Standards for All: Why the Standards Aren’t Just Focused on Students from U.S. Universities

The Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad can be used as a tool by anyone sending students abroad to:

  • guide program development;
  • evaluate program quality;
  • advocate for resources and support;
  • train new professionals;
  • educate stakeholders such as parents, faculty, students, etc.; and
  • establish and maintain respectful, sustainable relationships between partners.

The Standards were developed by a diverse group of education abroad professionals who work at the postsecondary level in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Oceana, which means that other colleagues, institutions, and organizations from around the globe can use them to inform their practices!

Groups that may find the Standards helpful in their work include primary and secondary educators providing education abroad programs to their students, as well as institutions and organizations outside of the United States that engage in outbound mobility.

Read on for three areas in which the Standards can be helpful to anyone and everyone.

Education Abroad Vocabulary 101

An important component of the Standards is the Terms & Definitions section, which includes an exhaustive list of commonly used vocabulary to ensure a shared understanding of how these words are used within the context of the Standards and beyond. “When creating the 6th edition of the Standards, we wanted to make this document accessible to readers who may have learned English as a second or foreign language,” said Melissa Torres, President & CEO of The Forum on Education Abroad. “We also wanted to ensure that the practices and duty of care are applicable in a variety of cultural and socioeconomic contexts so that they are useful to our colleagues around the world for the betterment of students everywhere.”

Guiding Principles: A North Star for Any Provider Around the Globe

For education abroad organizations or institutions that are new to the field or interested in examining and/or improving their operations, the four Guiding Principles that underpin the Standards give them the tools to establish a solid foundation. Starting with the Mission and Goals and working through complex topics like Collaboration and Transparency; Ethics; and our new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion guidance, organizations will be able to clearly review requirements, recommendations, and suggestions for improvement in each of these critical areas.

Putting Words into Action

It’s one thing to read about the Standards…and it’s another thing to implement them. In the Standards’ Administration Framework section, anyone seeking information on Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines, as well as Financial and Human Resource considerations will find what they’re looking for. Here, you’ll see everything from policies governing student matters to methods for building strong partnerships to training for employees to help them contribute to the learning objectives for all students…and much more.

It’s All About the Students

In the Standards’ Student Learning and Development section, you’ll be guided through a process for thinking about education abroad before, during, and well after the program is over. Supporting students is a privilege and responsibility for everyone that does this work and you can learn even more about this topic by reading Supporting Your Students to the Fullest: Your List of Standards to Implement Before, During & After Their Experience Abroad.

Ready to dive in and make sure your organization’s standards are helping you achieve your mission? Download your free digital copy of the Standards of Good Practice today!

Authored by Stephanie King.