International Education Committee

GUIDELINES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDY TOUR PROGRAMS

I.  Introduction

A primary purpose of the International Education Committee is to encourage and support the continuing growth and development of high-quality, international study programs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  One of the responsibilities of the Committee is to review for possible approval each UW-L credit generating program offered at least in part at a site abroad.  To that end, the Committee develops guidelines for these programs.  The guidelines are intended for proposers and directors of programs, as well as for the Committee who reviews the programs.  The guidelines on these pages are for International Study Tour programs.

These guidelines are presented in three sections with an appendix.  This first section, the introduction, includes the "spirit" of these guidelines and some definitions.  Section II includes issues on which the Committee will focus in its deliberations of international study tour programs.  Section III presents the application procedures for each type of international study tour program, including the application deadlines.  Finally, the appendix includes the cover sheet and budget worksheet to be included with the proposal.

 

These guidelines and required forms are available from the Faculty Senate website: www.uwlax.edu/FacultySenate/committees/IECindex.html.

The Office of International Education has prepared a “Study Tour Manual” to assist faculty in the development and on-going administration of short-term study abroad programs. Faculty-led program proposals originate from the faculty and are administered by the OIE. Many of the policies and procedures described within are the result of mandates from UW System for safety and liability reasons. Faculty are encouraged to meet with staff in the OIE for program planning purposes.

The "Spirit" of the Guidelines:

The intent of these guidelines/procedures, and of the International Education Committee, is "to be a help, not a hindrance" to the advancement of high-quality, international study programs at UW-L. Accordingly, exceptions to these guidelines may, at times, need to be considered.  In those cases, the Committee will examine carefully the circumstances surrounding the need for an exception and will take those steps necessary to assure the continuing advancement of high-quality, international study tour programs at UW-La Crosse.

Program Definitions

An international study tour program is a credit-generating course that is created and led by faculty/staff and that takes place primarily in another country.  These opportunities are (generally) short term in nature and may or may not involve another institutional (university) partner participating in the delivery of the program. 

Faculty/staff proposing new international study tour programs (i.e., programs that have never been offered) must submit a detailed proposal to the International Education Committee following the guidelines outlined in the remainder of this document. 

Faculty/staff leading ongoing study tour programs (i.e., programs that have been offered in the past) must submit the Ongoing Study Tour Summary Form to the International Education Committee in the early planning stages of the program.  This document is available on the International Education Committee website (www.uwlax.edu/FacultySenate/committees/IECindex.html).  

 

If there are significant changes in an ongoing program from the original program, contact the chair of the International Education Committee to determine whether a more detailed proposal is required.

 

 

II.    Issues That the Committee Will Consider

Listed below are the main areas of focus for the Travel and International Education Committee in its deliberations of international study tour programs. These issues should be addressed in the appropriate places within the program proposal.

 

·         All appropriate measures have been taken to assure the health, safety, and well-being of all participants in the proposed international study tour program.

·         Arrangements have been made to provide adequate counseling and supervisory services at international destinations. (For example: contact persons, interpreters, emergency services, handicap accessibility, etc.)

·         Justification is provided for those cases, if any, where students need to be absent from other classes.

·         Good-faith efforts have been made to minimize the cost of international study tour programs to student participants.

·         Arrangements have been made with the Office of International Education for pre-departure training for both program proposer(s)/ (director(s) and participants in the language(s), culture(s) and country(ies) to be visited.

·         Credit-granting, international study tour programs are reasonably and responsibly linked to a relevant course title and/or catalog description.

 

·         Credit-granting, international study tour programs are designed to provide educational experiences integrally related to the curriculum but not otherwise available on-campus.

 

·         The course (including outline, instructional methods and evaluation procedures) are consistent with the course as approved by the University Curriculum Committee (LX-139) for the course. 

 

·         Proposals for credit-granting international study tour programs occurring during the regular academic year (i.e., Fall or Spring semesters) are offered as part of the proposer's (or program director’s) regular teaching responsibility and are not compensated additionally without further and appropriate justification.

