Petition for Approval
Eastern Illinois University is directly partnered with over 30 accredited institutions of higher education around the globe. Combined with the Office of Study Abroad's multiple third party provider affiliations, EIU is able to offer students over 500 different international program options to choose from. On extremely rare occasions, a prospective EIU study abroad student may be unable to find a program that meets their academic, professional, or other individual needs. Because the Office of Study Abroad exercises authority over the issuance of EIU credit for courses taken at approved overseas locations, all international host institutions/providers must go through a verification and approval process (before any student is permitted to enroll for EIU credit). Any student who studies abroad at an unapproved/non-partner institution and wishes to bring the credits back to EIU, will be able to request EIU transfer credit only and will not be eligible to use financial aid or EIU grants/scholarships to cover the cost of the program. Unlike EIU credit, transfer credit does not factor into a student's EIU GPA and foreign courses are not guaranteed to transfer back or satisfy EIU degree requirements.
If after thoroughly researching EIU's 500+ study abroad programs a student is unable to find one that meets their needs, the Office of Study Abroad will accept a Petition for Program Approval. Given the number and variety of approved study abroad options already available through the Office of Study Abroad, petitions should be submitted for unusual circumstances only. Students are excepted to initiate the petition process no later than 12 months prior to the anticipated program's start date. Petitioning students must be able to clearly communicate how the proposed host institution/program meets their specific needs in a way that EIU's existing international programs do not.
Fall semester and academic year programs:
December 1 the year prior
Spring semester programs:
May 1 the year prior
The petition process is completed online. All supporting materials for program approval must be uploaded to the student's application portal no later than one semester prior to the general study abroad application deadline. Proposed programs must take place during the fall or spring semester, or last a full academic year. Spring break, winter break, and summer programs are not eligible for petitioning. Approval of a petition is not guaranteed. Students are strongly urged to apply to an approved EIU program as a backup. Petitions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Each student's concentration(s), rationale, faculty approval, and transcript are evaluated individually. A program that was previously approved for one student does not guarantee approval for other students. Students may only submit one petition per academic year.
If a petition is granted, students will be prompted to begin the general study abroad pre-decision application phase and will follow the same procedures as students applying for approved programs. This includes applying for financial aid/EIU scholarships and obtaining pre-approval from department chairs to take foreign courses for EIU credit.
Prior to starting the petition process, students need to ensure their proposed host school/provider and location meets the following criteria:
1. Must be accredited by 1. a regionally recognized or national accrediting agency in the United States or by 2. the respective nation's Ministry of Education.
2. Must offer a minimum of 12 U.S. credit hours per semester for fall, spring, or academic year programs.
3. Cannot operate in a country or region for which the U.S. Department of State
has issued a Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4.
4. Cannot operate in a country or region for which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
has issued a Warning Level 3.
4. Cannot be operated by a for-profit entity or dot.com organizations.
Required petition materials include the petition application form, a statement of rationale, faculty support letter, unofficial transcript, and basic program information.