For the past several years Augusta University has witnessed enthusiastic growth in its Study Abroad program.

The zeal students have shown for international travel is due largely to the Faculty who invested their time, talent and expertise to bring new dimensions to subjects that traditionally have been taught in the classroom.

Since the inception of Study Abroad, faculty have returned from all points of the world full of practical advice of what worked, and perhaps more importantly, what didn't. It is out of these conversations that we developed these tools.

In addition, the state has steadfastly informed the Study Abroad Office of new administrative, legal and risk management concerns as they have emerged. Designed to keep things simple for faculty interested in leading a Study Abroad program, this information will help faculty stay in compliance with rules and regulations as they plan their Study Abroad programs, without losing sleep.

Take time to explore. The reference guide has been updated, and templates have been created to help you develop your program proposals and program budgets.

Proposals are due April 1 of the preceding year.

Contact Us

Study Abroad Office

Summerville Campus

Allgood Hall

AH E134

706-729-2306

studyabroad@augusta.edu

  

Program Forms

Please email all questions to kgrego@augusta.edu

The deadline for Program Proposal Forms is April 1. 

Program Proposal Form

Please complete the following form for your program proposal. This is due by April 1st for potential travel the following year.

2023 Budget Template

Please use the 2023 Study Abroad/Away Budget Template as part of your Program Proposal due April 1.

Course Contact Hours Form

Please use the Course Contact Hours Form as part of your Study Abroad/Away Program Proposal due April 1.

Faculty Registration

Please complete the forms on the Terra Dotta portal for the program you wish to lead in the upcoming year. 

Group Program Proposal & Registration

Please complete the following form for your group program. 

Pre-Program Risk Assessment

Please complete the risk assessment for your program via Qualtrics at least 1 month before departure.

Study Abroad/Away Incident Report

Please complete this report if an incident happens during your program abroad or away. This will be used to create a CARE Report. Please return a copy as soon as possible.

Study Abroad/Away Issues on Program Report

Please complete this report if an issue occurs that you want to document while on your program abroad or away. This is used for less serious matters NOT requiring additional CARE Report assistance.

Faculty Handbook

The Study Abroad Faculty Handbook was created specifically for our study abroad and study away faculty. Not only does it contain Study Abroad policies and procedures, but also methods of recruiting students, how to take care of situations abroad, how to prepare your proposal, and how to handle financial matters, for example.

We encourage all faculty who are considering developing a proposal to looking through the handbook in additional to looking over the proposal to understand the overall process and also figure out what questions you may have.

Faculty Handbook

Introduction

Welcome to the world of Study Abroad and  Study Away! As a faculty member at Augusta University, you are to be commended on your efforts to direct an international educational program for your students. This experience will be a memorable part of their education and could very well be their best collegiate experience. We hope that it will also be a peak component of your teaching and personal educational experiences at AU. The Study Abroad Office (SAO) is here to provide you with guidance and oversight for planning and implementing your international or domestic program.

We are aware that putting together an international or domestic off-campus educational program is hard work and requires careful planning, attention to detail, energy and flexibility. Knowing what to expect is important, but also knowing that the unexpected frequently occurs is just as important. We hope that our guidance will help you know what to expect, and at the same time, alert you to possible “unexpected” experiences. This faculty handbook is designed to be a primary resource for developing your program and is full of practical advice that will heighten your awareness of risk management while guiding you through the process of developing and managing a safe and fiscally sound program. It also outlines the responsibilities of both the faculty and the Study Abroad Office, travel guidelines, suggestions for dealing with potential issues, procedures to follow in the event of an emergency, and other important topics. Note that the policies and procedures found in this book also apply to study away programs, although it may specifically reference only study abroad.

Finally, it is important that the administration of Augusta University know the whereabouts of our students as they pursue academic credit at sites outside of the United States.  The policies developed by our office and the information that you as faculty are required to forward to us are for this purpose.  Together, we can form a partnership to provide the best and safest international educational experiences for our students.

The Study Abroad Office staff and Institutional Study Abroad Committee will work to regularly update this handbook so it can serve as the best resource a faculty member can have. We wish you well on your travels as we help you prepare for this upcoming exciting experience. We also look forward to hearing from you during your time abroad and away!

The Study Abroad Office (hereafter the SAO) is charged with managing all aspects of programs abroad and away that carry academic credit, including administrative matters, faculty members who wish to direct a program abroad, and students who wish to participate.

Study Abroad Office Responsibilities

  • Meets with students who are considering a program abroad, answers questions about the program, and explains fundraising and scholarship opportunities. If you can get the student to the SAO, our staff will take over from there.
  • Once a student has decided to participate in a study abroad program, the SAO collects the trip deposit and fees.
    • Note: Board of Regents guidelines prohibit Faculty from directly collecting fees from students who are traveling abroad.
  • Coordinates scholarship distribution.
  • Maintains the SAO website, used to promote all study abroad programs.
  • Maintains the inventory of AU Study Abroad programs that are to be entered into the Board of Regents system wide database for international programs.
    • Note: Maintaining an accurate inventory of all study abroad programs is a BOR requirement and an important risk management control.
  • Maintains detailed financial records for each study abroad program, in accordance with Board of Regents requirement and in anticipation of state audits.
  • Organizes various marketing opportunities, including the annual Study Abroad Fair and International Education Week.
  • Provides a presence on campus while marketing all programs at events such as Start-Up Weekend, Major Fest, Taste of Augusta, summer Orientations, International Festival, and more.
  • Will help faculty promote your program through class presentations and offering suggestions to help you boost your recruitment efforts if requested.
  • Coordinates the Yankee Candle Fundraiser and Raffle Ticket Fundraiser for students who raise money to offset the cost of their program.
  • Will help direct faculty as you research airfare, hotel and ground transportation pricing.
  • Will track enrollment of participants on your program and keep you periodically informed as students make trip deposits.
  • Will coordinate payment of all trip expenses through the AU Business Office.
  • Tracks all payments on accounts of study abroad students, in coordination with the AU Business Office.
  • Coordinates the accounting between agency accounts and state accounts for the payment of faculty travel expenses as required by the Board of Regents.
  • Is on stand‐by in emergency situations, should you need help while abroad.
  • Maintains individual files on each student traveler, with emergency contacts, health information, passport information, etc. accessible should a situation arise where it is needed.

