Leading a faculty-led program

Faculty Led Education Abroad Programs

International Education & Engagement (IEE) believes that studying abroad can offer UWL students a more academically enriching experience, prepare them to become global citizens, and help them excel in their future careers. 

Faculty members are a crucial part of successful study abroad programs both advising students on how to include study abroad into their UWL academics or by leading a faculty led study abroad program. IEE is excited to collaborate with UWL faculty interested in developing and running one of these transformational experiences.

All faculty interested in teaching abroad will be responsible for obtaining approval by their department chair and college dean before developing a program proposal. All programs must also be approved in advance by the faculty leader(s)'s department chair and dean using IEE's Recommendation Form (going under updates), please contact Jordan Brick, IEE, with questions. Program leaders must have approval from their chair and dean before a program can be developed.

IEE and members of the International Education Committee (IEC) can assist faculty with program ideas, location considerations, and various models and levels of support needed to meet the needs of their program. 


Reoccuring Faculty-led Programs:  February 1, 2022
**New program proposals are not being accepted for Winter 2023


NEW Faculty-led Programs:  Deadline March 1, 2022
Reoccuring Faculty-Led Programs:  Deadline April 1, 2022

Applications for future terms are reviewed on a rolling basis - programs leaders do not need to wait for the deadlines to submit proposal materials. 

Below is a digital version of the Study Abroad Handbook for Faculty-Led Programs. IEE recommends reading through this material as a first step in understanding the various components and expectations required for developing and leading a program abroad. Interested program leaders should also review The Forum on Education Abroad's Standards on Leading Short-Term Education Abroad Programs. Additional questions should be directed to international@uwlax.edu. 

All program proposals must meet the International Education Committee (IEC) Guidelines and require a program narrative, detailed syllabus, and itinerary. IEC guideline requirements can be found here

Welcome expanding section

Thank you for your interest and commitment to leading a study abroad program for our students. This decision requires significant time and energy but the outcome – providing a high quality and innovative study abroad experience – may be one of the most rewarding academic experiences you will have during your teaching career.

The decision to lead a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse study abroad program provides an opportunity to engage students in a way that is not possible in a classroom on campus. In this role, you will have more responsibilities than in a traditional on campus course; you are accepting the challenge of serving as an administrator, an advisor, a facilitator, a first-responder, and of course, an educator.

While on the program, you will observe a broadening of student perspectives and an expansion of minds engaging in the learning process. You will facilitate not only classroom-based learning, but also the development of cross-cultural competencies.

This material is meant to be your guide as you navigate the process of planning a program abroad with students, and IEE staff are always available to assist in the process. Thank you again for your commitment and contributions in providing this transformational experience to our students.

Phase 1 - Faculty Led Program Overview expanding section

Benefit of Leading a Short-Term Study Abroad Program

Leading a UWL faculty-led study abroad program gives faculty the rewarding opportunity to reach and connect with students outside their comfort zone. While abroad, faculty spend more time with students engaging in the unique role of being an advisor and mentor. The results can mean a positive transformation of both faculty and students that will influence students beyond their time at UWL.

Options and Student Choice: Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs

When considering a proposal for a faculty-led program, it is helpful to keep in mind why some students choose this type of program. Students who decide to participate in a faculty-led program are likely to do so for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. The desire to go abroad with a UWL faculty member. 
    The faculty member may have a reputation or teaching style that attracts students. The student may feel more comfortable going abroad with someone they know and have a relationship with and whom they view as a representative of UWL abroad

  2. Interest in a particular course
    The assurance that credit for an exact course will be received abroad is a particularly attractive feature of UWL faculty-led programs.

  3. The appeal of a UWL-Sponsored Program
    In uncertain times, some students prefer things that feel safe and familiar, like UWL. Going on a UWL program can be comforting for parents and students alike because they are assured the same quality teaching experience the student would have received in Wisconsin and the support of International Education & Engagement (IEE) throughout the program process.

  4. The appeal of a program that is short term and pre-planned
    Many students want the independence of being abroad but may find an independent immersion experience overwhelming. 3-6 week programs are becoming more popular for students as they juggle busy academic, personal and professional schedules throughout their college career

Program Types

There are two course types that are common for faculty-led study abroad programs. Only one course type is recognized per program.

  1. UWL Course Transplanted Abroad
    This is a course already offered on UWL’s campus and can be offered in an international setting. The approved course objectives and learning outcomes are the same off-campus as they are on-campus, however the international course must be approved by the International Education Committee (IEC). It must clearly demonstrate how each course will be enhanced by the international environment and local culture.

    Courses taught must meet the same number of classroom hours and study time as it would if it were being conducted on campus. Credits received by student must comply with the UW System credit policy. This course type requires a program proposal. Faculty leaders must first obtain approval by their Chair and Dean. IEE will then work with the faculty/staff leader to further develop the program (budget, itinerary, etc.) and the program proposal will be reviewed for final approval by the IEC.

  2. UWL Non-Credit International Program
    This is a non-credit experience designed to give students the opportunity to travel to another country under the guidance of a UWL faculty or staff member. Academic, language, or service learning components may be developed into the program, but the primary goal is to give students an opportunity to travel abroad as part of a UWL group

Qualifications to be a Faculty/Staff Leader

The faculty/staff leader must:

  1. Have support by their department and college/school for leading a program.
  2. Be able to provide culture and country-specific information to students. Some faculty/staff leaders may be able to utilize an approved host partner for some of this content (i.e.: local university and/or study abroad program provider).
  3. Be available to recruit and orient students throughout the duration of the process
  4. Provide a syllabus for the proposed course that reflects an academic experience that meets UWL standards
  5. Work collaboratively and proactively with International Education & Engagement

Responsibilities of the Faculty Leader
The faculty leader leads the academic aspects of the program and provides student support throughout the duration of the program. In addition to the standard duties of teaching a course at UWL (syllabus development, textbook selection, assessment, evaluations, etc.), the responsibilities of the faculty leader include:

  1. The program proposal, which includes a program narrative, detailed syllabus, approximate budget and risk management plan.
  2. Selection of academically relevant excursions, field trips, guest lecturers, etc.
  3. Active participation in program promotion and recruitment.
  4. Reviewing applications and selecting participants.
  5. Leading pre-departure activities, which may include orientation meetings and/or teaching a preparatory seminar.
  6. While abroad, in addition to teaching the course and attending all program-sponsored activities, the faculty leader serves as the primary point of contact for students in need of academic, cultural, and/or personal guidance, both on a scheduled and emergency basis.
  7. Faculty leaders also serve as primary communicators throughout the program process, and also while abroad. Faculty leaders must notify International Education & Engagement immediately of any student’s absence by the first day of activities or if a student drops or leaves the program for any reason.
  8. Attend to the safety of participants on the program in times of emergency and/or crisis.

Responsibilities of the College, School and Department
The sponsoring college, school and department are responsible for the following:

  1. Signature approval of the program proposal.
  2. Assist with program promotion, student recruitment, and application review
  3. Track the annual teaching overload amount for the faculty leader and ensure it does not exceed UW System limits.

Responsibilities of International Education and Engagement
International Education & Engagement (IEE) is charged with the administration of all programs abroad offered to students for academic credit. Any faculty member who wishes to lead a program abroad that carries academic credit must work with IEE.

International Education & Engagement also provides pre-departure orientation workshops for students and faculty leaders. IEE may assist faculty leaders with the administrative and logistics of travel. IEE administrative responsibilities for all faculty/staff lead programs will include:

  1. Coordinating program development
  2. Finalizing budget approval
  3. Coordinating with faculty on marketing and promotion
  4. Facilitating the application and approval process
  5. Billing and disbursing all funds
  6. Facilitating completion of contracts with third party vendors
  7. Maintaining industry standards on best practices in the field
  8. Following procedures to maintain compliance with UWL and UW System policies
  9. Collecting and managing student application forms
  10. Scheduling and organizing student selection process including application materials, vetting with Faculty/Staff Leader
  11. Creating approved course sections with UWL Records & Registration
  12. Registering approved course fees to selected students’ accounts
  13. Assisting faculty/staff leader with communication plan during transit and while abroad
  14. Organizing a general orientation session and providing orientation materials
  15. Evaluation and final report forms
  16. Providing mandatory faculty training
Phase 2 - Developing a Program expanding section

Program Development Timeline

To start the proposal process, faculty leaders should discuss their course and program ideas with their department chair and their college/school dean. Supportive Chairs and Deans need to complete and submit the Recommendation Form to IEE.

Faculty members will work closely with the IEE Director and Education Abroad Advisor to further develop their proposal and their program. The program proposal requires faculty leader(s) to submit the following materials to IEE:

  1. Detailed program narrative following IEC guidelines
  2. Draft syllabus adapted to the international location
  3. Tentative itinerary
  4. Emergency protocol plan
  5. Recent post-program assessment (if applicable)

Guidelines for developing such proposals will be provided to faculty leaders and chairs or directors by International Education & Engagement. These guidelines are not meant to be prescriptive or binding. However, considering them will assist in the development of solid programs that are academically strong and feasible abroad. Department deans or program directors will verify the academic rigor of the proposal and its place within the department plans and staffing needs. Final academic approval will be made by the International Education Committee. IEE deadlines for submission of proposal and materials for review are as follows:


Term to be offered Proposals due to Chair Proposal due to Dean IEE Deadline Submitted to IEC by:
Summer Term April 1 May 1 August 1 August 31
Winter Term & Spring Break September 1 October 1 January 15 January 31

These dates will be in effect beginning Summer 2020 programs. 

