The Study Abroad Office (SAO) appreciates your interest in developing a faculty-led study abroad program. We look forward to assisting you in what will be a richly rewarding opportunity, both for your own professional development and the academic development of NC State students. Our goal is to create partnerships with faculty and departments to develop more opportunities for NC State students to study abroad.
With today's dynamic and diverse student population, your willingness to consider directing a study abroad program enables NC State to offer a broader range of study abroad options to a variety of students. Most students prefer to study abroad in group programs sponsored by their own university. They wish to travel and study with friends and faculty they know and trust, and welcome the ease with which academic credit is applied toward their degree requirements.
Generally three-fourths of NC State students studying abroad do so on faculty-led programs. In the summer of 2012, approximately 670 students studied abroad on NC State programs. Frequently, we have seen these programs used as a launching point for further international activities, as numerous students participate in more than one program. In a very direct way, you are helping to train the globally aware leaders of tomorrow by providing life-changing experiences abroad.
Although much work goes into developing and producing a successful study abroad program, you are not alone in this endeavor. The team of SAO professionals is available to assist you along the way and help remove some of the burden associated with program development and coordination. We hope that you will be able to find answers to many of your questions about program development in this guide. We also welcome any additional questions or comments.
We look forward to working with you!
If you are ready to begin your program proposal, please click to fill out the Faculty Interest Form to set up a meeting with a regional advisor. This link is also available at the bottom of this page.
Once you have reviewed this guide, please submit the Faculty Interest Form to the Study Abroad Office. A regional advisor will then contact you to arrange a meeting to discuss your program ideas.
PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for submitting new program proposals to the Study Abroad Office is at the end of each April for programs planned for the following academic year. Please consult the online proposal for the specific date.
This guide is designed for faculty developing a new study abroad program that meets the following criteria.
Faculty-led study abroad programs:
are taught outside the United States
involve an NC State faculty member (including adjunct) or staff member either as instructor or on-site program coordinator
involve groups of students going to the same location for the same time period
offer courses or are part of a course for which students could earn NC State credit; typically courses can be taken for a grade, are listed on students' transcripts, and are included in the GPA, similar to on-campus courses
typically offer off-model courses, which are self-supporting and do not involve regular tuition payments
are sponsored or supported by NC State University.
Your application for a new study abroad program is NOT intended for programs in which:
no academic credit is earned
no NC State faculty or staff member is accompanying any portion of the program
students take courses overseas individually, not in a group. Examples include semester-length exchanges or credit-bearing internships in which the faculty member does not accompany the student overseas.
The first step in program development is to review the types of faculty-led programs offered through the SAO. They are roughly categorized by length.
Summer Programs generally last over 21 days. Some current examples include the NC State programs to Florence, Guatemala, Ghana, Lille, Oxford, Peru, and Vienna.
Short-Term Programs generally last 14 days or less, whether that program is during spring break or during the summer. A current example is the Ghana Spring Break program.
Semester or Year Programs last either a full semester or an academic year. Current examples include the Semester in Spain and Prague Institute programs.
For new programs, planning is generally a two-year process. The required span is often underestimated and program quality becomes compromised when less time is allowed for program development.
As an example, a proposal for a summer program departing in May 2014 should ideally be researched during summer and fall of 2012 and submitted for approval by the application deadline date at the end of April, 2013. The Faculty Director would then gather any additional necessary program details over summer 2013 and work with the SAO to have a program website page and program brochure created in time for the Study Abroad Fair in October.
In order to maintain a healthy portfolio of programs that meet the changing and unique needs of each academic unit, the Study Abroad Office welcomes new proposals from faculty that meet the criteria listed here. It is important to note that in recent years, the Study Abroad Office (SAO) has received a growing number of program proposals and renewals. Unfortunately, student participation has not grown to support the number of programs. This requires the SAO to be more selective in the programs that are accepted to move forward, and firm when programs do not meet identified goals. We plan to review programs carefully, and look forward to partnering with faculty to ensure that students have access to high quality programs that meet student needs, as well as both SAO and University strategic goals.