The Board of Regents has required that a campus-based Study Abroad Committee be assembled to address study abroad concerns, with an emphasis on risk management. AU has developed this committee comprised of representatives from the following offices/departments:

  • Director of Study Abroad
  • Testing and Disability Services
  • Student Affairs
  • Legal Affairs
  • Risk Management
  • Counseling Services
  • College of Science and Mathematics
  • The Graduate School
  • Hull College of Business
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Education
  • Medical College of Georgia
  • Dental College of Georgia
  • College of Allied Health Sciences
  • Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • Member-at-large

 

Institutional Study Abroad Committee Responsibilities

  • Review and update policies as it pertains to the program proposal process
  • Approving new and recurring study abroad programs
  • Evaluating existing programs
  • Recommending the suspension or relocation of existing programs based on issues with programs or locations
    • The SAO will keep the committee up-to-date on State Department advisories.
  • Reviewing the emergency response procedures for study abroad
  • Developing institutional risk management policies as needed
  • Establishing policies for drug and alcohol use, disciplinary infractions, and other incidents
  • Addressing other study abroad concerns as they arise

The Program Director’s responsibilities are divided between those that must be done prior to the trip, during travel and post travel. The Program Director agrees to these responsibilities when he/she signs the official Program Proposal.

Program Director Responsibilities

Prior to the Program

  • Prepare a complete program proposal and ensure that all signatures are collected for approval and submit to the Study Abroad Office by April 1st.
  • The program director is responsible for outlining the nature of the program, location, and daily activities. These should correspond with the class being taught abroad and will drive the program budget. Remember that you are responsible for ensuring that all academic requirements have been met.
  • Review website materials and ask for corrections to be made as needed by August 1st.
  • Attend Faculty Training meetings held in the fall and spring semester.
  • Market and recruit for your program and studying abroad in general.
  • Must participate in the Annual Study Abroad Fair
  • When appropriate, assist students with letters of recommendation for scholarships.
  • Keep the SAO informed of any changes to the trip itinerary or budget.
  • Inform the SAO of common problems, questions or issues about your program. If students are confused by courses, itineraries, or payments, the SAO can help to clarify.
  • Speak with the Dean or his/her representative to determine salary based on enrollments.
  • Complete any payment requests needed for expenses and bring them to the SAO at least 3 weeks before the invoice is due or work with the SAO to ensure that the trip is fully paid for according to the business procedure rules.
  • Should a surplus be left in the account, it will be used for more items for the students on the study abroad trip, including things like meals or extra excursions.
  • SAO will create a travel authorization in the fall so that trip expenses can be prepaid for travel and encumbered for per diem and other reimbursable items. Remember that all travel for faculty is paid according to state travel regulations.
  • Prepare academic information for your program’s Orientation meeting, including a syllabus and pre-departure assignments if applicable.
  • Attend your program’s Orientation meeting and conduct your portion of the session.
  • Attend the Pre-Trip Faculty Meeting with the Director of Study Abroad to receive your Study Abroad folder with important emergency and student information approximately two weeks prior to the trip.
  • Collect any petty cash for the trip from the Business Office Annex and convert to the currency needed for the program. Follow all cash advance rules and understand you are responsible for the entire amount of the cash advance.
  • Be familiar with FERPA regulations relating to the privacy of your students.

During Travel

  • Meet and greet all students either at the airport or at AU on the shuttle.
  • Supervise activities such as airport transfers, hotel check in and out, airport check in and security, and other non-academic activities.
  • Assist students with questions and concerns.
  • Supervise students while on excursions and other learning opportunities abroad.
  • Teach courses in accordance to the syllabus and course contact hour sheet.
  • Make appropriate decisions regarding changing itineraries and programming elements due to conditions such as safety, weather, or other conditions.
  • Report and document all problems to the AU SAO through an incident form, through email, or via telephone if urgent assistance is needed.
  • Inform the SAO if a student violates the AU Student Code of Conduct or Sexual Misconduct (Title IX) regulations. This will then be turned over to the Dean of Students for further investigation.
  • Enforce all disciplinary procedure and study abroad rules as outlined in the Study Abroad Terms and Conditions for Participation in Study Abroad/Away.
  • Collect receipts and complete the cash advance form as money is spent.
  • Maintain appropriate professional roles with students.
  • Make the best judgments possible at the time of an incident with the student’s best interest in mind.

After the Program

  • Return your Faculty Information Packet, given to the faculty during the pre-trip faculty meeting, to the SAO so that all forms can be shredded as appropriate.
  • Complete a travel expense statement within two weeks of your return so that per diems can be paid and the accounting on your trip can be closed.
  • Reconcile all cash advance money and return all receipts and any unspent money to the Study Abroad office within two weeks of your program.
  • Ensure that students complete any after trip assignments.
  • Submit student grades in accordance with grade reporting policies and deadlines.

Overview

Note: You are encouraged to read Information for Faculty webpage on the Study Abroad Office website in full before you begin to develop your proposal.

Developing a Study Abroad program is a collaborative process. You should first start in your department by meeting with your department chair and other professors who may want to be involved, are already involved, or who have been involved in a study abroad program in the past. It can help you understand what programs are already offered and what programs have done well in the past. Do this early on, preferably in the 1st quarter of the calendar year (see timeline sub-section for more details). Don’t underestimate the need for advanced planning and giving yourself adequate time, whether you are new to study abroad or study abroad veteran submitting a proposal for a recurring program. Do not forget that recurring programs must submit an updated proposal each year.

During your development process, also check with your chair to see how your department’s approval process works, as you cannot submit your proposal before it is approved by your department. Each department has a unique, possibly extensive, approval process, so be sure to calculate this into your proposal timeline.

All programs must go through a multi-level approval process beyond your department and must be in compliance with the Office of International Education (OIE) of the University System of Georgia. The Director of Study Abroad will assist if you have any questions and to help you develop a program that is academically sound, appealing to students, affordable and follows these correct policies and procedures. The Director may also help ensure a successful program by providing insight into what kinds of programs have worked in the past and what have not. By working collaboratively with your department and the SAO during the development process, you are much more likely to have your program approved.

NOTE: Proposals are required for both new and existing programs and recurring programs must go through the evaluation and approval process each year along with new programs.

Proposal forms are found on the Information for Faculty webpage.

