Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS)

The Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS) is a faculty-led study abroad consortium of colleges and universities in Kentucky and surrounding states. KIIS is dedicated to providing personalized, academically enriching, and affordable international education programs for college credit. KIIS believes study abroad should be an integral part of any degree program, regardless of academic discipline, and should prepare students to become globally competent upon graduation. Kentucky State University is a longstanding member institution of KIIS. Dr. Eric Yang ( serves KSU Campus Representative.

KIIS study abroad programs help students synthesize and analyze information in a foreign cultural setting, enhance written and verbal communication skills, understand contemporary global challenges, and develop a heightened sense of confidence and leadership. Currently KIIS offers approximately thirty faculty-led Winter (2-week), Summer (4-5-week), and Semester programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Academic disciplines include, but are not limited to: Anthropology, Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Criminology, Communication, Education, English, Fashion Merchandising, Graphic Design, History, Honors, Hospitality Management, Music, Nursing, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Sociology, and all STEM fields. The vast majority of KIIS courses are taught in English, though we very much continue to support the study of foreign languages (on select programs, we offer Arabic, French, German, Japanese and Spanish). We believe study abroad should be an integral part of any degree program, regardless of academic discipline, and should prepare students to be globally competent upon graduation.

Each year, approximately 500 students and 80 faculty participate on KIIS programs. KIIS programs range in size from ten to forty students. They strive to keep a 7:1 student to faculty ratio. For many of participating students, their KIIS program will be their first experience outside of the United States. A growing number are first-generation college students, and we have seen a significant rise in the participation of ethnic, religious, racial, and regional minority students. Currently, KIIS awards more than $80,000 per year in student scholarships, which complement education abroad funding students may receive from their home campus.

Western Kentucky University (WKU) serves as KIIS Sponsoring Institution, which, for the purposes here, means a) all KIIS faculty are credentialed with WKU Academic Affairs; b) all KIIS course credit is issued by WKU and automatically transfers to each member institution following completion of a KIIS program (each member institution determines what those KIIS courses will count towards for their participating students— e.g. transfer equivalencies in the major core, major elective, general education, etc.); c) we follow WKU (and, by extension, the State of Kentucky) accounting practices (the KIIS main office is based at WKU); and d) WKU generously does not charge students tuition for participating on KIIS study abroad programs.

Please visit KIIS homepage for details