Information for Faculty

Nicholas Hudzinski - China, Summer 2019

Faculty-led Programs: Information for Faculty

If you are considering leading a group of students abroad, we are here to help! This is a long process, with planning required at least 12 months ahead of time. We encourage you to contact the Study Abroad Coordinator in the Office of International Programs (OIP) with specific questions.

Each year, Sam Houston State University offers several study abroad programs led by SHSU faculty in a variety of disciplines and locations (out-of-country as well as out-of-state). The courses offered on these programs are regular SHSU courses already in the SHSU course catalog. The programs provide the students with an academically enriching experience in the host country, complemented with culturally relevant excursions. The majority of our faculty-led programs are 2-4 weeks in length offered during one of the summer sessions, though winter sessions and spring break programs can also be arranged. Faculty are key to the sustainable success of study abroad at SHSU and faculty-led programs are the most popular study abroad options among SHSU students, comprising of roughly 80% of all study abroad participants each year.

All faculty-led programs offered by SHSU must follow the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s and SHSU’s policies and procedures. The THECB defines a course taught abroad as one offered for academic credit where 51% or more of the instruction takes place outside of the U.S.

The OIP provides administrative and logistical support for all faculty-led programs, which offer educational opportunities to students throughout the year. SHSU faculty-led programs are designed to encourage a variety of students to study abroad, and these opportunities would not be possible without the dedication and effort of the faculty who lead these programs.

Developing an SHSU Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program

Developing a study abroad program requires much thought and preparation, so the earlier you start planning the better. Depending upon the proposed length and complexity of the program, a lead-time of 12-18 months prior to the commencement of a program may be needed. Faculty leaders have the primary responsibility for the academic content and instructional delivery methods of study abroad programs. The faculty will also be responsible for the on-site arrangements for the program. The Office of International Programs will be available to assist the faculty every step of the way.

To help facilitate the process, review the Program Development Timeline to get a better understanding of all the steps involved in developing a successful program abroad.

One important step in this process is gaining the support of your Department Chair and Dean to lead a program abroad. Once you have done this, schedule an appointment with the Office of International Programs to discuss your plans and next steps in the process. After the program details have been determined, complete the below paperwork and submit to the OIP by August 1st of the year before your proposed program dates.

The Faculty-Led Program Proposal Form is submitted through Adobe Sign. Complete the Faculty-Led Proposal Request Form below to have the proposal form sent to you. Below are documents that will help you as you complete your proposal.

Faculty-Led Proposal Request Form

PLEASE NOTE: Faculty leading out-of-country and out-of-state courses for credit must submit the Program Proposal by the August 1st deadline for the Board of Regents final approval. Once the program proposal is submitted to the Board of Regents, NO CHANGES TO COURSE NUMBERS, TITLES, OR FACULTY INSTRUCTORS can be made. The Board of Regents’ approval is specific to course, lead instructor, dates, location, credit hours and length.

  • Faculty-Led Program Handbook
        The Faculty-Led Program Handbook is designed to prepare you for the responsibilities of being a Faculty Leader and provide you with the information you need to design and implement a successful program. It is intended to guide both first-time and continuing faculty leaders through the entire process. The Office of International Programs will be your partner throughout your time as a Faculty Leader, and this handbook will help you learn more about the resources available to you through our office. Please review the handbook and contact the Study Abroad Office if you have any questions about completing the program proposal. The handbook is updated yearly.

  • Logistical Support
        Often faculty have their own contacts in the host-country, which makes securing accommodations, classroom space, and local transportation very easy. For faculty who desire logistical support when developing their program, the Office of International Programs can connect you with study abroad program providers or partner universities that can provide assistance in this area. There are numerous providers out there and chances are several will fit your needs. Contact the OIP for assistance in locating a reputable provider.

  • Resources
        The Office of International Programs is available for support throughout the program development process. The OIP staff will develop and manage your application materials, and can create and distribute advertising for your program across campus, recruit students for your program through info sessions and info tables, and connect you with other SHSU faculty and outside resources that can provide guidance and support. Feel free to contact us at any time throughout the process with questions.

        Additional Resources:

  • Recruitment Ideas
        The faculty leaders’ commitment to recruitment is crucial to successfully enrolling the minimum number of students in a program. There are a variety of avenues through which faculty-led study abroad programs can be advertised. Faculty leaders and the Study Abroad Coordinator will coordinate all recruitment efforts. Below are a few ways in which programs can be advertised:

      • Classroom presentations
      • Informational meetings
      • Email advertisement
        • Bulk emails, listservs, and interest lists
      • Webpages
      • The OIP’s Study Abroad pages, department/college
      • Resource tables on-campus
        • Locations such as LSC Mall, targeted academic buildings
      • Chalkboard messages—can be placed in various classrooms in many academic buildings
      • Flyers (print and electronic) for departments and message boards
      • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and or other social media outlets
      • Brochures for the SAM Center
      • Study abroad fairs
      • YouTube videos
  • Documents for Students
        After students have submitted their initial Application, Transcript, and Financial Agreement, they must complete a series of additional documents by March 1st, or ASAP if they confirm participation after this date. Reference the program's webpage for a list of these documents.

        Please note that some countries will require students to obtain a visa prior to departure or upon entry into the host country. Therefore, students must be informed of the necessary steps to obtain the visa, if necessary. If faculty require assistance in this matter, the OIP can provide guidance. However, the OIP will not be responsible for ensuring all students are in possession of a valid visa. This is ultimately the responsibility of the individual traveler.
          *SHSU will not approve any student travel to locations currently under the US Dept. of State Travel Advisory Level 3-4 or locations that come under these levels at any point in the study abroad process, including after the student has departed the US. Financial contingency plans should be made to compensate for any penalties incurred due to late program cancellation. Check the status of your proposed location here. No exceptions will be considered.
    • Upon Returning
        Additional tasks and resources will be provided to you upon your return. Students are asked to evaluate their experience abroad. The results of these evaluations are shared with the Faculty Leader and are invaluable for making adjustments and improvements to future Faculty-Led Programs. Faculty are required to turn in the Cost Report Form by August 30th or 3 weeks after trip completion.

    Faculty-Led Study Abroad Info Session Presentation

    *SHSU will not approve any student travel to locations currently under US Dept. of State Travel Warning or locations that come under Travel Warning at any point in the study abroad process, including after the student has departed the US.  Financial contingency plans should be made to compensate for any penalties incurred due to late program cancellation.  Check the status of your proposed location here.  No exceptions will be considered.


    For questions or concerns, please contact Malin Hilmersson, Study Abroad Coordinator, at 936-294-3276 or

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