International Agreements

General Information for International Institution-to-Institution Agreements

What is an International Memorandum of Understanding (IMOU)?

An IMOU is a binding, legal contract formalizing terms of collaboration between the University of New Hampshire and one or more international institutions. USNH legal counsel has reviewed and approved IMOU templates. All IMOUs require the signature of the UNH Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs,  as well as the initiating unit's department chair/director and/or dean/vice president, depending on the type of agreement. The types of agreements may include (but are not limited to) general friendship and cooperation, reciprocal student exchange, study abroad, faculty/staff/specialist exchange, research collaboration, and/or technical assistance.

To view the IMOU templates, click on the appropriate link below:

What special steps are needed if student exchange or study abroad is a component of the IMOU?

If the agreement contemplates UNH students going to the international collaborator's site on academic exchange or study abroad, that part of the Agreement must be approved by the University Committee on Study Abroad (UCSA) according to the criteria specified in the 1998 UNH Study Away Programs: Principles, Policies, Procedures (as amended from time-to-time by UCSA) prior to obtaining the necessary signatures. Please contact CIE for the most up-to-date set of criteria.

What should be done if the partner institution has already prepared an IMOU or has different legal requirements?

Many international institutions have a number of collaborating partners and have already developed their own IMOU templates. UNH's Center for International Education (CIE) will work with the UNH administrative/academic unit to ensure conformity with the key provisions of the Template IMOU. This step may require additional review by USNH legal counsel. If there are different legal requirements, legal review by USNH counsel will be required. Please allow several weeks for the completion of any legal review.

How should the IMOU handle financial arrangements?

Any financial obligation, including tuition support, teaching and research assistantships, travel expenses, housing, medical insurance, or other costs, must be described in detail in the IMOU. If no such commitments are being made, the language of the IMOU must make this explicit. Medical insurance is a critical element to be included in any agreement that involves international faculty, researchers or students coming to UNH because of its connection to J-1 Exchange Visitor visas.

Other details:

The responsible UNH administrative/academic unit must be clearly identified and a principal contact in that unit designated.

All IMOUs must have a fixed term of validity. Three to five years is the norm.

A foreign language version of the IMOU, equivalent to the English version, is acceptable. It is the responsibility of the initiating unit to provide appropriate translations of IMOUs.

Graduate level IMOU’s should follow the UNH Graduate School’s policy on Partnerships With Other Universities:


  1. Using the appropriate Template IMOU provided, draft the IMOU specific to the proposed agreement. Paragraphs may be modified, added, or deleted as appropriate to the circumstances of the relationship. If no appropriate Template IMOU exists for the purposes of the agreement under discussion, contact CIE or USNH legal counsel. Upon submission for approval to the Director of CIE, the initiating unit should describe such changes to the Template IMOU.
  2. The University Committee on Study Abroad (UCSA) must approve all IMOUs contemplating UNH students going to the collaborating institution for academic or co-curricular purposes prior to approval of the IMOU to the Director of CIE and signature of the President or Provost. USCA meets monthly during the academic year and it usually takes two to three meetings to resolve all issues related to sending students abroad.
  3. Obtain signatures of chair/director and dean. Submit the IMOU to the CIE Director for approval. If research is part of the IMOU, the CIE Director will forward the IMOU to the Vice-President for Research and Public Service for approval.
  4. The CIE Director will submit the IMOU and supporting documentation to the President or Provost for signature after all prior approvals have been obtained.
  5. CIE will distribute fully signed IMOUs to all appropriate units. The IMOU will also be listed in CIE's database of IMOUs.