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The Ohio State UniversityOffice of International Affairs

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About Us

The Office of International Affairs helps facilitate the development and growth of the Global Gateways and oversees Study Abroad, International Students and Scholars, the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, and five Area Studies Centers. We sponsor and administer grants and scholarships for faculty, graduate and undergraduate student research, study abroad and independent study. We develop agreements with international academic institutions, host international delegations, and initiate and coordinate international education outreach activities and special events. Additionally, we support the International Affairs Scholars Program, which provides opportunities for students from all majors who are interested in global themes.

Mission

The Office of International Affairs

  • engages Ohio State's students and faculty in educational and research experiences internationally;
  • facilitates the integration of international students and scholars into Ohio State's world of knowledge;
  • fosters excellence in the study of languages, the history of arts and cultures and their societies, and international security; and
  • provides information and access to Ohio State's academic expertise for the benefit of communities the world over.

Vision

The Ohio State community relies on the unique international expertise of the Office of International Affairs to provide it with information and access to premier opportunities in a global setting.

Internationalization at Ohio State

The creation and transmission of new knowledge is a global enterprise taking place under internationally diverse conditions. Ohio State's global presence makes this institution's accomplishments in the creation of new knowledge available to communities reaching beyond national, linguistic, and cultural boundaries. Ohio State becomes globalized by excelling in the production and transmission of new knowledge and giving it global impact.

Success in internationalizing requires the deep and diverse expertise provided by the Office of International Affairs as the institutional anchor for enhancing and disseminating knowledge about the regions, cultures, languages, and significant issues of the world. The Office of International Affairs adds crucial value to Ohio State's aspirations as a globalized academic institution committed to responsible international engagement.

A Global University

O-H-I-O in SpainThe Ohio State University is committed to becoming a preeminent global university – one which prepares its students and faculty to actively participate in knowledge-based collaborations around the world. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, universities across the nation are embracing the value of integrating international dimensions across their campuses, pursuing partnerships around the world, and exploring opportunities around the world. As Ohio State strives to enhance its presence around the world, it is committed to prepare its students to excel in the global marketplace, pursue partnerships around the world, and collaborate on the solution of local and global issues based on Ohio State's expertise.

The university plans to expand its global reach by:

  • Developing an international experience for undergraduate, graduate and professional students
  • Promoting scholarship on major global issues
  • Increasing the percentage of international faculty and students
  • Creating international dual degree programs
  • Developing an international physical presence
  • Promoting collaboration with Ohio's international business ventures

As part of Ohio State's international strategy, the Office of International Affairs is responsible for cultivating and nurturing the growth of global perspectives at Ohio State.

Cultivating an International Dimension

As Ohio State enhances its mission for high distinction in teaching, research and engagement, the Office of International Affairs provides leadership and innovation to facilitate international opportunities for our students and faculty, and makes educational resources accessible for the campus, our international guests, and the community beyond. We also stimulate activities that celebrate diverse cultures, foster the exchange of ideas, serve as the central information hub for international activities, and support the growing international dimension of Ohio State.

Global Gateways

China Gateway office opensAs Ohio State builds a foundation that integrates international dimensions within every facet of the institution, the university is pursuing opening offices - Global Gateways - in key parts of the world. The locations for the Gateways will capitalize on the strengths of Ohio State's connections across the globe through study abroad programs, international students, faculty teaching and research, university partnerships, alumni and Ohio businesses.

In February 2010, Ohio State opened a Gateway office in the downtown business district of Shanghai, China, and in March 2012 opened a Gateway office in Mumbai, India. In 2014, Ohio State will open a Gateway in São Paulo, Brazil. In each location, the Gateways are multi-faceted centers that allow the university to:

  • Build upon faculty research/teaching and international partnerships
  • Scout opportunities for study abroad locations
  • Recruit international students
  • Establish executive training programs
  • Network with alumni and reconnect them to the university
  • Partner with Ohio-based businesses

 

Study Abroad

O-H-I-O in MexicoThe Office of International Affairs administers Ohio State study abroad programs, and provides a wide variety of support services to those students studying abroad independently, conducting field research, participating in a service learning programs or internships. Students at Ohio State participate in over 100 study abroad programs in more than 40 different countries and on all five continents. These programs give students an opportunity to become involved in cross-cultural interaction and enjoy a rewarding educational experience in many different fields. A variety of options are available to support and augment students' progress in their curriculum. There are short-term study programs in conjunction with an academic course to longer experiences such as 10 week to year-long stays in an international environment. Study abroad coordinators and faculty resident directors help students learn about what programs are available around the world, how to earn college credit, how to affordably finance their study abroad program, and what to expect when they arrive in another country and when they return home to Ohio State.

