Faculty and Staff: Teach Abroad

Teaching and directing abroad is incredibly rewarding but can also be a demanding endeavor. The Education Abroad Office is here to guide you as you plan your course and choose which provider to propose your program with or to help you create your own Murray State Signature Program. There are many options to consider and we can help sort through those options so you can choose what is best for you and your students. Here you will find the following:
  • Options for teaching abroad. Find out whether creating your own program or joining an existing program is best for you.
  • Dates & Deadlines. All the details you need for the next year so you can plan for all phases of program development, recruitment, and orientation.
  • Teach Abroad Resources. Extensive resources have developed in the field of study abroad in the last 15 years. You'll find articles, tips, cultural activities, syllabus samples, and more as you begin to envision, plan for, and execute your course.

Contact the Director of Education Abroad at any time to discuss your program in any stage of planning, whether you're in the brainstorm and idea development phase, developing recruitment materials, or anywhere in between.

Ready to Apply Now? Go to our application site and start now using the "Faculty-Led Program Proposal" for the year of your program.  If you need help with your application, call us at 270.809.2277.

Not sure Where to Start? Go to the "Options for Teach Abroad" section below and find out which avenue to teaching abroad is right for you.

Step-by-Step to Teaching Abroad

Step 1: Brainstorm & Program Development

Imagine that course you always wanted to teach and marry it with a location abroad. Dream, google, and find connections between your course content and locations that interest you and/or you have previous experience in. A study abroad program should always start with the study and not a preset itinerary. So let your academics guide your program development. Use the "Academics & Course Development" section in our resources for ideas and guidance. Also begin to think about whether you want to:
  • Create your own program from the ground up
  • Use a provider for logistical support for your program
  • Plug into an existing consortium that has preset dates and logistical support for the program and recruits students from other institutions through the consortium

As you decide whether you're ready to make logistical arrangements on your own or whether you need to plug into the support of a provider or consortium, see Step 3 below to learn more about KIIS, CCSA, Experience Scotland, or building your own program.

Step 2: Meet with the Director of Education Abroad and your Department Chair

If it's your first endeavor into teaching abroad, the Director of Education Abroad can help you narrow down course options, what time of year to go, and length of program as well as provide information on compensation, budgeting, and the benefits of working with a provider v building it on your own, among other things.

Meet with your Department Chair to gauge the level of support for your study abroad course. Your Chair must formally approve your course and program leadership after you've applied, so it's wise to involve them early in the process.

Step 3: Decide to Build it on your Own or Teach with a Consortium (CCSA, KIIS, Experience Scotland) or Provider (ISA,  BSAE)

Signature Program: Build it on your Own
The advantage of building it on your own is that you design every aspect of the program, including the length, how close accommodations are to local transport, and the complete itinerary design. You may wish to partner with a fellow faculty or professional staff member at Murray State who is able to share these duties with you as you both work toward program design. Here are the questions you and your colleagues need to answer to decide if you're ready to DIY:

  • Do I have contacts or can I develop contacts in order to make bookings abroad for housing, on-site transportation, and all program activities and excursions?
  • Am I good with budgeting, tracking expenditures, and managing finances?

If the answer to either of these questions is no, you should consider one of the next options.

Signature Program: Customized Program with a Provider
The advantage of utilizing a provider for your Signature Program design is that you can hand over your ideas to them and they will design the program for you. Once your proposal is received you can then negotiate to alter the itinerary in some way, add things here and remove there, change the housing, etc. Overall, this is the least hassle for Signature Program design. If you'd like to work with a provider, start working on your program proposal to our providers with this Sample Bid Request.

Teach with Consortia: CCSA, KIIS, Experience Scotland
Consortia have pre-existing program dates and locations established that you are able to plug into with your course. You will apply directly to the consortium of your choosing and would then recruit students not only from Murray State but member institutions of the entire consortium. This type of teach abroad experience is the absolute least hassle of all teaching abroad. You get to focus on your academics while others help you identify course excursions and purchase tickets, making almost all logistical arrangements for you. All you need are your course plans and a great map.

Step 4: Submit your Signature Application to Murray State by January 15th; to Consortia Independently by their Deadlines

This step depends on how you choose to teach abroad. If you are developing anew or applying for an existing Murray State Signature Program, you must apply to Murray State to have your program approved. See the Proposal Review and Selection in our policy section for more details.

  • Consortia: KIIS, CCSA, or Experience Scotland. Keep in mind these programs have their own due dates. KIIS in November & March, CCSA in October & February, and Experience Scotland in April annually.
  • Murray State Signature Program application is completed with the Faculty-Led Program Proposal for the year of your program. Deadline January 15th annually for programs in the following academic year: winter, spring, spring break, summer, fall. So proposals received in January will be for programs taking place in winter of that year and spring, spring break, summer, and fall of the following year. Sending out a program bid request to providers may be part of this process for you. Go here for the Sample Bid Request.

