International Agreements

To formally propose an international agreement, submit the International Agreement Request Form to the Office of the Provost, See Guidelines for International Agreements (instructions for completing this form). For questions or more information, please contact Alicia Kauffman in the International Student and Study Abroad Services Office at 701-231-8046 or

Upon approval of the International Agreement Request Form, the sample agreement templates below can be used as a starting point to create an agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long does it take to get an international agreement drafted and approved?  Moving from initial discussions to final approval by the president can take several months, particularly if your partner institution asks for special conditions or customized language. MOA completion can take 6-12 months.

Who is responsible for administering the initiatives outlined in the International Agreement? The academic unit at each institution responsible for the implementation and management of the agreement must be specifically identified in the agreement. The academic coordinator specified in the international agreement is responsible for the administration and implementation of an agreement.The academic unit (college/division) is responsible for obtaining commitments from relevant campus entities for the allocation of resources in support of the agreement – including office space, staffing, funding for exchanges of visiting scholars or students, tuition waivers, health and liability insurance, travel expenses, housing, and the like.

What is the standard duration for an MOU/MOA International Agreement? General MOUs should be valid for a period of five years from the effective date and may be renewed before the expiration date by agreement between the parties. A specific MOA will usually remain effective for the period of time necessary to complete a specific project or set of projects.

What is the process for modifying or extending international agreements? All extensions, amendments and any other modification to an international agreement 1) must be in writing and submitted to Office of the Provost three months in advance of the agreement’s expiration date.

What is the process for terminating an international agreement? Either institution may withdraw from an international agreement, provided written notification of the withdrawal is given to the collaborating institution at least 90 days prior to the withdrawal date. The termination must not adversely interrupt or impair active participation in a program already in process. A copy of the written notification of withdrawal should be forwarded to the Office of the Provost.

Should there be a foreign language version of the international agreement? Partner institutionsshould be provided opportunity to produce a second-language international agreement equivalent to the English language version. It is the responsibility of the initiating academic and/or administrative unit to provide appropriate translations of draft agreements.

What if a representative from a partner institution has already presented an MOU document for NDSU’s signature? It is not unusual for a visitor to arrive on campus with a standard agreement from his/her institution “in hand.” NDSU faculty and administrators are expected to utilize the campus approved MOU template in these instances, rather than sign the other institution’s document. Even though there may not appear to be any real differences between the two documents, the general MOU has been vetted by NDSU Legal Counsel and contains approved language and disclaimers.

How do I get funding for an international project? Funding for individuals pursuing agreement activities/proposals is the responsibility of the unit from where it originates. Unfortunately, there are no additional financial resources available for activities including, but not limited to, travel or other expenses incurred related to exploring agreement opportunities, campus resources, delegation visits or official signing events.    

What are the immigration requirements? It is important to consider immigration requirements when developing an agreement proposal, particularly with regard to what type of visa an individual may need prior to commencing study or research at NDSU.  If an agreement includes activity involving non-degree, short-term exchange or affiliate students (students who will spend 1-2 semesters at NDSU), they will be required to apply for a J-1 student visa.  For degree-seeking, transfer students who matriculate to NDSU, the F-1 student visa is required.  Activity involving international faculty, scholars or researchers coming to NDSU would need to apply for a J-1 visa in the appropriate category.  Please contact the Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services with any questions related to student visa questions or Faculty Immigration Services with any questions related to visiting international faculty, scholars and researchers.   

What are the admission requirements and procedures for international students? Applications are evaluated on an individual basis. The university uses selective criteria in order to assure adequate preparation which will enable students to be successful in their academic pursuits. Please consult the detailed procedures and requirements for degree-seeking, conditional admission and non-degree international students when drafting program agreements.  

When should a student submit an application for admission? Students applying for an undergraduate program of study should well ahead of stated deadlines to insure all materials are received and reviewed in a timely manner. It may take two to three weeks from the date all materials are received to make an admission decision. Students seeking admission for Fall Semester must have all materials submitted by June 1. The deadline to submit materials for Spring Semester is November 1.

Students applying for short-term exchange, affiliate or study abroad students should apply by May 1 for consideration for fall semester and November 1 for spring semester. The application process for exchange, affiliate, and study abroad and fact sheets with regard to application materials and other relevant information will be provided by the Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services upon request. 

What are the English language proficiency requirements at NDSU for international students? All applicants must demonstrate English proficiency to study at NDSU. Undergraduate students should review the requirements found online in the International Transfer Admission Requirements. Students from a country where the only official language is English, are exempt from the proficiency requirement. A complete list of approved countries can be found in the International Transfer Admission Requirements. The Intensive English Language Program (IELP) at NDSU is designed to help non-native speakers achieve English proficiency, and can be a gateway to prepare students for full-time university level coursework. This conditional admission status allows for a combination of academic and English language coursework. Language proficiency requirements for graduate students vary by program of study. Minimum requirements can be found online in the English Language Test Score Requirements for graduate students. Nondegree exchange, affiliate or visiting study abroad students should demonstrate a minimum proficiency with a composite score of 71 on the iBT TOEFL exam or a 6.0 on the IELTS.

What is the cost to attend NDSU? Tuition varies by classification, residence and program of study. Information is updated annually by Customer Account Services. Information on tuition and fees for both undergraduate and graduate students remains updated on the NDSU One Stop (formerly Bison Connection) website. Separate charges for housing are assessed for those living in campus owned housing, an international student support services fee is charged to all International Students, student Health Insurance may be required, and all students pay a student fee for programs and support while on campus. Please be careful to note differential tuition rates and how that may affect the total tuition and fees required of enrolled students.  Tuition and fees for short-term, non-degree undergraduate students at NDSU as bilateral exchange students are typically waived if the conditions are stated as such and pre-approved in the agreement. However, questions about other short-term study abroad or affiliate students should be directed to the Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services. Any questions about graduate student tuition and fees should be directed to the Graduate School. Other costs such as room and board, health insurance, books and miscellaneous expenses will also need to be understood as there are financial documents that need to be submitted by students prior to issuance of an immigration document for them to apply for a student visa.  On a separate note, the NDUS statewide designated student health insurance plan is required of F-1 students and all J visa holders regardless of category. Additionally, if F-2 dependents are enrolled, they too are required to purchase the NDUS statewide designated student health insurance plan. 

May students attending NDSU under an international agreement live on campus? Yes, a Residence Hall Application must be completed to live on campus. Students may also qualify to live in on-campus apartments. Housing is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be guaranteed for all students, so early application is encouraged.

How can we market our international program? For approved student exchange agreements, the Office of International Student and Study Abroad Services (ISSAS) can help to market the new program both online as well as through printed brochures created for distribution both in ISSAS and as students are seeking resources in walk-in or advising appointments in the office. 

How can we terminate an agreement? In general, at the end of the negotiated term, an agreement can be terminated without further notification to the partner institution. If a decision is reached to terminate an agreement, that decision must be communicated to the partner institution in a timely manner.NDSU may terminate or not seek renewal of an existing agreement in the case of failure to comply with the terms of the international agreement by either institution or changes to personnel or program status, or as mandated by state or federal law (failure to pay, failure to correct such as an imbalance in exchange student numbers with sufficient flow of students, loss of accreditation, questionable transcripts).

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