Teach Abroad Regulations for Signature Programs
"The University is committed to international education as an integral dimension of the university experience." -Murray State University Mission Statement
Education Abroad Office Mission Statement
Following the directive of the university to "prepare graduates to function in a culturally diverse...and increasingly interdependent world," the Education Abroad Office develops, promotes, and supports participants and leaders in educational programs abroad for students, faculty, and staff.
Murray State offers quality programs that follow industry standards and enhance student knowledge of their academic field through comparative, cultural, and experiential learning.
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For the purposes of this document, all of these categories will be referred to together as “Leadership.”
- Faculty: a member of the study abroad program who is eligible by Murray State standards to and is approved to serve as a course instructor for the program.
- Program Director (PD): a member of the study abroad program who serves as the logistical, fiscal, disciplinary, and emergency manager for the program.
- Academic Director (AD): a member of the study abroad program who serves as lead faculty member, managing the academic design of the program not only for his/her course but for the courses across the program.
- Faculty Director (FD): a member of the study abroad program who is eligible by Murray State standards to and is approved to serve as a course instructor for the program in addition to serving as the Program Director.
Education Abroad Office (EAO). The office on the campus of Murray State University that oversees the creation, development, and management of education abroad programs.
Signature Program (SP, also referred to as Faculty-Led Program, FLP). Programs created and led by Murray State faculty and staff, primarily with the Murray State curriculum and Murray State students in mind.
Faculty-Led Program (FLP, also referred to as Signature Program, SP). Programs created and led by Murray State faculty and staff, primarily with the Murray State curriculum and Murray State students in mind.
- Complete applications are due online by January 15th annually for faculty and program director positions for programs beginning with winter of the current year thru fall of the following year.
- Applicants are notified by February 13th of the status of their application and proposal.
- Applicants are expected to work with the EAO throughout the spring semester to secure a provider (if applicable), submit budget numbers for final price setting, secure necessary approvals through Chair, Dean, Provost, and Presidential levels, secure accounts and mandatory paperwork as necessary, and attend mandatory workshops for program development and management.
All program leadership will be added to the Teach Abroad google group for announcements, reminders, and publication sharing.
Murray State adheres to the Forum on Education Abroad's Code of Ethics for Education Abroad and expects all programs to meet this standard, at minimum, following the ethical principles outlined:
- Truthfulness and Transparency:Education abroad practices and decision-making processes should be appropriately disclosed, periodically reviewed and effectively revised as needed.
- Responsibility to Students: Education abroad should keep students' best interests foremost in mind, including their academic objectives, exposure to cross-cultural learning and experiences, professional goals, personal safety and security, individual growth and financial welfare.
- Relationship with Host Societies: Institutions and organizations should endeavor to create sustainable, mutually beneficial local relationships that are respectful of economic, social, and environmental concerns.
- Observance of Best Practices: Institutions and organizations should endeavor to identify and follow best professional practices, exhibit sensitivity and respect for cultural differences and ensure compliance with applicable home and host country law.
- Conflicts of Interest: Institutions and organizations should identify and appropriately handle potential conflicts of interest, or the appearance thereof, based on the best interests of the students1. See also Murray State Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct.
1Code of Ethics for Education Abroad, Forum on Education Abroad, 2nd edition, 2011, available online http://www.forumea.org/resources/standards-of-good-practice/code-of-ethics
I. Study Abroad Program Proposal Review & Selection
adopted 9/2013 by the PRC, annually updated with committee appointees
- Review Process
All proposals for director or faculty positions are reviewed by the Program Review Committee (PRC), a subcommittee of the Study Programs Operating Committee, a branch of ISAC: International Studies Advisory Committee. The PRC is made up of:
- Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
- Director of Education Abroad
- Honors College Representative, appointed by the Honors College Executive Director on a three year term
- 3 Faculty Representatives from different colleges who have developed a Murray State
Signature Program and/or taught on study abroad provider programs, appointed with
the agreement of the Deans of the respective colleges, with three year terms on the
following rotation with terms beginning and ending at the official start of the academic
year each August:
- AJBCOB 2017-2020
- CHFA 2018-2021
- COEHS 2017-2020
- SONHP 2020-2023
- JCSET 2015-2018
- HSOA 2020-2023
- One Education Abroad Advisor or Coordinator will serve as an advisory member to the committee to assist with student population and program sustainability input
- Renae Duncan, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
- Melanie McCallon Seib, Director of Education Abroad
- David Pizzo, Honors Program Representative (term renewed 2016-2019)
- Marcie Hinton, AJBCOB Representative (term 2017-2020)
- Megan Smetana, COEHS Representative (term 2017-2020)
- Claire Fuller, JCSET Representative (term 2015-2018)
- Heather Claiborne, Education Abroad Advisor, advisory
Past Committee Membership:
- Staci Stone, CHFA Representative (term 2012-2015)
- Steven Guns, Education Abroad Advisor, advisory (2014-2015)
- Luis Canales, Director IIS (2012-2013)
- Beth Rice, SONHP Representative (2014-2016, retired)
- Guangming Zou, Assistant Provost for International Studies (2013-2017)
- Katy Garth, SONHP Representative (2016-2017, filling last year of a term)
- Michelle Santiago, HSOA Representative (term 2014-2017)
- Jamie Booth, Education Abroad Advisor, advisory (2014-2017)
- Robyn Pizzo, Senior Education Abroad Advisor, advisory (2014-2017)
University Administration Approval: Chair/Director, Dean/VP, Provost, President. Approvals issued by the Committee are conditional until final approval is granted by the Chair/Director and Dean/VP for all program proposals. Following this approval, the Provost’s Office, President’s Office, and Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Access must issue approval as well. Please note that if your College or School has an approving body for faculty-led programs, that committee’s endorsement must also be issued prior to PRC approval.
