Partner With Study Abroad

It's a partnership: The role of the Study Abroad Office and the Faculty Leader

Study Abroad Office

The Study Abroad Office is responsible for coordinating all faculty-led study abroad programs at Kansas State University. Faculty members wishing to design a faculty-led study abroad program are encouraged to contact the Study Abroad Office as early in the design process as possible. The Study Abroad Office will provide departments and faculty with assistance and support during all phases of program development and implementation.

Faculty Leaders

Faculty who choose to be involved in faculty-led study abroad programming often make the commitment because they know that study abroad programs can significantly enrich students’ undergraduate and graduate education. Faculty-led study abroad programs can be satisfying for faculty as well, not only because of the travel, but also because of the opportunity to provide a hands-on, exciting academic experience for students. The Faculty Leader’s role is crucial. He/she must design all academic aspects of the program, manage program logistics, and then implement a high-quality program that is managed responsibly from the standpoint of risk management.

WHO DOES WHAT?

Planning and implementing a faculty-led study abroad program is labor-intensive and truly a group effort. The faculty member enters into a partnership with the Study Abroad Office and the Office of International Programs. Successful implementation also will necessitate that the department’s accountant work closely with the Office of International Programs’ accountant. 

It is helpful to articulate the role of the Faculty Leader and the Study Abroad Office. While every program is unique, this outline provides an understanding of what is involved in implementing a faculty-led study abroad program at K-State.

The Study Abroad Office agrees to do the following:

