Study Abroad Programs

No. 4-11 Rev. 5-1-18 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. 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 through the Study Abroad Office before the trip begins. Eligible participants include: spouses, significant others, friends, etc., whose names are on file with WSU and whose names have been reported to the insurance company before the trip begins.

C. STUDY ABROAD: A Weber State University-sanctioned program which includes travel off campus and is organized by the WSU Study Abroad Office for purposes that are related to a university-approved program of study. 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 faculty-led 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. ASSISTANT LEADERS: 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. A faculty member who wishes to offer an academic program which includes 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 Faculty Handbook). Developing a proposal well 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 accredited 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 International Programs.

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 Faculty Handbook).

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/or Study Abroad Office, 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 in accordance with the rules set forth by the Study Abroad Student Handbook. Individuals making fee payments must have submitted a completed trip application form and have been accepted for a specific international travel program before the payment is accepted. Program directors should check trip account reports frequently to be sure all payments are being credited to the correct accounts.

5. Refund Policy: Refund amounts will be determined by withdrawal date as defined on the Study Abroad Application and Study Abroad Student Handbook.

6. Travel Advance: The Study Abroad Office may authorize a travel advance request.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.

7. 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 refunded to students, if the excess is over $100 per student, with a 10% fee retained for any "clearing house" expenses.

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 Faculty Handbook).

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 as part of the Study Abroad Application (see the Study Abroad Student Handbook).

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 International Programs 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 (course registration, billing, 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, and academic merit of these programs.

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

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 Study Abroad Office; insuring that any program participants (including the program director/group representative) adhere to the policies and procedures laid out in the Study Abroad Handbooks.

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 are responsible for reading and carefully considering all materials issued by, and for following recommendations made by, the program director and Study Abroad Office 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 any subsequent costs resulting from their actions.

G. INCIDENT REPORTS

The program director will promptly report to the appropriate law enforcement agency and to the Study Abroad Office 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 and reporting procedures are addressed in more detail in the Study Abroad Handbooks.