International Programs

The International Programs Office (IPO) provides leadership and supports campus-wide global engagement and initiatives. The International Services unit is responsible for immigration and employment compliance for students on F visas, participants in the Exchange Visitor J visa program, and employment-based visas. International Services is the primary liaison for immigration compliance with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of State, Customs and Border Patrol, Social Security Administration, and sponsoring agencies. International Services provides support and programming for international intensive English, exchange, and degree seeking students, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars, faculty, employees and their dependents. The Education Abroad unit oversees student and faculty exchanges, long and short-term study abroad and the university international travel registration process. IPO supports university international education activities and partnerships, training, development programs, research agreements, and provides support for international activities in the colleges. IPO is located in the Living and Learning Center at 901 Paradise Creek Street, Building #3, Ground Floor; phone 208-885-8984; email

International Students

International students are an integral part of the ethnic diversity of the University of Idaho. Representing up to 90 countries from around the world, international students contribute significantly to the rich cultural atmosphere of UI.

International student services are provided by international student advisors (ISAs) in IPO. All matters pertaining to students' status with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State are handled by the ISAs, and they also serve as official liaisons between students and their consular offices or sponsoring agencies. ISAs are involved with the progress of international students at every stage of the educational process, and students are encouraged to visit an ISA regularly to discuss concerns or questions related to immigration matters and educational, financial, or cultural adjustments.

Once a student has been admitted, general information is provided about what to bring to the U.S., the U.S. educational system, and housing. A mandatory orientation before classes begin answers initial questions and provides new students with information and skills to succeed in their academic programs as well as tips on cultural adjustment. Community contacts are arranged through the International Friendship Association (IFA). The IPO, IFA, and international student groups sponsor additional social, cultural, and educational activities.


International students holding nonresident alien status must either purchase the UI’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) for themselves and all accompanying dependents or document coverage of an equivalent insurance with the International Programs Office as part of their obligation to establish proof of financial responsibility for expenses incurred while attending the university. Failure to obtain and maintain the required insurance may subject students to sanctions, up to and including disenrollment. Visit for more information.

Education Abroad

The University of Idaho has the largest education abroad program in the state of Idaho and one of the most extensive programs in the U.S. With access to 350 universities in 65 countries, students in virtually any field can enhance their UI education. For example, students can study wildlife in South Africa, education in Sweden, ecology in Costa Rica, architecture in Italy, or business in China. Students can also study subjects not normally offered at UI. A student pursuing a computer science major might choose to study animation in England; a student interested in microbiology might study genome science in Australia; or a student undertaking a civil engineering major might choose to study ocean engineering in Scotland. Courses in many countries are taught in English so that students without foreign language skills are still able to study abroad. However, those students who are interested in learning a foreign language will find that there are also excellent opportunities for studying Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic as well as other world languages.

Students participating in UI education abroad programs may also take advantage of exciting opportunities in international service learning, internships, volunteerism, research, and field work. For example, students studying in India might volunteer for a cooperative promoting women’s rights, health, and standing in Indian society; students studying in Berlin might participate in an internship with Mercedes-Benz; and students in Peru might participate in a service-learning program caring for llamas and alpacas in an agricultural animal care center, preserving a historically vital piece of Peruvian culture.

Students who participate in UI education abroad programs do not pay UI tuition/fees (except students participating in UI exchanges or faculty/staff-led programs). Instead, they pay the program cost for each semester/summer term they are abroad. Program costs vary, but in some cases an education abroad experience costs about the same amount as studying on campus. Students receiving federal or state financial aid and/or scholarships may be able to apply their entire award to UI education abroad programs. Students participating in semester/academic year education abroad programs are required to be full-time students unless special arrangements have been made.

Full-time UI students may also be eligible for an International Experience Grant (IEG) created through the Associated Students of the University of Idaho (ASUI). Approximately 157 of these grants are awarded to UI undergraduate education abroad participants each year. Many other education abroad scholarships are also available to UI students. Some education abroad programs, such as the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), have established scholarship programs for UI. A number of UI departments and colleges also provide education abroad scholarships, and there are also many national education abroad scholarships available to UI students. Learn more about education abroad at

Students may receive credit for education abroad or other experience overseas in the following ways:

  1. Residency credit toward baccalaureate degree. Students are registered under the study abroad course number. The "Course Planning Form" form must be completed before departure to ensure proper evaluation when the program is completed. Upon receipt of an official transcript, courses are evaluated and recorded as transfer credit. Credits earned through approved UI education abroad programs are included in the residency requirement for baccalaureate degrees.
  2. Transfer credit. Students whose needs are not met by UI education abroad programs may petition to participate in a non-UI affiliated education abroad program. If the petition is approved, students must complete all other required Education Abroad forms, including a "Financial Aid Consortium/Contract Agreement" (signed by the education abroad institution and submitted to the International Programs Office before departure) for registration to be processed and financial aid to be disbursed. Students are registered under the non-UI education abroad course number. Upon receipt of an official transcript, courses are evaluated and recorded as transfer credit. Credits earned through non-UI education abroad programs are not included in the residency requirement for baccalaureate degrees.
  3. Directed study. Students may petition to plan their own educational experiences abroad, and arrange in advance for credit from any appropriate department. This is for education comparable to that gained in other courses of that department, but it may be as general and inclusive as the department will allow. Students choosing this option must also fill-out all appropriate UI Education Abroad applications and mandatory forms.
  4. Course challenge. Some courses may be challenged on the basis of knowledge gained abroad. See regulation I-2.
  5. Experiential learning. Credit may be awarded to students for knowledge and/or competence gained in foreign travel. See regulation I-2. This option requires the submission of a portfolio demonstrating knowledge and competence.

Search Education Abroad programs options here.

For more information on education abroad (study, intern, work, research, or volunteer abroad), contact the International Programs Office in person at the LLC Building #3, ground floor; call 208-885-7870; or email