You will be able to review applications.
Note that students may apply for financial aid to support their participation in the program. Should a student be applying for assistance, please help them fill out the Financial Aid for Study Abroad, sign and date it, and give them a letter signifying their acceptance into the program. They will need both the signed form and the letter of acceptance in order to apply.
  • At least two months prior to departure, complete the OUPD Clery Act compliance online review pertaining to what your duties are as Campus Security Authorities while abroad.
  • Pre-trip information meeting and orientation: Hold a meeting at least once before departure at which you offer advice on packing; preparation for immersion in foreign culture; local laws and customs in the destination; practical matters like money handling, electrical outlets, and cell phones; and acting as good representatives of the United States and of Oakland University. If possible, give participants information about how family and friends can contact them in an emergency while they are abroad. Offer them guidelines about safe behavior at your destinations as well as reminders about safe behavior anywhere (E.g., "Don't get into cars alone with strangers.")
  • File your itinerary with contact information (cell phone number, addresses and phone numbers of offices and accommodations) and a roster of participants with copies of the information sheets (with emergency contacts and medical information) with the OIE, the OUPD, and the Office of Risk Management.
  • Remind participants to register individually with the Department of Risk Management's  International Travel site, after which they will enroll in the University's International Travel insurance Mercer Campus Travel Assistance Services. They will be prompted to do this while completing the pre-departure materials on the OIE website.
  • Review emergency procedures for faculty-led programs: View the Faculty-led Program Emergency Procedures and complete pre-departure emergency measures as described. Print, complete, and file the Emergency Contact Form for faculty directors with the OU Police Department. Contact OUPD at (248) 370-3331 to schedule a mandatory 10 minute Clery Act Training Program.

In Country
  • Appoint one participant as your back up and give them the phone numbers for your local organizers as well as for the OIE and the Office of Risk Management. This person's primary function is to step up should you become incapacitated, gather the group, and contact both local agencies and OU for assistance. See emergency procedures.
  • If you obtain a new cell phone number upon arrival, email it to the OIE and to the Office of Risk Management.
  • Offer an on-site orientation. Provide participants with phone numbers of and directions to emergency services. Identify a gathering spot in case of emergencies. Conduct a cell-phone drill to see how long it takes to account for all participants.
  • Should an issue arise with the conduct of a participant, consult the Student Conduct Guide for procedures. 
  • Should a local or regional event occur which might elicit concern from participants' families or friends, please facilitate all participants' immediate communication with family or friends, and please let the OIE know the status of the group.

Upon Return
  • Have students complete a program evaluation.
  • Pay remaining bills and submit receipts for reimbursement.
  • File a short trip report with our office. Your comments on vendors, partners, service providers, travel agents, as well as on OU processes, will be both appreciated and useful. 
  • Consider scheduling a de-briefing and reunion for participants within two weeks of return.

Payments and Accounting
Students Register
Students participating in study abroad programs must be enrolled at OU while they are away. This allows them to apply any merit scholarships that they may have towards the study abroad program, as well as to apply for financial aid for the program if they wish. Students with merit scholarships are also able to study abroad or away without discontinuing their enrollment at OU and thereby jeopardizing the renewal of their scholarships.

Everything works out best if students can be enrolled in a course which clearly matches what they will be studying abroad. This allows them to see in advance how the courses they take will apply towards their degree programs.

Students seeking assistance with course selection and registration should come to you with copies of the syllabi or of the course descriptions for the courses that they anticipate taking. They should also have a copy of the Study Abroad Course with their name, Griz ID (last four digits only), email address, and the program name and dates already filled in. (We hope and plan eventually to replace this with a routable fillable form.)

If the student is participating in a program which offers a small number of courses and repeats them annually, then our office usually has syllabi available. However, if the student will be directly enrolling at another university, we more frequently have only a course description from the catalogue. If the description is inadequate for purposes of your review and evaluation, please contact our office: we will create a holding section of Study Abroad 200 in which to enroll the student, who will then submit course materials to you upon his or her return for review, evaluation, and designation of the appropriate course.