  • October – March:
    • Work on your budget, draft your proposal, work on your itinerary, and all other elements of an official proposal.
    • Request meeting with your Department Chair (or the appropriate departmental committee) to discuss a broad overview of proposed Study Abroad program, as they must give the initial approval to pursue the development of this program. Follow departmental policies and procedures for the submission of a new and/or recurring proposal.
    • Work with the Director of Study Abroad when necessary. Do not assume because you have proposed a program before that the process is exactly the same. A series of meetings may be beneficial, particularly for new programs.
  • April 1: Applications/Proposal due to the Institutional Study Abroad Committee.
  • May - June: Evaluation by the Study Abroad Committee and feedback. Revised Applications/Proposals due to Institutional Study Abroad Committee.
  • June: Program approval notifications sent to Program Directors.
  • July- August:
    • Websites and other promotional materials developed.
    • Work with the SAO and get them correct information for the SAO website.
    • Set up D2L for your course as well
  • August (Late): Attend Faculty Training workshop with other current program faculty.
  • August – December: Recruitment, fundraisers, scholarship, Planning Meetings (presented by the SAO)
  • September: Annual Study Abroad Fair
  • December 15: Initial participant headcount
  • January – February:
    • Faculty need to discuss with Dean salary related to course enrollments
    • Collect final payments from students.
    • Final participant headcount.
    • Program-specific Orientation Meetings.
  • February – March:
    • Program numbers reported to Deans.
    • Program-specific Orientation Meetings
  • March – June: Two weeks before your program’s departure date, you will have a Pre-Trip Faculty Meeting with Director of Study Abroad
  • September: Final Reports Due

The faculty director of a short term program abroad wears many hats: professor, chaperone, academic advisor, counselor, nurse/doctor, money manager, tour guide and even, at times, parent. The workload for programs abroad is thus much different, and often more demanding, than that of teaching a similar course on the AU campus. Faculty directors are encouraged to carefully weigh the pros and cons of having any non-participants accompany them abroad during the time the program is in session.  Often such an arrangement works best when companions join the faculty member at the conclusion of the program.  Faculty directors must remember that their first priority is to be available to their students in any potential emergency (or perceived emergency) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the duration of the program.

Non-involved visitors and/or the demands of family responsibilities can be a distraction and an unwelcome source of additional stress for the faculty member, causing conflicts that can be to the serious detriment of the program. Accompanying family members or companions, if not enrolled as full participants in the program, are not considered in any way to be affiliated with the program or representatives of AU.  Accordingly, the following issues must be considered prior to the program:

A. Travel Expenses

It is the policy that faculty directors will not be reimbursed for any travel expenses incurred on behalf of family members/companions. Careful records must be maintained by the faculty director to ensure separation of expenses of any family members/companions from the reimbursable expenses of official travelers. Any additional costs incurred due to stopovers, route modifications, or mode of transport made for the convenience of the family members/companions will be borne entirely by the faculty director.

B. Family Members/Companions’ Preparations for the Trip

Family members/companions will not be reflected on the program participant list, and therefore will not receive program mailings or be invited to the program orientations. Faculty directors are encouraged to share information with their family members/companions about the country, anticipated activities, and the risks involved. In whatever way possible, family members/companions should investigate the safety issues related to the trip.

C. Program Restrictions

Although family members/companions are not participants in the program, they are expected to abide by the program policies and restrictions that are imposed for safety reasons. Family members/companions should be aware that their personal behavior must not in any way affect the quality of the program or the experience of the participants, and that their involvement in group activities may be prohibited by the Study Abroad Office if deemed necessary.

D. Minor Children

Children under the age of 18 (or the approval of the study abroad committee) must be under the supervision of an adult other than the faculty director at all times.  Supervision of minor children is the sole responsibility of the parent(s). At no time should a program participant be asked to care for or supervise a child of a faculty member.

E. Fees and Expenses

Family members/companions are responsible for paying all fees and expenses incurred overseas according to conditions pre-arranged by the Study Abroad Office. If a family member/companion attends a class or excursion with the program participants, he/she must pay any fees or expenses involved.  Family members/companions may only attend classes or excursions on a space-available basis, and with the permission of the instructor, local coordinating agency/organization, and the Study Abroad Office.

F. Program-Related Duties

Family members/companions may not have any official duties (chaperone, driver, assistant, etc.). Family members/companions are not protected by AU liability insurance for any actions taken abroad, and are urged to discuss applicable liability protection with an insurance agent to ensure that adequate coverage is in place for his/her overseas activities.

G. Medical Insurance

Family members/companions must have their own medical insurance coverage for the period of the program.

 

Important! Faculty cannot sign contracts on behalf of Study Abroad or AU. Do not do it! Send it to the Study Abroad Office to obtain the proper approvals.

Overview

A well thought-out budget is one of the main pillars of a sound (and approved) program proposal. As you plan your study abroad trip, think through all the expenses you are likely to incur to avoid having cost overruns and “emergencies” that could have been foreseen. It is important to consider now, as you prepare your budget, that in the months ahead you will submit Requests for Payments, and each of those much be able to tie to a line item in your budget. A few hints are presented here for your consideration as you begin to develop you budget. The goal is to help you create a realistic financial plan for your study abroad program.

Advertised Price

The SAO office will use the budget you prepared during the program proposal to come up with the advertised price.  Over the summer months, the faculty member will work the SAO office to secure reservations and final quotes in order to update the budget with the most accurate numbers.  Faculty must work over the summer to help secure any quotes needed to be able to establish this price before the fall semester. Once this has been done, the SAO office will establish the final advertise price for the students by the beginning of the fall semester. 

How to Prepare a Proposal for Using an Unanticipated Surplus

Sometimes, despite the best planning, you find yourself in a situation where you have realized savings while on the trip, and have an unanticipated surplus, that realistically is too large to justify (more than $100/ student). What to do? In these circumstances, it is suggested that you prepare a proposal on how to use these funds and submit it to the director of the SAO once it has been determined there is a surplus in the budget. Some Program Directors suggest to the delight of their students that another excursion be planned. Draft a short proposal explaining the circumstance and how you would like to use the funds. Maybe there is a museum that the students would like to visit. Or a concert, a train trip to an unplanned destination, etc., etc. The expenditure must be for the benefit of the students.

Excess funds are not to be used to reimburse expenses of the Program Director, the Program Director’s spouse, items purchased for the Program Director, increased per diems, or the like. They cannot be used to pay for unbudgeted expenses of the Program Director. Remember: All expenditures must be in the original budget plan. If there are remaining funds in a program account equaling $100 or less per student, that money will be transferred to the general fund for SA emergencies and deposits for future trips which is in accordance with Board of Regent guidelines.

Traveling in a foreign country with cash and credit cards presents risk that we seek to minimize for you. Carrying large sums of cash makes you a target, and we suggest that you avoid paying in cash whenever there is a reasonable alternative. However, credit cards are also a risk, specifically for identity theft. Therefore, we highly recommend prepaying when you can. If you have not prepaid an expense, you will need to weigh the associated risks of paying with cash versus paying by credit card. Some common sense questions to ask yourself:

  • Consider the environment where you are going. Is it safe and secure or is it a public place that is crowded and bustling with activity? Could a thief easily single you out and quickly escape with your money? Who’s watching you? What is the time of day?
  • Is the vendor a trusted party already known to you? Does the business seem legitimate?
  • Common sense and caution must play equally in your decision on how to pay.

