Welcome, fellow world travelers!
Thank you for your interest in leading a study abroad program.
Leading a program like this can be a very rewarding experience for
both faculty and students. These questions and answers will
provide you with helpful information on how to get started, how to
market your program, and how the OIP can help, how to run your
program efficiently, whom you should contact, and what the
important issues are when taking students abroad. Our office is
happy to offer support in a variety of ways. Should you have any
questions, please do not hesitate to contact Emily.Marmo@msmc.edu.
Here's a viewable/printable pdf file of this Faculty FAQ
Re-Entry to the U.S.
The Proposal Process
I propose a course for an established summer study abroad
The call for course proposals is sent out at the end of the
preceding academic year to the faculty list serv. Final proposals
are due on or around August 15th.
Attached to the email call there will be a “Guidelines for
Proposal” document as well as a “Faculty Rights and
Responsibilities” document. The guidelines are modeled after the
forms used by the MSMC Curriculum Committee for campus-based course
proposals and address such questions as the relevance of the course
to the site for which you are proposing, what type of
pre-requisites, if any, are there for the course, whether the
course is approved for cross listing, etc. This form is designed to
give the Study Abroad Academic Steering Committee the most
information possible about your goals and aspirations for your
course. While a full syllabus is not necessary at the proposal
stage the more information that you submit the better.
The “Faculty Rights and Responsibilities” form is to be read and
signed by whoever will be teaching the course; in the case of a
team taught course, both professors must sign individual documents.
This document gives you a basic outline of what the benefits of
teaching abroad may entail and also what you can expect to be
responsible for prior to, during, and after the program. All of the
relevant family and travel policies are contained in that document
and are updated as needed. A new signature will be required by the
faculty member if a revision is needed after the original
submission date. These policies will be upheld and little to no
deviation will be allowed except in extraordinary
What type of course is the OIP looking
The OIP and the Study Abroad Academic Steering Committee are
looking for all types of courses! Courses that can be cross-listed
are given precedence and our most popular courses tend to be those
that can fill either upper level elective of core requirements.
Because study abroad is just as much about faculty development as
it is about students we want the courses to be a reflection of your
passions and academic interests.
What’s the time line?
Course proposals are due on the 15th of August and faculty will
be informed by the middle to end of September if their course has
been approved for the upcoming summer. Once you have been approved
to teach, recruitment begins immediately. Because study abroad is
enrollment based there is always a small chance that your course
will under enroll and therefore not be viable for a summer session.
Should this look to be a possibility you will be notified
immediately so that further recruitment efforts can be taken. Final
decisions on under-enrolled courses will be made by the 15th of
How likely am I to get accepted to
It depends on the number of proposals that are submitted for
your site in any given year. The OIP and the Study Abroad Academic
Steering Committee aims to send both one returning faculty member
and one new faculty member per year. Courses that can appeal to the
widest range of student are more likely to be approved than those
that are major specific.
Can I propose an interdisciplinary course? How do I
Prior to submitting your course proposal please contact the head
of the division with which you wish to work. All courses much
receive divisional approval from both your department chair and
from the one with which you have the proposed cross listing.
Whom can I speak with about their experience
For a full list of prior faculty members please contact the OIP.
We have numerous faculty who will be able to give you details about
programming, planning, travel, student life and expectations for
the benefits of teaching this course for me professionally and
- Faculty development.
- Salary: All faculty members are paid the
appropriate salary for their promotion and tenure level as they
would be for any three credit course housed at MSMC. Contracts are
drawn up and signed prior to the start of the program.
- Airfare: All faculty airfare and ground
transportation relevant to the program is included. MSMC is happy
to aid in making arrangements for family members but all expenses
will be borne by the faculty member.
- Housing: Appropriate housing is guaranteed to
all faculty. Housing type and style will vary from site to site and
in rare cases all faculty will be housed in individual rooms in a
shared apartment. Any changes that are requested (multiple rooms
for family, additional apartments etc) will be borne by the faculty
- Stipend: Faculty are entitled to a 300.00 USD
reimbursement at the completion of their program based on submitted
receipts. There is no additional compensation for travel including
but not limited to expenses related to transportation to and from
the airport or mobile phone service while abroad.
I’ve been accepted to teach on a short term study
abroad program! Now what?
Congratulations! We are excited to have you on an MSMC summer
program and we are looking forward to working with you. Enrollment
and adequate marketing is crucial to the success of the program and
study abroad trips that enroll fewer than 8 students will not run.
