The roles and responsibilities of faculty-led program leaders are many.  It is perhaps the most demanding of teaching-learning scenarios, and most rewarding as students’ understanding about themselves and the world is indelibly impacted.  Inherent to this type of program, faculty leaders don many hats throughout the various stages, from proposal to preparation and implementation.  Program leaders are simultaneously a developer, recruiter, administrator, financial manager, adviser, facilitator, institutional representative and crisis manager. (John O’Niell, ACADEME, 1995) 

"Being responsible for the instruction, enjoyment and safety of students can be demanding....pre-departure planning can be onerous as it includes both logistical and academic planning.  It may call for faculty to publicize their own programs...facilitate an application process, activities not normally associated with classroom instruction.  While in the host country, faculty are challenged with finding the right 'balance between recreation and learning' (Gordon et al, 2009: 134)....Faculty must be flexible participants throughout the duration of the to adapt to unforseen events, last-minute changes to the itinerary or unexpected teaching moments.  In other words, faculty should create a 'living syllabus'.  Below, Amy (2016) Reflections on the OUS Cuba Programme: internationalization via a ‘double hybrid model’ European Political Science 15: 49-60.
Amy Below, OSU Associate Professor of Political Science [Cuban Society, Culture and Politics, 2013-16] 
"Be ready to sacrifice a great deal to do a study abroad class. Realize that your efforts may not be recognized by the tenure and promotion process. This is a class that will require you to be on call 24/7 while you are away—this is not like teaching a class on campus. Everything is on your shoulders while in country....Your study abroad class will require you to develop more “caring” relationships with students—they need to trust that you have their “back” and will support them. When student make poor choices and decisions—its up to the faculty member to help the individuals to get back on their feet. Faculty should never go abroad as a solo effort.  
Dwaine Plaza, OSU Professor of Sociology and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts [Canadian Economy, Society and Culture, 2015-16]

Overview of Program Leaders' Responsibilities:

Proposing a Program

  • Discuss your program concept with your Department Head and ensure alignment with your Department’s and College’s goals.
    • Consider the feasibility of your program idea, student interest level, and your in-country contacts/familiarity 
    • Clarify what departmental support is available or needed; identify key stakeholders, ie. Business Center Manager
  • Discuss your program concept with OSU GO
    • Discuss the OSU GO Faculty-led Program model (a collaboration between the Sponsoring Department and OSU GO), the timeline, budget, and administrative processes.
  • Develop key components of the program proposal, including
    • Design the program curriculum including a proposed daily itinerary.
    • Draft an overall program budget, including travel costs for one or two program co-leaders
    • Identify in-country program providers/vendors
  • Submit your Faculty-led Program proposal to OSU GO; Deadlines: September.

Recruiting & Managing Applications


  • Refer to the OSU GO website where your program will be added to our portfolio of education abroad programs; this includes a standardized program description and APPLY NOW portal (student application)
  • Develop program marketing materials (eg. a brochure, poster and/or website) to complement that which is available on the OSU GO website. 
  • Actively recruit applicants for your program throughout Fall and Winter term (for Summer and Fall programs) using digital and print flyers and a powerpoint presentation; co-present with past participants to classes that represent your target audience, student orgs, social media sites, etc. 

Student Applications

  • Review completed applications using the OSU GO’s online application system.
  • Hold interviews with applicants, in part to answer their questions, and to determine if they are a good fit for the program.
  • Finalize your student roster

Preparing to Depart

  • Review the Pre-Departure Orientation Guide for Program Leaders
    Begin developing content relevant to your program using the list of important topics; schedule two or more pre-departure meetings with your students, unless you are integrating this information into a pre-requisite course. 
  • Invite an OSU GO Faculty-led Program representative to attend on of your pre-departure meetings/classes to discuss health and safety among other key topics.
  • Participate in the Faculty-led Program Leader Pre-Departure Workshop (generally held in May)

Program Logistics, Budget and Advance Payments

  • Finalize your program logistics: verify reservations, negotiate final prices and secure resources (instructors, guests, classroom, housing, food, tickets, transportation, activities, etc.).
  • Finalize your program budget and make any needed adjustments based on enrollment, final logistics, etc.
  • Work with OSU GO to finalize service contracts; OSU GO will liaise with your Department’s Business Center Manager to arrange any advance payments or deposits.
  • Confirm your travel arrangements.

Pre-Departure Orienting for Students

  • Plan at least two required in-person orientations with students during the quarter prior to travel to go over program details, course requirements and preparations, travel planning, health and safety, etc.
  • Start to build a collaborative group dynamic and learning community among students.
  • Develop and communicate the arrival plan to your students: where, when they meet the group, how they get to the meeting place and who they should contact in case they are not able to get there (e.g. missed connection).

Final Preparations

  • Schedule a meeting with your Department’s Business Center Manager to review management of program funds (ie. payment and reimbursement procedures and policies, before during and after returning from abroad)
  • Complete the OSU GO Travel Registry (insurance enrollment)
  • Register your travel with the U.S. State Department STEP program.

While Abroad

  • Confirm safe arrival of all program participants with OSU GO.
  • Oversee all academic aspects of the program.
  • Oversee all program logistics.
  • Act as the custodian and manager of OSU resources. Track all program expenditures on-site and collect required documentation (receipts, etc.) as needed by your Business Center.
  • Act as primary resource for student inquiries and problems.
  • Act as the initial responder to logistical, medical, behavioral, and other crises.
  • Serve as the program’s primary liaison with OSU GO and Oregon State University.

Upon Return

  • Submit grades through CANVAS as with any on-campus course.
  • Gather receipts and documentation for your field advance reconciliation. Submit your completed paperwork to your Business Center Manager.
  • Complete a faculty-led program program evaluation that we will send to you upon conclusion of your program. 
    Include information on what went well, what did not go well, what you would keep or change in future programs and report any incidents that occurred on your program.
  • Review students' program evaluations compiled by OSU GO.