Study Abroad Programs

No. 4-11 Rev. 02-04-04 DDate: 4-8-81



I. REFERENCES

PPM 3-31, Staff Employee Grievances
PPM 3-33, Discipline (Staff)
PPM 3-34, Americans with Disabilities Act & Section 504 Request for Accommodation
PPM 4-10, Field Trips
PPM 5-25a, University Procurement/General
PPM 5-25c, Small Purchases and Emergency Procurement
PPM 5-25d, Solicitation of Bids, Proposals and the Award of Procurement Contracts
PPM 5-31, Driver License Requirements
PPM 5-32, Travel
PPM 6-10, Student Alcohol and Drug
PPM 6-22, Student Code
PPM 9-9 through 9-16, Due Process (Faculty)
Study Abroad Program Director Manual (available from the Study Abroad Office and the Office of Academic Affairs)

II. INTRODUCTION

One purpose of Weber State University (WSU) is to educate students to become well-informed citizens with an understanding of the world around them. International study abroad programs under the direction of faculty who have international knowledge can help achieve this purpose. Local students who have experienced living and learning on the social and educational terms of a foreign culture will be broadened in ways impossible to achieve on the WSU campus. International study abroad experiences will improve returned-student academic performance, help students mature in positive ways, and will make students more likely to become contributing and empathetic citizens of the world.

In addition to helping its students acquire knowledge of the world around them, Weber State University serves as a cultural center for its region and seeks to be a leader in developing learning-oriented community partnerships. Providing educationally-based international travel opportunities for members of the community is one way to achieve this goal.

The design and implementation of effective international study abroad programs for students and members of the community requires significant preparation; the potential risks, complexities and expenses of these efforts can be underestimated. There must be thoughtful preparation and planning, from the moment of "consideration", to review and preparation through the departure and return of the members of the travel team. This policy is designed to outline this process in ways that will ensure success of the study abroad program.

III. DEFINITIONS

A. CLASS I INSURED: Study abroad participants who are WSU faculty, staff, students registered for courses, other individuals registered for courses or WSU-sponsored travel, and WSU-sponsored visitors for whom the annual premium has been paid. (Sponsored visitors include individuals the study abroad program director appoints before the trip as assistants, chaperones or advisors.)

B. CLASS II INSURED: Participants who do not fit into Class I, but who purchase coverage from the WSU Cashier Office before the trip begins. Eligible participants include: spouses, children, significant others, friends, etc., whose names are on file with WSU and whose names have been reported to WSU's Department of Public Safety in time for the Department to inform the insurance company before the trip begins.

C. STUDY ABROAD: A Weber State University-sanctioned program which includes travel to another country and is organized and/or sponsored by a WSU college, academic department or program for purposes that are related to a university-approved program of study. A majority of participants must be registered for the academic courses which are a required part of the program. Travel abroad sponsored by other campus units for other purposes or audiences is not governed by this section of the PPM. (See PPM 4-10 Field Trips)

D. STUDY ABROAD ACTIVITY: Any activity which occurs during the regularly-scheduled study abroad program, is required for the academic courses and is under the supervision of the program director. This excludes recreational activities, "on your own" time and other activities not so required or supervised.

E. PROGRAM DIRECTOR (GROUP REPRESENTATIVE): Full-time, part-time or adjunct faculty member designated to supervise a study abroad program.

F. SANCTIONED: Approved or authorized for purposes that are related to a university-approved program or activity.

G. SCHEDULED: Planned and arranged prior to the day of departure and included on the written itinerary for the program.

H. SPONSORED VISITOR: Individuals the program director appoints before the trip as assistants, chaperones or advisors.

I. SUPERVISED: Under the care, custody and control of an authorized WSU employee.

IV. POLICIES

A. STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM PROPOSAL

1. Approximately one year in advance, a faculty member who wishes to offer an academic program which includes international travel must prepare a proposal which includes a description of the academic program (including evaluation mechanisms), travel logistics, risk management issues, and budget (see the Study Abroad Manual). Developing a proposal one year in advance helps provide sufficient time for successful planning, development, marketing and promotion of the study abroad program. It is also understood that budgets and itineraries are subject to change to meet specific program requirements.

2. All study abroad proposals must be reviewed and approved by the following entities:

a) The sponsoring academic department chair/program director and college dean (and the program director’s home chair/director and/or dean if these are different individuals);

b) the Study Abroad Office; and

c) the Office of Academic Affairs.

B. BUDGET PROCEDURE

The following budget procedures are managed by the program director, in consultation with the Study Abroad Office.

1. Budget Form: a detailed budget must be included with the proposal (the budget must include a required indirect cost fee; see the Study Abroad Manual).

2. Procurement Process: all university travel charges must be processed on a university purchase order and/or purchasing card except when the bidding process is required or when the card is not accepted while traveling abroad. The program director should follow group travel procedures noted in (PPM 5-32, V I-D).

3. Bidding Process: negotiations for airfare, accommodations, ground transportation, and all other in-country program expenses will be handled by the program director or designee jointly with the Purchasing Department, and will comply with established WSU policies and procedures (PPM 5-25a and 5-25e).