All faculty and staff are eligible to teach on and/or lead programs abroad unless such eligibility has been revoked or otherwise suspended by the University.
- Adjunct faculty and lecturers are encouraged to work within their academic department to determine departmental eligibility.
- Staff must seek approval from department leadership to ensure that the time frame of the program abroad fits within the needs of the department.
- Minimum credential requirements, as approved by the Provost's Office, must be met to be eligible to teach abroad.
- Selection Criteria
Proposals should be well developed with attention to detail. Applications that are more thorough with careful attention to the selection criteria will be given the highest consideration. Not all applications will be approved. Within a given year limited resources within the Education Abroad Office may mandate the inability to approve quality programs and instead require that programs be resubmitted for a future term.
The following selection criteria are utilized for application review:
- Completion. Incomplete applications may not be considered. A complete application will include
the full application form, syllabus, curriculum vitae, and program budget. If your
program is similar to another proposal, only the more complete proposal will be approved.
It is understood that program budgets are often in a state of negotiation as programs are being reviewed. Applicants will be given further time and guidance following the application process to finalize the budget.
- Permission. In the application process, applicants are asked to confirm that they have discussed the program and course with their Chair/Director and Dean/VP. The Education Abroad Office will verify this. If it is discovered that an applicant has not sought out endorsement from these parties, the application will be rejected.
- Academic Rigor. The academic rigor for the study abroad program is comparable to that of a course taken at the Murray State main campus, assessment is outlined, specific educational objectives of the program are clearly stated, and the program attempts to combine academic learning with cross-cultural experience, making extensive use of the resources of the host environment.
- Course-Location Connection. The application clearly identifies the connection between the course, its content, and the location through use of the host environment resources. Content and cultural objectives are clearly married to the location.
- Need. The program does not directly compete with existing study abroad programs with special
consideration paid to:
- Academic Field: number of students served by the major/minor, is the course part of major/minor requirements, does the course fulfill university studies requirements, the level of the course (lower level, upper level, graduate), number of study abroad programs within the academic field that have been offered and filled in recent years, student demand for programs in the field
- Location: number of programs that have been offered and filled in recent years, student demand for programs to the location
- Term of Study: number of programs proposed for that term, viability of term and student audience
(summer study abroad programs for students with lucrative field internship opportunities
in summer term), number of programs manageable by the EAO and university infrastructure.
For multiple program applications submitted within the same academic department, particular scrutiny will be paid to the number of students served by the department and the cross-curricular nature of the program.
- Feasibility. The course objectives are feasible, the budget is transparent, realistic and kept
as low as possible, the location is a safe and viable option for Murray State students,
and the logistics have been given careful consideration, paying attention to the level
of location knowledge of the applicant/use of a provider for more depth in location
Program proposals utilizing providers and/or personal local knowledge for planning and booking purposes have the opportunity to specify this in the application process. This will play a role in feasibility within the EAO staff and university infrastructure.
- Previous Leadership. Applicants’ previous experience teaching on or leading programs abroad or attempts to teach or lead programs abroad will be taken into consideration. Post Program Reports and reports from providers and consortia from previous programs abroad may be considered.
- Completion. Incomplete applications may not be considered. A complete application will include the full application form, syllabus, curriculum vitae, and program budget. If your program is similar to another proposal, only the more complete proposal will be approved.
- Notification of Status
Applicants will be notified of application status via email. All applicants will be classified into one of the following areas:
- Approved applications do not require further revisions.
- Conditionally Approved applications will generally fall into these categories. Most new FLPPs will be conditionally approved. You are requested to continue program planning
and preparation as a CA applicant.
- Workshops Required. All new applicants are required to attend a Program Design and Course Development workshop provided by ISAC and the EAO.
- Chair/Director and Dean/VP Approval. Simultaneously with the PRC application review, academic supervisors are contacted to confirm their approval of your program and course. Until this approval is received, your application status will remain conditional.
- Provost and President Approval. The EAO will contact both the Provost and President for approvals. Until approval is granted by both offices, your application status may remain conditional.