A successful program proposal will:
show that the prospective faculty director or their academic unit has strong ties to and familiarity with the program site
include a complete and accurate preliminary program budget
preliminary budget is based on solid, accurate estimates from vendor(s), including costs for housing, group meals, on-site transportation, classroom space, an educational excursions; final prices must be submitted by September 15.
program cost is as low as possible to ensure greater accessibility and participation for NC State student population
demonstrate that there is student interest in this program and course(s).
offers a rigorous academic experience which is enhanced and enriched by the host location (coursework is closely associated with location or host university’s strengths; program ties location to coursework)
have a clear and strong tie to the sponsoring department
prospective faculty director has strong support of department
program goals fit with departmental goals and priorities
coursework has been approved by department/college
The Study Abroad Office will use the following criteria when reviewing and approving new program proposals.
Application is complete in its entirety by the proposal deadline.
Faculty director is willing to collaborate with SAO on the development and management of the study abroad program.
has met with the appropriate regional advisor
actively engages in the program budgeting process
responds to requests for more information in a timely manner
reads materials and information provided by SAO
is willing to attend workshops and trainings
Program contributes to the diversity of international opportunities for NC State students, including a diversity of academic discipline and locations.
New programs should complement, rather than compete with, existing NC State programs.
Proposed location will help develop programs in a region identified as a strategic priority by SAO, in collaboration with OIA and academic units, to build and sustain strategic internationalization of NC State
Preference will be given to longer programs, and to programs that demonstrate high impact learning experiences.
While shorter programs will continue to be supported when especially well matched to a particular discipline, in general, programs of four or more weeks will be given priority.
Program is structured to ensure the integration of the host country and/or region’s culture into the educational experience. There are strong connections between courses and the site.
Proposed program provides students with ample structured opportunities to interact with individuals or groups in the host culture, including advance preparation, guided reflection and critical analysis of that interaction.
direct interaction with local students
strong connections between courses and in-country activities
participation in service-learning projects or internships, research which enhances knowledge of the host culture or involves collaboration with local students and faculty
substantial immersion of students into the host culture
Both the coursework and the program locations are expected to attract a large amount of student interest.
Programs that anticipate attracting 50 or more students may be given priority. (This is not necessarily intended to be the program enrollment size, but will ensure a healthy applicant pool.)
Programs that will offer two or more courses will be given priority.
Faculty director or assistant has the necessary proficiency in the foreign language of the host country, if relevant, or has identified an effective strategy to meet communication needs.
Proposed program is likely to be financially and academically sustainable and is intended to be offered annually or on a regular basis.
Prospective faculty director can articulate the role of the faculty director.
Department head clearly supports the program proposal, and is confident that the faculty member has the necessary experience, competence and time to run a study abroad program.
The Study Abroad Office (SAO) will complete annual and ongoing assessment of all programs, with the goal of enhancing their success, and ensuring that programs support strategic goals. We will be happy to work with faculty directors and corresponding academic units to make program improvements and address any issues; however, the SAO reserves the right to cancel programs should it determine that high quality programming cannot be maintained, or that strategic goals for effective program delivery are either not being met, or could be met better by a different program.
The SAO, as well as the appropriate department and/or college, reserves the right to cancel or not approve an application to renew a study abroad program if any of the following occur:
events at the study abroad site(s) indicate that the security of students cannot be reasonably protected
the faculty member does not fulfill his/her responsibilities as defined in the contract and the on-site faculty-director handbook
faculty director has been unwilling to collaborate with SAO on the management of the study abroad program. Examples include, but are not limited to the following situations:
faculty director does not pursue obtaining solid, accurate estimates from vendors for on-site program expenses and/or does not actively engage in the program budgeting process
faculty director does not submit program receipts within the 20 day period upon return from the program
faculty director is not responsive to requests and communications from the SAO, or communication from faculty director detracts from collaboration and ability to provide effective program management
the minimum number of students has not been met
first-year programs are expected reach a minimum enrollment of 10 students
programs should have a minimum enrollment for 15 students in subsequent years
after several years, if program cannot meet minimum enrollment, program may not be recommended for renewal
program evaluations contain consistent negative feedback from students and changes to program have not led to improved feedback
programs will be evaluated regularly by participants, program administrators, instructors, and the appropriate college-based advisory committee (such as the International Programs Committee in College of Humanities and Social Sciences) to determine the extent to which program objectives are being met. If necessary, changes or adjustments will be made in light of the findings. If after changes have been implemented and program evaluations have not shown improvement, program may be recommended for cancellation.
