Thank you for your interest in directing a faculty-led study abroad program! We at the International Programs Center appreciate your support of these opportunities, both for your own professional development and the academic development of our students. With today’s dynamic and diverse student population, your willingness to lead such programs enables UNCG to offer a broader range of study abroad options to a variety of students.
To begin the process of developing a faculty-led program, contact Heidi Bretz at firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 334-5404.
New Faculty-Led Programs (15–18 months prior to travel):
- Spring: September 1
- Summer: March 15
- Fall Break: February 1
- Winter Break: September 1
Faculty-Led Program Renewals (12 months prior to travel):
- Spring: April 1
- Summer: September 1
- Fall Break: November 1
- Winter Break: February 1
- Programs cannot cross terms (e.g., spring course with travel taking place in the summer term)
- There should be a minimum of two program directors (e.g., two faculty, one faculty and one staff, one faculty and one TA etc.)
- Current UNCG faculty-led programs cost $2,000 to $6,000; typically, airfare is not included in the program cost.
- Programs should be self-supporting; the faculty member’s department agrees to be financially responsible for the program budget.
- Programs should not be marketed to students until they are approved.
University Policies and Procedures
Please review these university-wide policies and procedures prior to developing your program:
- Office of the Provost: Policies, Procedures and Forms
- UNCG International Travel Policies and Procedures
- UNCG Travel Manual
- Accounting Forms
- Propose a New Program
- Renew an Existing Program
- Propose Other Travel
- Faculty-Led FAQs
- Forms & Resources
- COVID-19 FAQs
Faculty looking to develop a new program will need to devote at least 15 – 18 months to the process. Program directors are responsible for creating a program budget, organizing group logistics, and onsite risk management. New program proposals must be approved by the Study Abroad Committee before they can be advertised to students.
When proposing a new program, faculty should:
- Attend a New Faculty Director Workshop, held once per semester or by individual appointment
- Read the Faculty Guidelines for Developing & Renewing Group Study Abroad Programs (* PDF)
- Schedule a meeting with your Department Head and IPC to discuss the program (at least 15 – 18 months prior to the program travel dates)
- Submit a Faculty-Led Program Proposal/Renewal Form (* PDF) for review by the Study Abroad and Exchanges Committee by the established deadlines
Faculty looking to renew an existing program will need to submit an updated renewal application annually. Any program that has run at least once in the past four years is considered to be a renewal.
Renewing programs generally do not need to be re-approved by the Study Abroad Committee unless there is a change in location or significant modifications to program content.
When renewing a new program, faculty should:
- Review and update their most recent proposals with any new information
- Address any new or continuing safety issues in the program risk assessment
- Schedule a “Next Steps” meeting with the Assistant Director of Study Abroad & Exchanges to review program timelines
- Submit a Faculty-Led Program Proposal/Renewal Form (* PDF) by the established deadlines
All students engaging in international travel and faculty supervising student international travel must register their travel in advance through IPC for risk management and emergency support services, including, but not limited to, study abroad and exchange programs, undergraduate and graduate research, and independent study courses. Visit http://go.uncg.edu/itravel for more information.
When supervising undergraduate or graduate research*, independent study courses with an international travel component, or non-credit bearing university-affiliated travel, faculty should:
- Evaluate the proposed research location for potential risks and submit a University-Affiliated Student Travel Abroad Safety Assessment to be reviewed by the Study Abroad & Exchanges Committee at least eight weeks prior to departure
- Arrange for student participants to meet with IPC to review health and safety information, insurance coverage, and emergency contact forms within eight weeks of departure
As a reminder: students participating in credit-bearing or non-credit bearing university-affiliated travel are required to be enrolled in GeoBlue International Health Insurance for the duration of their time abroad. To enroll a student in GeoBlue, contact Heidi Bretz at 336-334-5404 or email@example.com.
*This category includes credit-bearing and non-credit bearing research that contributes to a degree.
Commonly asked questions regarding the process of developing and leading a faculty-led program.
- How do I make payments for program expenses (accommodations, classroom space, etc.) before I leave?
Your academic department is responsible for making all program-related expenditures. You should plan to use departmental funds to cover any payments until student-paid program funds are available.
- How do I get a cash advance?
Fill out a TRV requesting an advance and submit it to Accounts Payable. Please be mindful of any university deadlines.
- What is a departmental trust fund and how can I get one?
A departmental trust fund is a special non-state fund where your program funds will be deposited. It is up to your department’s discretion to either have one central study abroad fund for your department, or a fund for each individual program. You can request a departmental trust fund by filling out form FIN-04. Your department is responsible for handling all finances related to your program.
- When can I expect program funds to be deposited in my account?