To apply for existing Signature Programs, such as the Semester in Regensburg, Spring Break London, or Berlin summer, you will also apply by January 15th annually at the Murray State application site.

Application Requirements for any teach abroad experience generally include an updated CV, course syllabus and/or course description, recruitment ideas or complete plan, details on how the course will count toward degree requirements for students, and proposed budget (if you are responsible for the budget). Affiliate programs require more than one course description and may require up to 5. Do not be scared off by the application requirements. Contact the Director of Education Abroad and/or the affiliate program reps for guidance as needed.

Step 5: Notified of Application Status

For Murray State Signature Program applications, you'll be notified via email from the Murray State Education Abroad Office by February 13th. See the Review Guidelines under "Proposal Review & Selection" for details on how applications are reviewed by the Program Review Committee.

Faculty applying with KIIS, CCSA, or Experience Scotland programs will be notified on the schedules of these affiliates by their program representatives.

Step 6: Attend Mandatory Teach Abroad Meetings

After your application is approved or conditionally approved, you will be asked to attend mandatory group meetings with other Faculty and Program Directors. These are designed to:

  • Provide you with student application information, scholarships, and financial aid
  • Support and create your recruitment efforts
  • Create a more cohesive leadership team
  • More fully understand the student experience on study abroad
  • Design programs that are academically and experientially centered learning programs and not a tour or trip
  • Ensure that each course is designed to meet required credit hours and faculty understand how students enroll and are billed
  • Guide you in budgeting your program
  • Provide you with the Murray State crisis management preparedness and response protocols
  • Guide you in creating the student orientation for your program abroad

Dates & Deadlines:

  • Faculty & Director Application Deadline for Signature Programs: January 15th annually (notification by February 13th)
  • Faculty Application Deadline for KIIS, CCSA, and Experience Scotland: See these provider details online for annually updated deadlines. Typically deadlines are in February (CCSA), March (KIIS), and April (ES)
  • Syllabus with Activity & Content Outline: October 1 for winter faculty; December 1 for spring break faculty; March 1 for summer faculty; July 1 for fall faculty
  • Student Application, Scholarship, & Withdrawal Deadlines available here

Mandatory Meetings: 
Dates for all meetings for the current year are in the online application

1. Program Development & Course Design Workshop: Mandatory for ALL Signature Program faculty and program directors who have not attended the workshop. Provides guidance on the syllabus and program itinerary design. 

2. Budget Workshop: This workshop is required for all NEW faculty 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. Workshop will cover how to finalize budgets, required information for budget completion, determining final program pricing, making official Group Travel Requests, how much to request for a cash advance, and more. Faculty/Directors are asked to meet directly one-on-one with the Education Abroad Coordinator.

3. Application & Recruitment Meeting: Mandatory for ALL new faculty and program directors annually. New student deadlines, financial aid and scholarship policy, and new office procedure are detailed. 

4. Faculty/Director Orientation: Mandatory for ALL faculty and program directors.

5. Student Orientation: Mandatory for ALL faculty and program directors. 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 program led by KIIS and not the Murray State student orientation. Student Orientation dates are online here.

Step 7: Recruit Students & Review Student Applications

The mandatory Application & Recruitment Meeting will provide you with information on how students apply, how scholarships and financial aid apply to study abroad programs, and guidelines and discussion on what works and what doesn't in recruitment. Also see our Recruitment support site to get your juices flowing.

Above all, you must go into your Teach Abroad experience with the knowledge that study abroad is unfortunately not a "build it and they will come" adventure, but instead takes much planning and work to get those great students out there who will contribute to your program to actually submit applications.

Applications flow into the Horizons online application system. You'll review your student applications and issue decisions together with other members of leadership on your program and an Advisor from the EAO. Here's a help sheet to get you started with how to review student applications.

Step 8: Attend Orientation & Get Out of Here

Faculty & Directors will attend orientation for program management, where Murray State resources will be addressed. You will also be provided with guidance on how to conduct your program orientation with details on what you need to provide. Orientation dates are set by the Education Abroad Office and advertised when students apply. You should not plan to hold your orientation separately from this date/time.

Then....get on a plane with your students, have a fantastic learning experience abroad watching the light bulb shine over students on a daily basis, and enjoy program support from Murray State through the Education Abroad Office. Numerous program design and cultural resources are provided at our resources page to help make your program as enriching as possible. The Program Development & Course Design Workshop will give you loads of ideas for best practices in designing your itinerary and course for the most favorable learning outcomes. 

Step 9: Program Evaluation and Reporting

At the close of your program, you will have collected student evaluations. The Education Abroad Office will provide you with a copy for reflection and program improvement.

You'll also complete the Post Program Report in your online application to debrief the program, including how we can better serve you in the future, but also reporting course contact hours and multiple aspects of the program.

Then, start planning your next Teach Abroad!