- Revisions Requested. The PRC may ask an applicant to revise for several reasons. However, in a given year where volume of complete applications meets the academic
needs of the study abroad program portfolio, revisions are not likely to be requested,
but instead applications requiring revision will be asked to revise and resubmit for
consideration in a future year.
Revisions may include but are not limited to:
- Course fit with the program location needs to be clarified.
- Syllabus development needs to continue, with assignments matching the location and experiential learning activities planned for the program.
- If multiple applications are received for the same country, the PRC may request that your program be combined with another proposal for the same location.
- Submitted budget may be unrealistic or incomplete.
- Not Approved applications may have the opportunity to revise/resubmit in a future year. If revisions
are requested, please incorporate those revisions as you consider reapplying for the
future, but understand there is no guarantee of acceptance.
Applications may not be approved for various reasons, including but not limited to:
- application was not submitted by the required deadline;
- location saturation;
- volume of more complete applications received meets the academic needs of Murray State's study abroad program portfolio for the given year;
- course, faculty, or program was not approved by the Chair/Director and/or Dean/VP and/or Provost, President;
- application shows a lack of connection between the course and the location;
- application does not provide a clear and concise budget; or
- applicant has a lack of experience leading programs in the proposed location and is not utilizing a program provider for assistance on-site.*
*Applicants may choose to indicate within their application that they have a lack of experience or knowledge and would like assistance from the EAO in locating a suitable program provider to manage the program on-site.
II. Leadership Withdrawal
In the event that approved/conditionally approved leadership choose to withdraw their application during recruitment or after the program has made understand that EAO reserves the right to assign another Murray State faculty to teach your course or another director to run the program. In this event, faculty understand that they must provide their course syllabus to the faculty replacement. Similarly, in this event, directors understand that they must provide replacement director(s) with contacts and logistical arrangements.
III. Training & Orientation
Murray State University reserves the right to cancel a course or program if Leadership fails to attend mandatory trainings and orientation.
- Program Development & Course Design Workshop. Mandatory for all Signature Program faculty and program directors who have not previously attended the workshop, which began in spring 2013. This workshop provides guidance on the syllabus and program itinerary design.
- Budget Workshop. Mandatory for all new faculty directors and program directors who will be responsible for the program budget or for returning faculty/directors who will be responsible for the budget for the first time. Participants are asked to bring their laptop, budget components as of the time of the meeting, and any and all budget questions. The workshop will cover how to finalize budgets, required information for budget completion, determining final program pricing, completing official Murray State Accounting forms, cash advance policies, and more.
- Application & Recruitment Meeting. Mandatory for ALL leadership annually. New student deadlines, financial aid and scholarship information, and office procedures are detailed.
- Student Orientation. Mandatory for ALL leadership. Student orientation will be led by the entire leadership team of a study abroad program. Your faculty/director orientation will discuss in more detail how the student orientation is designed. KIIS faculty will attend the student orientation led by KIIS and not the Murray State student orientation. Orientation dates are set up to 18 months in advance and cannot be changed.
- Leadership Orientation. Mandatory for all leadership. Faculty/Director orientation details crisis and program management procedures and expectations, underscores Murray State policy, and provides annual crisis policy updates. Orientation dates are set up to 18 months in advance and cannot be changed.
- Debrief. Every member of leadership must meet with the Director of Education Abroad for a program debrief following the close of the program. Leadership should complete all Horizons Post-Program portions of the application prior to this meeting and bring with them to the debrief all student program evaluations, crisis management information, telephones checked out of EAO, the handwritten program log, and original copies of police reports and any GIRF or other action forms.
IV. Program Design
Program design is the responsibility of the leadership of the program. Significant site and activity research is expected of each leader to ensure an academically sound and viable program. Experiential education design must be integrated. A program that is designed to provide a tour instead of a content-based experience will be given the opportunity to improve the design or be canceled.
- Multi-Country Programs. Multi-country programs should consider a 3-day minimum per country. Three days is defined as three full days without travel. Consideration will be paid the level of in-country travel. If three full days in the same country also equates to three different cities, a program may not be approved.
- Course Enrollment. A pre-departure course is required when the FLP abroad is 3 weeks or less. See “V.
Course Contact Hours & Meeting Requirements” for more details on hour calculation.
- Winter Programs: Students will enroll in a second half fall semester class culminating in the winter program abroad.
- Summer Programs: Students will enroll in a second half semester spring course culminating in the program
abroad. According to Department of Education policy:
Summer programs that end within 2 weeks of the end of the spring semester will have students enrolled solely in a second-half semester Murray State course.
Summer programs that end after the 2 week window that closes the spring semester will have students enrolled in both an INT 310/610, 0 credit course for the second-half of the spring semester and a summer content course in the summer session most closely matching the dates of the program.
- Spring Break Programs: course must run as a full spring semester course. Spring break programs must be a
minimum of 8 days but not longer than 14 days. Proposals for SB programs longer than
10 days may be approved only for upper division courses that recruit students in the
major who are taking a majority of coursework within the major for the spring semester.