Prepayment of Expenses

You are encouraged to prepay as many expenses as possible before you embark on your trip. Airfare, hotel, ground transportation and even some meals can be prepaid. There are several advantages to prepaying:

  • You avoid the risk that carrying large sums of cash presents.
  • By prepaying in the US dollar, you do not have to worry about currency fluctuations that can wreak havoc with your budget.
  • Prepaying now allows you to shop for the best price. Once you arrive at your destination, there might not be opportunity to compare rates.
  • Being able to avoid the often challenging task of receiving proper receipts (see section below)

While faculty members are not allowed to finalize contractual arrangements for the SAO or AU, you are encouraged to obtain quotes early on so that your budget estimates for major expenses are realistic. When possible, lock in those rates well ahead of time.

Once your study abroad program has been approved and you have received the official approval of your program from the director of the SAO, then it is time to request prepayments. For example, some airlines will let you book flights as far as 330 days out. Reserve your flights just as soon as tickets become available. Generally a $100 per seat deposit will secure a seat. Remember that all study abroad expenditures must go through the SAO for approval and processing. Again, you must be able to tie the expenditure to a line item in your budget.

Cash Advance

If you cannot prepay an expense, you can request a small cash advance (i.e. for an excursion). However you must be able to justify the need for a petty cash fund, and the expense must have already been in your budget. The form to request a petty cash fund is available through the SAO.  The cash advance must be reconciled within 14 days of your return from your trip. The SAO can help you with the reconciliation if need be. Do not delay in asking for help, should you need it!

Loss of Funds

You should know up front that you are responsible for loss of funds. Factor this in when you consider how you are going to pay for expenses. Should funds be lost, contact the SAO and AU Public Safety to file a police report. You will also need to file a police report locally.

Proper Receipts

All study abroad programs must be able to withstand the scrutiny of the state auditor.  Consequently, you are required to obtain receipts for all reimbursable expenditures that are made while you are abroad. Will the state auditor be able to read that Greek receipt? Make sure you obtain a receipt that can be readily understood. If necessary, have the invoice translated. What about tipping in cash? That may not be included in a dinner receipt or may not include a receipt at all. This is another good reason to prepay whenever possible.

Free Tickets & Other Savings

Sometimes faculty members are able to secure a free ticket through group purchases or other discounts. When this is the case, be sure to roll the savings into the cost for your student in the form of a cost reduction.

Contingency Funds

While you are strongly encouraged to think through your budget enough to cover as many situations as possible, it is realistic to understand that not every situation can be anticipated, especially when you are traveling abroad. Things happen unexpectedly and past experience has taught us the value of a contingency fund. A reasonable contingency budget will cover your unplanned expenses. Do not overlook this important part of your budget.

Calculating the Trip Surplus

The Program Director has a responsibility to the students who are paying for the trip to calculate a reasonable trip surplus ‐ one that is neither too large nor too small. What constitutes a reasonable trip surplus? Look at it from two points of view: that of the student and that of the manager (you). For fairness sake, the trip cost should be a good value for the student. After all, for many students this has been a hard earned trip, involving countless hours of “sweat equity” and fundraisers. As the Program Director you must keep a management perspective, making sure you have responsibly budgeted for the trip. There must be a balance between these sometimes competing points of view. A $20,000 surplus would be difficult, if not impossible, to justify. A $1000 surplus is considered responsible.

Budget & Salary Considerations

Study Abroad budgets do not allow for the payment of extra salary for teaching abroad. Your salary will continue to be paid from state funds, as it normally is paid.

The Dean’s Office determines the summer pay of Study Abroad Faculty, taking into consideration information provided by the Study Abroad Office. There is an indirect relationship between your summer pay and your recruitment efforts. Here’s how it works:

  • The SAO is responsible for balancing the budgets of Augusta University study abroad programs.
  • Deans have responsibility for determining Faculty salaries, including summer pay.
  • The SAO informs the Dean’s office about program numbers and students per class. This is generally done in February after final payments are made by students.

Faculty Travel Expenses

  • Special Note: Although Faculty Travel expenses for Study Abroad programs are paid from state funds, the travel expenses must be approved by the Study Abroad office before the Business Office will process them. Work with the SAO Account Manager to submit your expense report by two weeks from the return of your program. Once it has been approved by the Director of Study Abroad, Study Abroad staff will forward your expenses to the Business Office for processing.
  • For insurance purposes, Faculty must complete a travel authorization form prior to travel. Do not leave without doing this! This is for your own protection. SAO will assist faculty with this process.
  • Due to Board of Regent continuous audit requirements for Faculty Travel, travel expenses for Faculty who are teaching abroad must be processed in the regular manner (through PeopleSoft). This includes your airfare, per diems, and other travel expenses. These items are paid through state funds and must be accounting for accordingly.
  • Consult with the Travel Office for further information about your travel expenses or visit the Travel Office website.
  • It can be unreasonable to expect students to absorb the cost of a high cost per diem. Please take an appropriate per diem for the trip. Remember, it is difficult to sell a trip that is too priced too high.

Close Out of Study Abroad Program Accounts

All Study Abroad program accounts must be fully reconciled and closed out within 60 days after the trip. In accordance with Board of Regents guidelines, account balances must be transferred to the Study Abroad general account, to be used for future trip deposits. Knowing this, please be sure to submit all reimbursable trip expenses within two weeks of your return. See Phase Seven for more details about post-trip tasks.

When your students submit their trip applications and deposits, be certain they are aware of our deposit and payment policies so that misunderstandings can be avoided. Note that a statement acknowledging that the deposit is non‐refundable is included in the application that the student completes. As a courtesy to the student, point this out to them, because not everyone reads every detail during the excitement of signing up for what often is their first international trip!

Program and Application Deadlines

The deposit and application deadline is set by the SAO for mid-December. This allows time for teaching schedules to be adjusted in the event that your trip does not materialize. It also allows for recruitment in the fall semester and more focus on final payment, orientation, and other responsibilities in the spring semester. Should a program not be filled by this deadline, the Director of Study Abroad may work with you to extend this deadline to give you time to fill any remaining spots.

Study Abroad Payment Policies

Trip Deposit Policy for Students

  • A $200 deposit is required to hold a student’s space on a study abroad trip.
  • On a rare, case-by-case basis, a smaller initial deposit may be accepted with the balance to be paid off by their payment deadline. This must be cleared by the Study Abroad Director and Office Coordinator. Do not promise students that this is an option.
  • After a student makes an initial deposit, the student will be contacted by the SAO to attend a Planning Meeting, which is mandatory for all participants. Off-campus (transient, HS campus, and distance-education) students will need to make arrangements with the SAO to go over this information virtually. Please refer to the section in Phase Five for more information on Planning Meetings.