The International Education Committee (IEC) will review all proposals at the beginning of each semester. Final approval is made by IEC and program promotion and recruitment cannot happen before approval from IEC is finalized. Faculty leaders should review the Program Guidelines established by the International Education Committee for guidance. The IEC will review proposals using those guidelines. IEC Program Guidelines can be found here. Please notify International Education & Engagement if you are considering proposing a program.

Course Offerings and Approval

Courses associated with faculty-led programs should consider division credits for participation. Upper division credits may have required prerequisites which could limit participation on a study abroad program. Courses offered for general education requirements may be able to recruit from a wider audience of academic majors. Faculty leaders do have the discretion to allow for exceptions, with the support of their department and college. 

Faculty leaders must submit a syllabus with their proposal. Upon approval of a proposal, faculty leaders are responsible for communicating course specific information and the syllabi to students - both during recruitment and before departure. Syllabi for courses abroad are required to include the same elements as syllabi for courses that take place on campus.

Only students who are official participants in the study abroad program may register for the program course(s). Official participants are those who apply online, are conditionally accepted to the program, commit to the program and commit to paying all program fees. Students who have not completed these steps may not register for the program course(s) or participate in program activities.

A graduating senior may be eligible to participate in a summer program but should consult with the faculty leader, IEE, and the Financial Aid Office before committing to the program. If the course credit is not needed to fulfill outstanding degree requirements, the student may not be eligible for financial aid. Students who need the course to fulfill their last degree requirement may participate in the program and then complete the process for in absentia graduation so that the degree can be conferred in the summer.

Choosing the Right Location

In many cases, the idea to teach a course abroad comes from a faculty member’s personal or professional experience. For example, a faculty member returning from a sabbatical abroad is inspired to develop a course to introduce students to the academic and cultural experiences available in that location. Or, a faculty member has significant research experience in a country and wants to develop a program opportunity in that location for students. In other cases, faculty members may not have contacts in the region they are interested in developing a course but there is a strong cultural connection to the academic discipline. IEE can work with faculty leaders to make connections with organizations or partner universities to help develop and facilitate the program

Selection of On-Site Program Partners
IEE's education abroad advisor and faculty leader work together to determine which partners may be best suited for the location and academic needs of the program. One option is to contract with a third-party study abroad provider (e.g.: API or CEA) to handle the majority of on-site logistics and co-curricular activities while another program may contract with a university and/or a combination of academic contacts, local experts, and travel agents. Major factors in the selection of on-site partners include the faculty’s experience and professional network in the location, the difficulty of running a program in a particular location and the availability of local experts. IEE can recommend on-site partners in some locations; however, IEE relies on the faculty leader’s contacts in other locations.

Facilities that will host students, whether accommodations or for academic study, should maintain the standard of being a healthy and safe place to study for the duration of the program. When considering accommodations faculty leaders should make accommodations accordingly. For example, students of different sexes should not be assigned to the same sleeping quarters nor should faculty leaders share accommodations with students. This should be factored in when making arrangements and budgets for accommodations.

Health and Safety
Health and safety abroad is UWL's top priority when assisting in planning faculty-led programs. Health and safety involves numerous factors that should be considered when selecting locations, solidifying accommodations, planning excursions, working with community organizations, etc. Faculty leaders should always keep in mind the health and safety of their participants while abroad and anticipate situations prior to departure.

A Travel Health & Safety Plan should be submitted prior to travel to IEE. This plan will assist faculty leaders in anticipating issues and creating an action plan in the event of a health and safety emergency. IEE will look at health and safety issues at the time of proposal with a critical lens to ensure the safety of UWL students and faculty. Travel to countries with U.S. State Department issued travel advisories of 3 or 4 must include the appropriate forms for approval by the Travel and Risk Management Committee and Provost. In most cases, travel to areas with a travel advisory 4 will not be permitted.

Contacts at home and abroad are crucial to the safety and well-being of UWL students during the program. Faculty working with third parties should forward main contacts and responsible parties information to IEE for documentation and to facilitate contractual agreements.

Rationale of Location for Course
The IEC will be reviewing the academic and cultural rational for the program location. The program proposal must include learning objectives that connect course content with the education experience in the international location.

Program Considerations

In order to minimize financial barriers for students, IEE emphasizes the importance of containing student costs in the development of program budgets. Below are some factors to consider when developing a program.

  • Does the significance of the proposed program location justify the cost?
    When addressing this question, the most important factor to consider is the connection of the location to the course content. Other factors include student interest in the location, availability of support services, and cost and ease of transportation, housing, etc. IEE can advise on the logistical aspects of particular locations.

  • Do the proposed excursions further the academic goals of the course of study?
    “Tourist” excursions may be costly; if they are not strongly connected to academic content and goals, they should be eliminated. Students can participate in some of the tourist excursions on their own time if they choose.

  • Can the academic goals of the program be met in one destination versus multiple locations?
    Some programs truly require multiple sites, whereas in others, one destination of significance will serve the academic purposes of the course. Each site adds new transportation expenses and logistical arrangements, which can increase cost. The additional travel can also add to the potential safety risks associated with the program.

  • Does the anticipated number of students, location, and/or logistics justify the number of faculty leaders?
    A low student to faculty ratio often creates an undue cost burden on student participants, who must pay their own expenses plus those of program leaders.

  • Does UWL or the faculty leader have a relationship with a university in the desired location?
    The ability to connect faculty-led programs to existing university partnerships has multiple benefits. If the institution can provide logistical support, classroom, and/or housing, it helps control cost and gives potential access to local experts, and a population of students in the host country, thereby deepening the cultural experience of participants.
Phase 3 - Financial Matters expanding section

Financial Preparation for a Faculty Leader

UWL faculty are compensated according to the guidelines established by the current University teaching overload policy.

Faculty Compensation
Compensation for faculty is subject to UWL policies and procedures. As indicated by the Provost, in consultation with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, faculty/instructor pay for Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs is set at the traditional overload pay rate for faculty of $2,000 per credit, as long as the minimum enrollment of 12 accepted students or 36 SCH is met for the program. Should the targeted enrollment not be met, but the program still intends to run, the faculty leader’s salary will be prorated according to the final number of students participating in the program and with permission from the Provost.

The targeted enrollment for the program will be determined between IEE and the faculty leader and will be agreed upon in the Faculty-Led Teaching Abroad Contract.

Procurement Cards
Faculty leading programs must secure and travel with a UWL travel procurement cards (with chip) which will both allow for unexpected expenditures and more efficient reconciliation. This process will be initiated by IEE's Business Manager in consultation with the faculty leader(s). The PCard application requires signatures of the cardholder, Director of IEE/WISDM manager. Faculty should plan on at least 4 weeks to secure the card. Faculty leaders will be required to go through PCard training with Business Services prior to the program start date. Faculty should make it clear that the card will be used for international travel so that Business Services can ensure there is an adequate transaction limit and credit limit during their travel and notify US Bank of travel destinations to prevent unnecessary fraud alerts.

Travel/Cash Advances
Faculty leaders may submit a travel authorization through e-Reimbursement and select to have a cash advance to cover their out-of-pocket business, as well as group expenses. This process will be initiated by IEE's Business Manager. Cash advances must be requested a minimum of 14 days prior to the start of the program within the e-reimbursement system and must be approved (pre-authorized) within the system by their supervisor.

Faculty leaders must provide original, itemized receipts for all program purchases in accordance with UWL policies and procedures. Any expenses incurred by the faculty leader which have not received prior approval may not be reimbursed. Upon return, the faculty leader must meet with the IEE Business Manager to settle the travel expense account. Receipts must be submitted for all expenses other than those paid in advance by IEE as part of the group or for the authorized per diem.

Payments to Third Party Providers & Vendors

UW System Approved Vendors
UW System has determined responsible providers based on the ability to provide safe, reliable travel programs for UW System faculty, staff and students. Campuses may work with any of these companies without the need for an additional procurement process, regardless of the cost. However, it is recommended to solicit multiple quotes if possible to ensure you are providing the highest quality program for the lowest possible cost. A list of these vendors can be found here. The companies can provide lodging, ground travel, educational tours and programs, and any other academic services required. 

Faculty leaders have the  opportunity to waive the UWS Travel Program requirements for their students. To do so, they must complete and submit a Flight Waiver Request form that will be reviewed by a cross-functional committee. If approved, students can book their flight through any vendor.

Faculty leaders are required to book their flight through the UWS preferred travel agency. If there is a coordinated group flight arranged for the program, the flights must be booked through the UWS preferred travel agency. 