The best marketing is word of mouth and you, as faculty, have the
greatest amount of student contact. Please speak with your classes
about the opportunities available to them. Mention study abroad to
your advisees, etc. The OIP will be happy to provide you with
flyers for all the programs. OIP also runs monthly coffee houses
during the fall and spring semesters as well as info sessions that
are program specific. There is also a weekly table set up outside
of “The View” with study abroad and international programs
information. If you are interested in speaking about your course at
any of these events please contact the OIP to make arrangements.
While faculty are not required to participate in these activities,
it benefits your program enrollment to do so. If there are any
other events or programs you believe would benefit your student
recruitment efforts please don’t hesitate to contact the OIP
When will I know how many students are enrolled in
Enrollment numbers will be confirmed 3-4 weeks prior to
departure. Once students are officially enrolled and the online
course component has begun (2 weeks prior to departure) neither
students, nor faculty may switch their courses or enrollments.
Are there pre-departure events that I must
Yes. Faculty are required to attend the first site specific
orientation for accepted students that occurs in the Spring
semester. If possible these orientations will be scheduled to fit
your classroom schedule; however, if you are unable to attend due
to a course conflict then you are considered excused. The second
orientation is faculty led. At this orientation you will be
expected to make a presentation to the students introducing
yourself, your course, and why it is relevant to the program site,
your travel experience, and your goals for the program. Feel free
to include whatever information you deem relevant at this point,
including personal experience and goals.
What are the expectations for course
All courses must meet the minimum number of contact hours for
accreditation. This means all classes must account for 45 hours of
classroom time over the month long program. In order to reduce the
number of hours spent in the classroom an online component may be
added to your course for the 2 weeks prior to departure. You are
responsible for setting up the online course with The Division of
Online Education. Additionally field trips and site visits count
towards the 45 hour requirement for your course.
What about assessment?
Many professors choose to maintain the same or similar methods
of assessment that they would utilize in any other course that they
teach. Your choice as to your assessment methods are entirely your
What about information on active
There is the expectation that you will utilize methods of active
learning while abroad. This may mean you undertake field trips,
site visits, or arrange for cultural exchange that is relevant to
your course. The OIP will do its best to aid in funding any active
learning activities related to course work but there is no
guarantee of financial support. Any field trips that will cost the
student extra money must be made optional to the course and cannot
impact the student’s grades at the end of the program.
Are there volunteer
The OIP is happy to help arrange any and all relevant volunteer
and service learning experiences in country. Faculty may make this
component mandatory to their course if there is viable academic
reason to do so.
Working with the program providers
Who are these people
and what do they do?
Program providers are responsible for any and all logistics of
the program once you are in-country. They are there to support you
and the students however you need academically, socially, and
culturally. They are your first contact once you have arrived
in-country and can aid you with any difficulties you may encounter
while abroad. The program managers to whom you will be introduced
over the course of the year can also help you with logistics such
as arranging field trips and transportation, as well as answer any
questions you might have about your country site prior to your
departure. You are welcome to contact these program managers
whenever you require information but we ask that you include the
OIP in all your email correspondence.
There is a problem with my classroom space, living
arrangements, class time, etc. Who can help me?
Your onsite program director will be able to help you to resolve
any issues you may have while onsite. If they are unable to help
you themselves they will direct you towards the appropriate person
with whom you can speak.
What kinds of events are there for me and the
students to attend? Who organizes them? Who pays for
Every site is different! Your onsite directors can provide you
with the most current information for free events and activities,
as well as help you to arrange optional academic trips should you
decide to do so. Some sites will make a list of cultural activities
available to you prior to your departure whereas some may not.
These lists will be available to you 5-10 days prior to your
departure and are subject to change. We do not recommend planning
academic activities around these events for that reason. Lists of
events will be sent to you by the OIP as soon as they are
available. Many of these events will be free of charge or may have
a small fee associated with materials.
What is considered an emergency?
Emergencies can include, though are not confined to, the
- physical assault
- disappearance, hostage-taking, or kidnapping of a student
- sexual assault or rape
- serious illness, physical or emotional
- threat of, or attempted, suicide
- significant accident and/or injury
- hospitalization for any reason or length of time
- terrorist threat or attack
- local political, natural, or man-made crisis/disaster in the
vicinity of student accommodations or classrooms that could affect
the students' safety or well-being
- arrest or questioning by the police or other security
- any legal action (lawsuit, deposition, trial, etc.) involving a
- death of a student
- Pre-departure loss of a passport or documents is not considered
an emergency. OIP will assist students or leaders to the best of
our ability, but response may be limited to business hours.
