Factors to Consider When Developing a Study Abroad Program

In order to maintain a healthy portfolio of programs that meet the changing and unique needs of each academic unit, the Study Abroad Office (SAO) welcomes new proposals from faculty that meet the criteria listed here. In recent years the SAO has received a growing number of program proposals and renewals while student participation has not grown to support the number of programs. This requires the SAO to be selective in the programs that are accepted to move forward, and firm when programs do not meet identified goals.  The SAO conducts a thorough review of programs annually and looks 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.

Successful Programs Proposals

  • 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, and educational excursions; final prices must be submitted by September 15 (for summer and spring term programs).
    • program cost is as low as possible to ensure greater accessibility and participation for NC State student population
      • SAO works to keep program costs as low as possible, keeping them in line with costs on other programs in the same region or through the same sponsoring department
  •  demonstrate that there is student interest in this program and course(s)
    • Student interest can be demonstrated in various ways, including: explanation of how the proposed course(s) fits into the degree plan; data on course enrollments for pre-requisite courses; proposed course typically has a waitlist; student survey results; and academic advisors have provided information on interest based on interactions with advisees
  • offer 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) and follows the university’s credit and contact hour guidelines
  • 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
  • have a clearly articulated marketing and recruitment plan
  • consider the risks involved in and associated with the program and its location
    • See SAO’s policy on study abroad in countries under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning.

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