The UCLA Office of International Studies and Global Engagement, or the UCLA International Office, has a dual mandate: it champions the study of the world at UCLA and represents UCLA to the world.
Headed by the Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement, the office is responsible for the UCLA International Institute, as well as international education and global outreach at the university level.
The UCLA International Institute educates students, supports scholarship on the world at UCLA and serves as a campus and community resource.
With a history dating back to 1958, the Institute is the central hub for global and area studies on campus. Its more than 25 centers and programs support innovative multidisciplinary research on specific world regions and pressing global issues; its rigorous academic degree programs promote the study of globalization, international development, global health, and diverse regions of the world.
Academic Programs: Global and Area Studies. The Institute’s wide variety of interdisciplinary academic programs offer six undergraduate majors, nine undergraduate minors, and three graduate programs. Together, they enroll nearly 1,000 students each year. UCLA International Institute alumni — some of whom go on to pursue advanced research and professional degrees — work in the education, government, nonprofit, and business sectors of countries all over the world.
The internationally renowned faculty who serve as directors of the Institute's centers — and as chairs and professors of its academic programs — hold appointments throughout UCLA’s College of Letters and Science and professional schools. These faculty frequently enrich the Institute’s global and regional course offerings by leading travel study and education abroad programs.
To sustain the expertise that makes UCLA a leader in scholarship on the world, the International Institute actively recruits and helps fund faculty who specialize in international studies and supports advanced language classes and courses on specific world regions and topics. In addition, each of its individual centers creates networks of research scholars across the campus, the nation, and the world.
Research on the world. Both the UCLA International Institute and its centers support cutting-edge research via graduate student fellowships; language study scholarships; faculty grants; and funding for conferences, publications, and collaborative research projects. Across campus, the Institute is uniquely positioned to bring together departments and centers to foster collaborative research and debate on issues such as climate change, public health threats, international conflicts, and migration.
Recent initiatives spearheaded by the UCLA International Institute include conferences on water conservation and management in Australia and Los Angeles, the future of the Asia Pacific region, and why medical interventions that target indigenous populations in Central America fail to reach them.
Campus and community resource. Through some 500 annual public lectures, symposia, conferences, and cultural events, the UCLA International Institute serves as a first‐class resource not only for the campus, but for the global city of Los Angeles and its residents. The breadth and depth of its research interests make the Institute a valuable partner for its home city — LA’s multiethnic population and economic interests connect it closely to the countries of the Pacific Rim and Latin America, as well as those of the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
Recent events sponsored by the Institute’s individual centers have included talks on the Ukrainian-Russian crisis, a panel of experts from Russia speaking on the Putin regime, lectures by several retired U.S. ambassadors, talks by Israeli and Ethiopian-American writers, an ongoing contemporary Brazilian film series, talks on China by contemporary American journalists and the leader of a top Chinese law firm, and professional development workshops for K–12 teachers.
The UCLA International Office seeks to ensure that all UCLA students graduate as globally proficient citizens. The office helps internationalize the UCLA curriculum and promotes the University of California Education Abroad Programs, UCLA Travel Study programs, and international internship opportunities. One of its principal tasks is to raise funds for international education, including for study abroad scholarships.
The Vice Provost appoints the faculty director of the UCLA International Education Office and facilitates the participation of international scholars to its schools, divisions, and campus life.
In consultation with faculty throughout campus, the UCLA International Office is responsible for developing and implementing UCLA’s global strategy for engaging regions around the world, as well as international partners overseas and in the United States.
The office accordingly plays the lead role in promoting and maintaining the UCLA global brand. To this end, it plans international trips for senior university leaders in order to strengthen and/or create research and education partnerships; recruit top students and faculty; cultivate supporters; and fundraise on behalf of all UCLA divisions and professional schools.
The Vice Provost's office actively builds UCLA’s global presence by supporting overseas networks of alumni and friends and creating strategic international programs. Among its innovations are the UCLA Global Forums, meetings that bring together Bruins, university partners, and local leaders around the world to strengthen the UCLA global community.
The office is also responsible for managing the university’s more than 350 research, teaching, and student exchange agreements with 200 institutions in 50 countries. In addition, it represents UCLA in major global associations, such as the Association of International Education Administrators and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities.
On campus, the International Office serves as UCLA’s global gateway, arranging campus visits by educational, cultural, and political delegations from around the world and hosting senior foreign representatives, including heads of states, ambassadors and consul generals. In addition, it responds to international requests to participate in partnerships and initiatives, and provides regional expertise and contacts to UC administrators and UCLA faculty upon request.
As a service to the entire university community, the office maintains the UCLA Global Website: a one-stop online resource about the university’s international activities, faculty, and students. UCLA Global provides information about UCLA’s international research, its global outreach and partnerships, and the international programs of the College of Letters and Science and the university’s 11 professional schools.
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