What do I do in a general
In an emergency, your first responsibility is to safeguard the
safety and well-being of program participants. Do whatever is
necessary to ensure this, whether this means obtaining prompt and
appropriate medical attention, U.S. Embassy intervention, or police
protection. In case of a terrorist attack, gather at the
pre-arranged location to account for all students and follow the
directives of the local authorities. You will be reimbursed for all
expenses relating to the management of an emergency.
When you have done all that you reasonably can do to ensure the
students' well-being, immediately contact the MSMC Emergency Abroad
line at (845) 597-6656 or campus security at (845)569-3200. The
Safety and Security Desk is staffed 24-hours-a-day,
seven-days-a-week, and will contact the appropriate OIP staff
member if you have not been able to reach them directly. This step
is critical so that we can assist you with decision-making and be
fully informed of the crisis. During a crisis, OIP is the principal
conduit of information for the MSMC upper administration and the
media, so timely and accurate information from on site is
Follow-up communication with program leaders will occur
primarily via telephone and via email (provided that Internet
access is still available on site) unless otherwise specified.
Therefore, it is critical that program leaders regularly check
their MSMC email accounts for updates and instructions. Please keep
a written trail of all communications and decisions regarding the
emergency at hand.
OIP will notify the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate about the
crisis and inform you of whatever procedures they may require if
there is a continuing risk to the welfare of the students (during a
terrorist threat, for example).
After OIP is informed of an emergency, and after we consult with
you and other appropriate individuals on site, we may, depending on
the acuteness of the crisis, fax or email you a description of the
course of action that you and the students will need to follow.
Should a student not be able to continue with your group, leave the
student with an MSMC-appointed liaison to assist with the
situation. Notify OIP and tell us who is providing assistance. It
is not appropriate to appoint another student as the liaison.
During a political crisis or other emergency during which
foreigners in general or U.S. citizens in particular may be at
risk, tell students to keep a low profile and to not travel in
large groups. Tell them to avoid demonstrations, confrontations or
situations where they could be in danger; to avoid behavior that
could call attention to themselves; to avoid locales where
foreigners or Americans are known to congregate; and to remove
signs, luggage tags and clothing that would label them as
Americans. You may wish to have a pre-arranged plan requiring that
all students return to their residences during such a crisis.
Experts say that during a political emergency, it is unwise to
change locations. Therefore, it is unlikely that students would
need to be evacuated from a site abroad. However, leaders and
students would be brought home if a situation were to deteriorate
to the point where the degree of risk to students was deemed
unacceptable. If this were to happen, the OIP Director, in
consultation with you, the Overseas Security Advisory Council
(OSAC), the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate, the U.S. Department of
State, and appropriate MSMC personnel, would develop an evacuation
plan in as much detail as possible. This plan would be transmitted
to you in confidence, and OIP would continue to work closely with
you throughout the process.
In the event of a significant crisis, individual students have
the option of returning to the U.S. Every reasonable effort will be
made to allow these students to continue their academic program on
campus, and OIP will work with the students regarding housing,
financial issues, etc.
What do I do in a medical
In a medical emergency, including mental health emergency, seek
appropriate medical care and contact HTH at (610) 254-8771. This
emergency number is on the students' insurance cards and HTH will
accept collect calls. HTH can assist you and help coordinate the
necessary arrangements including payment of fees on behalf of the
student. Once you notify HTH, allow them to manage all
arrangements. For medical and liability reasons, it is not wise to
solicit outside input or take control of coordination. In any other
sort of emergency, notify the local police about the situation if
you and the U.S. Embassy believe this is appropriate; then follow
the procedures that the police may require of you or the
Contact the MSMC Emergency Abroad line at (845) 597-6656 to
report the incident. All hospitalizations of any length are
reported to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, as well as the
VPAA, and Dean of Student Affairs, (though the identity of the
student is not revealed). Unless the student's situation is life
threatening, do not make contact with the student's parents without
their permission. This chain of communication serves to diffuse
potential miscommunication and misinformation to parents and the
media, and provides background to the wider MSMC community in case
the condition should escalate.
What about parents and family?
Students provide information about their emergency contacts as
part of the application process and it's important to realize those
contacts are not always parents. Program leaders should not make
direct, initial contact with family members without a student's
permission. The student should be the one to communicate with their
parents about any critical incident.
However, in certain situations, OIP may choose to inform
emergency contacts about a potential emergency abroad without the
student's permission, in consultation with the program leaders or
on-site representatives. These situations would include when a:
- student is unable to speak for himself/herself;
- student has been missing for more than 24 hours;
- student is perceived to be a danger to him/herself or others;
- significant health, safety or security incident affecting the
entire program has occurred.
