For 20 years, International Short Programs (ISP) has provided short, on-campus intercultural education experiences for visiting international students and professionals, first as a part of the Applied English Center, and now as a unit under KU International Affairs. We have designed and delivered 23 unique programs for more than 1,600 participants, with many sending cohorts multiple years. Programs range from 3 weeks to 9 months. ISP has been awarded grants for 11 federally-funded and bi-national initiative programs. Two examples are the prestigious U.S. Department of State Fulbright Summer Pre-Academic Program (2000-2017) and the prestigious 8-week Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Pre-Academic Training Program. In 2018, ISP was selected as the only program in the United States to host the Humphrey Pre-Academic Program. We provide support to KU faculty who bring groups of international students to campus for a customized, short program in their discipline. We work directly with international partner universities to develop customized programs, including the 25-year Kanagawa University program (Hiratsuka, Japan).
Our mission is to design and facilitate comprehensive, well-run short programs with rich academic and intercultural components. This includes providing comprehensive, people-focused services and program logistics from before arrival through the program’s end to ensure participants a soft-landing into a new culture. It also includes creating the space for participants to engage with others, experience life on campus and in the community, and to reflect on what it means to live in another culture. Consistently we have seen this careful attention to programming and the whole person result in positive and transformative experiences for participants.