Mission Statement

With a focus on supporting as many students as possible in becoming effective and influential leaders in civil society, SAO strives to: internationalize the curriculum through program opportunities on six continents; engage UIC’s highly diverse student population to become intentional learners with increased global awareness; and assure student access to scholarship and grant support for an international academic experience.

Our vision is that studying content in context, with the right linkages to text-based curricula, can best develop and enhance the critical literacies students need for success regardless of academic discipline or personal aspiration: comprehension skills of drawing inferences, finding the main idea, making analogies, resolving contradiction, and distinguishing fact from opinion.

Our goal is to provide access to a variety of international academic programming opportunities and remain committed to making overseas study and international cultural immersion an integral part of the undergraduate educational experience, better preparing students to meet the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly global society.

Our protocols, from program, student, and course approval, through registration and transcripting, are in response to those established in a range of UIC administrative units and colleges but also guided by international education standards and best practices.

Our staff of advising professionals have spent considerable time living and working abroad, in addition to participation on study abroad programs. Collectively, our formal work experience in international education exceeds fifty-five years and we have fluency in six languages (English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Lithuanian, and Hindi.) Our academic degree experience includes: Doctoral research in History and Geography in central India; Oriental Studies and Chinese Linguistics in Russia; and Economics and Baltic Studies in Lithuania; Public Administration; Business Administration; and Psychology.

International Study Advisory Group

In addition to established professional standards for international education nationwide, and close working relationships with a range of academic consortia and international education professionals, the Study Abroad Office is guided by university protocols in working with students who want to earn credit abroad toward their degree. SAO relies on the individuals of this advisory group as the key contacts for advice and guidance on university policy, administrative procedure, and student affairs, including emergency situations which may arise while a student is abroad and to ensure accurate flow of information and implementation on any changes in university, department, unit protocols or policies as they refer to international study activity.

In addition to Assistant/Associate College Deans, the Study Abroad Office seeks advice from and consults with the following core positions and their designates regularly on a bi-lateral basis across a range of policy, procedure, and protocol issues to support student success, and the university’s strategic plan to:

“Foster diversity and a global perspective…through creation of curricular and co-curricular opportunities for our students to gain a broader understanding of the world, making these programs a hallmark of a UIC education.”

  • Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs / Dean of the Honors College
  • Assoc. Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
  • Directors of the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change
  • University Council
  • University Registrar
  • Director, Financial Aid Office
  • Director, Office of Special Scholarship Programs
  • Executive Director, Office of International Services
  • Associate Director, Office of International Affairs


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