Waitlist Policy

Students must put down a deposit to be officially added to a full program’s waitlist. The student’s Terra Dotta “status” will be listed as “Waitlist.” For those on a waitlist, if a spot does not open up OR they are no longer able to go on the program, their deposit will be refunded in early March. No exceptions. Our Waitlist Policy is listed on our FAQ webpage.

Trip Final Payment Policy

Final payments by students need to be made a minimum of 90 days before travel, and as far ahead of travel as 120 days. This allows time for invoices to be paid without a rush and for funds to be transferred for faculty travel. Remember that the Business Office has seven working days to process any payment request.

This also allows time for air fare and ground arrangements to be altered if there are more students than anticipated or to reduce the number of air tickets and ground arrangements without penalty. Payment deadlines should never be later than the penalty date so as not to lose money on travel.

Trip Refund Policy for Students

  • The initial deposit is non‐refundable.
  • When a student submits an application for a program they are required to attend a pre‐trip Planning Meeting. In this meeting Study Abroad staff review the trip refund policy and students are required to sign an agreement stating that they will abide by this policy. Planning Meetings are detailed in Phase Five.
  • Normally all trip payments are completely nonrefundable.
  • However, there are rare cases where the student can petition to request that some of it be refunded, such as medical reasons. If a student withdraws from a trip for a medical reason, all efforts will be made to refund trip payments provided that a physician’s note is brought to the SAO.
    • If this withdraw of a study abroad (specifically) occurs within 30 days of departure, check with CISI travel insurance to see if some coverage is available.
  • If a student is unable to go on a trip for other reasons and the student believes that the trip money should be refunded the student can write a letter of appeal to the Director of Study Abroad and the Institutional Study Abroad Committee.
  • After payments have been made on items for the students, such as airfare and hotel, the only refund possible will be the refund issued by the booking agent, university, or other third party.
  • If a student overpays by $5 or less, that money will not be refunded, but instead added to the overall program budget.
  • All programs must comply with this policy.
  • If the SAO cancels a program, those students will receive a full refund of payments made out of pocket. Fundraising and scholarship funds will not be refunded.

Trip Transfer Policy

  • If a student decides they would prefer to travel to another destination at another date and time the student must check with the SAO before agreeing to transfer the deposit.
  • The deposit and payments will be transferred if, and only if, both study abroad programs are within the same fiscal year and there are spots available on that program. Funds cannot be transferred to a trip in a future fiscal year.
  • Fundraising and scholarship funds may also be transferred to the new program balance.

 

It is the responsibility of the Program Director and other program faculty to recruit students for their trip. A core group of students is needed to make the program financially feasible and must be a primary focus from the start. Marketing of a study abroad course should uphold the highest standards of academic integrity, learning and student behavior and the academic quality and educational experience of the course should be the primary selling points. While the SAO will help support you with your marketing efforts, the primary responsibility for recruitment rests with the faculty.

Student Eligibility

  • Student must be in "Good Academic Standing" with the university
  • Student must be enrolled at the university during the semester of coursework
  • Student must be in good disciplinary standing
  • Student must 18 or older at the time of travel

Talk to Individual Students

Some of the most successful programs are filled with students who were directly contacted by program professors. Past experience has taught us that a targeted approach increases enrollment in Study Abroad programs.

Classroom Presentations

  • DIY: Ask your colleagues to give you 10 minutes to make a presentation in their classroom. Build the excitement among a group of students who might enjoy traveling together!
    • Look for classes with large enrollments of the audience you are targeting.
    • Ask your colleagues which students are most likely to be good candidates for studying abroad so that you can target your presentation to them.
    • Remember to mention all study abroad programs in your presentation. Think reciprocity! Someone may recruit a student for you, too.
    • Don’t forget to return the favor in kind if you are asked.
  • You may also ask the SAO staff to make a presentation in your own classroom.
    • The SAO likes to talk about its programs. Just ask! If you would like to arrange for a classroom presentation by the SAO simply send an email with your request to solidify the date, time, length, and what you would like us to highlight.
    • We will always highlight funding options and a general description of what studying abroad is.
    • We may also utilize Study Abroad Mentors, if available. Peer student endorsement has a credibility factor that is invaluable. Your students are more likely to ask questions they may have when they see one of their own is providing the answers.
  • As Faculty you are then encouraged to quickly follow‐up with those students who have expressed interest during the presentation.

Print and Virtual Marketing

  • Consider creating posters for your specific program and placing them in approved areas around campus as well as on your office door.
    • The SAO will create and distribute general posters with all programs listed
  • E-mails sent out to students in your major may incite questions and attract interest
  • If there is a club or organization that is geared toward an interest related to your program, reach out to them as well.
  • Don’t let interest wane. Keep the student engaged about the prospect of travel.
  • Direct the student to the SAO website as well as the Study Abroad Office itself (give them directions!)
  • Encourage them to talk to the SAO early on to help plan academically and financially
    • Remember, students cannot participate in the SAO fundraisers and scholarship until they have paid a deposit.
  • Don’t let cost be a deterrent. Always let students know about scholarships and work opportunities (“sweat equity”).
  • Let students know how the course will count in their degree plan.
  • If you are teaching a course that fulfills a CORE requirement, then target freshmen.
  • Also, highlight the importance of travel and how studying abroad can benefit them other than just academically.

Overview

Once a student has put down a deposit, the SAO will begin helping students prepare for their program abroad. This section will detail all that the Study Abroad Office does, as well as what faculty members need to be doing, to help with this process.

The Planning Meeting (PM) is an important step in preparing a student for their program. Students will be given a packet of information to keep as reference. Critical information is shared that will help guide the traveler on a variety of travel related concerns, including:

  • Student responsibilities
  • Financial information, including payment deadlines, refund policy, tuition & fees details, fundraising opportunities, how financial aid can be applied, and about the Study Abroad Office Scholarship.
  • Study abroad course registration
  • Passport requirements and deadlines
  • Information for students traveling with disabilities

Program-specific pre‐departure orientations increase student preparedness and as such can help to reduce institutional liability. Study Abroad orientations are mandatory for this reason. Faculty members are advised to work with the Study Abroad office in preparing for the orientation. Your orientation session should set the tone for the trip, clarifies expectations and provide detailed information to students that will help avoid unpleasant surprises when you arrive at the destination. Orientation has two parts: Part one is conducted by the Study Abroad Office. Part two is conducted by Program Directors.

Forms

The following forms are included in the Orientation folders provided by the SAO:

  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Emergency Contact Information Card
  • CISI Insurance Card
  • CISI Insurance information (insurance cards and booklet detailing the coverage)
  • CISI Insurance Claims Form
  • Country Information Sheet from the Department of State
  • Country Information Sheet from the CDC
  • Resources Information from Library
  • Counseling Center Information
  • Roommate Assignments

Academic/Class Orientation 

The Class Orientation is conducted by the Study Abroad/Away professors or Program Director. This section should emphasize the expectations for a successful trip and leave your students well prepared to embark on what could be their first international travel. This part of the Orientation may occur during a class time at the beginning of the semester or on the same date and time frame as the part conducted by the Study Abroad Office.