The Office of International Affairs provides support for campus internationalization initiatives and the development of education abroad opportunities. Study Abroad staff members provide guidance and expert consultation for developing international programs, university-wide study abroad advising, management and business services for study abroad programming, and risk management oversight.

Study Abroad services include:

  • Expert consultation to faculty on mechanics of establishing international education opportunities
  • University-wide guidance to students about study abroad, internship abroad and research abroad opportunities
  • Promotion of international opportunities through classroom presentations to students, residence hall groups, and student organizations
  • Providing information on best practices in risk management for international locations
  • Business service support for all Ohio State sponsored study abroad programs
  • Keeping Ohio State connected to the international education community
  • Expert consultation to faculty and students for all international education opportunities

 

International Students and Scholars

International studentsWhen international students and scholars first arrive at Ohio State, the Office of International Affairs is one of their initial points of contact. We provide them with a warm welcome to the campus community and support their transition to help them comfortably adjust to their new life on campus and in Columbus.

Students meet one-on-one with a representative from International Student and Scholar to get answers to questions about immigration regulations, cultural differences, and financial matters. Through oia.osu.edu, students and scholars can find information about the types of visas needed for their stay in the United States, links to academic programs, how to pay their tuition, housing options, an overview of the campus and life in Columbus, and much more. Immigration coordinators facilitate orientation sessions and administer social, cultural, and educational programming. All of these services help ensure that international students, scholars, and their families have the greatest opportunity to achieve their academic, personal and professional goals during their time at Ohio State.

Mershon Center for International Security Studies

The mission of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies is to advance the understanding of national security in a global context. The center focuses on three core dimensions of national security:

  • Use of force and diplomacy
  • Ideas, identities, and decisional processes that affect security
  • Institutions that manage violent conflict


Some ways the Mershon Center accomplishes its mission include:

  • Hiring world-class faculty members in collaboration with their home departments
  • Contributing to the university's distinctive presence by funding interdisciplinary faculty and student research
  • Enhancing the student experience by hosting an array of speakers, conferences, and workshops on national security issues


The Mershon Center is the fulfillment of a bequest by Col. Ralph D. Mershon to The Ohio State University for the civilian study of matters pertaining to national security. It is also supported by community gifts and grant money.

Area Studies Centers

International education outreachThe Area Studies Centers advance knowledge and awareness of international cultures and world regions. The centers work with departments to identify programmatic needs, sponsor a wide range of academic activities, including lectures, symposia, conferences, and library resources, as well as conduct outreach activities for P-12 students and teachers. Area Studies Centers are funded through the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships. Ohio State has five Area Studies Centers, four with full Title VI NRC and FLAS funding*:

 

Grant and Scholarships

The Office of International Affairs supports and administers grants for faculty research on international themes and scholarships for students to study abroad either as part of a group or independently, or to conduct research or pursue internships in other parts of the world. We also administer the U.S. Department of Education's Fulbright-Hays grants and serve as the campus representative for the Fulbright Scholar program.

The Fulbright-Hays program provides grants for graduate students and faculty to travel for specific research, study opportunities, or dissertation research in modern languages and specific area studies that must be conducted in another country. The Fulbright Scholar program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the United States and other countries and promote collaboration and the exchange of ideas among students, faculty, professionals, and teachers.

These grant programs serve to promote international educational opportunities that will have a lasting impact on increasing global awareness and understanding.

 

International Agreements and Delegations

The Office of International Affairs helps facilitate the development of formalized Memoranda of Agreement and coordinates the visit of international delegations to Ohio State. Formal agreements with international institutions are critical tools to enhance collaborative instruction, scholarship, and research for faculty and students. Frequently an outcome of individual faculty initiatives, such agreements help build a strong alliance and collaborative spirit among Ohio State and its academic departments with universities and other learning institutions around the world.

International Education Outreach

Engaging P-12 teachers and students in learning more about international cultures plays a vital role in broadening global perspectives. Outreach programming that focuses on language, culture, and interactive themes are tailor-made to teach a wide variety of audiences about life in another country. A host of global education resources is available for teachers, including in-service workshops, study abroad opportunities to experience the language and culture firsthand, video loan libraries, as well as exhibits that can be used in the classroom.

Special Events

Korean International Student OrganizationSpecial events held throughout the year support the international dimension of the Ohio State campus. The Office of International Affairs sponsors cultural events such as:


These enable the campus community to experience different cultures, learn more about international opportunities, and make new friends in
a fun and inviting atmosphere.