 

·         Proposals for credit-granting international study tour programs occurring outside the regular academic year (i.e., Summer, J-term [January], or M-term [May]) are not considered part of the proposer’s (or program director’s) regular teaching responsibility and should be compensated appropriately, whenever possible.

III.  Application Procedures

International study tour programs developed through the initiative of individual faculty and academic staff of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, but formally sponsored by the University, must comply with institutional and UW System budget and fiscal policy guidelines in such areas as personnel, salary and fringe benefit policies, and procedures.  The process is as follows:

·         Documentation and forms need to be prepared as outlined below. The International Education Committee will not review any incomplete or late application files.  Additional copies of these guidelines and the appropriate forms are available from the Faculty Senate website: www.uwlax.edu/FacultySenate/committees/IECindex.html.

·         Fifteen copies of the completed application package need to be submitted to the OIE, 116 Graff Main Hall to be forwarded to the chair of the International Education Committee or to the by the due dates listed below:

 

Deadlines for New International Study Tour Proposals

Term to be Offered

Proposals Due
Review by IEC

J-Term

November 1, 14 months prior

December meeting

Spring

February 1, prior academic year

March meeting

May/Summer

March 1, prior academic year

April meeting; revisions in May

Fall

October 1, prior academic year

November meeting

Deadlines for Submission of Ongoing Study Tour Summary Forms

Term to be Offered

Proposals Due
Review by IEC

J-Term

April 1

May meeting

Spring

September 15

October meeting

May/Summer

October 15

November meeting

Fall

February 15

March meeting

 

A.    Documentation for New International Study Tour Programs

A new international study tour program is a program that has not been previously proposed, or a program that has been proposed and approved, but not offered in the past five years. The necessary documents for new international study tours are listed below with brief explanations:

1.       Proposal Cover Page

The cover page should conform to the style as presented in the appendix.  The cover page includes a checklist which is intended as a check that all sections are included in the proposal.

2.       Detailed Narrative

The body of the proposal (approximately five to seven pages, plus the appropriate LX 139 forms) should include a detailed description of

a.     Preparation (including dates) of the activities before and after the trip.

b.     Itinerary of travel and study when away from UW-La Crosse.

c.     The course goals, objectives, and work expected of participants.

§         Explanation of how the course content (including outline, instructional methods and evaluation procedures) is consistent with the documentation approved by the University Curriculum Committee (LX-139).  A copy of the LX-139 should be attached.

§         Differences in expectations if more than one course is listed (e.g., undergraduate and/or graduate courses).

§         Differences in expectations if courses are offered for variable credit, and

§         Grading criteria (if appropriate, and if such criteria are materially different from standard grading criteria).

 

d.    A detailed explanation of how communication will be accommodated in countries/territories where English is not the primary language (e.g., arrangements for interpreters, guides, etc.).

 

e.     Pre-Departure Language and Culture Preparation

This section should explain the steps to prepare participants to be both effective ambassadors of UW-L while in a international country/territory and to be minimally functional and conversant in the language and culture of the primary country(ies)/territory(ies) being visited. These steps should be taken in advance of the planned study-abroad trip and typically might include three or four training sessions of approximately 45-minutes each.

 

 

§         Language

For course in non-English speaking countries, sufficient language training should be provided to enable program leaders and participants to communicate orally with a minimum number of key words and phrases.  These words and phrases might include such things as:

°                      Phrases of basic courtesy, including greetings and introductions.

°                      Phrases asking for directions and information.

°                      Phrases covering issues of time, numbers, money and the like.

°                      Relevant place names.

°                      Days of the week.

°                      Names of common activities.

°                      Common foods and phrases for ordering common foods.

°                      Phrases for emergency situations.

 

§         Culture

                                        Information on the culture of a country or region to be visited should be presented and distributed well before the time of departure. The cultural material to be covered could well include:

°                      History

°                      Politics

°                      Ethnicity

°                      Religion

°                      Cultural traditions

°                      Social organizations

°                      Geography

°                      Other

                                        This section of the proposal should explicitly state

(1) The number of pre-departure sessions for culture and language as well as the length of these sections.

