Leading a course abroad can be one of the most rewarding faculty experiences of your career. Witnessing experiential learning with students abroad brings many faculty members back to the leader process time and again throughout their career. Here are some basic details on leading a course abroad.
- What is a faculty-led program?
- Steps to creating a program
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Health and Safety Abroad
WHAT IS A FACULTY-LED PROGRAM?
- The OSU Policy for International Travel (for programs traveling outside the U.S.)
- All university-wide, study abroad policies and procedures which are established through a collaboration between the Study Abroad/NSE Office, International Studies and Outreach, and the Office of Risk Management.
- Individual college policies and procedures for programs that include student involvement and travel, including how faculty will be compensated for each course.
STEPS TO CREATING A PROGRAM
Note: Study Abroad is an academically rigorous program designed to allow students the opportunity to gain skills and experiences not found in Stillwater. Student participation is dependent on students having the ability to plan to participate, to apply for scholarships, and to discuss options with their academic advisors, parents/families, and other key individuals. Programs organized at the last minute are never in the best interest of the students and create unnecessary stress for the faculty leader and staff involved. We advise at a minimum planning your program at least one year prior to departure, if not longer.
- Contact your Study Abroad Coordinator in your college’s Outreach Office
to determine internal processes for creating and requesting program approval.
Consider these topics in preparation for that meeting:
- Academic content: What is the curriculum? What are the learning outcomes to be measured? How many credits will students receive for this course?
- Location: Does OSU have a partner institution to help host the program? Do you have experience in the desired location or do you need to work with a program provider to handle all logistics so that you can focus on the students and academic components? Do you need to conduct a pre-visit prior to students studying at that location?
- Resources: Is there time to plan? How many days will the program be overseas? What is the target student population for the course? Is this a sustainable course (often preferred) or a one-time-only offering?
- Review all university study abroad policies at: www.studyabroad.okstate.edu
- Contact the Study Abroad Office for any questions beyond those addressed by your college outreach office.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Faculty Leader’s role extends far beyond the role for a course taught on campus. OSU expects Faculty Leaders to assume greater responsibility when accompanied by students abroad. For this reason, many faculty members prefer to work with a program provider to handle in country logistics and liability concerns. OSU already works with many high quality program providers. Contact the Study Abroad Office for more information.
A Faculty Leader abroad can assume some or all of the following roles, depending on the particular course:
- Country expert
- Academic Advisor
- Excursion Coordinator
- Substitute Parent
- Crisis Manager
- Travel Guide
- Budget Manager
- Role Model
Again, early planning and working with a partner university and/or program provider can relieve faculty of some of these roles and make the experience more meaningful.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
It cannot be stressed enough that health and safety abroad is a critical role not normally assumed by faculty in an on-campus course. The safety, health and general well-being of the University’s students and faculty must be given the highest consideration during overseas study and travel. This cannot be overstated and should be foremost on the faculty member’s agenda in the planning stages of the program. Please keep in the mind the following:
- Oklahoma State University adheres to the recommendations provided by the U.S. Department of State through its Consular Information Sheets, Public Announcements and Travel Warnings. The University will not approve programs in locations that are under a U.S. State Department warning. Exceptions to this policy are considered on a program-by-program basis.
- The Study Abroad Office has fostered the development of travel policies and procedures in accordance with the Forum on Education Abroad’s Standards of Good Practice and guidelines recommended by the Health and Safety Taskforce of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. All faculty leaders should become familiar with the Policy Regarding Student Study and Travel Abroad at Oklahoma State University and the OSU Emergency Response Guidelines.
- The Study Abroad Office works with each Outreach Office and individual faculty leaders to provide them with training for their expanded role that includes risk management.
- All students travelling outside the U.S. on a university affiliated activity (including independent internships and other academic related activities) are expected to be registered with the Study Abroad Office and have adequate overseas health insurance, including emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains coverage.