Skip to content
Students in a study abroad group

Program Development

Faculty members have a tremendous influence on their students’ learning and development.

In addition to encouraging their students in the classroom to explore educational experiences around the world, faculty and staff also have the opportunity to plan, create, and teach an education abroad program.

The Programs Abroad office staff is here to assist our colleagues who wish to establish new international education programs. We provide administrative and logistical support for all faculty-directed programs at UT. We work with faculty and staff to deliver faculty-directed programming to students in every college.

The majority of UT students who study abroad do so on faculty-directed programs. Leading a study abroad program can be challenging, but those who do, have found it to be both professionally and personally rewarding.

Some of the benefits of leading a study abroad include:

  • Expands your teaching profile;
  • Provides interaction with students in a more engaged and meaningful way than what typically occurs in large lecture classes;
  • Dovetails your own international research agenda with the delivery of a course abroad; and
  • Supports the university’s mission to graduate globally engaged citizens.

Faculty and staff who lead study abroad programs are compensated for their efforts. The level and type of compensation depends on program type and appointment level, but may include:

  • Instructional salary
  • International airfare
  • Foreign housing costs
  • Foreign ground transportation costs
  • Per diem for meals

We’re committed to providing support throughout the process of proposing, developing, and implementing faculty-directed study abroad programs.

The Center for International Education partners with study abroad organizations and universities across the globe. We work closely with these entities on the planning and execution of our faculty-directed programs. Student and faculty accommodations, excursions, classroom space, guest lectures, in-country transportation, and more can be arranged through these organizations. By leveraging our existing relationships with our international partners, we can greatly ease the logistical burden on program leaders so they can focus on delivering the academic content.

Faculty-directed programs can be offered during any regular academic terms on campus. While the majority of faculty-directed programs are 3 to 6 credit hours and are offered during mini-term and summer, you can embed a spring semester course with a spring break study abroad component or offer a 1-credit study abroad attachment to a spring semester course that runs in mini-term.

You can also design a program that incorporates service–learning, internships, or research experiences for students. Increasingly, student are interested in programs that offer experiences beyond the traditional study abroad program, and we are happy to work with faculty and staff to create programs that allow students to pursue these opportunities. Here are some example formats:

 

Short-term (2–3 weeks) Mid-length (3–8 weeks) Long-term (2–5 months)
Single-city deep dive with

cultural excursions

Lead your own course(s)

abroad

Enroll your students in courses

at host universities

Multi-city/multi-country itinerary Coursework supplemented by  guest lectures Individual service–learning  or internship placements
Group service–learning project Contract a local professor to

teach a customized course

Rotate faculty leaders to  create full course offering and create a sustainable program

NOTE: All academic credit-bearing study abroad programs must be administered by the Center for International Education and follow established university policy governing academic programs abroad.

All academic credit bearing study abroad programs must be administered by the Center for International Education (CIE) and follow established university policy governing academic programs abroad. This timeline is based on planning for a new mini-term or summer program, but a similar timeline should also be followed for programs which will occur in other terms. Ideally, initial planning should begin 1.5-2 years prior to the term in which you want to lead the program. Programs that start the development process later than this will be at a disadvantage for obtaining all necessary campus approvals in time to allow for a full student recruitment period.


1.5-2 years prior to the term in which you plan to lead the program:

If you have never led a study abroad program before, schedule a meeting with Noah Rost (865-974-3177 or rost@utk.edu) in the CIE to discuss program ideas, locations and general procedures.

Consider applying for a program development grant. See Faculty Funding for more information and/or contact Noah Rost (865-974-3177 or rost@utk.edu) in the CIE.

Speak to your department head about:

  • What kind of program you want to lead
  • When you want to lead it
  • The course(s) you wish to teach and how the students will benefit if the course is taught abroad
  • Identify a potential back-up program leader, UTK employee and who can step in and deliver the academics of the program should you become unable to lead the program before its departure or while it is running abroad; this person must be able to travel and deliver the program in your place on short notice

1 year prior to the program start date:

  • Begin completing the electronic Program Registration and submitting all required documents to officially register your program (deadline: September 15 for new programs running in MT or Summer; June 1 for programs running in spring or spring break). Please note: Recruitment for your program should not begin until your program registration is approved by the CIE.