Contractual understandings may be established by written agreements with other institutions or service providers based outside of the United States. Contracts need to address numerous issues including liability, services, insurance, indemnification, choice of law, and jurisdiction. All contractual agreements for services related to UWL-sponsored international programs must be reviewed, approved and facilitated by the IEE Director, Business Manager and UWL's Contracts Administrator. Such agreements for services include but are not limited to agreements established for housing, meals, tour guides, hired drivers, on-site administrators, and teachers. Agreements for contracts not approved by UWS will need supporting documentation. Documentation must give reasons why the specific provider was selected along with 3 quotes from approved UWS vendors that have similar programs/support in the specific location, with supporting information on why the approved UWS vendor was not selected for the contract.

When program logistics depend on personal and professional connections of the faculty leader IEE should be included in program-related correspondence and the terms of business should be agreed upon in writing after required bidding has occurred. In addition, the IEE Business Manager should have the contact information of all businesses, individuals and back-ups that perform services for the program.

The third-party will submit an invoice in accordance with the contract agreement, and UWL will pay from said invoice. UWL will not pay any vendor or third party without the appropriate tax document on file (W8/W9). The third-party must also have a current contract or Memorandum of Understanding in place with UWL before any payments can be made.

Developing a Program Budget

All UWL study abroad programs require a program fee that is inclusive of UWL tuition and fees. All efforts must be made to keep such costs to a minimum without jeopardizing the quality of the program. All program budgets must be finalized with and approved by the International Education & Engagement Director and Business Manager. Once finalized, the budget cannot be changed except with the specific approval of the IEE Director.

Costs associated with faculty-led study abroad programs can be defined as either fixed or variable. It is important to be aware of which operational costs are fixed and which are variable, because the fixed costs determine the minimum funding necessary to run the program, and will thus determine the number of participants needed. Costs associated with faculty-led study abroad programs are as follows:

Fixed Costs
Fixed costs do not change based on the number of participants. Fixed costs (per student) may include:

  • Student Room & Board
  • Student Airfare (if included in program fee)
  • Other Costs associated with an individual student participation 5% contingency fee (to account for currency exchange fluctuation)
  • Required International Insurance
  • IEE Administrative Fees
  • Emergency Contingency Fee per UWS Board of Regents

Variable Costs
Variable costs are dependent on the number of participants – for example, room and board costs. Faculty fees for participation are divided among the total number of students. These fees (based on Student Credit Hour) may include:

  • Faculty and Salary/Fringe
  • Faculty Housing
    • When choosing alternative housing does not affect the health, safety, or welfare of program participants, and when pre-approved by IEE and/or Provost, Faculty Leaders may choose not to stay in the same accommodation as student participants. The maximum amount covered in the budget for Faculty Leader accommodations will be equal to the rate offered by the student accommodation provider for a single en-suite room. Faculty Leaders will pay any difference directly to the accommodation provider using their personal credit card for all additional expenses. Alternative accommodation fees that are lower than the maximum allowed will be covered at the lower rate; the difference will not be owed to the Faculty Leader.
  • Faculty Meal and Incidentals
  • Faculty Supplies/Excursions
  • Faculty Transportation (Domestic & International) and in-country transportation for students
  • Other costs associated with program participation

Contingency Fund
The contingency fund for each faculty-led program safeguards the program budget from external factors like fluctuations in currency conversions, fluctuations in transportation costs between budgeting and purchase, potential emergency costs, and any potential shortfalls in budgeting i.e. transportation costs or admissions to program activities. The contingency fund is factored into program budgets as a percentage of the overall cost per student at a rate of 5%.

Exchange Rates
When planning a budget for a faculty-led program, it is important to note that exchange rates and currency are in constant flux. The contingency fund is designed to account for exchange rate discrepancies from the time of budget approval to the actual travel date. Faculty leaders should periodically evaluate the exchange rate of the country in which they are to travel. As the program start date approaches, the exchange rate should be monitored closely. Any large swings in currency should be brought to IEE’s attention and handled on a case by case budgetary basis.

Scholarships and Financial Aid
If students wish to apply for or use current financial aid, they must work with Financial Aid Office. IEE has developed a system to provide the Registrar’s office and Student Financial Aid staff with specific budget figures, official documentation from each student going abroad, and confirmation that student accounts have been cleared for additional billing. It is the responsibility of the student to seek assistance from their financial aid advisor. 

UWL Faculty-Led Study Abroad Cost-Recovery Policy
IEE and the Budget Office have developed guidelines related to budgeting and reconciling revenue from faculty-led study abroad programs. 

In accordance with UW System Administrative Policy 810 (https://www.wisconsin.edu/uw-policies/uw-system-administrative-policies/study-abroad-programs/), study abroad programs are to be “financed on a cost-recovery basis”. IEE understands not all programs can be budgeted to an exact dollar, however we strive to recover as much of the costs as possible.

For some programs, for various reasons, there will be excess revenue.  When this occurs, IEE will allow the program to keep a maximum of $1,000 per year up to a maximum of 2 years, should the program plan to run again in a future year.  Any excess revenue in the account for that specific term beyond the $1,000 will result in a refund to the students that participated in the program.  These refunds will be issued to students upon reconciliation of the program’s account.  Should there be a deficit in the program’s account, IEE will cover those funds.

Phase 4 - Obtaining Approval expanding section

Program Proposal Process

Selection Criteria
The International Education Committee (IEC) – a faculty senate committee of faculty peers – will review and approve program proposals. The committee’s purpose in reviewing proposals is to examine the academic rigor, and how site location and visits enhance the course and learning objectives. Curricular and academic issues, such as credit substitutions, prerequisites and major requirements must be resolved in the department before the proposal is submitted. All proposed courses abroad will be held to the standard of traveling with academic purpose. If a course is seen as not meeting this standard or has cause for concern, the committee will make a recommendation and the corresponding course will need review by the faculty leader before final approval will be considered for the program.

The IEC has a set of guidelines for faculty to follow in developing their international course. These guidelines can be found: https://www.uwlax.edu/globalassets/offices-services/international-education/forms/guidelines-for-faculty-led-programs.pdf

Submission Deadlines
A programs success depends on close adherence to the deadlines below


Term to be offered Proposals due to Chair Proposal due to Dean IEE Deadline Submitted to IEC by:
Summer Term April 1 May 1 August 1 August 31
Winter Term & Spring Break September 1 October 1 January 15 January 31

Faculty leaders can submit program proposals earlier than these published deadlines. Submitting proposals earlier can give more time to marketing and recruitment.

Notification of Approval
All program proposals will be reviewed by the IEC at the start of fall and spring semester. Within 2 weeks of the start of the semester, faculty leaders will be informed by IEC whether or not their respective program proposals have met the minimum qualifications and are approved to move forward in the program planning process. Programs that are not approved for that year’s cycle will be given recommendations for strengthening the proposal and encouraged to apply for the following year.

Program Cancellation/Low Enrollment

UWL reserves the right to discontinue any study abroad program at any time before or after departure. Among the reasons for discontinuation and cancellation are travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State and insufficient enrollment.

There are two points at which programs may be canceled for low enrollment: the application deadline and the commitment deadline. If a program drops below its minimum enrollment at either of these points, IEE will notify the faculty leader and give the department and college the opportunity to determine if funds are available to subsidize 100% of the budget shortfall. If funds are not available, or other budgetary adjustment can't be made (reduced salary, changed accommodation, etc.) the program will be cancelled. Students who have paid the commitment deposit will be refunded if the program is canceled.

As a general rule, IEE does not extend deadlines. If the commitment deadline has passed and the minimum enrollment has been maintained, the program will not be canceled due to withdrawals that may occur later in the semester. 

When students commit their participation to the program, they sign a contract with UWL and IEE to study abroad and to pay for the full cost of the program. After submitting this commitment, any subsequent withdrawal from the program, for any reason, will result in the student paying all non-recoverable program costs associated with the program. Recoverable costs are those that UWL or vendors are able to refund to the student.  

Generally, the closer to departure a student withdraws, the less likely it is that the costs will be recoverable. IEE makes every attempt to recover program charges to minimize the financial impact of a student withdrawing. The full program fee is non-refundable once the program begins.

Faculty leaders should direct any and all withdrawal inquires to IEE and refer to IEE's Withdraw & Refund Policy.

Phase 5 - Recruiting Students expanding section

Marketing and Recruitment

Promotion and recruitment are an essential part of any study abroad program. Active involvement in the recruitment process by the faculty leader and sponsoring department can make all the difference in a program’s success or failure. IEE staff collaborate with the faculty leader on the creation of promotional materials and strategies, but brochures and website updates are no substitute for one-on-one faculty-to-student contact. Advertising must be truthful and emphasize both the benefits, cost of the program, and relevant course information.