The class orientation covers the following:

  • Syllabus and other information are distributed
  • Pre‐trip assignments are distributed
  • Expectations are clarified
  • Any other pertinent information is reviewed, including:
    • academic policies
    • class attendance
    • placement exams
    • homework assignments
    • available facilities (i.e. computer labs and libraries)
    • required text books, grading systems
    • procedures for registration
    • credit transfer to the home campus
    • social, behavioral, and local laws
    • ADA accommodations

As mentioned in the timeline listed in Phase Two, two weeks before your program’s departure date, you will meet with the Director of Study Abroad to go over the following:

  • A copy of the emergency procedures for studying abroad, which are also listed in Phase Six
  • A copy of the Incident Report Form
  • Copies of medical forms and student emergency contact numbers
  • Emergency numbers to call if you need to reach Study Abroad immediately
  • Please remember to take the information from your orientation folder as we;;

Note: The emergency contact phone numbers, medical forms, and passport copies must be returned to the Study Abroad Office (for shredding) immediately upon return from your trip.


View the current United States Department of State Travel Advisories.

The Study Abroad Office at Augusta University has determined that international experiences (autonomous or co-sponsored) in countries or areas assigned a Level 3 or a Level 4 Travel Advisory by the U.S. Department of State is prohibited. Travel to Level 4 countries or areas will never be approved or supported. However, exemptions to the policy may be granted for Level 3 Travel Advisory countries or areas for graduate students. Individual undergraduate students cannot petition for an exemption.

Request for exemptions of this policy regarding travel to Level 3 Travel Advisory countries or areas requires a formal petition for exemption submitted to the Institutional Study Abroad Committee at Augusta University no later than 3 months prior to potential departure. Travel to these countries or areas will not be supported without prior approval. The purpose of this formal petition is to ensure that students are making informed and wise decisions regarding travel to Level 3 Advisory countries or areas.

Petition for Exemption

The paperwork required for this petition is in addition to the other paperwork required by the Study Abroad Office for Individual Student Travelers and includes:

  • Partially completed Individual Student Travel online registration
    • AU Individual Student Travel Information (questionnaire)
    • IST Agreement and Waiver (material)
    • IST Contact Information (questionnaire)
    • If earning course/clinical credit: Course Faculty/Sponsor Approval for IST (recommendation)
  • Informed Consent Travel Advisory Waiver, Release of Liability, & Assumption of Risks
  • Document from student that addresses the following:
    • Why are you choosing a program in this high-level advisory country or area?
    • Why can’t this experience be completed elsewhere? What is the unique benefit of this international experience in this country or area?
    • A proposed daily itinerary for the program
  • Letter from course faculty/sponsor
    • Must state that the course faculty/sponsor has discussed with the student the security environment and relevant dangers of the high-level advisory country/area and on-site emergency plans
  • The entire petition packet must be signed by the student’s Department Chair prior to submission

Individuals Traveling to Level 3 or 4 Areas

Students who are traveling to Level 1 and 2 Advisory countries with areas with Level 3 or 4 Advisories must agree not to travel to those high advisory level areas. Students who want to travel to Level 3 areas will need to go through the same formal petition process listed above. 

MCG Medical Students

Any travel to Level 4 Travel Advisory areas must be done strictly on the students own time as vacation and not in connection with any MCG project or faculty member. Travel to advisory level 3 countries will require an extra step of approval, as mentioned above.

Program Proposals

Faculty who are proposing programs located in Level 4 Advisory countries or areas will not be approved. Faculty who are proposing both credit and non-credit programs located in Level 3 Advisory countries or areas must include additional explanations within the “Safety and Security” section of the proposal by the annual due date of April 1st. Program directors must address the specific security concerns listed within the Travel Advisory and discuss the additional safety measures necessary to keep our students safe. The proposal must also address why this program cannot take place in a country or area with a lower advisory level.

Introduction

To every extent possible, Study Abroad encourages pre‐planning. There needs to be a well thought out plan in place for when disaster strikes or when discipline is needed. In some cases, the Study Abroad Office has taken the lead. In other instances, the Program Director must step in. We have outlined the distinct roles of the Study Abroad Office and the Program Director below:

Know Before You Go

As a Program Director, your responsibilities go beyond guiding the trip and those from your own department and college concerning the academic portion of your trip. You must be prepared to handle emergencies and behavior problems as well as administer discipline in situations that call for it. While there are relatively few problems on these trips, it is important that you are prepared for situations that may arise. Familiarize yourself with the information below before you travel so that you are aware.

SAO Role:

  • State Department Registration (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program)
    • For your safety and peace of mind the Study Abroad Office registers each group with the Department of State. This registration alerts the local embassy that you are in country. The registration also gives contact information for the group, such as hotel names and phone numbers as well as group leader contacts. This registration allows the embassy to send alerts, advisories, and warnings to AU Study Abroad as well as each individual participant.
  • Emergency Response Plan
    • Per Board of Regents regulations, the Study Abroad Office has formulated an emergency response plan. This plan addresses a framework for responding to emergency situations as they arise on study abroad programs. The plan is included in this section.
  • Suspension or Cancellation of a Program
    • In the event of a pandemic, natural disaster, or the issuance of a State Department a higher travel advisory, a program may have to be cancelled or suspended. Should a circumstance arise where these types of issues must be considered and a decision made about the future of a program, the Study Abroad Committee will call an emergency meeting. The committee will collect all information from appropriate sources, as well as directives from the Board of Regents, in order to make an informed decision. Options include the complete cancellation or suspension until the circumstances allow the program to run again. The Study Abroad Office will gather information to assist in this decision, such as refund options and expenses incurred to postpone a program. Please note that programs can be suspended or cancelled for reasons other than those listed above. The Study Abroad Committee would be instrumental in making these decisions.

FERPA and AU Resources

Also included in this section is information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and resources at AU so you can refer students or use yourself.  Please be mindful that FERPA applies to Study Abroad too! Students are asked to sign a release at orientation, but if the student does not sign this release we must abide by FERPA laws. FERPA regarding the privacy of student records may conflict with the desire of parents and others to be fully briefed on both student progress and on-site emergencies.