Students will be enrolled in the course of their choosing by Registration. Students are enrolled according to their reported course selection in their study abroad application. It is both the student and faculty responsibility to ensure that students are enrolled correctly and make any corrections prior to departure.
- Mixed Course Enrollment. For short-term FLPs, faculty may choose to enroll in the pre-departure course both
students who are participating in the program abroad and students who are not participating
in the program abroad. This provides both benefits and challenges to the faculty and
- Faculty may be able to include the study abroad course in their teaching load. Faculty should discuss this with the Department Chair for confirmation.
- Faculty will have to design two syllabi that answer to the two audiences, making assignments specific and relevant to each.
- Non-program students may become frustrated by the focus of the course. It is necessary for the faculty to make non-program students aware of the focus of the course prior to enrollment.
- Using Providers for Program Design. When utilizing providers, faculty must design the itinerary around the course and
not the course around a pre-set itinerary.
- Provider bid requests must be submitted through Murray State Procurement for selection when utilizing a vendor that is not currently under contract with Murray State.
- Negotiation can take place with providers for specific course needs.
- Provider contracts must be signed by the Murray State President and may not be signed by individual program leadership or the EAO. All contracts must be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel before forwarding to the President or VPFAS for approval. As such, do not agree to program contracts before this review takes place.
- Themed Programs. Courses proposed for themed programs must reflect the program theme. The PRC and EAO will request course alterations for course proposals that do not match a set program theme and will reject courses that do not wish to be altered to connect to the stated theme.
Murray State University reserves the right to alter the program format or costs. EAO will endeavor to consult with directors and faculty in the event that such an alteration is necessary.
V. Course Design
The syllabus submitted with the initial application is always altered to reflect further research and program design changes. The final syllabus should reflect the guidelines indicated below. The updated final syllabus should be uploaded in the Final Syllabus section of the Horizons application according to the following deadlines:
- Summer Programs: February 1
- Fall Programs: July 1
- Winter Programs: October 1
- Spring/Spring Break Programs: November 1
- Course Objectives must:
- Include specific content relation to the program site
- Incorporate cultural learning
- Illustrate that the course could not be taught in an alternate location
- Course Texts:
- i Courses must have a reading list, course pack, and/or texts assigned and listed on the syllabus.
- If a coursepack is required, a full reading list of what's included should be provided on the final syllabus.
- Grading & Assignments:
- Assignments must reflect the content and location and be graded according to the Murray State scale. Assignments should go beyond a travel journal, but instead require reflection and incorporation of both the pre-departure learned content and the site abroad. Post program projects must incorporate the program abroad.
- Grading must include participation in program activities. The syllabus should indicate how the course grade will be affected by missed program activities.
- Utilization of course packs shall comply with Copyright laws.
VI. Course Contact Hours & Meeting Requirements
All study abroad courses must meet the same contact hour requirements as an on-campus academic course. Following the SACSCOCCOC Policy Statement on Credit Hours, the 2013-14 Murray State Academic Bulletin states that “one hour of credit [is] equal to a minimum of fifteen one hour sessions of lecture or thirty one hour sessions of laboratory, studio, or practica and two hours of out-of-class work each week, or the equivalent based on the length of the semester” (39).
In recognition of the unique experiential nature of study abroad and the challenges that are presented to both teachers and learners, the contact hour and meeting requirements are designed to enable teacher and learner to engage with one another, with the academic content, and with the culture and country prior to program departure. Pre-departure preparation of this kind ensures greater knowledge of the country and program site visits, deeper understanding of and engagement with the culture, and mindful connections between the content and program location.
- Calculation of Contact Hours. Recognizing that study abroad courses do not have a traditional method of delivery,
total contact hours must be calculated by the instructor of the course and meet the
minimum for the credit assigned for the course. For study abroad, these contact hours
- Pre-departure course meetings
- Post-program course meetings
- Pre & post program experiential learning activities related to the course
- Guest lectures
- On-site course meetings
- On-site experiential learning activities that are related to the course
On-site Course Meetings may take place in a traditional classroom space, but also may take place on the way to a site with the instructor lecturing on the bus, and in non-traditional spaces such as over a meal, or outside a site immediately prior to a tour or immediately following a tour.
Experiential learning is direct experience and interaction with the local culture, people, and location. These activities take place outside of a traditional classroom, include academic content-related activities, and may include cultural activities if cultural objectives are delineated on the course syllabus. Experiential activities may include tours, excursions, performances, laboratory work, volunteerism, studio work, practica, and self-guided discoveries as they relate to the course objectives.
Calculate Experiential Learning Activities according to the Murray State requirement that experiential hours be twice the number of lecture hours. This means you may calculate a 3-hour instructor-led tour through a museum as 1.5 course hours.
- Mandatory Course Meetings for Short Programs. All Murray State Signature Programs that are less than a traditional semester in
length of time abroad must meet for class prior to program departure.