Information Sessions/Promotional Events
Faculty leaders should plan to give presentations about their programs in a variety of venues during the promotional period. When planning promotion and recruitment strategies, please keep in mind the aforementioned enrollment guidelines. The faculty leaders should focus on the following at promotional events:

  1. Share enthusiasm for the program with prospective participants. This may include showing photos and describing the importance/relevance of the location and coursework
  2. Articulate connections between destination country and course content
  3. Talk about the cultural experiences you will incorporate into the itinerary, including a tentative program schedule
  4. Inform students of the course, requirements, and academic content of the program
  5. Explain criteria for acceptance into course and/or program (course prerequisites, language level, writing experience, lab research, etc.)
  6. Inform students of the first step in the application process, and the program application deadline.
  7. Encourage diversity among program participants
  8. Explain how grading works

Faculty leaders should plan on attending the IEE Education Abroad Fair and other promotional events each semester. This will allow you to meet with a large number of students in one day to promote and recruit for your program

Alternative Promotion Vehicles
The IEE education abroad advisor and faculty leader may collaborate to recruit students for summer programs. It is the responsibility of the faculty leader to initiate marketing efforts or planning conversations with IEE. Faculty leaders can promote their program through the following promotional outlets:

  1. Information sessions and education abroad fairs
  2. Fliers, posters, and website (all print material must be approved by IEE and cost sharing may be required by the faculty leader(s) department budget)
  3. Class visits and other promotional activities in relevant courses (to be arranged with appropriate courses by the faculty leader)
  4. Display cases (to be arranged in the college or department)
  5. Student organization meetings
  6. College/department newsletters or listservs
  7. Academic advisors

Involving UWL Students

Home Campus
Recruitment of students attending UWL can be conducted through the promotional vehicles stated above. UWL students can make in-person advising appointments with Education Abroad Advisors to discuss questions, application procedures, concerns or feasibility of participation. Financial assistance questions will be forwarded to the Financial Aid Office.

Other Campuses
Students at other UW campuses are welcome to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs with the faculty leader’s approval and the approval of their home campus. IEE can share information on the program to other UW System campuses and assign a designated contact to work with students. The designated contact will follow the same procedures for advising, communicating with students and discussing their individual needs. Faculty leaders should consider other UW campus students in their marketing efforts and while designing a study abroad program.

Involving Non-UW Students
IEE makes a small number of programs available to students matriculated at other US institutions if the criteria below are met. Most of these opportunities are geared towards students who are looking for a short-term faculty-led summer program. It is important to note that any non-UWL student must also meet application requirements including conduct and GPA. In order for IEE to accept non-UWL students, the program must:

  1. Offer UWL credit
  2. Accept a sufficient number of UWL students to meet minimum enrollment requirements. Non-UWL students may not count toward minimum enrollment requirements
  3. Faculty interested in admitting non-UWL students should discuss the academic, financial and logistical impacts with the IEE Director.

Unaffiliated Travelers
Serving as a faculty leader of an international travel program can be a hardship to faculty members with families. For this reason, faculty leaders may want their family to accompany them. In that way, a potential family hardship might be turned into a powerful learning experience for the faculty leader and his or her family. Faculty leaders who decide to bring family members must consider several important issues:

  1. The faculty leader of an education abroad program wears many hats: teacher, academic advisor, counselor, financial advisor, tour guide, secretary, and, at times, even janitor. The workload for these programs is much higher than teaching a course on campus. A faculty leader’s first priority is to be available to the students in an emergency (or perceived emergency) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, when the program is in session.
  2. Accompanying family members or companions, if not enrolled as full participants in the program, are not considered in any way to be participants in the program or representatives of UWL or any affiliated institution. Accordingly, family members/companions may not have any official duties (chaperone, driver, assistant). Family members/companions are not protected by UWL’s liability insurance for any actions taken abroad, and are urged to discuss applicable liability protection with an insurance agent to ensure that they have adequate coverage for their overseas activities.
  3. It is UWL’s policy that faculty leaders be responsible for any travel expenses incurred on behalf of family members/companions. The faculty leader should maintain careful records to ensure separation of expenses. Any additional costs incurred due to stopovers, route modifications, or mode of transport made for the convenience of the family members/companions will be the faculty leader’s responsibility
  4. IEE cannot assist with housing, child care, health care, travel arrangements, insurance, or any other necessary support for spouses, children, partners, parents or friends that accompany program participants. Program budgets should not be dependent on unaffiliated travelers, but solely based on minimum student participation. Unaffiliated participants on a study abroad program must not hinder or subtract from any student’s academic or cultural experience abroad.

UWL is not responsible for the injury, illness, loss, or death of spouses, children, partners, parents, or friends accompanying participants in study abroad programs, nor will any expenses for unaffiliated travel be collected or distributed by UWL. Faculty leaders must submit a Traveling with Family Waiver Form.

Phase 6 - Working with Students Pre-Departure expanding section

Applications and Required Materials

Pre-Decision Application
IEE has a standard online application form for all faculty-led study abroad programs. An application is considered “Complete” and ready to be reviewed once all Pre-Decision items have been completed.

  1. Personal Statement
  2. Academic Recommendation Form
  3. Consent to release Form (signature document)
  4. Special, Non-degree Application to UWL for non UWL applicants (signature document)
  5. Study Abroad Code of Conduct & Statement of Responsibility (signature document)
  6. Worldwide Caution (signature document)

Post Acceptance Materials
Post-acceptance materials to be collected through the Study Abroad portal, which are subject to change or modification, include

  1. $50 application fee
  2. Emergency Contact Form
  3. Passport Copy
  4. Study Abroad Goals
  5. Pre-Departure Registration
  6. Confirmation Deposit
  7. Budget Confirmation (signature document)
  8. Travel & Alerts (signature document) Country Specific Information (signature document)
  9. Health and Emergency (signature document)
  10. Cultural Adjustment Learning Modules

Application Deadline

The application deadline serves two important functions in upholding a faculty-led study abroad program. First, deadlines are permanent guides to planning marketing and recruitment efforts. They provide a benchmark for faculty leaders and for IEE in the planning process. Deadlines also require student commitment to a program and create a base for continuation of the budgeting process as logistics are solidified for a program

Applications to faculty-led programs will not be extended nor will late applications be considered without prior approval by the IEE Director. The purpose of the application deadline is to ensure the quality of a program. Amending deadlines or changing costs that are contrary to what programs are advertised for affects the credibility of a program. Once a deadline for applications has passed and enrollment remains insufficient, the program is subject to cancellation. Program budgets, regardless of applicant enrollment, are not to exceed the advertised cost.

Student Screening and Selection

Assessing Suitability for Study Abroad
All students wishing to participate in a faculty-led program must be full time students at the time of application. Students must be in good academic standing without disciplinary infractions. All students applying for study abroad will be vetted for infractions by the Dean of Students and academic standing is screened by IEE ensuring a GPA of 2.5 or higher. After being vetted, students will be incorporated into a system that closely monitors any changes to conduct preceding travel. Any concerns regarding student standing will be reported to the faculty leader of the respective program, and follow up actions will be agreed upon between IEE and the faculty leader.

Red Flags
Although some applicants may meet all of the established eligibility criteria, certain “red flags” in their application materials and/or behavior may require special consideration. These “red flags” do not necessarily preclude a student’s acceptance into the program, but they are often indicators that further discussion with the student or other involved parties is necessary in order to make a participation decision. Some examples of these indicators include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Student’s essay indicates that their primary motivation to study abroad is questionable (desire to escape a situation or person, focus on travel or extended vacation, for others to visit or accompany them abroad, etc.).
  • Faculty recommendation discloses information that could affect the student’s participation (concerns about maturity, behavior, recent events in student’s life, etc.).
  • Student’s academic record show recent drastic decline in academic performance, breaks in attendance, multiple absence/failing reports, or repeated no-shows.
  • Student demonstrates erratic or inappropriate behavior in his or her interactions with faculty or IEE staff (before or after acceptance into the program).

Faculty leaders who identify “red flags” in a student application materials or in interactions with a student are encouraged to notify IEE as soon as possible. The faculty leader and IEE Director will work together to determine the appropriate course of action, which may include a student interview, follow up with faculty recommender, notifying and/or referral to counseling services, or discussion with IEE Director.

Conditional Acceptance
Applicants who are chosen to participate in a program are considered “conditionally accepted.” Following admission into a program, students must meet certain expectations and obligations; therefore, a student’s acceptance into the program is on the condition that these are fulfilled. If students do not fulfill these requirements, they may not be permitted to participate in the program. To meet the criteria of conditional acceptance, a student must:

    • Maintain good academic standing
    • Successfully complete all course prerequisites by the time of departure,
    • Complete all online portal forms by stated deadlines,
    • Maintain behavior consistent with the UWL Student Code of Conduct,
    • Meet any additional requirements of the host university/program provider, if applicable (varies by program) and,
    • Attend required orientations.

Disability Accommodations
Sharing in the philosophy that all students should be assured equal access and opportunity, IEE will work with the ACCESS Center and appropriate overseas personnel to identify and obtain reasonable accommodations and to assist a student with a documented disability in planning for a successful international experience. Students are responsible for disclosing disability accommodations in the Medical Self Disclosure questionnaire through their online application portal.

Post Acceptance Requirements for Student Participation
After students have been accepted into the program, faculty leaders must ensure that participants complete or are in possession of the following:

  1. Valid passport and visa (if applicable)
  2. Pre-departure orientation and on-site orientation
  3. Completion of the Terms and Conditions form
  4. Registration in the U.S. Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

Faculty leaders should review emergency medical information for all students. This information is in the application portal.