                                        (2) The instructor in charge of the language training.

 

§         A description of the language and cultural materials to be distributed and any other pre-departure activities designed for language and culture.

 

§         Other pre-departure matters (e.g., logistics, clothing, funding)

 

f.      Language and Culture Backgrounds of Tour Leaders

This section of the proposal is intended to inform the Committee of the proposer(s)/director(s) experience in international travel and/or international study-abroad programs.  The purpose of this section is to identify to the Office of International Education what, if any, additional help and support may be needed by proposer(s)/director(s) to assure a successful study-abroad program.  Included should be the background and experiences of the leader(s)/director(s), as appropriate, in the areas listed below:

 

§         Prior experience in international travel/international study-abroad programs (include dates and particulars, as appropriate).

 

§         First-hand knowledge of areas to be visited (include dates and particulars, as appropriate).

 

§         Special training/experience in international studies, including studies and experiences in comparative cultures, history, science, philosophy, etc.

 

§         Relevant fellowships, scholarships, grants or awards.

 

§         International language knowledge and experience (including level of proficiency, as appropriate).

 

§         Related skills and interests, as appropriate (i.e., photography, art, geography, musical instruments, etc.).

 

 

3.     Budget Worksheet

        This form, a copy of which is included in the appendix, should detail as closely as possible:

 

a.     The comprehensive program fee to the participant/student.

 

b.       Reasonable/prudent expectations of additional costs to students for necessary items, such as food, local travel, etc.

 

c.        Explanation of competitive bidding arrangements.

 

d.       Full disclosure of all arrangements to pay the cost of travel for the director(s).  Proposals without this information will not be considered.  Where more than one leader/director is needed to support a program, please attach an explanation to the budget form explaining why the additional leader/director is needed and what the additional costs associated with the additional leader/director are.

 

4.     Letters of Support

Letters of support from the department/division and from the Dean/Director are to be included.  The letter from the department should indicate that

 

a.     The proposal complies with the departmental procedures and has departmental approval.

 

b.     Your department considers all necessary arrangements for release time, for coverage of the instructor’s other teaching responsibilities, and for any other departmental concerns affected by this proposal.

 

B.   Documentation for Ongoing International Study Tour Programs

Faculty/staff leading ongoing study tour programs (i.e., programs that have been offered in the past) must submit the Ongoing Study Tour Summary Form to the International Education Committee in the early planning stages of the program along with a copy of the most recent Post-Trip Assessment (described in Item D below).  The Ongoing Study Tour Summary Form is available on the International Education Committee website (www.uwlax.edu/FacultySenate/committees/IECindex.html).

 

Finally, if there are significant changes in an ongoing program from the original program, contact the chair of the International Education Committee to determine whether a more detailed proposal is required.

 

C.    Coordination with the Office of International Education

The director of the trip abroad should meet with the Office of International Education staff to ensure compliance with “ACIS 7.1 Policy Guidelines for the Development and Operation of Off-Campus International Educational Programs for University of Wisconsin System Students” and “Financial and Administrative Policies 45: Study Abroad Programs.”

 

D.   Post Trip Assessment

A post-trip assessment report is required and is to be submitted to the Office of International Education within 60 days of the completion of the program.  The director of the trip abroad should also report in person to the International Education Committee.  This section of the proposal should include the date by which the report will be submitted, as well as an overview/outline of the planned report.  The format of this section is open, but it should demonstrate that the report will provide appropriate commentary while addressing the following issues:

 

a.       A brief description of the program (for example, to which UW-L course(s) the program is applicable, the program goals, the sites of the program and the dates of the program).

 

b.       A complete list of participants and addresses (postal and e-mail) should be included.

 

c.        Changes in the actual implementation of the program from what was proposed (for example, changes in personnel, changes in itinerary, changes in sites visited and changes in activities), and the impact of these changes.

 

d.       Any logistical problems encountered during the implementation.

 

e.        The degree to which actual revenues and expenses matched the budgeted values.

 

f.         The degree to which the curricular goals and objectives were achieved.

 

g.       Recommendations for a subsequent program.