Students participating in AU programs are given the opportunity to sign a release form which recognizes that program staff will disclose information to their families in the case of a medical emergency.  If the faculty director believes that certain information must be disclosed for a participant’s well-being without his/her consent, they should first contact the Study Abroad Director who will seek the advice of University Counsel. In rare cases when that is not possible in cases of a serious and urgent medical emergency, for example, the best guideline is to act in the way which will be of most benefit to the student.  Remember to document all emergencies thoroughly on the Study Abroad Incident Report form and to communicate with the SAO about the situation as soon as possible.

It is inappropriate to communicate with parents about a particular student’s grades, personal relationships, or cultural adaptation without prior permission from the student.

Emergency Response Plan (ERP)

The Emergency Response Plan must be carefully followed. Take time before traveling to become familiar with it.

  • Phase 1: Emergency is reported. Involve members of the Institutional Study Abroad Committee or emergency sub-committee.
  • Phase 2: Determine whether the emergency is real or perceived. Gather as much information as possible from individuals on site, contact or investigate sources for detailed and accurate information.
  • Phase 3: Take action as warranted and according to any established action plan.
  • Phase 4: Record the chronological sequence of events in writing leading up to, during, and after the crisis. Maintain good records, including incident reports for future reference.
  • Phase 5: Debrief with all involved individuals. Make changes in the emergency protocol where warranted.

Remember!

  • Obtain names, times, places and witnesses.
  • Obtain specific contact information for future reference.
  • Double check all information.

Crisis Management - Introduction

Study abroad may involve unique risks to participants and a higher level of responsibility for supervisors. All of the crisis management protocols below require that you contact AU as soon as possible. Your faculty folder that you receive in your Pre-Trip Faculty Meeting includes information on who to call at any time day or night. When handling any crisis, DOCUMENT YOUR ACTIONS!

Health Emergencies

In cases of serious health situations, you should do the following:

  • Take the person to a hospital/ clinic, verify the nature of the emergency with a doctor, inform health care personnel about chronic medical conditions by giving the medical forms that the student completed.
  • Obtain the medical help indicated
  • Contact the insurance provider to let them know of the situation
  • Contact the Study Abroad Office with nature of the medical emergency, and keep in regular contact with the Study Abroad Office until the emergency has passed. Advise the Study Abroad Office if the student does NOT want their emergency contact notified
  • Have the student call emergency contact. If the student is not able to communicate, the Study Abroad Office or the professor will call the contact
  • If the student is unable to make advance payments for treatment, they should be able to use the international insurance included with their program (currently CISI Insurance). Individual policy cards were given to students by the SAO.
  • The following is a list of information you should obtain to report the situation:
    • Student’s name
    • Date of accident or commencement of illness
    • Details of injuries, symptoms, present condition
    • Name and telephone number of attending physician
    • Name, address, and number of hospital or clinic, if applicable

 Pandemic Preparation

In the event that a Study Abroad student becomes ill, the following steps must be taken by the program director:

  • Step 1 - Ensure that the student receives the proper medical care in the on site location.
  • Step 2 - Inform the Study Abroad Office at AU at the earliest possible time. This can be done via e‐mail or a phone call.
  • Step 3 - The Study Abroad Office will keep a log of all reported cases of illness. Provide daily updates on the student's medical condition.
  • Step 4 - In the event that a student must return to the United States, the Study Abroad Office at AU will coordinate the state side effort as appropriate.
  • Step 5 - The Study Abroad Office will be used as a clearing house for information. All students must sign the Travel Abroad Medical Profile and Consent for Care form before leaving for the trip. Copies of these forms must be maintained in the Study Abroad Office.

Civil Disturbance

  • Be aware of situations and locations that can be potentially dangerous. Warn students and advise them to avoid such areas whenever possible. Discourage or forbid, if necessary, attendance at sensitive political meetings, rallies, or other potentially risky gatherings.
  • Keep the US Embassy notified of your location at all times if you suspect problems are likely to erupt. Make sure you fully understand evacuation procedures to be followed in case it becomes necessary. Follow instructions or advice issued by the US Embassy.
  • Keep AU leadership informed of developments.
  • Contact AU leadership as soon as possible in the event of a coup, political assassination, or other political crisis, to provide them with information on students’ safety and plans for dealing with the situation, so the university can fully inform parents or other emergency contacts.

Natural Disasters and Group Accidents

In the case of fire, earthquake, flood, avalanche, epidemic, bus crash etc., do the following:

  • See to the safety of all group members and follow the protocol appropriate to the site (e.g. in the event of a fire, everyone in building X will assemble in location Y)
  • Communicate immediately with the Study Abroad Office as to the safety and state of health of all group members, the group’s location, plans, and when you will contact the Study Abroad Office again
  • Contact the insurance provider at the emergency number provided if appropriate.
  • Discuss alternatives with group members. These may include change of location, change in program schedule, cancellation of program, or a shift in emphasis in the program. Be sure that there is consensus on program changes, if possible, and inform the University of these changes.
  • Some students may decide to return home immediately. This is their prerogative and you should assist them in making arrangements. Be sure that they understand any financial implications of an early withdrawal from the program.
  • Keep in touch with AU leadership regularly.

Missing Program Participant

Refer to the Missing Student Protocol in the Augusta University's Emergency Operations Plan listed on the CEPaR website.

Additionally, some items to consider are as follows:

  • Inquire with friends and associates of missing participant about his or her whereabouts.
  • Notify and, if possible, meet with representatives from the US Embassy, local police, and local sponsor(s) to enlist their assistance.
  • Notify the  university  as  soon  as  you  have  basic  details  about  when  the  participant disappeared, any indications of where the participant may have gone and whether he or she left alone and voluntarily. The university will notify the student’s emergency contact person. Be sure to provide the university contact with as many details as possible regarding what happened and what is being done.
  • Check with authorities daily, and inform the university of any new developments

As listed in the linked Emergency Operations Plan, the following information should be established and documented in a Police Incident report during the investigation:

  • Name and location / contact information of the person reporting the missing student
  • Name / vital information of the student reported to be out of contact
  • Nature of the circumstances supporting the determination that the student is out of contact (time /date last seen or in contact with )
  • Avenues to establish that the student remains out of contact (failure to respond to phone, email and in-person attempts to contact by an Augusta University official; parental notice or notice from reporting person outside the University; establishment of lapse of time of class attendance, lapse in affiliation with roommates and friends, or use of Augusta University facilities / services; concern of incident of criminality or safety, etc.)
  • Dates and times of notifications made

Student Arrested

  • Call local law enforcement agency (police) and determine charges and procedures.
  • Report the situation to the US Embassy or Consulate and seek their advice and assistance.
  • Visit the student in jail and determine his/her version of events.
  • Have the student call his/her emergency contact. If the student is unable to make the call, ask the university official to call the emergency contact. Be sure that access details (phone numbers) for law enforcement agencies are made available to the university and the student’s emergency contact.
  • Assist the student in obtaining funds for bail, if possible; if it is appropriate, help student secure a lawyer.
  • Notify the university and give them details of the incident so they can contact student’s family.