All students are covered by CISI insurance and will be enrolled by IEE. Students should review their health plan’s claim filing procedures for coverage abroad and make sure they carry their CISI card with them. Students will receive their CISI card by email. All students with significant on-going health problems or allergies should obtain and wear a MedicAlert bracelet or necklace. Call 1-800-ID-Alert (1-800-432-5378) or visit http://www.medicalert.org.

Late Applicants
History and experience has suggested that late applicants are not reliable program participants; therefore, IEE will not allow late applications or deadline extensions without discussion with the faculty leader.

Students who withdraw from a UWL program after accepting and committing a place but before the program begins will lose any non-refundable deposits and any unrecoverable costs. There are no refunds after the start of the program. Students must understand that they are responsible for full payment of the amount owed to IEE. There are circumstances under which UWL, or its agent, has the authority to require that a student withdraw from the study abroad program. These circumstances include but are not limited to the following:

    • Students whose conduct while in the program is deemed undesirable and whose actions are in violation of UWL’s Student Code of Conduct
    • Alcohol abuse or drug possession or use
    • Destruction or misuse of property
    • Students whose conduct is in violation of the foreign country’s civil and/or criminal statutes
    • Situations in which the behavior, whether academic or social, of the student causes his/her presence in the program to jeopardize either the reputation of the program, program coordinator, professor, translators, or the participation of others in the program
    • Situations in which the behavior of the student is deemed disrespectful to the culture. This includes but is not limited to: improper clothing, attitude, verbal or body language, improper displays of affection, sharing a room with the opposite sex, and use of alcohol or drugs
    • Arguing or fighting is deemed as a serious occurrence and is not acceptable

No warnings or second chances will be given. Students dismissed from the program for the above reasons will receive no credit for work done, will be considered as not having completed the program, and will not be entitled to any refund. They will be responsible for all travel and other expenses incurred due to their dismissal.

Student Registration
Once a program has been confirmed to run, IEE will work with the respective academic department and the Records and Registration office to ensure that course sections are created and faculty leaders assigned accordingly. Students accepted into UWL faculty-led programs will be registered for the specific course section by IEE. This is to ensure that all students enrolled have been approved and confirmed to participate on the program. After registration, the student will be billed for the full balance of the program fee by IEE via their student accounts. Payment schedules and deadlines follow the University calendar for particular terms

Pre-departure Logistics

Health and Safety
The health and wellbeing of UWL students abroad is the responsibility of the faculty leader(s). Therefore, it is important to plan for scenarios that could jeopardize a program abroad and establish a procedure for dealing with health and safety issues. Health and safety incidences are not discriminatory and can happen to anyone at any time. Faculty leaders are required to submit a Managing Emergencies Plan to IEE prior to travel. The process of creating the plan will help faculty leaders plan for incidents and response.

Passports and Visas
All students must obtain a passport, and some program locations may require a visa. Visa requirements vary depending on each student’s citizenship and the country to which he or she is traveling. IEE staff will guide students on visa requirements at key points during the predeparture advising process; however, obtaining a valid passport and securing the correct visa is ultimately the responsibility of the student.

Medical Insurance
Health insurance is required for all students participating in UWL programs, whether they are on campus or abroad. Purchasing international health care coverage will enable students to obtain medical care without the requirement of a possibly large financial outlay prior to treatment. Students will be enrolled in the CISI insurance plan, as mandated by UW System.

All students participating on a faculty led study abroad program are required to book their airfare the UW System mandated travel agent, unless the program has been approved for a flight waiver exemption. Faculty leaders who are not coordinating a group flight must submit a flight waiver exemption to IEE. This waiver will be reviewed by a cross-functional committee to determine the risk associated with students booking flights through other agencies. 

Phase 7 - On-Site Program Management expanding section

Supervision of the Group On-Site

The faculty leader shall fulfill the following duties on-site:

  1. Provide an initial on-site orientation to introduce the students to the host site and culture (may be in conjunction with on-site program organizer).
  2. Contact IEE within 24 hours after arrival to confirm all participants are safe and accounted for.
  3. Notify IEE immediately if any student leaves the program
  4. Act as liaison between the students and any individuals or entities providing services to the program. Ensure the onsite cooperating institution/organization is delivering services according to the contract
  5. If problems arise, alert IEE immediately so any discrepancies can be resolved quickly.
  6. Communicate academic and disciplinary roles clearly to the students.
  7. Respond to any emergency situations or serious incidents which may arise and notify IEE as soon as possible by email or phone.
  8. Complete the incident report to accurately document any problems and send it to IEE.
  9. Itemize usage of any fund advances and other necessary expenses and collect receipts which will be turned into IEE at the program’s end.
  10. Monitor the health and general welfare of all participants.
  11. Never loan students program or personal funds unless it is an extreme emergency. Faculty leaders will not be reimbursed by the University for loaning money to participants
  12. Never loan students program or personal funds unless it is an extreme emergency. Faculty leaders will not be reimbursed by the University for loaning money to participants
  13. Be aware of possible indicators of culture shock. These can include: feelings of helplessness, loneliness, alienation, sleeping more than usual, depression, getting angry easily, decline in flexibility, stereotyping of host culture, increase of physical ailments, eating problems, inability to concentrate, and uncontrollable crying. Most, though not all, students experience some level of culture shock. The concrete indicators of culture shock vary greatly from individual to individual.

Expectations for Student Participants
On faculty-led study abroad programs, students are required to attend all classes and all excursions that are part of the program itinerary. The only acceptable excuse for missing a class or an excursion is illness. Faculty leaders should take attendance at all classes and excursions, and are encouraged to reduce the grade of any student who is late or absent from a class or required excursion.

Participants in a study abroad program are also expected to serve as ambassadors for both UWL and the United States. It is often difficult for students to understand what is expected of them in this regard, so it is important to stress these issues in the pre-departure orientation(s) and again upon arrival. Students need to be aware that behaviors with minimal or no consequences in the U.S. may have major implications for the study abroad program. This information should be presented repeatedly to students – not just at the pre-departure orientation. Topics to be included in these discussions include:

  1. Appropriate dress
  2. Local laws and mobility (which neighborhoods in the area are safe), Gender dynamics and youth/elder relationships
  3. Food and meal etiquette
  4. How to recognize signs of displeasure on the part of host country nationals

Disciplinary Problems
IEE should be notified immediately about any serious disciplinary problems with any student on the program, whether or not arrest is involved. In less serious cases, mediation by IEE may be required. In serious cases, the student may be dismissed from the program and sent home with no credit awarded and no refund. This will be determined through consultation with the faculty leader, IEE, and UWL legal counsel, see Dismissing Students below. In cases of arrest, UWL assumes no financial responsibility for legal aid to students. However, it is appropriate for the faculty leader, with IEE, to assist students in contacting their families and appropriate government offices. Students using or selling illegal substances will be immediately dismissed from the program, with no credit awarded and no refund.

Alcohol Use
The subject of alcohol policies is frequently debated in international education. Contention usually centers around “whose laws are in effect,” given that laws concerning alcoholic beverages vary greatly from country to country and that in many countries it is perfectly legal for university students to purchase and consume alcohol. In general, it is wise to follow these guidelines:

  1. Students should be educated about legally and culturally appropriate behavior regarding alcohol, as well as the consequences of inappropriate behavior. Be aware that alcohol abuse is not tolerated anywhere in the world and will not be tolerated on UWL Education Abroad programs
  2. Violation of local laws and/or UWL policy may result in dismissal from the program. Responsible use of alcohol is required on the part of the faculty leader as well as each program participant
  3. Faculty are responsible for setting an example for students and should not partake in excessive or irresponsible drinking behavior.

Dismissing Students
All students on faculty-led programs sign an agreement indicating that they understand the Study Abroad Code of Conduct and Statement of Responsibility. The decision to send students home, even when made for the best reasons, may result in negative responses. It is essential when contemplating an expulsion or an evacuation to consult immediately with IEE, who will, in turn, consult with other appropriate offices on the UWL campus. Some instances of dismissal may include (but not limited to):

  1. Academic misconduct.
  2. Criminal activity on the part of the individual: arrest, drug use, physical or sexual assault, etc.
  3. Inappropriate behavior on the part of the individual: a continuing pattern of culturally inappropriate behavior which does not improve with advising and which endangers the program’s relationship with the host institution and/or community; or behavior which is insensitive to other group members and/or damaging to the program group’s morale.
  4. An emotional crisis which greatly affects the individual
  5. Death of a program participant, or death or serious illness in the family
  6. Serious illness, either physically or psychologically.