Review Course Descriptions

Your major task, in working with the study abroad student, is to determine as closely as possible what OU course, if any, is equivalent to the course the student plans to take, and then, if successful, to create a special section of that course and to assist the student in enrolling in it. Determination of course equivalents, number of credits, and the level of the courses is both the responsibility and the prerogative of the academic department.

You may wish to be sensitive to students’ needs for general education credit in your area. Typically, the courses provide 45 contact hours, which makes them four credit courses by OU’s standards. In cases where the contact hours may fall short of departmental standards, we would ask you to consider that in many study abroad classes, the learning is continuous, 24/7.

In cases in which there is no clear and exact OU equivalent, most departments assign the rubric used for Special Topics courses. We ask only that you consider the students’ needs as seriously as you can without compromising departmental standards.

Create Section of Course

Once you have determined which OU course the student will be enrolled in, the department will need to create a special section of the course for the student. Departmental administrative assistants are generally conversant with this process. The first time any given course in a particular location is sponsored by your department, you will need to complete a Special Credit Offering form. (The SCO is available for downloading online.) On subsequent iterations of the course at the same site, you can simply notify Irene Fox in Undergraduate Education that a SCO form has already been filed. You may leave any requests for irrelevant or unobtainable information blank.

You should, however, include the exact beginning and end dates of the program (i.e., not necessarily the dates of the corresponding OU semester) as supplied by the student on the Study Abroad Course Worksheet, and the location of the class meetings should be identified as the program site.

Once the Special Credit Offering or the waiver of the SCO has cleared, please create the appropriate section of the course on BANNER to enroll the student(s) in. Most departments designate either the chief adviser or the department chair as the OU instructor of record: it is important that the instructor of record be available, maybe as late as the beginning of the semester following the conclusion of the course, to enter the grade(s) for the course. The section should be created as “By permission of instructor,” and an override for the specific student should be created.

Once the section has been created, please notify the student of the course number and CRN so that she or he can register on SAIL. The student you are advising should ask you to complete your line(s) of the Study Abroad Course worksheet, which will be returned to our office so that we know what the student has enrolled in and to whom to send the grades when they arrive. You may wish to make and keep a copy of the worksheet for your own records.

Submit Grades

As soon as our office has received grades for students enrolled in courses in your department, we will send the grades to the OU Instructor of Record, as indicated on the Study Abroad Course worksheet, for entry into BANNER. However, grades for study abroad students frequently do not arrive at OU until two to four weeks following the conclusion of the OU semester.

The Registrar’s Office understands that grades for study abroad courses will not be entered by the deadlines for normal OU semester courses. If you have questions or concerns about any of the above procedures, please call our office.

Our long term goals include both expanding the international program offerings available to students and streamlining the processes for their enrollment. We are always eager to hear suggestions about how either of these might be accomplished.
Overview and Resources
for Advisers
Through the OU Office of International Education, we have a variety of programs available for our students.
  • OU faculty-led short term summer program
  • GEO - Traditional study abroad programs with courses for American students on the local language and culture. Primarily in the humanities and social sciences.
  • CIEE - Innovative study abroad programs frequently combining traditional study abroad sites and courses with direct enrollment at local universities at which the language of instruction is English. A good choice for students in majors that are otherwise underserved by study abroad programs. Also programs with service learning components; internships; disciplinary foci on business, sustainability, health, international relations, and international development.
  • National Student Exchange (NSE) - Direct enrollment at almost 200 North American universities. May also facilitate study abroad while enrolled at host university in North America.
  • JCMU - Intensive Japanese language, with courses in culture. Summer internships available.
  • USACFrom business and STEM to health, journalism, language studies and more, USAC has  programs that will fit many academic goals.
Students who come to the IE office to consider studying abroad or studying away are immediately counseled to consult with their academic adviser in order to develop a two-, three-, or four-year plan incorporating a semester or summer of studying abroad or away.

Students also need guidance on which courses to take while abroad or away and how those courses will count toward their degree requirements. Students in consortium study abroad programs will need the appropriate departments or schools to approve equivalent courses on the International Course Equivalency worksheet.

Students in study abroad programs must be registered at OU while studying abroad.

The university has four scholarships dedicated to study abroad and administered through the International Education Office. Application deadlines are April 1 and and October 1. Scholarship applications are included in the online study abroad application.