Guidelines for Education Abroad Advising

Advising for education abroad helps students decide if, when, where, how, what, why, and for how long to go abroad. It is essential in helping students prepare for, navigate, and process educational experiences abroad and links the institution’s mission, values, and goals for education abroad to the student’s academic, professional, and personal goals. Done well, education abroad advising helps students integrate education abroad into their degree and career planning and encourages them to take advantage of the full range of opportunities available to them. Quality education abroad advising makes students feel prepared for the challenges and complexities that await them abroad, offers them support while they are away, and fosters continued growth and learning when students return home.

Education abroad advisors are often the front line and first point of contact for students considering participating in educational opportunities abroad, but individuals across a student’s home institution can also play critical roles in helping students make choices that make their experiences abroad meaningful, purposeful, and successful. These people include other international education professionals, professional academic advisors, partner organization representatives, diversity and inclusion professionals, career counselors, faculty, graduate assistants, student life professionals, financial aid counselors, mental health professionals, mentors in other student development based roles, and peer advisors/ambassadors.

While professionals at the home institution carry much of the work of education abroad advising, partner institutions and organizations such as host institutions and independent program provider organizations can also have an important role to play in this process. Home institution education abroad advisors are encouraged to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with their counterparts on campus and at partner organizations to ensure timely and accurate information is available to students throughout the advising process. These trust-based partnerships allow for proactive collaboration that can enhance the student journey.

These Guidelines are intended for use by all international education professionals who are either directly engaged in education abroad advising activities or who are involved in the work of designing and supporting advising pathways. They can be used to train new staff and to guide conversations between education abroad professionals and their counterparts across their campuses and at partner organizations. The Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad apply to all aspects of education abroad. Use them together to develop a comprehensive approach to education abroad advising.


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