About the Office

The UCLA Office of International Studies and Global Engagement, or the UCLA International Office, has a dual mandate: it champions the study of the world at UCLA and represents UCLA to the world.

Headed by the Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement, the office is responsible for UCLA’s global strategy and engagement. The office manages UCLA’s partnership agreements with foreign institutions, represents UCLA to international constituencies and organizations, hosts foreign delegations and dignitaries, promotes international education and exchange on campus and oversees the UCLA International Institute.

Global Engagement. The Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement functions as UCLA’s unofficial “secretary of state,” with a “diplomatic portfolio” that encompasses the many ways in which UCLA engages with the world. In consultation with faculty, departments and schools across campus, her office develops and implements UCLA’s global strategy and plays an important role in promoting and maintaining the UCLA global brand.

The International Office plans international trips for senior university leaders to strengthen and/or create research and education partnerships, recruit top-ranked students and faculty, cultivate supporters, strengthen and expand the UCLA global alumni community and fundraise on behalf of all UCLA divisions and professional schools. The Vice Provost works closely with the UCLA Europe Office in London.

In addition, the office actively builds UCLA’s global presence by supporting overseas networks of alumni and creating new strategic international programs. Among its innovations are networking and educational events that bring together Bruins, university partners and local leaders in countries around the world to discuss issues of local, regional and global concern.

The International Office also manages the university’s roughly 192 research, teaching and student exchange agreements with institutions in 47 countries and regions. It also represents UCLA in major global associations, such as the Association of International Education Administrators and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, as well as at major international educational conferences.

The office facilitates requests to participate in international partnerships and initiatives and provides regional expertise and contacts to UC administrators and UCLA faculty upon request. And as a service to the university community, the International Office maintains the UCLA Global website: a one-stop online resource about the university’s international activities, faculty and students.

On campus, the International Office serves as UCLA’s gateway to the world, arranging campus visits of educational, cultural and political delegations. It regularly hosts senior foreign representatives, including heads of states, ambassadors and consuls general.

International Education. Given the increasingly interconnected nature of the world, international education is more important than ever. The UCLA International Office has a campus-wide vision to enable all UCLA students to graduate as globally proficient citizens. It works with the leadership of UCLA’s schools, divisions and professional schools to internationalize the UCLA curriculum to prepare our students to be successful global citizens in today’s complex world.

A major priority of the Vice Provost is to help as many UCLA students as possible gain international experience and a global perspective in their field of study. She has been actively involved in fundraising for study abroad scholarships and graduate fellowships.

Undergraduates may study abroad for a semester or an academic year, attend a summer travel study program or pursue an internationally oriented internship (for credit) with a business or nonprofit organization. They may also become fluent in a foreign language, learn about the cultures and histories of nations worldwide, forge friendships with international peers and participate in student organizations focused on global engagement.

Graduate students must frequently achieve proficiency in foreign languages and conduct research in those languages in countries and regions worldwide. They may also participate in summer research exchanges in another country or take courses that give them the intercultural communication skills needed to work in global teams.

The Vice Provost promotes study abroad and international internship programs and appoints the faculty director of the UCLA International Education Office (IEO). She also champions graduate fellowships, as well as the participation of international scholars in the activities of UCLA schools and divisions and campus life as a whole. The International Office, for example, hosts the Visiting Fulbright Scholar Enrichment Program for the Los Angeles metropolitan region and works closely with the UCLA Study Abroad/IEO and the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars.

Each November, the Vice Provost organizes a high-profile, campus-wide event at UCLA: International Education Week (IEW). Held on college campuses nationwide throughout the United States, IEW is a weeklong celebration of international education and exchange. From student performances to an evening devoted to a Global Conversation, the week showcases UCLA’s considerable international education resources and brings together student associations and study abroad and international students to learn more about UCLA's degree programs in international studies and internationally oriented centers.

The week is typically cosponsored by multiple schools, divisions and administrative offices of UCLA.

UCLA International Institute

The UCLA International Institute is the “jewel in the crown” of international education at UCLA. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in international studies, promotes scholarship on the world’s diverse regions and serves as a campus and community resource.

With a history dating back to 1958, the Institute houses more than 28 centers and programs that support innovative multidisciplinary research on specific world areas, as well as pressing global issues. Its rigorous academic programs in global studies, international development, global health, international migration, and country- and regionally oriented studies consistently attract excellent students.

