UKIC / Education Abroad & Exchanges / Our Story

Our Story

Who We Are

UK Education Abroad & Exchanges (UK EA) is a unit of the International Center that facilitates for-credit education abroad programs. We are a team of experienced international educators who work together, bringing different ideas, perspectives and strengths to support UK students pursuing education abroad opportunities. We are guided by best practices and ethical standards set by our professional associations and, collectively, we have 30+ years of collective professional experience in international higher education. We look forward to working with you to realize your global learning goals. 

What We Do

Our Mission

UK Education Abroad & Exchanges is a unit of the International Center with the primary responsibility to facilitate high-quality, academically-sound and experientially rich Study AbroadResearch AbroadIntern AbroadTeach Abroad and Service Abroad programs for UK students. UK Education Abroad & Exchanges also oversees international student exchange programming with our partner universities around the world. All other international experiences, including non-credit bearing programming, are managed by UK Education Abroad & Exchanges.

Our Values

Put Students First. We care for our students, as their well-being and academic success is our number one priority. Therefore, we practice student-driven engagement, putting students and their best interests first, while supporting them in achieving academic, professional and personal goals. UK EA supports students both domestically and abroad; and continually strives to achieve greater accessibility and inclusiveness within our mission.

Strive for Excellence. When working with us, you can always count on a high-level of professionalism and high-caliber energy behind the work we do. Not only do we follow best practices, we aim to set them as leaders within international education. We value efficiency, competency, consistency and timeliness. We act with integrity and transparency. We also expect the same of our students, faculty program directors and partners.

Value Collaboration. Both within the office and beyond, UK EA actively seeks opportunities to collaborate in order to strengthen partnerships, embrace differences and promote a teamwork approach. We navigate complexity by embracing multiple perspectives. We use open communication while working with each other and working across campus to accomplish goals.  

Inspire Creativity. UK EA provides the space to innovate and exercise creativity while performing our jobs. We embrace opportunities to challenge old ideas in order to seek new solutions that further align UK EA’s mission with student needs, college goals and institutional priorities.

Foster Positivity. UK EA is dedicated to cultivating an environment that encourages and fosters enjoyment of work and each other. We aim to balance work and life, supporting each other through challenges and opportunities for growth. We take our work seriously, but also believe humor is healthy for the workplace.

Support Professional Growth. Our professional growth helps us to better serve you. As international educators, we want to grow aspiring leaders and established professionals within our institution and our field. We aim to support, strengthen and develop a team of international education subject-matter experts by fostering professional and educational opportunities to achieve long-term goals that benefit both the individual and the team.

Our Priorities

Academic Quality. To facilitate relevant, high-quality academic programs abroad.

Global Citizenship. To facilitate international programs that produce UK graduates who are intellectually engaged, interculturally competent and prepared to contribute meaningfully to the leadership and sustainability of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the world.

Health, Safety and Security. To utilize national best practices to effectively and continuously monitor, evaluate and respond to health, safety and security conditions of all programming.

Diversity. To offer accessible programs that appeal to traditionally underrepresented populations in education abroad programming and to diversify the geographic destinations where UK students study.

Reciprocity. To facilitate programs that are respectful of the local communities that host UK students.

Our Strategic Partnerships

National Association Engagement

In order to ensure the highest quality of service, UK Education Abroad & Exchanges supports national best practices and actively engages in the Association of International Educators (NAFSA) and The Forum on Education Abroad. UK EA is also one of the founding members of the Kentucky Council on Education Abroad. 

Embedded Office Partner

UK Education Abroad & Exchanges maintains an embedded office partnership with a selected affiliate organization to further UK EA's strategic objectives, maximize student and faculty support and raise awareness about the value of education abroad experiences. 

ISA Kentucky, ISA's Inaugural Embedded Office, was established in 2012 and is situated on University of Kentucky's campus in Lexington. Housed within the UK International Center, two full-time ISA staff members support strategic university initiatives, collaborate on faculty-directed programs and manage a robust team of Global Ambassador peer advisors. ISA Kentucky also serves other partner institutions in the Commonwealth by supporting statewide education abroad initiatives.

Affiliate Partners

In order to facilitate a variety of program options throughout the world, UK Education Abroad & Exchanges maintains an extensive network of reputable education abroad provider organizations. Our current affiliations are as follows:

If you are an education abroad organization and are interested in becoming a recognized affiliate partner with the University of Kentucky, please contact the Executive Director of Education Abroad & Exchanges at miko.mcfarland@uky.edu

International Exchange Partners

UK Education Abroad & Exchanges values mutually beneficial collaboration with institutional partners through ongoing student/faculty exchange. We currently maintain over 60 bilateral exchange partnerships, which can be explored through our International Agreements Map.