Students are registered for program courses by IPC 2 – 3 months prior to the start of the term in which your program will travel. At this time, funds will appear in your departmental trust fund, but will not yet be available for spending. After students have submitted their final program payments (1 – 2 months prior to the start of the term), IPC works with the Cashier's Office to apply the payments students have made to IPC to their student accounts. Once this step is complete, the funds will be available in your departmental trust fund to be spent.
- How can I access money abroad?
You have several options for accessing program funds while abroad. You can:
- Ask for a cash travel advance
- Open an account with SECU or another banking institution
- Use a personal account and request reimbursement
- How can I do a wire transfer?
Contact the Disbursement Auditor in Accounts Payable to make a wire transfer.
- What can I use my PCard for while abroad?
Please refer to the UNCG PCard website for a list of allowable and unallowable purchases.
- How do I get reimbursed for program expenses abroad?
Please refer to the UNCG Travel Manual for information on reimbursements for international travel.
- Is there anything else I need to keep in mind?
Be sure that you have read the UNCG Travel Manual and are aware of all applicable university deadlines, policies, and procedures. Your departmental administrator will be a helpful ally as you navigate the financial side of your program.
- How can students pay their program fees?
Students can pay by credit, check, or money order through IPC. For checks or money order payments (made payable to "UNCG" and also include the student’s name and the name of the program). Students can come by IPC at 207 Foust in person to submit checks Monday-Friday, 8:00 A.M.- 5:00P.M., or mail their payment to the following address: International Programs Center, Faculty Led Study Abroad, 207 Foust Building, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402. For Visa or MasterCard payments, students can come by IPC at 207 Foust in person or call 336-334-5404, Monday-Friday, 8:00 A.M.- 5:00 P.M.
- Can students use financial aid?
Typically, students with leftover financial aid eligibility may be eligible to apply for aid to supplement their program. Students should still be prepared to make the deposit, middle program payment, and flight arrangements out-of-pocket, with financial aid to serve as a potential reimbursement. The third and final program payment can be deferred if there is a sufficient award on the way to cover it. Students should contact the Financial Aid Office with more information on their individual award.
- Who keeps track of student payments?
IPC will receive and track all payments toward the students’ program fees for faculty-led programs. Once the full amount of the program cost has been received, the payments collected will be applied to the students’ accounts. Please contact the Assistant Director for Study Abroad and Exchanges, Faculty-Led Coordinator for a payment update for your program.
- What if a student asks for a payment extension?
Typically, it is up to the faculty’s discretion to allow payment extensions. However, do be mindful of the implications of granting an extension. A request to delay payment may be an indicator that the student is unable to financially commit to the program.
- Can non-UNCG students/graduate students/alumni participate in UNCG programs?
Yes, non-UNCG students, graduate students and alumni can participate in UNCG faculty-led programs at the discretion of the faculty director. In addition to the program application, they will need to complete the following:
- Non-UNCG undergraduate students will need to register as a visiting student through UNCG Online. They will only need to complete steps 1 and 2. There is a $25 fee to register as a visiting student.
- Non-UNCG graduate students/alumni will need to register through the Graduate School as a non-degree seeking student. There is a $25 fee to register as a non-degree seeking student.
- What if a student drops out of the program?
In general, the program deposit is not refundable unless the student's application is rejected. If the student withdraws from a study abroad program after applying to the program but prior to the start date of the program, the student will be refunded the program cost, excluding the deposit and any portion of the program cost which is unrecoverable. Even if the student has not yet paid the full program balance, he or she is obligated to pay the Department for any unrecoverable expenses incurred on the student's behalf. If a student withdraws from a study abroad program after the program officially begins, no money will be refunded. If a program is canceled, the Department will refund any recoverable cost.
- What if I don’t get the minimum number of students for my program?
Since your program budget is based on a minimum number of students, you may need to postpone the program if there are not enough applicants. In some cases, your Department may choose to run the program with fewer than the stated minimum number of participants, and cover any shortfall with departmental funds. In collaboration with IPC, you will set go/no-go dates by which to make a decision on whether or not your program will run before you begin to incur non-recoverable costs.
- Who loads the courses for the program?
IPC will coordinate with UNCG Online to load the courses from your program based on the course information you provide. Your department does not need to load the courses for your program.
- How and when will students be registered?
IPC will register the students for the program courses 2 – 3 months prior to the start of the term in which your program will travel. Students do not need to register themselves for the course.
- Is it okay to start a class in the spring and travel in the summer?