In order to dismiss a student abroad, the following procedures should be followed:

  1. Document the Incident: In the event that a student is subject to the Terms of Dismissal, it is the responsibility of the faculty/staff leader to document the incident(s) by recording the details of the incident on the Faculty Incident Report for Dismissal form. In the event the form is not available, faculty leaders should collect the following information:
    1. Name of student and name of program
    2. Date/location of the incident.
    3. Violation being cited in reference to the Terms of Dismissal and justification for withdrawal.
    4. Documentation of warnings (verbal or written) given to the student prior to the dismissal process.
  2. Report the Incident: The first receiver of pending dismissal incidents is International Education & Engagement. IEE will assess the severity of the incident and forward the report onto Legal Counsel and the Dean of Students for review.
  3. Participant Justification: Depending on the severity of the case, the student pending dismissal will speak with the Dean of Students to provide their justification for the infractions. The Dean of Students, Legal Counsel and IEE will approve the student dismissal if necessary
  4. Coordinate the Dismissal: Faculty leaders and IEE will facilitate the dismissal of the participant, at the student’s expense, including arrangements for return to UWL. Upon return, IEE and the Dean of Students will work together to correct the situation. The program fees or tuition paid will not be refunded to the student.
  5. Dismissal for Medical Emergencies: In the event of a medical emergency, faculty should contact IEE to get a claim started with 24-48 hours of a medical or mental health crisis in order to ensure coverage and proper coordination of care. Upon a medical examination, medical personnel may advise that the student be medically evacuated back to the United States to better receive care, recover, or continue with on-going treatment. A medical evacuation must be coordinated through CISI.

Student Withdrawal
If a student has arrived at the program site and decides to withdraw, he or she must begin by discussing the situation with UWL faculty leader on site. The faculty leader should consult with the IEE Director to determine whether a solution exists for the situation. Financial implications and academic implications must be articulated to the student. If, after consultation, the student still plans to withdraw from the program, he or she must submit a signed and dated statement to the faculty leader. This statement must indicate that the student understands that effective as of the date indicated, he or she will no longer be considered a student in the program and is therefore responsible and liable for his or her own behavior, transportation home, insurance, etc. The faculty leader should fax this signed and dated statement to IEE.

Expectations for Faculty Leaders
In addition to being responsible for serving as the academic and administrative representative of the program, faculty leaders are also responsible for:

  1. Developing the program and coordinating on-site delivery of the course(s), including engaging teachers and guides and arranging adequate transportation
  2. Communicating information about the program and contact information to the parents of participants while adhering to FERPA policies
  3. Maintaining contact with appropriate host country institutions and governmental offices
  4. Being on-site prior to the students’ arrival in the host country or traveling with the students
  5. Planning and organizing cultural orientation on site, including organizing and participating in cultural visits and excursions during orientation and throughout the program
  6. Handling behavioral problems according to established procedures, outlined above
  7. Preparing for and responding to emergencies, as outlined in UWL regulations regarding emergency procedures
  8. Attending to the health and well-being of program participants
  9. Maintaining clear financial records, including keeping track of expenses and saving receipts
  10. Exercising caution with confidential information
  11. Keeping UWL informed about developments concerning the program and participating students
  12. Notifying IEE of any changes in itinerary or contact information
  13. Documenting events and activities as well as problems
  14. Submitting final grades and final report, and facilitating program evaluation

Faculty Leader Conduct
The faculty and administration of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse are responsible for assuring the highest ethical and professional standards and behavior when working with students. For more information regarding faculty expectations in relation to working with students in a professional environment, consult the UWL policy. Faculty representing UWL abroad are subject to the same set of standards for conduct as they are when in Wisconsin.

Title IX Compliance
All faculty and students, as per UWL policy, are to adhere to the Title IX Policy whether at UWL or abroad. Title IX and its implementing regulation, at 34 C.F.R. § 106.31 (a), provide that no person shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education program or activity operated by the university.

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion or other sexual misconduct.

Sexual harassment of a student can deny or limit, on the basis of sex, the student’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services, or opportunities in the school’s program. Any student, faculty or staff member with questions or concerns about sex discrimination or sexual harassment or who believes that he or she has been the victim of sex discrimination or sexual harassment may contact the Title IX Coordinator for assistance. The Title IX Coordinator is available to discuss options, explain university policies and procedures, and provide education on relevant issues.

Should an act of sexual violence occur during a faculty led program, the faculty leader is required to report via the UWL online reporting form: https://uwlacrosse.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4UBE558YZH9hBUF

Faculty leaders should also immediately notify the IEE Director and/or the Dean of Students and complete the incident report as best possible. The IEE Director and/or the Dean of Students will notify the UWL Violence Prevention Specialist and UWL’s Counseling Center.

Clery Act
The federal law, Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, requires colleges and universities to report crimes that occur on or around the campus. Some locations abroad where UWL students reside are considered “campus” locations for purposes of the Clery Act. To facilitate UWL’s compliance, the faculty leader needs to disclose to IEE, accommodation information and dates of arrival(s) and departure(s). Faculty leaders are required to report incidents, emergencies, near-misses, threats, etc. to IEE and appropriate authorities.

On-Site Safety Procedure
The faculty leader is responsible for communicating applicable codes of conduct and the consequences of noncompliance to participants. In the event there are U.S. State Department public announcements, worldwide caution, travel alerts or warnings, International Education & Engagement will send emails to faculty leaders abroad. They will then relay any applicable information to group participants and, at times, their emergency contacts.

In the event of a local, regional or global crisis, faculty leaders should maintain contact with the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for updated security information. If a crisis should occur, they must review precautions with participants so they can better secure their safety. In emergency situations, the faculty leaders must contact IEE as soon as possible to confirm the well-being status of the group.

Faculty leaders must also brief students on safe behavior, depending on the local situation and culture. This may include advising students to maintain a low profile, avoid crowds and protest groups, restaurants, and locations where Americans are known to frequent. Students should keep up with local news through newspapers, radio, and television and, in the event of disturbances or protests, do not get involved. Students should be asked to use common sense and caution when divulging information to strangers about themselves, the program, and their fellow students. In cases of serious health problems, injury, or other significant health and safety circumstances, faculty leaders must follow the emergency procedures as indicated in this handbook.

Behavioral Problems and Response
In the event of a violation of the Student Conduct Code or the Terms of Dismissal, it is the faculty leader’s duty to respond. Depending on the severity of the violation(s), the responses may include an incident report/verbal warning, an incident report/written warning, and/or an incident report accompanied by a termination report.

Students who are dismissed incur all the expenses of returning home and do not receive any refund. The following behaviors are among those that may result in immediate dismissal from a program:

  1. Alcohol abuse
  2. Physical or sexual abuse
  3. Harassment
  4. Possession, use or distribution of illegal drugs
  5. Setting a fire or possession of explosives
  6. Possession of a weapon, including guns and knives
  7. Theft

Responding to Crises and Emergencies
International Education & Engagement is responsible for coordinating the University’s management of emergencies affecting participants in UWL Education Abroad Programs. It is the responsibility of faculty leaders of a UWL program to follow the procedures outlined below and to be sure to inform students about these procedures upon arrival on-site. In the case of an emergency, faculty leaders should be prepared to be on-call 24 hours a day until the emergency is resolved.

What is an Emergency?
For study abroad purposes, an emergency is any circumstance that poses a genuine risk to, or that has already disturbed, the safety and well-being of the program participants. Emergencies include, though are not limited to, the following:

  1. Physical assault
  2. Robbery
  3. Sexual assault or rape
  4. Serious illness, physical or emotional
  5. Significant accident and/or injury
  6. Hospitalization for any reason
  7. Terrorist threat or attack
  8. Local political crisis that could affect the students’ safety and well being
  9. Arrests or questioning by police or other security forces
  10. Any legal action involving a student
  11. Traffic accidents involving injury
  12. Disappearance or kidnapping of a student

How to Prepare for Emergencies
All participants on UWL study abroad programs enroll in the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) prior to departure. Once on site, students should be informed of the location of the nearest U.S. Embassy. If the faculty leader is not being housed with the students, the students must be given the address and phone number of where they are staying. They should carry this with them at all times. Faculty leaders, in conjunction with local program coordinators (if applicable), must provide students with a list of names and phone numbers for:

  1. 24-hour emergency contact
  2. Nearest U.S. Embassy
  3. Law Enforcement/police department
  4. Nearest hospital/emergency facility and English-speaking doctors and/or health care providers

All participants are provided with a wallet-sized “EMERGENCY CONTACT CARD” with space on the back to include local contact numbers. Students should print this from their application portal prior to departing the U.S.

Emergencies range from benign (a lost or stolen passport, for example) to the imminently dangerous (motor vehicle accidents; political coups). Each situation must be assessed in its own context. In all cases, faculty leaders must complete a UWL Study Abroad Incident Report Form for each occurrence (see Appendix). Faculty leaders must maintain daily contact with IEE and with host country informants.

In an emergency, the faculty leader’s first responsibility is to safeguard the safety and wellbeing of the program participants. They should do whatever is necessary to ensure this, whether this means obtaining prompt and appropriate medical attention, U.S. Embassy intervention, or police protection.

All expenses relating to the management of a reported emergency may be covered or reimbursed. When all has been done to reasonably ensure student wellbeing, IEE should be notified as soon as possible to be fully informed about the situation. Faculty leaders can reach an IEE staff member through the University Police 24-hours a day, seven days a week at 608-789-9999. University Police have contact information for all IEE staff and other appropriate individuals on campus.

During an ongoing crisis, faculty leaders must keep the IEE office informed on a regular basis through telephone or e-mail until the crisis has passed. Faculty leaders should notify the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate about the crisis, and follow whatever procedures they may require.

