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
  • Discuss your program concept with OSU GO (FLP Coordinator)
    • Discuss the OSU GO Faculty-led Program model, the timeline from development to delivery, the program budget, and administrative processes.
  • Develop key components of the program proposal, including
    • Design the program curriculum including a proposed daily itinerary.
    • Draft an overall spending plan, including the travel cost estimates for one or two program co-leaders
    • Identify in-country program providers/vendors
  • Initiate your Faculty-led Program proposal through OSU GO's online application system.

Recruiting & Managing Applications


  • Refer to the OSU GO website where your program will be added to our portfolio of education abroad program offerings; this includes a standardized program description and APPLY NOW portal for students
  • Partner with OSU GO to create digital marketing materials 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)
  • Consider creating a powerpoint presentation, a short video, and/or a FAQ document to help students and their supporters better the learning goals and what to expect in terms of the setting, accommodations, and unique opportunities they will experience.

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, that is, unless you are integrating this information into a pre-requisite course. 
  • Partner with your OSU GO FLP Coordinator to deliver OSU GO pre-departure learning content.
  • Participate in the Faculty-led Program Leader Pre-Departure consultation with the Health & Safety Coordinator

Program Logistics, Spending Plan, and Travel Advances

  • Finalize your program logistics: verify reservations, negotiate final prices and secure resources (instructors, guests, classroom, housing, food, tickets, transportation, activities, etc.).
  • Finalize your spending plan and travel advance (if needed); make any needed adjustments based on enrollment, final logistics, etc.
  • Work with OSU GO to finalize service contracts and process payments via wire transfer
  • Confirm your travel arrangements.

Pre-Departure Orientation 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 FLP Coordinator 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 FLP Coordinator.
  • Complete a faculty-led program leader program evaluation that will be sent 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.
Global Opportunities