Since its inception in 1948, NAFSA has been engaged in setting standards and encouraging ethical conduct among individuals, institutions, and organizations active in the field of international education and exchange. The association provides a statement of ethical principles to help guide international educators in providing high-quality education and services to participants in international education and exchange.

The Role of Ethics in International Education

Our contemporary world is marked by increasing globalization, greater connectedness, and ease of movement. Knowledge and awareness of other peoples, countries, cultures, and beliefs is of utmost importance. As international educators we recognize that such knowledge is fundamental to the formation of educated persons and informed citizens and, increasingly, a key to professional, business, and personal success. The acquisition of this knowledge depends, to a great extent, on high-quality programs of international education and exchange.

International educators are dedicated to providing such programs and services with the highest level of integrity and responsibility. To accomplish this, we must attend carefully and actively to the ethical obligations that emerge from our relationships with students, scholars, our institutions, international partners, and other legitimate stakeholders.

As professionals, international educators share clear and defined values. We are committed to the welfare of the students and scholars in our programs. As educators, our decisions and actions should be guided by the goal of ensuring that our programs serve identifiable and legitimate educational purposes. Working in a global and multicultural environment, we are committed to the internationalization of education, not merely as a set of experiences, but as a value-laden set of interactions that produces individuals who are more knowledgeable, reflective, broad-minded, and aware.

Learn more about NAFSA's Statement of Ethical Principles