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Ohio State's International Connections

Ohio State has implemented a variety of programs and strategies that engage students and faculty and further the international goals of the university. Highlights include:

Programmatic Efforts 

  • Ohio State’s Global Gateways give the university a physical presence in key parts of the world and have served as the catalyst to launch Ohio State’s goal of becoming a preeminent global university. They provide the university with a distinct set of opportunities unmatched by other institutions. The Gateways are representative offices currently in Shanghai, China (2010) and Mumbai, India (2012) that allow the university to forge new partnerships, recruit international students, facilitate faculty research, serve as a portal for study abroad, provide a new way to partner with Ohio-based companies operating in global markets and enable Ohio State to reconnect with a growing international alumni base. Ohio State will open another Gateway office in São Paulo, Brazil in 2014, and is considering locations in Turkey, Ethiopia and Poland.

    Ohio State’s innovative choice not to build satellite campuses like other universities has proven to be a low cost alternative that provides more flexibility, allowing each office to serve a wide variety of stakeholders in-country and on its campuses. The ultimate goal of the Gateways is to connect individuals and institutions with the excellence in faculty, students, staff and resources found at Ohio State. Since opening the China Gateway Ohio State has signed 42 international agreements, one student exchange and three dual degree agreements (College of Engineering [2] and the College of Arts and Sciences) with institutions in China.

    Through the Gateways, Ohio State has reconnected with its international alumni base. Since 2010, the China Gateway has provided programming, including networking opportunities, social events and career forums to more than 300 alumni living in the Greater China area. The India Gateway has instituted similar programming and reconnected with more than 300 alumni living in Mumbai.

  • The international student population has steadily grown over the last five years from 4,238 students to 6,039, and ranks 10th in the nation. Since 2010 the number of students from China has grown 68 percent to 3,606. To support the international student population, especially those from China, pre-departure orientations have been held in China to better prepare students for life on a U.S. campus. Recently, orientations were held in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai with more than 500 students and their parents attending. An airport welcome program and academic and service enhancement programming implemented on campus provides support and cross-cultural adaptation opportunities.

  • Study abroad has been lifted to new heights with the switch to semesters in 2012-13, which included a May session, giving students a new opportunity to study abroad. Some 570 students studied abroad during May session 2013. As an added incentive, students who attended spring semester full time could participate in a study abroad program during May session (earning three credit hours) without paying tuition. Study abroad enrollment figures significantly increased from 1,716 in 2011-12 to 2,426 in 2012-13. The increase is attributed to new and innovative programs, the advent of May session and awarding General Education credit for study abroad. Ohio State is currently ranked 14 in the nation for students studying abroad.

  • Implementation of six Global May programs, which introduce first and second year students to study abroad, have made study abroad more accessible. The four-week courses taught in-country (China, Brazil, Hungary, Uganda, Mexico and Great Britain) focus on the history, culture and major issues of one specific country or region with classroom instruction in English.

  • Ohio State’s Second-year Transformational Experience Program (STEP) was developed to continue efforts that redefine the student experience. STEP focuses on student success and development, allowing them to engage in activities that cater to their interests. A central feature of STEP enables participants to engage with faculty outside the classroom in one-on-one meetings and in groups. STEP faculty help students explore unique, educational-enriching experiences including: study abroad, internships, undergraduate research, service learning and community service, leadership, and artistic and creative endeavors. Following the completion of program requirements, students are eligible for a $2,000 fellowship to support the experience they developed with faculty.

  • Ohio State is home to six Title VI National Resource Centers: Center for International Business Education and Research, National East Asian Languages Resource Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Slavic and East European Studies, East Asian Studies Center and the Middle East Studies Center. Ohio State also supports a Center for African Studies. The Title VI Area Studies Centers received $9.5 million in federal funding and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grants.

Curriculum/Faculty Development

Ohio State understands that one of the chief goals of higher education is to graduate globally competent students and engage faculty in innovative teaching and research projects. It is with these goals in mind that students and faculty are engaged in projects that advance their critical thinking skills in global settings.

  • Ohio State has partnered with Ethiopian government agencies, service organizations and academic institutions, to hold the first comprehensive One Health Summer Institute in 2013. The initiative’s series of classes, projects and workshops partnered 20 Ohio State faculty and students with hundreds of Ethiopian students, health-care professionals and policymakers. Ethiopia is collaborating with Ohio State to chart a course for a new and healthier future for Ethiopians, and potentially for citizens in neighboring African countries.