UNCG has very strict rules about when study abroad programs can travel. All study abroad programs must take place within a single term. For example, a summer program must take place in the summer semester, and cannot cross into either the spring or fall terms. Crossing semesters creates a non-standard term, which jeopardizes the entire university’s financial aid eligibility. Please discuss your dates with the Assistant Director for Study Abroad and Exchanges to confirm that your dates are compliant with these requirements.
Is your question not listed here? Contact the Heidi Bretz, Assistant Director for Study Abroad & Exchanges, at 336-334-5404 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- New Faculty Director Workshop Presentation (*PDF)
- Faculty Director Risk Management Presentation (*PDF)
- Student Pre-Departure Orientation Video
- **Coming Soon** Faculty Lunch & Learn Videos
- Inclusivity Abroad
- Budgeting Abroad
- Service-Learning Abroad
- Student Conduct Abroad
- Insurance Abroad
- Mental Health Abroad
- U.S. Department of State
- Smart Traveler’s Enrollment Program
- Mobility International
- Diversity Abroad
- NAFSA Rainbow Sig (LGBTQ+ Resources)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- SASHAA – Sexual Assault Support and Help for Americans Abroad
- Life360 Locator App (helpful for tracking students abroad)
- Gilman Scholarship (funding support for Pell-eligible students studying abroad)
- How does UNCG ensure compliance with the vaccine requirement? IPC will collaborate with Student Health Services (SHS) to confirm that participants have a vaccine record on file with the university at the time of application (December 1 for most programs). This limits individual faculty liability for handling sensitive health information while allowing you to continue with your program planning. IPC will submit the roster of applicants to the SHS verification portal and to OSRR for their review following the program application deadline. The turnaround time for verification is 24-36 hours. Once we have the results of both checks, we would share with you if there are students who have outstanding sanctions or who do not have a vaccine record on file. You can then use this information to make your admissions decisions.
- What happens if a student needs to quarantine - what are the faculty obligations? Financial obligations? The general rule of thumb is that if a cost is covered in the program fee (e.g., accommodations, group meals, etc.) that the faculty should make a good faith effort to cover the same expense for a student in quarantine. Costs that are not covered by the program fee (e.g., individual meals) would be the responsibility of the student. If a faculty member or other program staff needs to quarantine, their expenses should be paid from the program’s contingency funds.
- What costs does the GeoBlue insurance cover? In general, GeoBlue covers expenses that are medically necessary for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. Non-diagnostic tests required for travel and non-medical costs related to quarantine (accommodations, food, etc.) are not covered. Please see https://about.geo-blue.com/crisisalert/covid19-group-members for more information.
- Pre-program testing for participants - what are the logistics and costs? Testing and vaccination requirements vary by host destination, though most require a negative COVID test within 3 days of travel. Faculty are responsible for carefully reviewing all entry requirements and sharing this information with the students in writing or electronically no later than the program’s scheduled pre-departure workshop. Please note that these requirements are subject to change up to and even after your departure. IPC is working with UNCG Student Health Services to identify opportunities for low cost testing prior to travel.
- Reentry testing for participants - what are the logistics and costs?
Effective January 26, 2021, all airline passengers (including U.S. citizens) entering the United States must provide either:
- a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel, or
- a positive test result and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”
- A letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that clears you to end isolation, e.g., to return to work or school, can be used to show you are cleared to travel, even if travel isn’t specifically mentioned in the letter.
- What if a program needs to cancel in the middle? Faculty should spend time planning for academic continuity in the case of program interruption. Will you be able to continue instruction online? Can you finish up your course content domestically if need be? If you’re unable to continue instruction, how will you handle grading? These are important questions to consider BEFORE you find yourself in a crisis.
- What if a student is unable to reenter the U.S.? If a student needs to remain in the host country past the end of the program due to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, one faculty member should remain with the student until they are well enough to travel. The program will pay for the faculty’s costs from the contingency fund - students would be expected to cover their own accommodation and meal costs. IPC will work to extend the faculty and student GeoBlue insurance at no cost to the participants. Faculty should also have an academic contingency plan for how they would cover any courses they teach following the program in case they are required to stay back with a sick student.
- I don’t feel comfortable waiting until February to start making purchases because my location fills up quickly. What should I keep in mind? With the new single pool account process, you are able to start using your non-state trust fund to pay expenses in advance of receiving student funds. We strongly urge you to make only refundable payments toward your program in advance of the February 15 go/no go decision date. Please keep in mind that your department is responsible for covering any nonrefundable payments should the program be unable to run. If you have any contracts that need to be signed, IPC is here to facilitate the review and signature process.
- What if I cancel my program before the go/no go date? Will students get their money back? If a program is cancelled due to COVID-19, IPC and the department will work together in good faith to refund the IPC admin fee ($350) and any recoverable costs to the student.