Although the language referring to international academic activity is standardized within the professional field of international education, the terms international education, study abroad, exchange, direct enroll, etc. are sometimes misunderstood by students and their advisors. These activities are generally structured in five clusters as outlined below. The UIC Study Abroad Office oversees those in 3 a, b, and c.
||Incoming international: International students who directly enroll from abroad, most often into a degree program. The majority of these students are studying at the graduate level. The UIC office responsible for these students is the Office of International Services.
|Exchange: A negotiated number for number exchange between a US institution and comparable one abroad where students and/or faculty migrate for short-term study abroad, teaching, and/or research opportunities. International students/faculty coming into the US system through this model become a cohort of the incoming internationals. The UIC office responsible for this activity is the Office of International Affairs.
||Study Abroad: An activity for UIC students leaving campus to study abroad. There are three variations and not all are equally suitable for every student.
||Direct enroll: A mechanism of coordination whereby the US student can enroll directly into an institution abroad as an international student for a short term program of study, i.e. usually from 6 weeks up to an academic year. The Study Abroad Office works either directly with the institution abroad or through a program partner. This model is good for the more independent student who wants the full range curriculum of a university. It is essentially the mirror situation of undergraduate international students coming to UIC.
||Island/Independent program: A program abroad developed by a US university or academic consortium where the coursework is taught by faculty from a local university but not through that university’s formal department structure, i.e. there is most often a ‘program center’ with classrooms and/or rented classroom space, and a full permanent local staff. A sub-variation in this category is short-term faculty-led programs. These models most often focus on the student becoming as immersed as possible in the local culture through language learning, homestays, structured field trips, and academic assignments of reflection on what learning takes place outside the classroom. These programs usually are best suited for the more mature student.|
Hybrid program: This programming blends options of enrolling directly in a local university with the 'island/independent' model, offering strong student affairs support with the opportunity to take classes at the program center and/or on a university campus.