The Standards of Good Practice

The Forum's Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad recognize that there are no “one size fits all” answers for how organizations and programs should address a broad range of education abroad standards. Students come from a variety of backgrounds, and have broad disciplinary interests. The Standards do not assume that all education abroad programs should aspire to the same educational goals, and accept that each has legitimately varying goals. 


The ultimate goal of the Standards is to improve practices in education abroad, so that our students' international educational experiences are as rich and meaningful as possible.


The Standards are designed to fit a wide range of academic programs including direct enrollment programs, hybrid programs, island programs and field research programs. They are applicable to semester- and year-long programs, summer programs, short-term programs, programs organized by US universities and institutions, international universities and education abroad providers.


The Standards are anchored in a set of queries, rather than prescriptive statements. The queries provide the basis for self-evaluation by individual professionals, their programs and their institutions, for internal or external review. The query basis allows programs to be evaluated by their adherence to the Standards, and most significantly, in relation to institutional missions.


Download a PDF of the Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, 4th Edition (2011)




The complete interview with Lily von Klemperer is available in the AIFS/AIFS Foundation Education Abroad Special Collection.


Recognizing that Forum members were seeking guidance on specific practices and types of programs, particularly where these practices and programs are significantly different from the same in the home campus context, Standards Committee Working Groups have developed sets of guidelines:



Responding to the increasing number of short-term education abroad programs and the Forum membership's call for guidance in applying the Standards of Good Practice to these types of programs, the Standards Committee has also developed Standards of Good Practice for Short Term Education Abroad Programs.


It is important to note that the Standards Good Practice for Short Term Education Abroad Programs are meant for short-term programs when/where the short-term programs are situated within an institutional or organizational structure which is responsible for the larger administrative concerns of the program. Short-term programs operated independently of a broader institutional or organizational structure should be guided by the Forum's Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad.


The Standards of Good Practice for Short-Term Education Abroad Programs are meant to be a guide for programs that are organized and/or led by college faculty. Those organizing these programs will not need to wade through the larger document which deals with a broader range of issues, where those concerns are appropriately administered by an institution or organization.