there is an ongoing imbalance between the numbers of NC State students served on a program and the administrative staff time required to effectively manage a program (in order to meet the strategic priorities, staff time must be distributed to ensure growth in NC State student participation)
the status of the faculty member in the department/college/university changes
a complete renewal application is not submitted by the deadline, or information is insufficient to assess program viability
the SAO staff determines that the program is no longer feasible for financial, organizational, or other reasons
Please note: The deadline for submitting new program proposals to the Study Abroad Office is the last day of classes of the spring semester for programs planned for the following academic year. Please consult the online proposal for the specific date.
1. Contact the Study Abroad Office to Arrange a Meeting with a Study Abroad Regional Advisor to arrange a meeting with a regional advisor, you simply need to submit a Faculty Interest Form to the SAO. After you submit the "Faculty Interest Form," the SAO will assign a regional advisor to your program. The regional advisor will then contact you to arrange a meeting.
During your meeting, you and your regional advisor will discuss your preliminary program ideas. Your regional advisor will walk you through the online "Application for a New NC State Study Abroad Program" and will answer any questions you have about the application process. Additionally, your regional advisors will review your responsibilities as a study abroad Faculty Director as well as the SAO resources and support services that are available to assist you in your role.
Timeline: contact with the SAO should be made at least 18-24 months prior to the intended start date.
2. Meet with Department Head - As part of the program proposal process you will need to request a letter of support from your Department Head. Therefore we encourage all faculty to meet with your Department Head to discuss preliminary ideas for the program, including the course(s) you plan to teach and/or offer on the program, any course related field trips included on the program, as well as program location, term and year the program will be offered, and anticipated budget/cost. Early discussions about your program will help to determine whether the program is well integrated into departmental goals and enrollment strategies and whether the program's academic content meets departmental standards.
Timeline: at least 18 to 24 months prior to the intended start date.
3. Determine preliminary logistics - Gather detailed information on matters such as on-site travel arrangements, housing options, meals, and program events (admission to museums, cultural events, etc.),. These steps are necessary to determine accurate preliminary costs and budgets. Preliminary logistical arrangements can be made by the Faculty Director independently, obtaining the direct assistance of on-site vendors or agencies, or working in conjunction with the SAO. The SAO can also consult with specialized agencies to assist the Faculty Director with making on-site arrangements.
Timeline: at least 18 months prior to the intended start date.
4. Submit application - Complete and submit the online "Application for New NC State Study Abroad Program" to the SAO. Note that many details will still be in the preliminary state at this time, but the intended structure should be clear. A complete application includes:
Application for New NC State Study Abroad Program questionnaire
Statement of program purpose
Preliminary program budget
Preliminary location safety assessment
Non-College of Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty: Letter of support from College Dean and Department Head.
College of Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty: Letter of support from your Department Head.
CVs for any non-NC State faculty/staff
Timeline: at least 12 to 18 months prior to the intended start date.The deadline for submitting new program proposals to the Study Abroad Office is at the end of each April for programs planned for the following academic year. Please consult the online proposal for the specific date.
5. Committee review - Some colleges have existing college-level international program committees who must approve your program's courses.
All College of Humanities and Social Sciences programs must be approved by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences International Programs Committee before the program can be advertised to students. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences board generally meets at the start of the fall semester and soon thereafter notifies faculty of approval, or requests that changes be made to course content.
If a College-level committee is not in place, your Department Head and College Dean will handle the approval.
6. Decisions - You will be notified by the SAO of the decision on your application within two months of your completed submission. International program committee decisions on academic content vary in timing.
7. Program Administration - Once your program has been approved by both the SAO and the appropriate academic committee, you can begin the program administration process. Your regional advisor will lead you through the next steps in developing your program.
We hope this introductory overview has been helpful. As a next step, please click to fill out the Faculty Interest Form to set up a meeting with a regional advisor. The regional advisor will review the online program application materials with you and answer any questions you have regarding your role as Faculty Director.
The Study Abroad Office staff look forward to working with you.