- One-Week Programs may be offered at winter term, summer term, or spring break. These programs must
include the pre-departure meeting and may also include post-program meetings to conclude
the course and/or a final assignment required after the end of the program.
- One-Week Winter or Summer Study Abroad: Must meet for the second half of the semester prior to the program abroad for a minimum of 2 hours per week covering academic course content. Total
- Spring Break Study Abroad: Must meet for the first half of the spring semester for a minimum of 2 hours per week covering academic course content OR may meet for the entire spring semester for one hour per week covering academic course content.
- Two to Three Week Programs may be offered at winter term or summer term and must meet for the second half of the semester prior to the program abroad for a minimum of 1 ½ hours per week covering academic course content.
- Four Weeks+ Programs may be offered in summer term or, in special cases, during the regular semester. Four
Week+ Programs must provide students with a syllabus and course readings at least
4 weeks prior to departure and must have at least one academic or cultural reading
or assignment due before departure or immediately upon arrival.
Total Contact Hours may exceed the traditional calculation of classroom contact hours. With the experiential learning activities counting as half the equivalent of a lecture hour, a course abroad will be calculated to combine the lecture hours with experiential hours. As such, the examples below show a course that meets the minimum hours and a course that exceeds minimum hours. Both are valid examples of study abroad courses.
- Course A, a Two-Week Program, meets minimum hours for a 3-credit course: 22 classroom hours + 46 experiential hours (equal to 23 lecture hours) = 45 contact
- On campus meetings prior to departure: 12 hours (8 weeks x 1.5 hours/week)
- 2 Weeks abroad:
- Class Meetings: 10 hours (10 days x 1 hour/day)
- Experiential Activities: 46 hours (varying times each day across 13 total days on the ground)
- Course B, a Two-Week Program, exceeds minimum hours for a 3-credit course: 26 classroom hours + 65 experiential hours (equal to 32.5 lecture hours) = 58.5 contact
- On campus meetings prior to departure: 16 hours (8 weeks x 2 hours/week)
- 2 Weeks abroad:
- Class Meetings: 10 hours (10 days x 1 hour/day)
- Experiential Activities: 65 hours (varying times each day across 13 total days on the ground)
- Course A, a Two-Week Program, meets minimum hours for a 3-credit course: 22 classroom hours + 46 experiential hours (equal to 23 lecture hours) = 45 contact hours
- One-Week Programs may be offered at winter term, summer term, or spring break. These programs must include the pre-departure meeting and may also include post-program meetings to conclude the course and/or a final assignment required after the end of the program.
- Semester Programs are not required to meet for course prior to program departure, but must provide students with a syllabus and at least one mandatory course reading at least 4 weeks prior to departure and must have at least one academic or cultural reading or assignment due before departure or immediately upon arrival.
VII. Program Recruitment
Recruitment is the responsibility of the program leadership.
- All program flyers must be approved by EAO prior to distribution
- Itinerary items should never be promised in recruitment materials or presentations
- Request print materials at least one week prior to recruitment events.
- Failure to recruit the minimum number of students may result in:
- Seeking additional funding from your department or college to make up the financial difference
- Program alteration to delete some services or activities and reduce the cost
- Usage of a previous year’s balance to support the program
- Program or course cancellation
VIII. Student Selection
Leadership is expected to maintain contact with students and with EAO. Applications must be reviewed in Horizons and notations made by each member of leadership for full acceptance, request for application revision, rejection, or request for interview. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 gpa and be in good academic standing to be eligible to study abroad. Additional requirements may be set by program but must be advertised within the Horizons program description in order to be applied to applicants for a specific program.
In addition to the gpa, two essay questions and a reference letter are required of each applicant. Leadership should take every opportunity to encourage students to submit quality applications and accept only those applications that exhibit program and location connection and understanding. Seek out students who long for the academic experience and exhibit that in the application. High gpa is not an indicator of success abroad and should not weigh more heavily than other application components.
- All Pending applications submitted prior to the application deadline should be reviewed before the deadline
- After the program deadline, all Pending applications must be reviewed by the committee within one week.
- Final applicant decisions will be made by the EA Advisor assigned to each FLP. The EA Advisor reads each application and compiles all comments made by the leadership to make final decisions on each applicant.
- All applications will be marked as Conditional Approval, Approved, Waitlist, or Not Approved by the EAO and not by the program leadership. Applications will not be marked without the confirmation of program leadership.
Program leadership is required to identify the person within the leadership who will primarily be responsible for the budget and finances of the program. It is permitted to share these duties among two leaders, though this requires seamless communication among the leadership and with EAO. It is incumbent upon the leadership to ensure that all program inclusions are budgeted and program finances are transparent and follow Murray State regulations.