August/September prior to the program start date

  • Register for the Study Abroad Fair (usually takes place in the 3rd or 4th week of September). You will receive the fair details and registration information from the Programs Abroad Office (PAO).
  • Begin planning your student recruitment strategy (see the Guide to Effective Student Recruitment for suggestions). Important note: You should not begin recruiting for your program until your program registration is approved by the CIE; you will receive an official email when your registration has been approved.

October/November/December/January prior to the program start date:

  • Continue to recruit students for your program (see the Guide to Effective Student Recruitment for suggestions).
  • Complete the Stage 2 checklist items in your online program registration portal
  • Register for the spring semester Study Abroad Fair (usually takes place in the 3rd or 4th week of January). You will receive the fair details and registration information from the PAO.
  • January 5: Submit your spring Marketing Request Form if you wish to request flyers or joint information sessions with PAO staff.

February prior to the program start date:

  • Early February: Student application deadline. Keep in close contact with your designated PAO student advisor regarding review of student applications.
  • Mid- to late February: Students have received their application notifications and must decide whether or not to commit to the program. The PAO will let you know when your program has met minimum enrollment.
  • Late February: If your program has met minimum enrollment—you will receive an official email from the PAO confirming this—you may begin the following:
    • Completing the International Travel Registration process required of all faculty and staff traveling abroad on university business
    • Making your travel arrangements in coordination with the PAO
      Completing the Stage 3 checklist items in your online program registration portal
    • Determining whether you will use your personal phone or secure a basic international phone through the university
    • Communicating with your program participants about their travel arrangements, academic expectations, program itinerary, cultural differences, etc.
    • Scheduling your 2 mandatory pre-departure orientations with your program participants (Note: A PAO staff member should attend your first orientation, and this should occur in late February or early March; the PAO will have a separate orientation required for all faculty-directed program students, typically in mid-April)

March/April/May prior to the program start date:

  • Early to mid-March: Finalize travel arrangements in coordination with the PAO
    Mid- to late March: Ensure that your departmental administrator has added international course sections for all program courses
  • Late March to mid-April: Ensure that all program participants are registered for your course(s)
  • Late March to late April (depending on your program departure date): Host your second mandatory group orientation
  • Early April: Attend the mandatory Program Leader Orientation—you will receive an email from the CIE if you are required to attend this orientation
  • Mid-April to late May: Finish completing the Stage 3 checklist items in your online program registration portal (Note: All checklist items must be completed prior to your departure)

The below standards apply to all mini-term and summer faculty-directed study abroad courses:

  1. All hours counted toward the total instructional contact hours must occur during the designated term of instruction.
  2. Per established university standards, there must be a minimum of 35 instructional contact hours (with an hour defined as 60 minutes) for a 3 credit course and 70 instructional contact hours for a 6 credit course.
  3. Non-lecture instructional contact hours (e.g. field trips or site visits) may be counted toward the required number of instructional contact hours if the faculty program leader satisfactorily explains how these activities contribute to the learning objectives of the course(s).
  4. Per established university standards, non-lecture instructional contact hours (e.g. field trips or site visits) may be counted toward the total instructional contact hours at a 2:1 ratio (i.e. 2 hours of field trip time equal 1 instructional contact hours).
  5. Travel time may not be counted towards the required number of instructional contact hours.
  6. Three credit study abroad programs must be at minimum 19 days in duration, have a minimum of 14 instructional days, and a minimum of 14 days in-country.
  7. Six credit summer 1 or 2 study abroad programs must be at minimum 31 days in duration, have a minimum of 23 instructional days, and a minimum of 23 days in-country.
  8. There must be 1 non-instructional contact day per week in country (with a week defined as 7 days).

Please contact Noah Rost at rost@utk.edu or 865-974-3177 if you have any questions regarding these standards.

New Programs*

  • Fall Semester: November 1 of previous academic year
  • Spring Semester: April 1 of previous academic year
  • Spring Break: August 1
  • Mini-Term and Summer: September 1

*Applications received after the deadline date will be at a disadvantage for student recruitment and will be evaluated for viability on a case-by-case basis.