  • Collaborate with the University Attorneys to ensure that faculty-led program policies and procedures are in full compliance with the State of Kansas’ laws and regulations.
  • Collaborate with the Provost to ensure that faculty-led programs operate in compliance with the rules and guidelines mandated by the Kansas Board of Regents and Kansas State University.
  • Keep abreast of current standards in international education as well as K-State policies and procedures.
  • Maintain relationships with institutional partners abroad.
  • Sponsor mandatory Faculty Leader Workshop, including information on health and safety, emergency protocols and response, international medical insurance, risk management, Counseling Services, Lafene Travel Clinic, etc.
  • Direct emergency and crisis plans, including the 24-hour Study Abroad Office Emergency Phone Line.
  • Provide the Faculty Leader with step-by-step information and handbooks on the administration of faculty-led programs, development and management of program finances, risk management, health, safety, and emergency procedures (these handbooks are available on the Study Abroad Office website).
  • Supply all necessary forms such as student application materials, incident report forms, program evaluation forms, etc.
  • Provide the Faculty Leader with information about and contact details for third party program providers who can assist faculty with various levels of logistical support.
  • Provide the Faculty Leader with information about and contacts for K-State’s partner universities abroad.
  • Assist the Faculty Leader in developing a program timeline.
  • Assist the Faculty Leader in developing a program proposal and budgets in accordance with Office of International Programs guidelines.
  • Assist the Faculty Leader in developing a program proposal and budgets in accordance with Office of International Programs guidelines.
  • Create student payment schedule so participants will be aware of how much and when they have to make payments for their program.
  • Assist the Faculty Leader in researching information on country-specific visas (if required by the host country), travel warnings and alerts as posted by the U.S. Department of State, and health information and immunization recommendations as outlined by the Center for Disease Control.
  • Provide the Faculty Leader with information for visa processing service agencies and foreign consulates in the U.S.
  • Provide the Faculty Leader with information concerning optional supplemental travel insurance.
  • May provide referrals for travel agents and program providers which the Office of International Programs has successfully worked with in the past.
  • Collaborate with the Office of the Vice President for Administration and Finance in obtaining signatory approval for third party provider contracts, as required by the University Attorneys.
  • Be available to assist the Faculty Leader with the design and production of publicity brochures, flyers, and posters.
  • Assist the academic college, department, and Faculty Leader in strategically advertising to and informing students of the study abroad program during meetings, classroom visits, study abroad fairs, and other recruitment events.
  • Post program information and include in the Study Abroad Office online program search wizard.
  • Advise students about program information, application process, payment plan, financial aid process, scholarships, acceptance process, international medical insurance, etc.
  • Distribute, collect, and process comprehensive student application materials as required by the University Attorneys and Office of International Programs.
  • Review and screen student applicants; admit students into the program in consultation with the Faculty Leader; and send notice of official acceptance to students via e-mail.
  • Distribute Third Party Program Provider paperwork to students and collect/return paperwork to the provider.
  • Liaise with the Division of Continuing Education (DCE) to set-up the appropriate course(s) associated with the program to ensure that students receive the proper credit for the experience.
  • Advise the CIAC regarding what has worked well or has not worked well in the past for faculty-led programs, such as number of participants, cost, and other detailed information.
  • Provide proposal summaries to the CIAC to conduct the peer evaluation of the program proposals.
  • Liaise with the Office of Student Financial Assistance to confirm students’ participation in study abroad and to create official student cost sheets so that students may be eligible to request additional financial aid need for the program.
  • Collaborate with the Office of Admissions to assist qualified non-K-State students in applying to the university as non-degree seeking students.
  • Assist the Registrar’s Office and academic colleges and departments to facilitate the transfer of credit as appropriate.
  • Liaise with the K-State Lafene Travel Clinic to offer health and safety information resources and services to students studying abroad.
  • Issue international medical insurance to the students and the Faculty Leader as required by University Attorneys and the Office of International Programs.
  • Provide assistance to the Faculty Leader for the student pre-departure orientation, including information on health and safety, emergency contact information, international health insurance information, etc.
  • Monitor the DCE course approval process and student enrollment.
  • Grant students permission to enroll in the course via ISIS and notify students when course enrollment is open.
  • Create an organizational safe-keeping account for the program, which is less restrictive than a state account, enabling Faculty Leaders to have more flexible spending options and allowing cash advances, checks, and refunds to be processed in a matter of days.
  • Handle monetary transactions, including collection of student program fees and disbursement of student funds. Provide students with receipts.
  • Receive and process third party program provider invoices and faculty travel advances so that the Faculty Leader does not have to completely rely upon personal funding and wait for reimbursement.
  • Provide the Faculty Leader with reviewer access to view the students’ study abroad applications, emergency contacts information, and passport copies to have in the case of an emergency abroad.
  • Assist the Faculty Leader in addressing student behavior, health, and safety issues.
  • Process Faculty Leader reimbursements for costs which were not included in the travel advance.
  • Process student refunds after program is complete, if not all estimated expenses were incurred.
  • Manage the Faculty Leader’s program-specific compensation contract.
  • Transfer student tuition dollars to academic department account to pay faculty salary or DRA (Development Reserve Account – used at department’s discretion).
  • Conduct program evaluation with students and faculty leader following conclusion of program. The Study Abroad Office carefully reviews program evaluations and makes improvements as needed.
  • Send the Faculty Leader a summary report of students’ program evaluations following conclusion of program.

Faculty leading a faculty-led study abroad program should agree to do the following:

