The Study Abroad Office (SAO) was founded at the University of South Carolina (UofSC) as an office in support of students participating in a semester abroad while completing credit bearing classes. Over the years, SAO’s programming expanded to not only include programs sponsored by UofSC, but also programs offered by international partner institutions and third-party providers. Today, the SAO supports semester, yearlong, and summer programs; faculty-led short-term courses; discipline-specific exchanges, like international business; professional and graduate student travel and research; as well as incoming exchange students.
Starting in 2013, university faculty and staff have engaged with the SAO through the nationally award-winning International Perspectives on Higher Education (IPHE), an annual international professional development program. Three years after IPHE’s inauguration, Global Collaborations programming was embedded into the SAO with the goal to support faculty with a dedicated staff member and via centralized tools to lead their own short-term programs abroad.
With the plethora of additional programming and supports, the Study Abroad Office has exceeded the constraints of “study” abroad. Our vision statement is “to create opportunities for students, faculty and staff that inspire academic and personal growth while building a university community with a broader world view, as well a deeper understanding and greater appreciation of other cultures.” The office offers experiences for students, faculty, and staff in international studying, interning, research, and service-learning. SAO offers annual symposia, lead workshops, and partner across our campus with the goal to further internationalize UofSC.
SAO’s new name, The Education Abroad Office, is a representation of both the office vision statement and expansion of international programming.