Global Relations & Agreements

As a comprehensive public research university, Illinois maintains inter-institutional relationships with partners around the world. These include other institutions of higher education, government ministries, research funding agencies, NGOs, municipalities, and private corporations. Activities undertaken in collaboration with our partners include student mobility and exchange, cooperative education, collaborative research, training and consultation, capacity development, resource sharing, and more.

Agreements between the Urbana campus and foreign partner institutions can range from non-binding letters of intent to formal, legally binding contracts that obligate one or both partners to perform specific actions or provide specific services to the other. Illinois International facilitates the international agreements process through these services:

  • Provision of knowledge on partner relations and the agreements process, drawing on relational expertise and connections with international partners
  • Information about and initial consultation on proposed agreements
  • Provision of standardized templates for common agreements and contracts
  • Initial review of proposed agreements related to issues such as student safety and security and provision of immigration documents
  • Management of contracts in University systems
  • Maintenance of information on the scope and nature of international agreements

Establishing an Agreement

First Steps

To ensure that maximum mutual benefit will result from such cooperation, there should first be an objective evaluation of the proposed partnership, including:

  • The overall quality and academic standing of the potential partner
  • The overall value of the linkage to the University of Illinois
  • The potential for institutional support within Illinois for the partnership
  • The commitment to a balanced exchange of students between institutions (for proposed student exchange agreements)

Campus units wishing to establish a new international agreement should ensure that all relevant parties in their department, college, or unit have been consulted and support the proposed agreement.

Requesting an Agreement using Approved Templates

Many agreements can be completed using standard templates. Because these templates are approved by OBFS, Legal Counsel, Registrar, Admissions, Graduate College, and Illinois International they allow for expedited processing. In some instances, slight modifications may be needed to a templated form. In that case, make note of the desired changes in the Comments section of the intake form or upload a document with changes. Modifying a templated agreement, even slightly, will lengthen the required review time. To initiate a templated agreement, complete the appropriate intake form below for the desired agreement type. Please note that all agreements will be reviewed initially by Illinois International Global Relations. In addition, any agreement establishing student mobility will be reviewed by International Safety and Security.

Cooperative Education Agreement

A cooperative education agreement allows students to work for two different university degrees in parallel, completing them in less time than it would take to earn them separately, such as is the case with a 3 + 2 bachelor/master's program.

Fee-Based Study Abroad (Outgoing) Agreement

This agreement allows for Illinois students to study at a particular university abroad, or through a study abroad provider program when the University is making payments on behalf of the student to the provider.

General Agreement

This agreement allows institutions to formally document opportunities for activities and programs such as teaching, research, exchange, and staff development that will foster a collaborative relationship. It is sometimes a precursor to a more specific, detailed and binding agreement.

Reciprocal Student Exchange Agreement

A reciprocal agreement allows for the exchange of students between the University of Illinois and a partner university abroad.

Requesting an Agreement without an Approved Template

Certain agreements do not yet have approved templates. To initiate such an agreement, complete the intake form below. You also have the option of uploading a partner or custom template in cases where the intake form does not apply.

Agreements that are not completed on standard templates will require additional review and approval prior to being finalized. Approvals vary depending on the type of agreement, and may include any or all of the following:

  • Illinois International Global Relations
  • International Safety and Security (for student mobility agreements)
  • International Student and Scholar Services
  • Sponsored Programs Administration (for agreements involving collaborative research)
  • University Counsel
  • Purchasing (for agreements involving payments to an outside entity made by the University)
  • Other University units such as Graduate College, Admissions, etc., depending on the nature of the agreement

Direct Enroll Study Abroad (outgoing) Agreement

A direct enroll study abroad agreement allows for Illinois students to study at a particular university abroad, or through a study abroad provider program when the student is making payments directly to the university or provider.

Renewing or Amending Agreements

You may renew or amend any existing, unexpired agreement by completing the application available via the button below. We suggest initiating renewals at least six months prior to the expiration date of the agreement. If your agreement is expired, you must apply to initiate a new one (see 'Establishing an Agreement').

Finalizing & Signing an Agreement

In order for any agreement between the University of Illinois and a foreign institution to be valid, it should be approved and signed by:

  • The Chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus
  • The Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies of the Urbana-Champaign campus
  • The Comptroller of the University of Illinois, or a duly appointed proxy

It is expected that all partner signatures will be secured before the agreement is routed for signatures at Illinois. Once fully executed, Illinois International will provide a copy of the agreement to the requesting unit by email. Illinois International can also send a copy to the international partner at the request of the unit. As official documents of the University of Illinois, digital copies of all agreements are also archived in Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA) and/or in the Illinois Contracts Systems Repository (iCS) maintained by the Contracts Services Office. Foreign partners may request as many signed original prints of the final Agreement as they require.


Illinois International
507 East Green Street, Suite 401
Champaign, IL 61820 USA
Phone: (217) 333-6104 | Fax: (217) 265-0810
Email: international@illinois