  • Develop working knowledge of the Study Abroad Office’s faculty leader handbooks, resources available on the website, reviewer access in the online system, and proposal development and review processes
  • Work with the Study Abroad Advisor for your college to develop a program proposal and budgets in accordance with Office of International Programs guidelines
  • Participate in mandatory Faculty Leader Workshop, which will include information on health and safety, emergency protocols and response, international medical insurance, risk management, Counseling Services, Lafene Travel Clinic, etc.
  • Direct emergency and crisis plans, including the 24-hour Study Abroad Office Emergency Phone Line.
  • Design academic and professional aspects of the program.
  • Verify academic integrity of the program, including any courses taken at a host institution abroad.
  • Present and obtain approval for program proposal and budgets by the department head, the college dean, and the Study Abroad Office.
  • Work with K-State Room Services or academic department to schedule classroom space for on-campus pre-travel and post-travel class meetings.
  • May elicit bids to third party program providers.
  • May negotiate with third party program provider on matters relating to contract and pricing, marketing of the program, on-site orientation, etc.
  • Take primary responsibility for designing all logistical aspects of program, including accommodations, transportation, cultural site visits, tours, lectures, etc.
  • Unless working with a program provider, consider designating a secondary leader who will travel with the group for the entire program. This can be another faculty member, staff member, or graduate student assistant.
  • Collaborate with academic college and department to designate a back-up Faculty Leader in case the original Faculty Leader is not able to lead/manage the group due to severe illness or emergency.
  • Designate a local contact to lead and manage the group in the event that the Faculty Leader becomes incapacitated.
  • Request vehicle (car, bus, boat, etc.) insurance policies for transportation that will be used in the host country. Submit this information to the Study Abroad Office.
  • Work with the Study Abroad Office to review and approve all recruitment materials associated with the program.
  • In partnership with academic college and department, take on primary responsibility for marketing the program to students and actively recruiting them to participate in it.
  • Organize and make short classroom presentations in order to recruit students for the program.
  • Arrange information meetings during the semester for students who are interested in the program or for those who have already completed an application.
  • Participate in Study Abroad Office semi-annual Study Abroad Fairs and other recruiting events.
  • Work with the Study Abroad Office to approve student applications through the online application system. Verify which students you approve to participate in the program. Direct students to appropriate visa service agencies.
  • Submit the final host country itinerary that provides the in-country contact information for the faculty leader(s), program provider, accommodation(s) and transportation service(s) and flight itinerary to the Study Abroad Office two weeks prior to departure. 
  • Update the Study Abroad Office of any changes to the program including dates, cost, credit, location, etc.
  • In collaboration with the Study Abroad Office, conduct extensive pre-departure orientation for students.
  • Conduct extensive on-site student orientation within the first two days in the host country.
  • Conduct post-travel debriefing session with students.
  • Fly to the destination on the same flight as the students. If the Faculty Leader’s arrival precedes the students’ arrival, the Faculty Leader must meet all of the students at the airport.
  • Teach courses while abroad and maintain the academic focus of program.
  • Participate in all group activities and excursions.
  • Serve as a guide, academic advisor, and responsible counselor to students while abroad.
  • Carry a functioning cell phone and share this number with the students, their emergency contacts, and the Study Abroad Office.
  • Notify the Study Abroad Office immediately if a student arrives late to the program or leaves early for any reason.
  • Liaise with the host university to solve problems and interpret local regulations and laws on behalf of the students.
  • Monitor students’ conformance to K-State’s and the host university’s policies, standards of conduct, and local laws.
  • Ensure that students are never left alone during the program.
  • Take appropriate action if participant becomes ill, is injured, or in the case of an emergency.
  • Address student behavioral issues as needed in collaboration with the Study Abroad Office.
  • When risks arise, initiate risk management plan as appropriate while providing leadership and making decisions, clarifying risks to students, and providing options and choices as appropriate.
  • Document the following items in the Incident Report to ensure that there is a proper paper trail: academic issues, student illnesses, K-State Student Code of Conduct violations, and steps taken in response to any and all emergencies or risks. The Incident Report can be found on the Study Abroad website.
  • Promptly alert the Study Abroad Office and the Third Party Program Provider of any concerns or emergencies while abroad via phone, e-mail, or fax.
  • Upon completion of the program, the faculty leader and students should request transcripts from the host university. Official, hard-copy transcripts must be sent to the Study Abroad Office within 30 days of the program end date.
  • Validate academic credit upon return for any transfer credits awarded by the host university.
  • Assign and post academic grades on ISIS within 5 days of the end of the last official day of the course.
  • Submit all financial documents (receipts, ATM withdrawals, etc.) to the Study Abroad Office within two weeks of return to ensure proper reimbursement.
  • Complete Faculty Leader program evaluation administered by Study Abroad Office via e-mail.

As you can see, organizing and implementing a faculty-led study abroad program requires a great deal of work, but it is manageable when we all do our part. The Study Abroad Office is always happy to discuss the design and implementation of a faculty-led study abroad program with you, so please give us a call at 785-532-5990, email abroad@ksu.edu or schedule an appointment with the study abroad advisor for your college.