About Us

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OIS Staff

As international educators, the staff of the Office of International Studies promises to:

  • Act in such a way that students’ best interests are represented in our advising, programming, and support services.
  • Seek to further students’ academic goals and address those needs that stem from more holistic--personal, developmental, social concerns.
  • Operate in a way that is consistent with the mission of an Augustinian university, which “encourages an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of cultures and experiences… and the development of an international perspective.”
  • Underscore individual advising with the premise that ALL students that study overseas will still graduate on time, given that they successfully complete all approved courses.
  • Serve as an academic resource during all aspects of the overseas educational experience: before, during, and after the sojourn.
  • Provide the most up-to-date information available on programs, health and safety matters, and cross-cultural issues.
  • Create, promote, or suggest programs offering students the most immersion in the local host culture, and avoid those programs that treat students merely as customers or academic tourists.
  • Remember that the primary constituent for this Office is always the students, not parents, overseas colleagues, or personal contacts.

OIS Participants

As applicants to and participants in an overseas education program, students will:

  • Behave in a way that makes them not only exemplary representatives of Villanova University, but also highly regarded ambassadors for the United States of America.
  • Articulate their desire to study overseas in terms of a skill that they want to develop, one that is based on academic, personal, or professional goals.
  • Remember that the privilege of studying abroad remains couched in academic parameters. “Study abroad is an extension of, not a break from, the Villanova education.”
  • Understand that as adults, they are ultimately responsible for their own choices, personal safety, and fortitude.
  • Keep in mind two important aspects of Augustinian pedagogy: that “experience” does not necessarily mean “knowledge” and that learning is an active, not a passive, process. These beliefs imply that in order to truly learn about a host culture, it is not enough to be merely a spectator, but rather to become engaged in that culture.

According to the former U.S. Secretary of Education, Rod Paige: "Complex global interactions, once reserved for the diplomatic corps, are today the stuff of everyday business deals and cultural exchanges. If we expect students to navigate international waters, we need to give them an international education that meets the highest standards..."

The Office of International Studies is dedicated to offering international education opportunities that meet those standards. This dedication is reflected not only in the Academic Strategic Plan of Villanova University but also by the Augustinian identity of the university itself. St. Augustine's philosophical, theological, and spiritual development are linked intimately with his own international educational experiences: Carthage (modern Tunisia), Rome and Milan (Italy), and his bishopric at Hippo all represent milestones for both the man and the Order that bears his name.

These web pages provide a brief overview to the policies and programs associated with the Office of International Studies. They are meant for your use regardless of where you are in your academic career.

Regardless of where you are in the application process, we congratulate you on your initiative and your interest in adding an international component to your education. Perhaps in a small way, we are living up to the university's mission of adding an influence to "the search for world peace and justice by means of...it's academic programs..." As former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has stated, "Clearly, we need to use education to advance tolerance and understanding. Perhaps more than ever, international understanding is essential to world peace -- understanding between faiths, between nations, between cultures. Today, we know that just as no nation is immune to conflict or suffering, no nation can defend itself alone. We need each other -- as friends, as allies, as partners -- in a struggle for common values and common needs."

Best wishes and, on behalf of the Office, we look forward to working with you!

~The staff of the Office of International Studies~

Mission Statement

international studies

The Office of International Studies and Overseas Programs fulfills the Villanova University promise "to add its influence to the search for world peace and justice by means of its academic programs and the pastoral ministry it provides for the members of the community."

In fulfilling this promise, the OIS views its mission as one that enhances and strengthens the University's commitment to diversity, intellectual growth, and a global perspective. Thus, the OIS is committed to ensuring that an international educational perspective is an integral part of a Villanova University education.