Persistent Risks
If there is a continuing risk to the students (during a terrorist threat, for example), they should ask the appropriate Embassy or Consulate official to advise on a regular basis about the evolution of the crisis, and about how the faculty leader and the students should respond. In any other sort of emergency, the faculty leader should notify the local police about the situation, if they and the Embassy feel it is appropriate; then follow the procedures the police may require of them and/or the student.

During a political crisis or some other emergency during which foreigners in general or U.S. citizens in particular may be at risk, students should be told to keep a low profile. They should avoid demonstrations, behavior that could call attention to themselves, places where Americans are known to congregate, and using luggage tags and wearing clothing which identifies them as Americans.

It is highly unlikely that participants will need to be evacuated from a site abroad. In many situations, it is much safer to lie low than to draw attention to the group through an evacuation process. IEE will, however, bring students and faculty leaders home if a situation was to deteriorate to the point where the degree of potential risk to participants was deemed unacceptable. If this unlikely event were to happen, the Provost, in consultation with the insurance company, faculty leader, the U.S. Embassy and State Department, and the UWL International Education Risk Management Committee, would develop an evacuation plan in as much detail as possible. The plan would be transmitted to the faculty leader in confidence, and officials on the home campus would work closely with the faculty leader throughout the evacuation process.

Guidelines for Crisis Communication
In general, faculty leaders should follow these guidelines when communicating with the students during an emergency situation:

  1. Share information: Give students as much, and as accurate, information as possible. Document the situation and communicate with IEE on an ongoing basis.
  2. Assess the situation: How long will it last? Is it an inconvenience or a threat?
  3. Keep calm, and keep others calm: Do not panic. Discourage students from gossiping and thus escalating the situation.
  4. Give participants choices: Allow students when possible to make their own informed decisions about whether to leave the program or to stay. Remember that this option is only ethical when students have enough information to make a reasonable choice.

In a serious emergency, the UWL International Education Risk Management Committee will determine whether the program will continue and possible evacuation procedures. If the host country emergency services are not readily available and participants feel there is a threat to their personal safety, they should follow these procedures:

  1. Dial the UWL Police at (001-608 -789- 9999)
  2. Identify themselves as a UWL study abroad student and give the country where they are currently located.
  3. State their name
  4. Tell the person what is wrong
  5. Tell the person how to contact them
  6. Respond to questions and listen carefully to any instructions

Incident Documentation and Reporting
All incidents or emergencies should be documented as completely as possible and as soon as possible after they occur. Qualifying events include allegations of injury, illness, criminal activity (student is a victim of a crime). International Education & Engagement should be provided with documentation within 24 hours of any incident if possible. In documenting an incident, faculty leaders should use the Study Abroad Participant Incident Form. If access to this form is not available, faculty leaders should make note of the following:

  1. Date and time of incident
  2. Location of incident
  3. Names of all students involved
  4. Names of all others present
  5. How and when you learned of the incident if you were not present
  6. Brief description of the incident
  7. Names and contact information of any physicians, officials, or police involved
  8. If a student was injured or ill and received medical attention, a description of the treatment and any recommended aftercare, including the names of medications
  9. If a student was incapable of making decisions (about medical treatment, for instance), explain who made those decisions
  10. Notes regarding contact with students’ parents and any UWL offices

All incident reports should be submitted as soon as possible to IEE. After a report has been submitted, it will be added to the student’s application account ensuring secure access.

Phase 8 - Returning to UWL expanding section

Reconciliation of Program Expenses

UWL requires complete financial reporting for all expenses incurred by the program. Travel Expense Report (TER) documents must be submitted no later than 90 days after the travel has completed (UW System policy). The TER will be initiated by IEE's business manager. It is highly recommended that documents be submitted within 2 weeks of return and no later than August 15th (for summer programs) to maximize a quick reimbursement.

In order for any reimbursements to take place, the IEE Business Manager needs to be able to determine program reconciliation based on the original budget and the actual expenditures. This should be able to be determined within 2-3 weeks of the conclusion of the program.

Credits and Grades
The faculty leaders are required to submit the course grades within two weeks of the program’s conclusion. If a program is working with a third party, and official transcripts will be sent, an accurate timeline for grade transfer and evaluation must be articulated to all student participants.

Program Evaluation
Faculty leaders will ask students to evaluate the academic component of the course by using the appropriate institutional or department forms. Students will also complete a questionnaire about the organizational and logistical aspects of the program. In addition, International Education & Engagement will ask faculty leaders to convene a meeting with IEE upon their return, to document travel, accommodations, unforeseen problems, and to provide a detailed financial accounting.

A post-program assessment report is required and is to be submitted to the International Education Committee and International Education and Engagement within 60 days of the completion of the program. The faculty leader should also report in person to the IEC. This faculty leader(s) report is critical to the program process, as insights, suggestions and lessons learned are incorporated into the planning for future programs. The format of this section is open, but it should demonstrate that the report will provide appropriate commentary while addressing the following issues:

  1. Summarize program strengths and weaknesses 
  2. Make recommendations based on program weaknesses—if any? 
  3. Assess curricular goals and objectives
  4. Include student evaluations that address:
    1. How satisfied were you with the _____________ study abroad program? 
    2. The program developed my ability to interact with diverse groups of people
    3. The course(s) developed my ability to apply theory to practice
    4. The course(s) gave me a deeper insight into the topic
    5. To what extent was international content integrated into your course(s)?
    6. UWL helped me prepare adequately for the experience

If a post program assessment is not submitted the faculty leader’s opportunity to teach another course abroad will be compromised.

Program Timeline expanding section

Program Timeline Checklist

This list is general and is subject to additional checklist items depending on the nature of the program. Please consult with IEE to create a program specific timeline.

12-18 Months Pre-departure

  1. Read Faculty-Led Study Abroad Handbook
  2. Seek approval for proposed course from department chair and dean
  3. Consult with IEE to discuss planning & support and begin online application
  4. Finish and submit Faculty-led Program Application and submit to IEC for final approval

9-12 Months Pre-departure

  1. Determine Visa requirements for the program
  2. Finalize program budget, including all pre-departure and on-site costs i.e. visas, passports, accommodations, transportation, group meals, field trips, etc
  3. Consult Marketing Plan to prepare materials for recruitment
  4. Participate in Study Abroad Fair, if applicable

5-9 Months Pre-departure

  1. Promote program intensively at UWL (and other campuses, if applicable)
    1. Participate in Study Abroad Fair, if applicable
    2. Update website, flyers and posters
    3. Market in appropriate departments
    4. Promotion emails conducted by department/faculty
    5. Classroom presentations and information sessions

3-5 Months Pre-departure

  1. Review applications, conduct student interviews and determine final acceptances
  2. Finalize travel details with Fox World Travel and other in-country agents and partners
  3. Submit Communication Plan & International Travel Plan to IEE
  4. Inform students of mandatory pre-departure orientation
  5. Attend faculty leader orientation

1-3 Months Pre-departure

  1. Submit emergency contact and health information for all travelers in online portal
  2. Register all students with U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
  3. Ensure all students have submitted pre-departure paperwork online
  4. Assemble hard copies of important travel documents

Month of Departure

  1. Work with IEE to finalize details
  2. Hold pre-departure meetings with students
  3. Final preparation
Teaching Contract Example expanding section

Faculty-Led Study Abroad Teaching Contract

  • I understand that my participation is dependent on meeting an enrollment minimum of 12 students in the course.

  • I understand that my salary has been calculated at $2,000 per credit and includes the required contribution for fringe benefits.


X $2,000 =


  • I understand if enrollment is lower than the minimum requirement, my salary will be adjusted to a percentage of the minimum enrollment.

  • I understand if enrollment is lower than the minimum requirement, the budget may be adjusted and the new program price will be revised to ensure affordability to the students with final approval by the Provost.
  • I understand that I will receive a per diem for meals and incidentals. I also understand that I will only receive 75% of the total per diem for the first and last day of my travels per University policy. I understand this can be obtained either by a cash advance through the University or by a travel reimbursement upon completion of the program.


X $     per day =


  • I understand I am responsible for securing and using a University procurement card for the duration of my program and will follow all policies as stated in the University’s Procurement Card Program.

  • I understand I am responsible for obtaining a cash advance through Business Services if myself or IEE deems necessary. I understand this needs to be done at least 14 business days prior to my departure.

  • I understand that supervision of independent study/special projects/internship is considered part of my teaching load if enrollments in the selected course are below the minimum enrollment target. I will not receive additional per credit salary for independent study/special projects/internship.

  • I understand that International Education and Engagement has agreed to prepay the following expenses on my behalf:
    • Roundtrip airfare from La Crosse to (study abroad location)
    • Ground transportation to and from (study abroad location’s nearest airport)
    • Housing while in (study abroad location)
    • Transportation for all group fieldtrips that are part of the program

*Faculty who have family/friends accompanying/joining them on the program are responsible for all costs for housing, excursions, transportation, etc. Guest cancellations and subsequent charges are the responsibility of the faculty. Changes in guest plans, resulting in altering rescheduling housing and/or subsequent charges are not the responsibility of IEE.

