Developing a Faculty-led Study Abroad Program

Overview

People posing on a small bridge over a stream.

What is it?

Faculty-led programs (FLPs) are short-term study abroad or research programs led by a faculty member who wishes to bring the classroom to life by extending the educational experience to the real world. These programs can add a dimension to the student’s educational experience by helping the student compete and succeed in a global environment.

How short is short?

In general, the longer a student is culturally engaged in another country’s culture the better, however, it’s understood certain student populations may find a short-term study abroad opportunity more accessible and appealing. While an “ideal” length for a short-term study abroad program is anywhere from four to twelve weeks, some programs are as little as one week. These shorter programs are usually called study tours and are an excellent add-on to a semester course. Harvey Mudd College’s (HMC) Dickens-Hardy course is a fine example of this. Whatever the length, a quality program will include specific opportunities for intercultural growth, an active learning environment, and proper health/safety protocols.

Who leads the program?

Faculty-led programs are department and faculty dependent and are usually developed by a faculty member(s) to meet a specific academic need and/or cultural interest. The program will optimally have two faculty members who act as Faculty Directors (or they can act as co-directors) who develop and market the program, select the students etc. The Office of Study Abroad (OSA) will partner with the faculty in finding the appropriate study abroad program provider to assist with program development, identifying study abroad sites, understanding financials, and in-country logistics. Student information regarding these programs will be available from the academic departments.

How do I get started?

We recommend scheduling some time with OSA to discuss locations, program provider options etc. Once the initial logistics are developed faculty will proceed to the approval process:

Phase I is the pre-approval and allows the faculty to introduce the program (i.e. program details, student learning and development etc.) to the department chair and colleagues. Once approved by the department chair, the faculty will proceed to the next step.

Phase II moves into the logistical details such as financials, defining housing, determining student access needs, visa information, program marketing, student applications and the like.
The OSA will be able to assist the faculty member with direction on the overall process and in defining program needs and selecting the appropriate program provider with which to partner.

How long will the process take?

Developing your FLP will take time, and the OSA recommends you start at least 18 months in advance. Working with an OSA program provider will be a welcome addition to the development of your program.

Short-term Program Documents and Forms

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Health and Safety for Faculty/Student International Travel

Professor and students on rocky, sandy beach.

Harvey Mudd College takes the safety of faculty and students traveling abroad very seriously. For short-term programs we ask the Faculty Director and participants to follow the process below.

HMC International Travel Procedure

  • Review the Health and Safety Guidelines. Many of the aspects will also apply to the student’s non-academic year, short-term experience abroad.
  • Understand the safety level of the country by reviewing The Department of State’s (DOS) new travel advisory system. This will be helpful when selecting a potential program location.
  • Verify all parties have proper health insurance coverage.
  • Verify all parties have a proper health screening at least six months prior to departure.
  • Verify all health/safety forms are completed prior to departure. Copies of these forms should be provided to the OSA.
  • Register all parties in the CUC Travel Tracker Database. Details on creating a profile are in the Health and Safety forms section.

Insurance

Both the Faculty Director and students are required to have personal medical insurance that will cover them while abroad. Since many U.S. insurance policies don’t provide international comprehensive care, the College requires each department sponsoring the international project to purchase supplemental health and evacuation insurance provided by iNext. There are three supplemental options from which to choose – Basic, Platinum, and Premium. You also have the option of purchasing a comprehensive package outright for everyone on the program. This will insure all participants have equal insurance plans.

Additionally, the group will have coverage through The Claremont Colleges AIG travel assistance plan. The AIG coverage is activated for 15 days before, during, and 15 days after your designated dates abroad. Instructions on how to use the database are included in the Forms section.

The Claremont Colleges Travel Database

The Claremont Colleges has chosen to utilize the red24 TravelTracker database to help manage safety and provide students, faculty, and staff with 24/7 access to security advice and support while travelling. Instructions on how to use the database are included in the Forms section.

Forms

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International Faculty-Led Research, Internships or other Non-Study Abroad Projects

The College offers additional international opportunities to students in the form of HMC sponsored research, internships, global clinic or other projects. Information regarding these experiences are available from the academic departments and the Dean of the Faculty website. Faculty and students participating in a non-study abroad international project are required to follow the HMC International Travel Procedure indicated in the “Health and Safety for Faculty/Student International Travel” section and complete the documents provided in the Forms section.