Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

1. How do I find out if an agreement already exists with a particular institution?

FSU’s Center for Global Engagement maintains an online database with records of all known international agreements and institutional partners.

The website contains general information about the agreement and identifies a faculty contact. Please contact the faculty coordinator directly or contact the Program Director, International Initiatives if you would like more information on a specific agreement.

2. What kinds of collaborations require a formal written agreement?

Formal written agreements (or contract) are required whenever an international collaboration involves the following:

  • The ongoing exchange of students between collaborating institutions
  • The development of special study abroad programs for international students at FSU
  • The ongoing commitment of university resources. In most cases, agreements involving university resources are considered contracts and are required to go through the Office of Research.

Some examples of international collaboration that do not require a formal institutional agreement:

  • Inviting a visiting international student to campus for research purposes
  • One-time meetings, special events, and conferences

3. Does the proposed partnership proposal/agreement include financial commitments or remunerations, a contract for research or curriculum development, or technology transfer?

If so, the proposed agreement will go through FSU Office of Research and not through the Program Director, FSU International Initiatives.

4. When is it appropriate to use the general Cooperative Agreement template?

The Cooperative Agreement template is designed to meet the needs of most faculty and academic units seeking to acknowledge an international partnership. It allows the faculty to identify a set of activities that will be explored with the foreign institution in more detail in the near future  including student exchange, faculty visitation, joint conferences, research projects and the like. However, the Cooperative Agreement stipulates that the signed agreement does not any way indicate a commitment of funds, staffing, or facilities at that point and that specific joint projects will require a separate agreement.

5. When does my initiative or program require an additional amendment?

Amendments are required when a specific program or initiative is developed that goes beyond the scope of the original MOA. Amendments allow for each party to outline expectations and clarify requirements.

6. What is the process for developing an agreement?

Please go the Developing International Agreements page and review the procedures.

7. What if a representative from a partner institution has already presented an agreement for FSU's signature?

It is not unusual for an international university to seek to initiate a partnership and to ask that FSU sign a standard agreement from his/her institution. Agreements that do not follow pre-approved templates will go to legal counsel for review as part of the internal approval process. This may cause some delay.

8. Should there be a foreign language version of the agreement?

It is the responsibility of the initiating academic and/or administrative unit to provide appropriate translations of draft agreements or to approve translations provided by the partner (translations must be review and approved by an "expert" in the language. A Word version of the approved translation should be sent to the Program Director, International Initiatives for incorporation into the Agreement document.

9. What if the partner institution has different legal requirements for drafting an agreement?

This is not typically a problem, most changes can be accommodated or mutual agreement can be found. The Program Director, FSU International Initiatives will work with the partner institution and FSU legal counsel to determine agreeable language.

10. For what period will the Agreement remain valid?

In most instances, agreements remain valid for five years, which usually provides sufficient time for implementation and evaluation of the proposed affiliation and projects. When it comes time to review an agreement for renewal, agreements that have not resulted in significant collaborative activity are unlikely to receive support for renewal.


Exchange FAQs

1. What is the process for initiating a new international exchange agreement or an addendum to an existing agreement?

Please review the Developing International Agreements page. Contact the Program Director, FSU International Initiatives to discuss options.

2. Are Exchange programs open to graduate students?

Certain programs are open to graduate students.

3. What is the difference between an exchange student program and transfer credit/visiting student program?

Exchange students pay their normal tuition and fees to their home institution. Visiting students pay regular tuition and fees to their host institution. Visiting students may plan to simply audit courses at the host university and pay an audit fee. They may also apply to take courses for credit and transfer the credits to their home institution following the home institution's rules for transferring credit. For more information on FSU policy regarding transfer credit see the Direct Enroll page.

4. Why does FSU require all exchange and visiting students to submit proof of English proficiency such as the TOEFL or IELTS?

International applicants whose education has been primarily outside of the United States of America must provide objective evidence of proficiency in the English language. Students coming from another country whose official language is English may be exempt from this requirement.

Students wishing to study English as a Second Language at FSU's Center for Intensive English Studies may apply directly to CIES to study ESL and do not need to submit proof of English proficiency. However, international students cannot study at CIES as part of the exchange program.


Visiting Scholar/Cooperative Agreement FAQs

1. Can a visiting scholar take classes while at FSU?

Cooperative Agreements are not appropriate for cooperation involving full-time students enrolling at the partner institutions for credit. They are also not an appropriate vehicle for bringing in visiting scholars and/or international students who wish to take a full class load at FSU. Visiting scholars and research students enrolled at another university may come to FSU and use FSU's research facilities, participate in departmental research activities, and receive advice and mentoring from an FSU faculty member. However, if a visitor coming under a cooperative agreement wants to audit or take classes at FSU for credit, s/he is required to register through admissions and pay the applicable tuition rates. In addition, research students are not allowed to take a full class load while at FSU. The purpose of the J-1 Research Scholar visa category is for research and academic collaboration; U.S. federal regulations state that J-1 Research Scholar visas are intended “for the primary purpose of conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with research projects at research institutions … A research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor.”

2. Why must international visiting students pay the Non-Resident Tuition rate?

Tuition and fee rates for tuition and fees are set by the Board of Governors for FSU. Florida Statutes 1009.24 and 1099.26(9) as well as BOG Regulations 6.009(1) govern residency requirements and eligibility for in-state tuition rates.



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