4. Fee Payments: all payments by trip participants must be made to the Cashier Office in Promontory Tower, Room 218 (or in approved cases to the Cashier Office in the Student Service Center, Room 209). Individuals making fee payments must have submitted a completed trip application form and have been accepted for a specific international travel program before the Cashier's Office will accept payment. Program directors should check trip account reports frequently to be sure all payments are being credited to the correct accounts.

5. Payment Schedule: the minimum initial payment for all programs should be at least 10% of total per capita program fees rounded to the nearest ten dollars. Although circumstances may vary, the initial payment is normally required at least three months before the trip departure date.

6. Refund Policy: refund amounts will be determined by the policies of the contracting travel agencies.

7. Travel Advance: The Study Abroad Program Office may authorize a travel advance request when a WSU purchasing card cannot be used when traveling abroad. This travel advance may cover individual expenses, group costs, and emergency/ contingency funds. Receipts and documentation of expenses, along with purchasing card statements from the Purchasing Department, must be maintained and reconciled within 10 days following the trip.

NOTE: a strict interpretation of IRS reporting requirements reveals that funds provided to program directors for study abroad expenses MUST be reported as personal income unless final reimbursement reports are filed within 60 days of the date of program completion. Needless to say, negligence in filing for reimbursement would be catastrophic to program directors' personal tax obligations, if they have a large portion of the program expenses attached to their university travel advance paperwork.

8. Travel Account Balance: At the completion of the study abroad program, after all expenses and revenues have been reconciled, the remaining surplus or deficit will be transferred to the sponsoring department and/or college.

C. AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY ACT

For ADA and Section 504, Request for Accommodation, see PPM 3-34.

D. SIGNED STATEMENTS

1. The program director must sign a Conflict of Interest Disclaimer and submit this along with the study abroad program proposal (see the Study Abroad Manual).

2. Each participant must read, sign and submit to the Study Abroad Office a Statement of Understanding/Release before going on a study abroad program (see the Study Abroad Manual).

E. COMPLIANCE RESPONSIBILITIES

1. The university establishes study abroad regulations. The university and its employees do not intercede on behalf of participants who violate any law of the host country, or protect the violators from the legal consequences of their actions. The university may pursue formal charges against violators of this policy. (See WSU PPM 3-31 and 3-33 for staff, 6-22 through 6-33 for students, and 9-9 through 9-16 for faculty)

2. The Office of Academic Affairs provides information on university study abroad policies, procedures and forms, and is responsible for reviewing and approving overall program consistency with university policies.

3. The Study Abroad Office provides information on university study abroad policies, procedures and forms, and is responsible for reviewing and approving:

a. program budget,

b. curriculum logistics (STAARS, course registration, etc), and

c. risk management procedures.

4. The chairs or directors of academic departments or programs and the college deans which sponsor study abroad programs shall be responsible for reviewing and approving the overall design (including curriculum), implementation and evaluation of these programs, and for covering deficits or disbursing residues that result from these programs.

5. The study abroad program director shall be responsible for the following activities (more detail is provided in the Study Abroad Manual):

a. preparing the study abroad program proposal;

b. negotiating for airfare, accommodations, ground transportation, and all other in-country program expenses, in conjunction with the Purchasing Department; insuring that any program participants (including the program director/group representative) who will drive have taken the necessary steps to be insured while driving in the destination country.

c. developing, marketing and promoting the study abroad program;

d. recruiting, selecting and orienting the program participants; and

e. implementing and evaluating the study abroad program.

6. Participants:

a. Participants and/or parents or guardians are responsible for reading and carefully considering all materials issued by, and for following recommendations made by, the program director that relate to safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural and religious conditions in host countries. Participants are further responsible for complying with the WSU Student Code (see PPM 6-10, PPM 6-22 and SPPM) and with local, state, federal, and international laws of the places they visit. Participants who do not comply with this policy may have charges filed against them by the University, and are responsible for reimbursing the university for transportation costs if it is necessary to return them to campus.

b. Class II insured participants must purchase study abroad accident insurance at the WSU Cashier Office and submit the receipt to the Study Abroad Office before departure. (Class I insured participants are provided study abroad accident insurance by WSU at no cost.) This insurance is described in more detail in the Study Abroad Manual.

c. All trip participants must have comprehensive health insurance coverage adequate for international travel (including the specific countries which are part of the study abroad program). WSU employees have this coverage as a condition of their employment (check with the Human Resources Office for more details). WSU students may purchase student health insurance by contacting the Student Health Insurance Office (SC 165), or through a private carrier. All other trip participants must acquire adequate health insurance through a private carrier.

F. TRANSPORTATION

1. Whenever feasible the program director will use appropriate public carriers to transport study abroad participants.

2. Anyone transporting study abroad participants in private vehicles must carry current liability insurance which meets current WSU requirements.

3. The program director may assign vehicle drivers during the study abroad program if they are WSU faculty, staff or students, and if they meet university requirements as noted in PPM 5-31 and the requirements of the destination country.

G. ACCIDENT REPORTS

The program director will promptly report to the appropriate law enforcement agency and to the WSU University Police any accident or other incident which, in the course of a study abroad program, causes, including physical injury to participants or other person(s). Health and safety concerns are addressed in more detail in the Study Abroad Manual.