The Institute’s public events program — which offers roughly 250 public lectures, symposia, conferences and cultural events each academic year — gives both the UCLA campus and the global city of Los Angeles direct access to the latest research on global developments and world regions.

The breadth and depth of its research interests make the International Institute a valuable partner to its home city. The institute has numerous links to Los Angeles, including close relationships with international organizations, businesses, Hollywood content creators and the many consulates general located in the city. The vice provost, for example, serves as an adviser to the nonprofit organization, Sister Cities of Los Angeles.

For more detailed information about the UCLA International Institute, please visit its website.

Updated January 2024

Message from the Vice Provost

I am committed to UCLA’s global mission and humbled to be the first woman and person of color to serve as the university’s senior international officer (SIO).

My appreciation for a global perspective began in childhood. Raised by parents who were farmers in rural China, I was born in Hong Kong and received a British colonial education. I feel incredibly fortunate to be the first in my family to have gone to college. Undergraduate geography field trips to the Philippines and Japan, followed by the culture shock of being a Ph.D. student in Ohio, allowed me to experience the transformative power of study abroad. My education and the benefits of international study have enabled me to become a Vice Provost at one of the world’s great public universities.

Global developments of the past few years — including the COVID-19 pandemic, racial justice movements, growing social and economic inequities and increasing evidence of the impacts of climate change — have made UCLA’s global mission even more compelling. New courses on the political economy of climate change and economic development, international collaborations on risk reduction and resilience, together with recent webinar series on COVID-19 and the global dimensions of the Black Lives Matter movement, are some of the ways in which we are responding to these developments.

At a time when nations throughout the world are facing problems that require global solutions, it is imperative that universities re-affirm their commitment to international collaboration Current VP Newsletter in service of the common good. International research and academic exchange are vital to the intellectual vibrancy of universities in the U.S., long held to be the world leader in higher education.

At UCLA, our global vision includes giving students opportunities to become globally proficient through study abroad and international experiences on campus. For Bruins to become effective leaders and productive global citizens able to work with their international peers to address our world’s complex challenges, it is critical that they have an informed understanding of the world and its contemporary concerns and challenges.

International exchange also greatly enriches faculty, staff and communities. International scholars and students are among the top talents in this country — individuals who have contributed to advancing science, the humanities, arts, social sciences and above all, a global perspective that is essential for the U.S. to remain competitive in the world. UCLA’s responses to U.S. visa rule changes and restrictions have repeatedly affirmed this enduring reality.

Located in the global city of Los Angeles and at the gateway to Latin America and the Asia Pacific, UCLA’s global mission enriches and is in turn enriched by the diverse diaspora communities in our city, region and state, for whom my office is a natural first point of contact on campus. At the International Institute, we champion international education and facilitate international exchange and civic engagement in our classrooms, the greater Los Angeles community and the world.

I invite you to join me and my team in advancing research on burning questions of the world, inspiring our students to gain global experience and providing them the means to do so, and continuing to forge partnerships across disciplines, borders and continents (see video below).

Cindy Fan
Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement
January 2024 


Related Articles and Video


Cindy Fan on Crossing Borders and Global Citizens

                        video still  

"If we don’t cross borders, then we will always be in one place, literally and metaphorically"

"A global citizen is someone who knows that they have biases"

Cindy Fan: Leadership for UCLA on the World Stage

The philosophy of Vice Provost Fan centers around the notion that global cooperation and global perspectives create pathways to solutions to some of our greatest societal problems — from combatting racism, to mitigating the harms of climate change for future generations, to ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice Provost Cindy Fan recognized for her work as a geographer

Vice Provost Cindy Fan is a geographer — a field that took her on her first trips abroad from Hong Kong during her undergraduate studies. She was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Bristol in the U.K.

Cindy Fan writes on "Global Citizenship through Study Abroad"

"It is the university's responsibility to ensure that international education — via, for example, classes with a global focus — is part and parcel of the college experience."


Updated February 2021


Message to UCLA Students

January 2021. The UCLA International Institute welcomes its students, staff and faculty to winter quarter 2021 at UCLA. The rollout of the first vaccines against Covid-19 late last year was heartening news after a very challenging year. It will take many more months before the virus has been contained across this country and the world, but there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.

In the meantime, public health precautions remain in place on campus, most students will attend classes remotely and most faculty and staff will continue working from home during winter quarter. We urge you to continue to observe campus-mandated public health precautions and regularly consult the UCLA Covid-19 information page. The virus remains as dangerous as it has been, so please continue to take precautions and follow public health protocols.

