University data shows that more than 600 undergraduate students travel on extended Stanford academic international opportunities that are provided by academic units outside of the Bing Overseas Studies Program. Understanding the student challenge in finding these opportunities, the OIA convened a core group of initial stakeholders from diverse places on campus looking to alleviate this student burden. These included Stanford Global Studies, the Haas Center for Public Service, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Center for East Asian Studies and Global Engineering Programs.
The goal was to create a flexible platform that could meet the needs of multiple and varied program administrators. SOLO (Stanford-Off-campus Learning Opportunities), a platform that can be used by any academic unit at the university that wants to post Stanford academic opportunities, is the result of many hours of brainstorming sessions and development work.
SOLO (Stanford Off-campus Learning Opportunities) launched during the Fall quarter 2017 and grew to include over 30+ departments, 300+ opportunities located in the U.S. and abroad for undergraduate and graduate students, and 2100+ submitted applications.
The new SOLO platform aggregates many different kinds of Stanford academic opportunities for students to go abroad and gain experiences through internships, research, public service, study tours, etc. Stanford academic units that manage those opportunities at the departmental/unit level program can post opportunities, collect applications, award and prepare students for travel, and collect data for reporting purposes, all in one place.