What are faculty-led study abroad programs?
Faculty-led study abroad programs are short-term programs that are academic in nature and designed to give students hands-on international experiences that relate to their academic goals.
Can faculty lead trips that are not for credit?
No. Faculty-led study abroad programs are designed to be an academic endeavor.
What length does a program have to be to count as 3 credit hours?
A 3 credit hour course must equal to 45 contact hours in class. Contact hours include site visits, lectures, journaling, group discussion, etc. It cannot include sleeping, flights, travel time (unless actively engaged in activity while traveling – e.g. group discussion on train). 45 hours of class time can be managed in a 7 day course and/or a month long course. Contact hours will likely be exceeded during a program abroad.
How do I decide what length my program should be?
It is important to take into consideration the type of student who you will be targeting for this program. Are many of your students non-traditional? Do they work full or part-time? Do they have families or children? If you answered yes to any of these you should plan to keep your trip between 10 and 14 days. If your students are more traditional (live on campus, have more flexibility) – you should plan your program in any length up to one month.
Are faculty paid for leading faculty-led programs abroad?
Salary and stipends for leading programs abroad must be worked out with the department of each faculty member individually. Expenses such as airfare, lodging, meals, etc will be covered for each faculty leader by building them into the program budget.
How do I know what to budget for faculty meals and lodging? Is it based on per diem rates?
Faculty-led program budgets are NOT based on per diem rates because the money is coming directly from the students. Faculty should budget a fair amount of money for their meals and exact cost of lodging when building the budget to keep the program cost as low as possible for students. Typically, for faculty-led programs abroad we will budget $50-$80/day for a faculty meals.
How far in advance should I begin planning?
It is best to start planning your program 10 months in advance. This give you time to start talking about the program to your students and to work with the Director of Study Abroad on the approval and planning process.
Can students use financial aid to help cover the cost of the program?
If students know about the program far enough in advance, they can tell their financial aid advisor about the increased cost of attendance and potentially get more financial aid to help with the program cost. Students and faculty program coordinators can work with the Director of Study Abroad to get appropriate paperwork to supply to the Office of Financial Aid.
Are there other ways to keep costs down for my programs?
There are many ways to consider keeping the cost of the program down.
- The first is to recruit 10 to 15 students to go on the trip. Group rates are typically based on a minimum of 10 students.
- There are tour companies that run programs in many countries for many groups at one time. The upside is that the program cost is very low. The downside is that the places you visit are set on their itinerary. However, you are given time for course work and assignments specific to your group.
- Combine your program with another teacher/university.
- Write grants and/or have fundraisers to support your program.
Do I have to plan everything by myself?
No. The Director of Study Abroad will help to smooth the process for you. There are also many private providers that work to help you customize your program and reduce your stress. These providers do not typically impact the cost of the program very much because they work with hotels and transportation services and get commission from them. The trend in Education Abroad for faculty is to take advantage of the providers who are here to help you.