- Budget Inclusions
- Fees that must be included in the advertised program price:
- All entrances/tickets for required program sites and activities
- Speaker fees or honoraria for guest lectures
- Guide fees and tips
- Driver fees and tips
- Local transportation to all required activities
- Wire transfer fees; budget $40 per transfer
- Phone usage for all program leadership for the duration of the program
- All housing
- All faculty/director costs: airfare, housing, activity fees, meals
- Faculty insurance
- Contingencies at a minimum of 10% of the program fee or $25, whichever is higher
- Fees that are optional for inclusion in the advertised fee:
- Airport transfers stateside
- Airport transfers on-site, though if arriving en masse at the local airport, group transportation is highly encouraged
- Participant meals, though breakfast is highly encouraged for daily inclusion
- Faculty and director Study Abroad Per Diem: see section II. Compensation to ensure regulation adherence
Budget figures should be based on confirmed prices from vendors/providers abroad.
- Fees that must be included in the advertised program price:
- Murray State Requirements
- Policy. EAO programs and all study abroad leadership must follow Murray State fiscal policy at all times. This includes accounting policies stated for purchasing card usage and travel procedures, which govern how funds can be spent and the required documentation for all spending.
- Program Account. An account is created for each study abroad program. Repeating programs will utilize the same account annually. For an account to be created, a budget must be finalized and submitted thru EAO to Murray State Accounting.
- Group Travel Request (GTR). A GTR copies the submitted budget and is the formal Murray State financial documentation
of how program funding will be spent. A GTR is required for every FLP.
- A tentative GTR is due no later than July 1 for programs in the following year.
- The final GTR is due within 1 week of when the program makes. The final GTR will include the program’s requested cash advance and a detailed listing of how that cash will be utilized while abroad.
- Purchasing Cards. Leadership will be assigned an Murray State purchasing card. In order to be eligible
to use this card, all leadership must complete mandatory pcard training given through
the Accounting & Financial Services office. All purchasing card policies must be followed
for program payments.
- The purchasing card application is due to the EAO by April 1.
- Expense Reports with receipts detailing what each purchase is for is due monthly to EAO for the duration of program planning and up to the month after the program is completed or the month of final program pcard usage.
- Pcards are to be turned into the EAO for shredding at the close of each program.
- Vendors abroad who wish to be paid by wire transfer must have completed Vendor forms as required by Murray State Procurement.
- Cell Phone Stipend. Leadership who wish to utilize their current cell phone and cell plans while abroad should complete an Murray State Cell Phone Stipend form and turn into the EAO for processing. Cell Phone Stipends will be paid through payroll by your hiring department. Funds are transferred from the program account to your department to cover the total stipend. Leadership failing to complete the required form prior to program departure may not be eligible for the stipend.
- Travel Voucher (TV). A TV is required to reconcile all program expenses within 2 weeks of the completion of a program. TVs are turned into the EAO Coordinator.
- All cash must be accounted for utilizing the TV.
- Turn in all cash receipts. Each receipt must be taped to an 8.5x11 sheet of paper with a note regarding what the receipt was for. Receipts must be date stamped and taped in chronological order before handing into EAO.
- Exchange rates can be noted in two ways:
- ATM receipts with bank statements indicating the rate that was received when cash was withdrawn from your bank
- Exchange receipts from banks abroad indicating the rate received when cash was exchanged.
- ATM charges may be included in your expenses but excessive charges will not be reimbursed
- Any balance of cash must be paid back via check made out to Murray State.
- Over Budget. Programs may be over budget for various reasons.
Not enough students. If a program or a course on a program does not recruit the required minimum number of students, it will come in over budget. Remedies include:
- If funds are remaining in the account from a previous year to cover this balance, the program may be permitted to go.
- Funds may be sought from the academic department and/or college to support the balance of the program.
- Costs may be decreased on the program by eliminating airport transfers stateside, faculty stipend, activities, or even a day of the program. This avenue must be examined cautiously so as not to jeopardize the academic integrity of the program or safety of the students.
- Program or course cancellation if too few students have enrolled and/or funds are not available from departmental or college sources to cover a balance.
- Increased costs. If program costs increase, the program must seek a way to balance the excess prior to departure. Avenues discussed in IX.c.i.1. should be considered.
- Emergencies. Programs may experience emergencies abroad that increase program costs. Any large
emergency expense should be discussed with the Director of Education Abroad prior
to spending if at all possible. Financial support for emergencies may come from any
of these sources:
- Program contingency funds will be utilized first
- Departments and/or colleges may be contacted to assist
- Previous year program balances may be utilized
- EAO contingency account may be utilized
- Poor financial management. Leadership may exercise poor program financial management resulting from various
actions. In most cases this will result in the inability to manage a program budget
in the future. Departments and/or colleges will be contacted to assist with over-budget
programs due to poor leadership management.
- Inaccurate costs secured or costs not confirmed from vendors when setting program pricing
- Not utilizing the appropriate exchange rate
- Over-spending abroad
- Under Budget. Programs may have funds remaining in the program account at the close of the program. Remaining funds will be available for future programs if the program is repeated within 3 years. Funds from programs not repeating within 3 years will be moved to the EAO contingency fund, which is utilized to support emergencies, student scholarships, program support, and faculty expenses.