We must all continue to wear masks, maintain our physical distance from one another, avoid large gatherings (especially indoors) and frequently wash our hands. But at least we can do so knowing that science has turned a corner in its battle with Covid-19. And please don’t hesitate to reach out for help whenever you need it: links to many UCLA support services can be found on the information page.

The International Institute salutes our students, staff and faculty for their patience, persistence and endurance. Institute leadership misses seeing you at the beautiful UCLA campus and the local residents who regularly attend our public events. We look forward to seeing all of you in person when the campus re-opens. Take care, have a great winter quarter, and Happy New Year! 

Bio of the Vice Provost

C. Cindy Fan

Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement
Department: Geography
11343 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487
Campus Mail Code: 148703
Phone: 310-825-4921
Email: cfan@international.ucla.edu
Keywords: China, Asia

Read the Message from the Vice Provost

As Vice Provost, Professor Cindy Fan is UCLA’s senior international officer (SIO) and responsible for the university’s global strategy, international partnerships and global engagement. She is the first woman and Asian American to hold that position, and she works closely with the UCLA Chancellor’s Office to strengthen the university’s relationships and partnerships with institutions all over the world.

As part of the UCLA Global Initiative that Vice Provost Fan created, she has spearheaded UCLA Global Forums, worldwide events that forge meaningful links among countries, foster UCLA’s international ties and networks, and address issues of global and local relevance. In addition, she provides strategic leadership for UCLA’s international programs, promotes international education and oversees the UCLA International Institute. The Institute, comprised of 26 interdisciplinary research centers and eight academic programs (M.A.s, B.A.s, and Minors) on world regions and global issues, advances multidisciplinary research, education and outreach on global and area studies at UCLA.

Prior to her Vice Provost appointment, Cindy Fan served as Associate Dean of Social Sciences, Chair of the East Asian Studies Interdepartmental Program, and Chair of the Asian American Studies Department. She was born in Hong Kong, received her B.A. from the University of Hong Kong in 1981, her M.Phil. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1984, and her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1989, after which she joined the UCLA Department of Geography as a faculty member.

Professor Fan is internationally known for her research on migration, regional development and gender in China and has published numerous articles. Her book China on the Move: Migration, the State, and the Household (Routledge, 2008) is a pioneering study on rural-urban migration and split households in China. She has co-edited two international, interdisciplinary journals: Regional Studies and Eurasian Geography and Economics. Her work was recognized with a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Asian Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers in 2017 and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Bristol in 2019.

A regular commentator for the New York Times, Professor Fan is also frequently interviewed by the media, including the BBC, China Radio International, National Public Radio, Tavis Smiley, and Bloomberg News. She has delivered numerous keynotes in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the U.S. She is a recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Asian Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers, an American Council on Education Fellowship, an Andrew W. Mellon grant to innovate area and international studies, and major research grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and National Science Foundation.


Kathryn Paul

Kathryn Paul

Assistant Vice Provost and Director for International Collaborations

Christine Larson

Christine Larson

Director of External Relations

Marisa Ransdell

Marisa Ransdell

External Relations Coordinator

Kevan Wilbanks

Kevan Wilbanks

Special Assistant to the Vice Provost

Ann Kerr

Ann Kerr

Fulbright Coordinator

Gohar Grigorian

Gohar Grigorian

Program Officer, International Visitors Bureau

Matthew Daines, Ph.D.

Matthew Daines, Ph.D.

Executive Director of Development, UCLA in Europe

Alisa Egecioglu

Alisa Egecioglu

Global Data Coordinator

As a land grant institution, the International Institute at UCLA acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (Los Angeles basin, Southern Channel Islands).

Equity, diversity and inclusion are essential values of the UCLA International Institute. These professed ideals enable us to provide the kind of broad, global, multicultural educational experience central to the Institute’s academic programs. We welcome faculty, staff, and students from all backgrounds and want everyone at the Institute to feel respected and valued. We are committed to ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion for our students, staff and faculty in our academic programs and centers, as well as on our campus.

The Institute is proud of its over 60-year legacy in preparing individuals who have gone on to make contributions to the business, nonprofit, government and education sectors. As a gateway to the world for the campus and the greater Los Angeles community, the Institute considers equity, diversity and inclusion essential to its mission of educating global citizens and preparing them for a multicultural world and collaborative problem solving.

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