I agree to actively recruit students for the program by:

  • Assisting International Education & Engagement in recruitment;
  • Recruiting in my classes in the year prior to my program;
  • Recruiting in my classes in the years following my program;
  • Inviting prospective students to apply; and,
  • Meeting with the student groups to provide information, brochures, forms, etc.
  • I understand that the program must operate on a cost-recovery basis per UW System Administrative Policy 810 and understand students may be asked to pay some out of pocket expenses for program related costs, such as local or international transportation, food, airfare, additional excursions and other personal expenses.
  • I understand that required field trips should be related to course content and all costs included with the program fee. The destination and number of field trips will be decided by the faculty leader, IEE, and/or the international partner with respect given to the cost for the students. All arrangements will be coordinated by IEE on my behalf.
  • I understand that I am responsible for conducting class during the class periods (days and times) agreed upon.

  • Expenditures not included in the program fee, not previously approved by the Director of IEE, considered non-emergency and not related to the program may result in a reduction of my final salary if it does not fall within the budget.

In addition, by signing the Teaching Contract form at the time of application, I have agreed to comply with the following:

  • Read the UWL Faculty Abroad Handbook
  • Maintain the academic rigor expected of an on-campus course
  • Counsel and advise students while abroad
  • Use the experiences and materials gained abroad to internationalize UWL courses
  • Reside at site-based housing and participate in program activities
  • Actively recruit students for the program
  • Participate in student/faculty orientations
  • Assume all costs and responsibility for dependents and/or partner/spouse traveling with the program
  • I understand and agree to the above polices.

Signature _________________________________  Date _____/______/_____

Unaffiliated Traveler expanding section

Assumption of Risk and Release - Unaffiliated Traveler

This form needs to be completed by unaffiliated travelers prior to departure. Unaffiliated travelers refer to accompanying non-enrolled family members, partners, and friends. Request for unaffiliated travelers should be discussed with IEE prior to granting program participation. IEE is not able to assist with housing, child care, insurance coverage, health care, travel arrangements, or any other necessary support for unaffiliated travelers.

Dates of Travel: ___________________________________________________________

Destination(s): ____________________________________________________________

Description of program: ___________________________________________________


In connection with my trip to the above-referenced destination(s):

  1. I have carefully identified, reviewed and considered the risks of travel to my destination(s), including reading the most recent relevant U.S. State Department (“DoS”) information available through http://travel.state.gov/.
  2. I understand that this travel will expose me to many risks associated with domestic or foreign travel, or residence in a foreign state, and participation in a study program conducted at that location. These risks include without limitation, food poisoning, depression, homesickness, theft, bodily injury and risks associated with public/political instability, and/or natural disasters. I voluntarily and expressly accept and assume all risks, hazards, and dangers inherent in participating in the travel. I understand UWL is not responsible for my safety and I assume full responsibility for all risks associated with my travel. I agree that I am personally responsible for obtaining all health information, medical procedures, immunizations, and medications appropriate to the above-described program for my personal well-being.
  3. I understand that I am solely responsible for the payment of any costs related to injury or property damage sustained through my participation in the travel. I understand that I am solely responsible for maintaining adequate health and accident insurance coverage, for keeping current on the health advisories posted on the CDC and World Health Organization websites(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ and http://www.who.int/en/), and I certify that I have adequate insurance coverage.
  4. I hereby agree, for myself and on behalf of my successors, heirs, and assigns, that for the sole consideration of UWL allowing me to participate in the travel, I hereby waive any and all claims and release, satisfy, and forever discharge from any and all actions, claims, damages, judgments, demands, rights, and causes of action of whatever kind of nature, arising out of all known and unknown, foreseen and unforeseen bodily and personal injuries or damage to property arising out of or related to my voluntary participation in the travel.
  5. I further agree to obey all laws and regulations of the country, countries and/or location(s) I visit. I agree to make a good faith effort to observe the customs and show respect and courtesy to the people of my destination site and everyone involved in the travel.
  6. I understand that UWL will not collect fees or charges for my participation in the program, and that my participation in this program will, in no way, be reflected as fees to student participants.
  7. I agree to abide by all relevant guidelines pertaining to appropriate behavior while preparing for and participating in the travel including:
    1. The UWL Code of Student Conduct,
    2. The course instructors’ specific guidelines,
    3. Relevant laws within the host country, and
    4. Policies and procedures of third-party providers and/or host institutions.
  8. I certify that I am at least 18 years of age and suffering under no legal disabilities and that I have carefully read and understand this Assumption of Risk and Release/Waiver of Claims, and agree to be bound by the terms contained herein.

_______________________________________            ___________________
TRAVELER’S NAME                                                     DATE

_______________________________________            ___________________
TRAVELER’S SIGNATURE                                          DATE

Roles & Responsibilities expanding section

Faculty Leader


Provider/Uni Partner

General Program Planning

Finalize program itinerary

Provide IEE with: program dates, final course title(s), notice of unaffiliated traveler(s)

Identify program provider – if provider not selected faculty are responsible for logistical and academic arrangements in consult with IEE

Notify IEE of internal marketing & promotion

Advise on selection of provider/partner

Assist with RFP, if needed.

Create, review & sign all contracts

Advise on special health/safety considerations

Manage website content & application system

Coordinate proposal review with IEC


Work with IEE to secure contract for services

Support special health considerations

Specify (un)available support & requirements for unaffiliated travelers

Budget & Expenses

Meet with IEE staff to review & obtain budget worksheet

Comply with UWL/UWS travel program policies

Commit to following IEE & Business Service timelines for contracts, travel authorizations, cash advance process, etc.

Draft a program budget to be reviewed by IEE and UWL Business Services

Manage all major financial issues & disbursements

Review final budget, approve program fee

Facilitate all student billing

Provide budget info to Financial Aid

Provide scholarships & Financial Aid guidance (in collaboration with Financial Aid Office)

Provide program cost information to faculty leader(s) & IEE

Provide payment information to IEE

Submit final payment invoice to IEE


Identify flight departure and arrival dates

Coordinate flight requests with IEE or complete flight waiver form

Obtain or renew passport & submit copy to IEE

Follow visa requirements, if applicable, & advise students accordingly

Coordinate with UWS agency for flight arrangements OR

Coordinate with UWL Risk Management for flight waiver approval

Pay group travel deposits and submit student names to Fox (only for group flights)

Assist with visa coordination & application process

Coordinate flight arrangements (if applicable)

Provide necessary visa information (if applicable)

Provide logistical arrival support (if applicable)


Include all provided meals in budget process (welcome dinners, etc.)

Complete required Business Service forms for group meals

Coordinate cash advance for faculty leader(s)

Provide recommendations for group meals and/or assist with coordination


Obtain department & college approval for program/course(s)

Submit academic program proposal to IEE for IEC review

Develop syllabus, submit course approval, if required

Order books/materials

Communicate academic requirements to students and in promo materials

Advise students on academics

Provide classroom space

Facilitate guest speakers and/or support academic excursions

Marketing & Recruitment

Recruit students for program
through info sessions, class visits, etc.

Attend Education Abroad Fair

Advise interested students

Submit course info to IEE for website content

Market program through website, brochures, published list of all STFL programs

Edit program information on website

Provide marketing materials (if applicable)

Application & Acceptance

Communicate & coordinate pre-requisite requirements with IEE

Develop an application review
plan with IEE (required interview, additional questionnaire, etc.)

Build program application

Monitor progress of
application process & communicate requirements
to applicants

Clarify provider application instructions & expectations with IEE & Faculty Leader


Submit final enrollment with
course number/section to IEE

Send course registration to Registrar

Send program fees to Cashier Office


Hold additional individual
group meetings

Provide course-specific

Attend faculty orientation and
other faculty trainings

Encourage/require students to
attend IEE orientation

Schedule Pre-departure (PDO) orientation & break-out sessions

Track student PDO requirements in application management system

Provide passport/visa information to students

Organize faculty leader

Provide orientation pre-departure materials to faculty leader/students (if applicable)


Continue correspondence with students

Register with State Department S.T.E.P. program. Ensure
students register themselves

Develop an emergency response plan in the event of an unexpected need

Establish a communication system for the students in the program - emergencies and itinerary changes

Continue tracking students
to ensure all PDO
requirements are finalized

IEE will provide emergency response plan worksheet

Continue to communicate details & planning with faculty leaders & IEE


Submit receipts & reconciliation requirements by required deadline

Require students to complete program evaluation

Submit post-program

Process Travel Reconciliation

Submit program evaluation to all students & share results with faculty leaders

Share evaluation information with faculty leader(s) & IEE

UWL's policy regarding recreational travel

Recreational programming has been defined as programs that do not provide an academic credit or a community integration (service learning) component. These programs are identified as travel intended for the enjoyment of the participant. Recreational travel arranged independently by UWL faculty or staff may be coordinated by the faculty/staff member as an individual, not as employees of UWL. UWL, in compliance with UW System, will not support programs that do not contain educational value. Students and staff participating in these non-sponsored programs do so at their own risk.