- Companion Rates.A companion rate is the cost a companion pays to participate in a study abroad program.
Companion rates may or may not be the full program fee that is advertised to students.
Once your companion rate is figured, you must alert the Education Abroad Coordinator
so that the proper fees can be collected for your program.
Consider the following when figuring the companion rate for your program:
Faculty-LedPrograms. FLPs provide the leadership with more flexibility in determining the exact cost for a companion to participate. You should include:
- Hotel charges that are increased by adding a companion to the room.
- Transportation charges, such as air and rail.
- Coach expenses that are increased as a result of adding companions to the group coach.
- Activity and excursion frees that are paid by participant.
- Consider "concession" rates that are given as discounts for senior citizens or children and charge companions accordingly if possible.
- Meals that are paid per person or as part of group dining.
- Programs through Providers. Providers will most often have one set price with little or no discount for a companion. This set price should be passed on to the companion. Coordinate with your provider on the companion rate for your program.
X. Program Management
All program leadership reports to the Director of Education ABroad as the managing
supervisor for study abroad programs in addition to being responsible to their department
and subject to its rules and regulations.
Each program will have no less than two Murray State faculty/staff members in leadership. In the case of an Murray State faculty working with a third-party provider in country, only one Murray State faculty is required for the program. This approval is not guaranteed and is made by the Program Review Committee with a recommendation to the Chair, Dean, VP, and President.
In the event that leadership of a small study abroad program consists of no more than one faculty and one director (or two total), the Director of Education Abroad, or designee of the Director, shall be the contact person for students, faculty, and staff while abroad.
For proper program management, leadership should:
- Conduct a student orientation prior to departure, utilizing the suggested agenda provided by EAO and catered to your program through your research.
- Abide by all Murray State personnel policies, ethical standards, travel procedures, purchasing card policies, education abroad policy, and all faculty/staff handbook policy and academic department or college policy.
- Become familiar with Murray State Crisis Management Protocols prior to program departure and utilize these protocols while abroad.
- Read student medical information prior to departure.
- Create a Location Safety Assessment for your program and both file it with EAO and distribute it to students at orientation.
- Be on call for the duration of the program and available to participants at any time for emergencies.
- Have working cell phones while abroad.
- Provide students with accurate emergency contact numbers for usage while abroad.
- Review flight itinerary details, including verification of passengers and reservation codes prior to departure.
- Conduct an on-site orientation when abroad to remind students of any points necessary from the pre-departure orientation or provide new information regarding the site.
- Establish a meeting point for emergencies and day excursions.
- Conduct a familiarization tour or scavenger hunt early on in the program to introduce students to the area and local transportation as applicable.
- Document by hand all events involving disciplinary action of any kind, medical or health-related issues, police-involved actions, and logistical and emergency issues. Documentation will be turned into the Director of EA at the close of the program.
- Notify the Director of EA as soon as possible, but in no event more than 24 hours
in regard to:
- Medical situation requiring an ambulance or hospital stay
- Expulsion of student
- Report of physical or sexual assault, even if the student refuses medical treatment or police action
- Missing participant
- Police-involved incident of any kind
- Incident in which a student puts him/herself or other participants at risk of harm
- Never dispense medications of any kind to participants
- Keep medical and emergency information with you at all times and confidential from program participants
- Obtain copies of police reports
- Carry insurance forms and contact numbers with you abroad
- Accompany students to the hospital or ER
- Alert students who approach you in confidence to share personal information that you cannot guarantee confidence. Follow through with documenting the interaction.
- Never carry on romantic or consensual relationships with students on programs abroad
- Refrain from intoxication or any non-prescribed drug usage while abroad (excluding over-the-counter medication). Leadership shall not act in such a manner in regard to alcohol or drug usage or partake of any substance which, if done or used on Murray State's campus, would be illegal under the laws of the United States and/or COmmonwealth of Kentucky. Any use of alcoholic beverages shall be done responsibly such as to be able to provide reasonable leadership during the program and proper supervision of the students involved.
- Failure to abide by these guidelines and Murray State policies by those in a leadership role may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to program expulsion, being barred from future participation in Education Abroad programs and/or termination.
XI. Legal Liability of Murray State Program Leaders
In regard to the issue of employee liability, liability defense is not absolute and each individual may choose to obtain a personal liability insurance policy. Any defense extended by Murray State University to an employee will be according to terms and conditions determined by Murray State University. Even if the University decides to provide a defense to an employee, considerations may subsequently arise which demonstrate that it is no longer in the University's best interests to extend a defense. Any decision to extend a defense is done so with the understanding that University may take later action to discontinue such a defense. Similarly, any decision by the University to extend a defense to an employee cannot be construed as the University's agreeing to pay any adverse judgment. For additional information, please refer to Murray State Board of Regents Policies Section 2.26.