Robbery

  • Call the local law enforcement agency (police).
  • Assist the student in obtaining funds to replace stolen money, cancel their credit cards if necessary, and replacing the student’s passport if it has been stolen.
  • Have the student call his/her emergency contact
  • Notify AU official.

Assault or Rape

  • Go through medical emergencies protocol in the previous section.
  • Call local law enforcement agency to report incident.
  • Notify the Study Abroad Office about the incident.
  • Help student find counseling. Keep in mind that in many cultures medical doctors often are the first point of contact for individuals who experienced an assault/sexual assault.
  • Help student (if requested or required) to return home.
  • More information on the Sexual Misconduct Policy (Title IX) may be found on this website.

Sexual Assault Support and Help for Americans Abroad, SASHAA

1-866 USWOMEN (879-6636). SASHAA was created to ensure Americans victimized in a foreign country have immediate access to services no matter where they are in the world. SASHAA case managers provide an informed, compassionate response, as well as advocacy and assistance navigating medical, law enforcement, and legal options. The program can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from overseas by calling their toll free hotline. SASHAA provides sexual assault prevention & response regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or location worldwide.

Death of a Student or Faculty Member

Firstly, notify the Dean of Students Office and the Director of Study Abroad. Additionally, keep these steps in mind if a student or faculty member dies:

  • Record all available facts accurately.
  • If word comes by telephone, obtain the identity of the person providing the information.
  • Determine the cause of death: if an illness, what illness? If an accident, determine the nature of the accident, where it happened, who else was involved, and any other pertinent details
  • Find out the time and place of death.
  • Obtain the name and address of undertaker, if available.
  • Find out participant’s religion. If Catholic, check if last rites have been administered. If Jewish, contact a local Rabbi if one is available. For other religions, wait until you have heard from the family as to their wishes.
  • Contact AU leadership immediately so that the university can communicate with the family and provide appropriate assistance.
  • If the participant dies in an accident, inquire about the local laws regarding autopsy.
  • Contact insurance company regarding insurance procedures for repatriation of remains.
  • Notify the US Embassy or Consulate. Consular officers will usually assist in arranging for repatriation of deceased Americans.
  • Contact insurance company
  • Gather participant's belongings and make an inventory

What to Do Once You Return

Program Evaluation

Evaluating a program after it is completed provides the program director, faculty members, and Study Abroad Director with information they need to make improvements in the program in future years. Reactions of students to accommodations, travel itineraries, program planning and other aspects of the program should be used in making changes to the program.

Evaluation also provides a base of information that can help other faculty members make decisions about the design of a new program. It is essential that every program involving the award of academic credit at AU is evaluated by students upon their return to campus. The evaluations, however, will not be used in making personnel decisions about faculty and are not generally supplied to department chairs or other academic administrators. Faculty members may choose to share evaluations with academic leadership, but should not be required to do so.

Data for international program evaluations are ordinarily collected through the use of a questionnaire or other instrument that seeks information about how well the program leader and faculty prepared students for both academic and travel components of the program, how well organized and managed the program was, and features such as transportation, accommodations, field trips, food, and what students consider to be the best and worst aspects of the experience. The questionnaire should elicit students’ opinions about the organization and quality of the academic component, including classroom instruction, field trips and how well they were integrated into the academic work, as well as the level and the appropriateness of course assignments and assessments.

Financial Summary Report

Once you have returned from your Study Abroad program, you are required to prepare a Financial Summary Report. The purpose of this report is to compare your actual revenue and expenses to those that were projected in the program budget. The comparison of the variances between the two numbers can be helpful in analyzing how a trip might be planned differently going forward.

Be Aware of Reverse Culture Shock

Reverse Culture Shock is a term associated with the phenomenon of returning to one's own country and culture. Very similar to culture shock, a person entering into their home environment will have to make adjustments to reacquaint themselves with their surroundings. Unlike culture shock, most do not anticipate feeling like a foreigner in their own home. However, it should be expected. If your students have made any cultural adjustments while abroad, they will have to readjust once back home. Experiencing reverse culture shock is extremely common and may include any to all of the following emotions:

  • Restlessness
  • Reverse homesickness-missing people and places from abroad
  • Boredom, insecurity, uncertainty, confusion, frustration
  • Need for excessive sleep
  • Change in goals or priorities
  • Feelings of alienation or withdrawal
  • Negativity towards American behavior, values, ways of living, etc.

If students come to you with concerns that may be related to reverse culture shock, remind them of the services that are available for all AU students and included with enrollment, such as Student Counseling and Psychological Services.

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Mini-Grants

The Study Abroad Office is pleased to announce the availability of funds for mini grants that support International Virtual Learning opportunities for their course(s). Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) as defined by the Stevens Initiative “is a new teaching and learning paradigm that promotes the development of intercultural competence across shared multicultural learning environments.  Through the use of internet-based tools and innovative online pedagogies, COIL fosters meaningful exchanges between university-level teachers and students with peers in geographical distant locations and from different cultural backgrounds.”  Institutions have been creative in offering a variety of ways for COIL to take place in their classrooms.

Application

Summary

  • The Study Abroad Office is offering funds to help create COIL opportunities for the Spring 2021 semester.
  • Funds must be expensed by May 14, 2021 (this academic year).
  • $6000 available to award; Each grant amount can vary
  • Grants will be approved on a rolling basis.

 

Selection Criteria

  • Grants will be awarded to support the development of innovative international opportunities that are brought into the classroom through COIL/ virtual learning
  • Proposals that support a positive impact on the campus and internationalization

Required components of proposal narrative:

  • Step 1: Provide a brief description of the course you are currently offering. Include how many students are in that course(s)
  • Step 2: Describe the virtual learning component you would like to incorporate into your classroom.
  • Step 3: List estimated expenses (or included a quote) for the potential virtual learning experience (this can be a very rough estimate).
  • Step 4: Include any additional information you would like.  If this COIL experience can eventually provide an idea for a study abroad program, please include that information as well.

 

Priority of grant awards will be given to:

  • Faculty members who do not have any virtual exchange experience
  • Faculty who have not led a Study Abroad/Away program at Augusta University
  • The potential that this COIL experience can lead into a possible study abroad program
  • Number of students this grant will affect.

 

Application Process

Each application should be formatted as a single PDF file attached to an email to kgrego@augusta.edu. Include the following:

  1. COIL Application form with signatures. Form can be found here.
  2. Budget (no more than 1 page): Explain project costs, listing specific figures and any necessary justifications (not to exceed $2000)
  3. Proposal Narrative (no more than 3 pages)