About the Office of International Short Programs and Its Partners

International Short Programs (ISP)

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.

For 20 years, International Short Programs (ISP) has provided short, on-campus intercultural education experiences for visiting international students, scholars, and professionals, first as a part of the Applied English Center, and now as an independent unit under KU International Affairs. We have designed and delivered 23 unique programs for more than 1,600 participants, with many programs sending cohorts multiple years. Current programs range from 3 weeks to 9 months. A number of our programs are a result of grants awarded to us for federally funded and bi-national initiative programs. We also work directly with international partner universities to develop customized programs, including the 25-plus year Kanagawa University program (Hiratsuka, Japan). Additionally, we provide support to KU faculty who bring groups of international students to campus for a customized, short program in their discipline.

The University of Kansas

Founded in 1865, the University of Kansas (KU) is a comprehensive research institution with more than 200 fields of study and 2600 faculty members.  The university has the most highly developed international programs west of the Mississippi River, with four National Resource Centers focusing on Latin American Studies, Russian and East European Studies, East Asian Studies, and African Studies.  The university welcomes students and scholars from around the world.  Nearly 2,400 international students and scholars from more than 100 countries study and conduct research at the university each year.

KU has one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States.  It sits on Mount Oread, a scenic, tree-covered hill in the center of the city of Lawrence, Kansas.  The university is home to several nationally recognized museums and has one of the best public research libraries in the US.  The campus has an exciting cultural and social life, including lectures, films, concerts, art exhibits, theater, and athletic competitions.  Explore KU through the KU virtual tour, YouTube, or Instagram.

University of Kansas Academic Departments

International Short Programs works with various academic departments to develop short-term, discipline specific programs for groups of international participants. To see more about an individual department, please visit their website.

The Applied English Center

As a component of many ISP programs, students take English classes through the KU Applied English Center. The Applied English Center (AEC) was founded in 1964, making it one of the oldest university programs in English as a Second Language in the United States.  The Center’s mission is to provide courses in English as a second language to international students admitted to university degree programs, those admitted directly to the AEC as special students, and participants of ISP groups.  In addition to teaching English as a second language, the Applied English Center assists international students in making successful adjustments to American campus life through its orientation and advising programs. The AEC has a staff of Cross-Cultural Advisors who are available to discuss student academic, social, and personal problems, and share information about the AEC, the university, and the community. The AEC also works closely with the staff of the Office of International Support Services and other offices to ensure its students have the help they need to succeed as students at KU.