Chapter 7: Scholarship and Research

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7.G International Initiatives

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The University of Michigan prepares its students for lives of significant international engagement, supports faculty research and programs that address the world’s most pressing problems, and expands and deepens global partnerships. The University was one of only five U.S. colleges and universities, and the only comprehensive research university, to be honored with a 2012 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization from NAFSA: the Association of International Educators.

Numerous international opportunities and initiatives are available, some of which are outlined briefly below. Interested faculty should check with their dean’s office for information about school- or college-specific opportunities; all schools and colleges have an office or individual responsible for coordinating international activities and programs.

Global Michigan  The University’s web portal to a wide range of international activities and initiatives. Topics include information about study abroad, internships, service-learning programs, research, and funding; travel planning (including links to the travel registry, policies, and University Travel Warning and Restriction destinations); student organizations and on-campus events with an international focus; information for international students, scholars, and alumni; facts about our global community; and tools for administrators who deal with international programs and activities.

International Travel  Many of our faculty, staff, and students travel internationally as part of their University experience. The Travel Registry is a secure U-M site where U-M faculty, staff, and students are required to register all international travel for academic, business or other University-related purposes. Domestic travel may also be registered at the discretion of the traveler.  The registry is a convenient, one-stop service that links people to emergency communications, access to travel abroad health insurance, and more. Faculty and staff are covered under a blanket travel abroad insurance policy (up to 180 days), and students are required to register for this coverage (or a department administrator can register them).  In addition, all faculty, staff, and students traveling internationally for any University-related purpose are covered under a blanket policy for emergency evacuation due to political unrest or natural disaster. More information about international travel policies and procedures can be found at: <>.

International Agreements Faculty who are interested in developing relationships with non-U.S. institutions should have their plans reviewed by the appropriate dean.  Proposed memoranda of understanding must be reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel and should be approved and in place before activities begin. Collaborative agreements that commit University resources must identify the units that will provide these resources and be signed by the dean, director or other appropriate official of that unit.  Guidelines for establishing international agreements are available on the Global Michigan portal.

International Delegations Guidelines for managing visiting delegations and requests for visits have been developed and distributed to schools and colleges.  In addition, each school and college has designated a point person with whom the provost’s office works when responding to requests and/or planning visits by delegations from overseas universities.

The Office of the Vice Provost for Global and Engaged Education provides coordination for campus-wide academic programs with an international focus, shares leadership in strategic planning to advance the University’s goals relating to internationalization, and serves as a clearinghouse for information about the University’s international activities and programs.  The office also supports the development of global collaborations and internationally-themed curricular initiatives.

The Council on Global Engagement seeks collaborative efficiencies and best practices in processes and procedures across the University on international engagement activities. The council, which reports to the Office of the Provost and is composed of faculty and staff from across the University, meets regularly to share information and discuss issues pertaining to international engagement.

The Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) is a unit within the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, currently offers 90 study abroad programs in a diverse array of destinations.    CGIS administers the Global Intercultural Experience for Undergraduates, an innovative non-traditional program that sends groups of 12-15 students for a month of work and study at field sites around the world.  CGIS’s Global Course Connections develops closer curricular integration between departmental course offerings and study abroad by providing financial support for short-term experiences abroad within semester-long courses. See:

The International Center provides services and programs for international students and scholars. The IC is well resourced to meet the needs of this diverse clientele and to comply with all government regulations affecting non-immigrant students and scholars.  It provides an extensive orientation program for new students, a weekly scholar orientation that introduces new arrivals to campus and community, and ensures basic needs are met before classes start or work begins.  Programs for students continue throughout their stay to help them understand U.S. culture; become involved in campus and community life; and integrate their learning with realities at home.  Scholars and families join students in social and cultural programs on campus and elsewhere.  IC advisors assist students and scholars with all questions and concerns, refer them to other offices as needed, and work with all campus units to ensure their success.

The International Institute has 18 centers (including six National Resource Centers) and 500 faculty associates who advance the exchange of knowledge and resources across campus and with overseas partners.  The Institute enriches instructional programs, administers an international studies concentration and minor, advances language study, awards funding to students and faculty for research and overseas study, brings leading scholars together to address international problems, and assists in recruiting faculty with international interests.  The Institute also coordinates information sessions and mentors student applicants for Fulbright Grants.

The Global Scholars living and learning community includes domestic and international students who participate in a curricular program (dialogue course and teleconferencing with students at overseas partner schools), and a co-curricular program (lecture series and group projects).