The provisions of the Family Rights and Privacy Act (also known
as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment), coupled with the age of
majority at 18, often come into conflict with (1) OIP and program
leader needs to have full information about the participants we
serve, and (2) the desire of parents and OIP/MSMC to be fully
briefed when something goes wrong. This conflict is not unique to
study abroad - the issue is also faced continually on campus - but
it does pose a more delicate challenge for study abroad because of
the heightened sensitivities and the distance. In 2007, the U.S.
Department of Education produced guidelines
for university faculty and staff faced with the challenge of
balancing privacy and student safety. A helpful brochure (PDF) is
All grades must be submitted within two weeks of re-entry.
Final course evaluations
There are no formal MSMC course evaluations for study abroad.
The OIP will distribute an overall program assessment upon re-entry
but you are encouraged to utilize your own assessment methods in
the absence of traditional course evaluations.
Wrap up with OIP
Upon re-entry to the United States, you will have one final wrap
up meeting with the OIP. This meeting is intended to debrief the
OIP on the program and to offer suggestions and aid in planning for
upcoming years. It is also a time for the OIP to offer any help or
support that may be needed for the upcoming year or with
Responsibilities for next year
All returning faculty are asked to help with word of mouth
advertising during the year following their program. We ask that
you speak with students about your experience leading the program
and about the benefits that study abroad can have on them both
personally and academically. We also ask that you encourage your
fellow faculty to submit proposals for study abroad and to
disseminate information to them about the faculty development and
personal development benefits that they may receive. Additionally
it is the policy of the OIP to send one returning faculty member
every time a program runs so please consider resubmitting your
course proposal for the following program cycle.
All faculty must commit to being available in case of student
emergency for the entirety of the program. This means that all
faculty are required to have their mobile phone with them at all
times and that if they are undertaking weekend or independent
travel that they understand that the needs of the students come
first and that at any time they may be required to act as a
representative of MSMC. Rarely faculty have been asked to attend to
student emergencies outside of the normal purview of
student/professor relationships. All faculty will adhere to the
most recent FERPA regulations should a situation arise in which
they become necessary.
Make OIP aware of travel plans
Faculty are welcome to undertake weekend travel but they must
make the OIP aware of their travel plans including the following
information: destination, transportation logistics, accessibility
in case of emergency, and lodging while traveling.
Travel to and from site with students
Faculty are required to travel to and from the program site with
the student groups. Upon departure there will be two scheduled
group flights. Faculty members must opt for one of those two
flights. No other travel arrangements will be made. In the case
where no students are returning on the second group flight a
faculty member may contact the booking agent directly in order to
alternate their travel dates. There will be no exceptions to this
MSMC understands and supports work/life balance and wishes to
extend that support to those faculty who teach abroad during summer
sessions. Because of concerns with risk management and family
obligation the following policy is in effect: any faculty member
wishing to travel with a minor child under the age of 18 must have
another adult present for the duration of the program. This second
adult must be fully able to assume responsibility for the minor
should the occasion arise. In country child care arrangements are
not acceptable and all costs associated with this second individual
will be borne entirely by the faculty member. Minor children under
the age of 18 may participate in planned travel and activities only
at the discretion of the program provider.
All faculty who are teaching abroad and representing MSMC are
considered to be mandated Clery reporters for the duration of the
program. The following information on Clery reporting in study
abroad settings is relevant to faculty:
Any reportable criminal activity should be forwarded Campus
Security who will then include those statistics in their annual
report to the federal government.
The information will be kept on file in that office in case of a
security audit. The stats themselves will be forwarded in the
There are no specific forms. Copies of police reports or any
communications with local law enforcement (request or response
letter, and whatever info they provide) should also be forwarded.
If the government decides not to answer, the college must at least
prove it made a good faith effort.
Any faculty leader that is part of this program will most likely
be considered a "Campus Security Authority." This means that if the
faculty member knows about a reportable crime, they are obligated
to pass the information along to the Office of International
Programs. The OIP will then be responsible for passing this
information along to campus security to include in their report.
What the Clery Act is trying to avoid is having a student get
robbed or assaulted and having anyone in authority claim that they
did not know it needed to be reported. In certain situations the
OIP may serve as the sole reporter for the statistics.
The statistics required are for criminal offenses that are
committed at buildings or properties that are used for
international or off campus programs.
Study Abroad is required to cooperate with FERPA regulations as
would any other campus office. The following information is
protected under a student’s FERPA rights and may not distributed to
any individual without a signed release. Please take special note
of the fields in bold in the following chart. If you are contacted
by a parent of a student you may not give out their address or
contact information while they are abroad. Should this cause a
problem please direct the family members to the OIP for further