Program Renewals

  • Fall Semester: November 15 of previous academic year
  • Spring Semester: April 15 of previous academic year
  • Spring Break: August 15
  • Mini-Term and Summer: September 15

General Program Leader Responsibilities Center for International Education Support
  • Design and plan all program elements, including course syllabi, co-curricular activities, and program budget
  • Suggest appropriate vendors for program services and provide guidance and templates for planning program itinerary and budget
  • Review applications and select program participants
  • Manage student application and acceptance processes
  • Provide 2 program-specific orientations to all program participants prior to departure
  • Provide a general health and safety orientation to all faculty-directed program students
  • Deliver program in-country and provide leadership throughout the program, including in crisis or emergency situations
  • Deliver risk management training for program leaders prior to departure and provide 24/7 emergency support during program
  • Liaise with relevant offices and departments on campus (Bursar, Financial Aid, etc.)

If the US Department of State issues a Travel Advisory Level 3 “Reconsider Travel” or Level 4 “Do Not Travel” or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issue a Travel Health Warning for a country or any specific area within a country in which UT operates faculty-directed study abroad programs before the departure date of the programs, the programs will be immediately suspended. The faculty leaders of the impacted program(s) may petition the International Risk Management Committee for a program suspension waiver. Petitions should be sent to itr@utk.edu. Waivers apply to one program only (unless specified by the committee). A waiver for one program in a country or area does not automatically apply to another program in that same country or area. The Provost will be notified if a UT program is approved to run in a country or area with an active Department of State travel Advisory Level 3 “Reconsider Travel” or Level 4 “Do Not Travel”. The Provost has the final decision and may overturn the decision of the International Risk Management Committee.

If the petition is denied by the International Risk Management Committee, faculty and staff leading the program may appeal to the Provost directly. Faculty/staff have 14 days to appeal after notification of the committee’s decision. As part of this appeal, the faculty/staff may include additional information not included in the initial petition. It is the responsibility of the faculty/staff member to submit the appeal directly to the Provost. The Provost will notify the International Risk Management Committee’s designee of his/her decision.

If the US Department of State issues a Travel Advisory Level 3 “Reconsider Travel” or Level 4 “Do Not Travel” or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issue a Travel Health Warning for a country or any specific area within a country in which UT operates faculty-directed study abroad programs while the program(s) is in session but where circumstances pose no immediate threat to student health or safety, the program will be reviewed by the International Risk Management Committee, which will decide if the program is to continue. The Provost will also be notified if a UT program is approved to continue. The Provost has the final decision and may overturn the decision of the International Risk Management Committee.

In the case of an immediate threat to student health, safety, or welfare, the International Risk Management Committee in consultation with the Provost has the discretion to suspend the program and begin evacuation immediately.

If you are proposing a new program or have never led a UT study abroad program, please contact Noah Rost at 865-974-3177 or rost@utk.edu to schedule an informational meeting prior to completing the electronic registration form.

If you plan to renew a program which you have led within the past three years, please complete this electronic renew registration form. Please contact Noah Rost at 865-974-3177 or rost@utk.edu with any questions.

Programs Abroad Committee

The Programs Abroad Committee (PAC) is comprised of senior staff of the Center for International Education and representatives from academic colleges appointed by their dean or his/her designee. The PAC approves new faculty-directed programs and provides guidance on broader international education challenges and opportunities within their respective colleges and the university more broadly.

Current Members Are:

  • Katherine Ambroziak, College of Architecture and Design
  • George Drinnon, Haslam College of Business
  • Becky Jackson, College of Social Work
  • Kevin Kit, Tickle College of Engineering
  • Sue McClennon, College of Nursing
  • Gretchen Neisler, Center for International Education
  • Noah Rost, Center for International Education
  • Lynn Sacco, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Heidi Stolz, College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences
  • Sam Swan, College of Communication and Information
  • Adam Willcox, Herbert College of Agriculture

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

Report an accessibility barrier.Privacy.