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International Partnership Development

Guidelines for International Cooperative Agreement Development at Boise State University

1. Introduction
An international Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is a document that outlines cooperation between Boise State and an institution of higher education or organization outside of the United States. Such a document may also be referred to as an agreement or memorandum of cooperation. Faculty interested in developing a partnership with an institution abroad should discuss the type of cooperation they would like to initiate with the potential partner university with their department chair, their Dean, and staff in the office of International Learning Opportunities.   It may also be helpful to review the list of Boise State’s current partner universities available at:
to determine whether Boise State may already have an agreement with the institution of interest or another institution in the same city or province.

2. Administrative Process Checklist

• Cooperation is typically initiated by developing a general cooperation MOU stating that Boise State and the partner university agree to cooperate with specifics to be outlined in additional agreements. It is important to avoid making commitments on behalf of Boise State prior to discussing these commitments with relevant university officials as indicated above. Please view the instructions for completing international cooperative agreements here: Routing form .

• Once specific types of cooperation have been negotiated or determined, separate agreements are developed. Either partner university may initiate the process with a draft agreement that is then negotiated between the officials responsible for MOU development at the respective institutions.

• Bilateral exchange agreements must have an articulation of the host university courses with Boise state equivalents to assist students with advising and planning.

• Finalized agreements are prepared in duplicate, so both partner institutions may keep an agreement with original signatures on file.

• At Boise State, international MOUs are reviewed or prepared by the  Director of International Learning Opportunities who forwards them to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs for signature. Only MOUs signed by the Provost are considered to be valid university agreements. Some universities, especially in Asia, prefer to have the President’s signature and therefore, some MOUs are signed by Boise State’s President.

• The Provost has each MOU reviewed by the University Legal Counsel prior to signing two originals. The two documents with original signatures are then mailed to the partner university where they are signed by the appropriate official. The partner university then returns one of the originals to Boise State. This process may also be initiated by the partner university.

• The original agreement is kept on file in the Provost Office with copies mailed to the relevant department or College as well as in International Learning Opportunities (ILO).

3. For Faculty to Consider in Developing University Partnerships

• What is the specific type of cooperation of interest: joint research, faculty exchanges, bilateral student exchanges, faculty-led education abroad for groups of students from Boise State, hosting partner university students in custom-designed group training programs at Boise State (through the Intensive English Program in the English Department), dual degree program development, etc.

• Can both partner institutions accommodate the needs of students and faculty from the other, if proposing activities involving students and faculty being exchanged? For example, consider language requirements/limitations, housing, cost of living/tuition, compatibility of curricula, safety/health considerations, etc.

• Do the academic disciplines offered at the potential partner university match those at Boise State? Should the cooperation involve the entire university or a specific academic discipline only?

• Are there any safety and health considerations for our faculty and students with respect to the location of the partner university? Is there a U.S. State Department Travel Warning for the location?

• Should this MOU have a specific time frame or can it be open-ended? Generally agreements are only valid for 5 years and must be renewed.

• If there is no bilateral student exchange agreement with a partner university, Boise State CAN host partner university students as non-degree seeking students, but students will be expected to pay nonresident tuition

If a bilateral student exchange is proposed, consider the following:

  • Language of instruction and intensive language/culture programs available for Boise State students; English language skills of partner university students
  • Interest by Boise State students (for most of our exchanges, more students from our partner universities are prepared to come to us than vice versa)
  • Students pay tuition at their home institutions and exchange places, so numbers of students exchanged must balance over a number of years
  • Housing and student support services offered at the partner university
  • Opportunities for cultural immersion

View Boise State International Cooperative Agreements in a larger map