The Office of International Affairs was originally formed in 1986 with the merging of UK's Office of International Programs, which facilitated study abroad opportunities, and the International Student Office. The merger came through the recognition that faculty, staff and students needed one location for help with all of their international work.
The new name, University of Kentucky International Center (UKIC), reflects its responsibility for coordinating and providing guidance, advice and leadership for the University’s international work.
“The new name captures our vision of how decentralized colleges can still pursue an interconnected, international strategic plan, by coordinating their work through a central location,” says Susan Carvalho, associate provost for international programs. “We can help align international opportunities with each college’s curriculum, recruit international students, facilitate multi-college grants and contracts, and pursue revenue-generating projects for the colleges.”
Located in Bradley Hall, UKIC comprises the following units:
International Partnerships and Research – UKIC serves as a resource center for the University’s vital international linkages by supporting the development of agreements and partnerships with universities, foreign governments, NGOs and U.S. government agencies abroad; promoting the involvement of UK faculty members, staff and students in international research and development projects; facilitating access to international funding opportunities; and enriching Kentucky’s engagement with world culture by sharing UK’s international resources with local communities
Education Abroad (EA) – Education Abroad is the University's comprehensive resource for study abroad, research abroad, intern abroad, and other educational experiences worldwide. Education Abroad provides academically sound international experiences that promote intercultural competence, disciplinary scholarship and language acquisition. EA also oversees student exchange programs with partner institutions around the world.
International Student and Scholars Services (ISSS) – ISSS provides leadership and expertise in the advising and immigration needs of more than 1,500 international students, 325 international faculty and staff, and 250 exchange visitors. In addition, ISSS administers university compliance with evolving federal regulations, supports the University and its medical centers by managing global student and scholar interactions, and facilitates the well being of all international students, faculty, staff and scholars.
International Student Recruitment – In close partnership with Undergraduate Enrollment Management, the Center for English as a Second Language, and the Graduate School, UKIC recruits a growing number of international students to the university each year.
UK’s success in the global arena is illustrated by the growing number of students from around the world who are choosing UK as their university of choice. This growth not only brings diversity, culture and new ideas to campus, it also enriches the Commonwealth’s economy. During the 2011-12 academic year 5,787 international students brought $137.1 million dollars into Kentucky’s economy (from IIE’s annual Open Doors Report).
Students are also leaving UK in record numbers to spend a few weeks or a semester studying, teaching, interning, researching and serving in countries around the world. These experiences develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge that will help students to be competitive and successful in the 21st century.
"UKIC's name change reflects its central role in helping students understand and adapt to the multicultural and interconnected nature of our world,” says Dan O’Hair, senior vice provost for student success and dean of the College of Communication and Information. “UK's global leadership, innovation and collaboration, coordinated by the UK International Center, is central to helping students reach across borders, perhaps farther than they thought possible. Students participating in UKIC's programs receive degrees that truly mark them as world-ready."
Not only are students benefitting from the work of UKIC, the University itself is gaining new international partnerships, new sources of revenue and new research opportunities that will establish UK’s reputation as a leading tier one research institution. An example of this kind of success is the recent $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of State to develop Pakistan’s business schools.