    The "One Health" partnership is designed to create sustainable and mutually beneficial collaborations in teaching, research and outreach. The initiative supports Ohio State’s emphasis on global health and outreach, and represents the first time the health sciences colleges have teamed for an international project of this scope (Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Optometry and Veterinary Medicine).

  • The Global Option is a curriculum enhancement through which students acquire international knowledge integrated and documented into participating majors without adding time to graduation. Undergraduates combine international components within their major to gain global skills. Assessment of success is based on students achieving five global competencies and their ability to: learn how to work effectively in international settings; develop an awareness of and adaptability to diverse cultures, perceptions and approaches; familiarize themselves with major currents of global change and the issues they raise; communicate effectively across cultural and linguistic boundaries; comprehend the international dimensions of their discipline.

    The Global Option includes: study abroad; two on-campus courses with strong international focus, preferably within the major; advanced proficiency in one language other than English or native language; one capstone project, evaluation of global competencies; and a comprehensive e-portfolio of international activities. The colleges of Social Work, Public Health and Engineering have adopted the Global Option. The colleges of Education and Human Ecology, Arts and Sciences and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are in the planning process.

  • During the 2012-13 academic year, International Affairs distributed more than $2.3 million in grants and scholarships to students and faculty. The awards were given for research projects, fund student participation in study abroad programs, support K-12 education and faculty professional development as well as area studies – all with an international theme. The awards supported: international students and scholars ($58,000); faculty and graduate student research ($76,200); students and faculty whose study abroad programs, projects or interests focused on the Gateway countries – China, India, Brazil – and/or other regions of the world ($54,000); study abroad scholarships ($96,500); support graduate student and faculty research and study abroad programs ($298,711); teaching, research, language and area studies ($1,861,402).

  • The International Engagement Awards - Distinguished and Emerging - were established in 2013 to recognize projects by individuals and groups at Ohio State who have rendered exceptional community outreach and/or engagement with international partners. Recipients have provided a spectrum of international outreach to internationalize scholarship, learning or service that impacts Ohio State’s stature as a global university.

Ohio State’s connections with East Asia are unparalleled. More federally funded East Asian programs exist at Ohio State than at any other U.S. university:

  • The East Asian Studies Center receives funding from both the U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center and Foreign Language and Area Studies.
  • The master’s program in East Asian Languages and Literatures with a concentration in advanced Chinese language and culture is nationally recognized for its success in advanced language education.
  • Ohio State is home to a Center for International Business and Research (CIBER), one of only 33 CIBER centers in the U.S., that creates unique business-learning opportunities in and with East Asia.
  • The National East Asian Languages Resource Center is funded through the U.S. Department of Education.
  • More than 10 percent of all East Asian language degrees conferred nationally are from Ohio State.
  • Ohio State offers more than 160 East Asian language courses.
  • More than 300 East Asian area studies courses are offered annually across 23 disciplines


In cultivating international partnerships, Ohio State is an active participant in the international research, collaboration and cooperation necessary to address the challenges faced by the world today.

  • The College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences manages a consortium of five U.S. universities in a $24 million USAID funded project geared toward preparing faculty, researchers, and extension practitioners in Tanzania to cooperatively and effectively address the needs of smallholder farmers and the growing agribusiness sector for the future.
  • Ohio State competed for a three-year U.S. Department of State grant providing $9.6 million over three years to administer and implement the Critical Language Scholarship Program in East Asia. Ohio State is the only university in the country to receive this award. Ohio State will establish four intensive language institutes in partnership with universities in China and one each with universities in Japan, Korea and Indonesia.
  • A partnership between Ohio State and the Brazil state of São Paulo will result in a $1.4 million funding source to support research and innovation. The partnership facilitates research collaborations on common global problems such as energy and environment.
  • Ohio State’s Wexner Center for the Arts received a $782,300 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop multidisciplinary "trans-institutional" curatorial research and programing with visual artists and media artists in Brazil.
  • Ohio State is one of four U.S. universities that received the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative award for a project dedicated to training STEM faculty in India. Ohio State will receive $250,000 in grant monies over three years to launch a pilot program with Aligarh Muslim University in India.
  • Partnering with Wuhan University, Ohio State received $150,000 in federal grants to open a Center for American Culture. The center provides a learning environment that promotes a better understanding of the diversity of U.S. cultures.