Students study abroad atop the Alps in Austria.
Students on a study abroad program in Europe climbed The Alps during a visit to Innsbruck, Austria. Photo by Samntha Redfern

From: The Global Education Office

Virginia Tech students have opportunities for a study abroad experience on every continent of the world.

To ensure that those programs meet university standards and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) guidelines, Vice President for Outreach and International Affairs Guru Ghosh has established the new Global Education Approval Committee.

The committee is charged with approving, reviewing, and evaluating Virginia Tech’s study abroad programming. This further supports the requirements of University Global Travel Policy 1070 issued by President Timothy D. Sands in 2014.

“The fundamental goal of the committee is to assure that Virginia Tech provides its students with well administered and accessible international education opportunities that align with the university’s goal for VT-shaped experiences of the highest academic standards,” Ghosh said.

Serving on the committee are representatives from all academic colleges, the Global Education Office, the Controller’s Office, the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid, and the Bursar’s Office. Chairing the group is Director of Global Education Theresa Johansson.

“Our priority for the current academic year will be to establish consistent criteria and develop a university-wide approval process for Virginia Tech’s faculty-led programs. Moving forward, our scope will widen to also include bilateral exchange partnerships and third-party affiliations,” Johansson said.

The initial implementation of the approval process is planned for spring 2019 and will be applicable beginning with programs proposed for winter and spring 2020.

Apart from assessing whether a study abroad program offers broad accessibility to students and has relevance to the international location, several factors will be reviewed, including:

  • learning outcomes (disciplinary, linguistic, cultural knowledge, and intercultural skills development)
  • contribution of the program to the geographic and disciplinary spread of the university’s offerings abroad.
  • logistical and financial management.