XII. FERPA and Communication with Parent/Guardian
Leadership must be aware of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). While certain academic and personal protections exist within the FERPA guidelines, leadership may exercise discretion on reporting matters to a participant's emergency contact. General Guidelines:
- If a student creates a situation that puts an individual student or the people around the student at risk, the Director of Education Abroad should be contacted to involve necessary Murray State officials. The emergency contact may be notified with Murray State approval.
- If a student is expelled, removed, or withdraws from a program, then the emergency contact must be contacted.
- If a student is in medical distress but is coherent and refuses authorization then the emergency contact should not be contacted.
- If the issue is an academic one, where there are no physical risks, the emergency contact should not be contacted.
- In the event that educational records or information from educational records is shared with the emergency contact person, or a third person based on a health or safety emergency, same should be done such as to provide only the minimum information necessary and such should be documented as to what documents/information was released, the circumstances justifying the release (i.e. the articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of the student or other individuals that formed the basis for the disclosure), to whom it was released and the date the release occurred.
XIII. Non-Student Participants
- Alumni. Alumni may apply for existing study abroad programs with courses related to their career or academic field. Alumni applicants will be considered after degree-seeking applicants are considered. Alumni applicants approved for the program must enroll in the study abroad course.
- Faculty & Staff (International Professional Development). Faculty and staff, current or retired, may be considered for study abroad programs
as professional development when the faculty of record and program director for the
program open the program to IPD applicants. Faculty and staff applicants must indicate
how the program relates to their academic or career field. All faculty and staff IPD
applicants must be approved by the Program Director, their Chair, Dean, and VP and
may be reviewed by the IPD Review Committee in addition to the committee of the program
to which they have applied. Faculty and staff members who apply to participate in
a student study abroad program as International Professional Development understand:
- that their application will be considered only if space is available after student applications have been vetted; and
- that companions and/or dependents are not permitted to accompany IPD applicants on student study abroad programs; and
- that by joining a student study abroad program an IPD participant will be expected to participate in all program activities and engage other participants in discussions relevant to the program focus; and
- that they are expected to pay the equivalent to the student rate for the program.
A companion is any person who accompanies a member of leadership. A companion may be a spouse, partner, child, extended family member, or friend. Companions are permitted to join the leadership of a study abroad program at the discretion of the Program Director. Companions will only be considered if there is space available after student applications have been vetted. Companions are limited in number, defined as follows:
- One adult companion (spouse, partner, extended family, caregiver, or friend)
- Children (legal dependents of leadership) with the stipulation that the adult companion serves as the caregiver
Any companions accompanying a Faculty or Program Director are responsible for the full cost of their participation. Companion rates will not be subsidized by student program fees, even if the companion is an Murray State employee. A companion rate for Signature programs will be determined based on actual program expenses. Companions are not guaranteed group discounts. Companions are responsible for paying all fees online (via Marketplace) in full prior to departure according to the following schedule. Companions who do not meet these payment deadlines will be removed from the program and forfeit all monies unrecoverable to Murray State.
- $500 deposit by application deadline
- Full airfare paid within 1 month of application deadline
- Full program fee paid no later than 30 days prior to program departure.
Minor children must be accompanied by a non-program adult on the program who can serve as their caretaker on a daily basis and in case of illness or emergency. Other faculty or staff members involved with the leadership of a program cannot be asked to serve as a caretaker. Student participants cannot be asked to serve as a caretaker.
Teaching/Directing abroad requires a great deal of attention while abroad, so the idea of a family vacation is not an accurate view of what your availability will be like with your companions, especially if an emergency occurs. Your primary duty while abroad will be to teach/direct regardless of the desires of your companions to participate in program activities. As such, your companions may opt-out of many of your class-related events in favor of items on their personal to-do list. Companions may not interfere with the academics or logistical arrangements of the program. The presence of companions may not compromise, disrupt, or alter the student program in any way.
Please note the following when bringing companions:
- All companions must complete the online Murray State application as a participant - one for each member of the family. This includes acknowledgment that they have chosen to join a student program, where student success will be the primary goal, and an understanding that companions may also be asked to leave a program if they cause a disruption.
- All companions must purchase the mandatory travel/health insurance for the program. Murray State currently utilizes CISI. Details on the coverage plan for Murray State is linked within the application.
- Companions cannot be both a companion and a student participant seeking credit. Companions who wish to seek credit for the program shall pay fees as a program participant and participate in all required course activities without exception.
Murray State University is not responsible for minor children, family members, or other individuals who accompany education abroad program leadership.
XV. Review and Revision of Regulations
- These regulations may be reviewed annually by ISAC: International Studies Advisory Committee, or an Operating of Subcommittee thereof. Revisions will be forwarded to the Provost and President for formal approval prior to adoption.
- Revisions will be in effect for programs and leadership in the academic year following the review. As such, regulation changes may not be made to affect faculty and directors after applications have been approved or conditionally approved. These regulations are subject to change at any time based upon a directive or other action by the Murray State Board or Regents of the President.