Designing a Program

Faculty will imagine and design the Short-Term Abroad Program.  It usually takes between 8-12 months to develop and implement an international course, so make sure to start early.  Here are some things to consider when developing a course.

  • Choose a topic: This is perhaps the most important step.  What will peak student interest?  How many students might be interested? Consider asking current students for their suggestions, and consider if the course will appeal to students outside your own home department.
  • Choose a location: Selecting a familiar location will make it easier to plan in-country logistics and advise students on safe and culturally-appropriate behavior.  If you do not have expertise in the country, is there someone who can assist?  Does the location enhance the course material?  Is it a place students would be interested in visiting?
  • Choose the timing and duration: Is the course more appropriate embedded in a fall or spring semester or offered over the summer?  Consider weather, academic calendar, holidays, and travel time to your destination. It is possible to design a course around a festival, conference, or other major event, if desired.  How much time in-country is enough? 
  • Consider the cost:  What will it cost to run the program?  Will the cost be particularly high and perhaps prohibitive for students?  Consult knowledgeable sources and seek price quotes on expected costs, such as airfare, lodging, meals, local transportation classroom costs, honoraria, and cultural activities.
  • Consider the logistics: How many students do you expect? Where will the group stay, and how will you travel around the city?  Can you organize all course arrangements or do you need to hire a company to assist?  Do you need to hire a teaching assistant for support the course? 

"Words cannot adequately convey the feeling that one gets when standing atop Pointe du Hoc on Omaha Beach scaled by US Army Rangers on the morning of June 6, 1944 – D-Day. Thirteen students experienced that overwhelming feeling last semester as they explored the German bunkers captured by those intrepid soldiers.... Over and over, as we visited the locations that made up the Normandy Campaign, we were all overcome by the extraordinary valor exhibited by the men....  Even when a professor thinks he knows his stuff and is a pretty good lecturer, he is humbled by the inadequacy of any way to learn about the price of freedom other than visiting the remarkable scene of the battle for Normandy."

-Tom Long, Professor of History

Students posing in colorful garden in Cuba!

Experiencing Cuba

Professor Ariadna Pichs led a group of students to Cuba in the summer of 2013 to study Spanish and Cuban culture.

Students in cemetary in Normandy

France: The Price of Freedom - Normandy, 1944

In March, 2013, Professor Tom Long led a group of students to Normandy, France to study the history and impact of D-Day and the soldiers who died in the battle.