Leading a study abroad program

Thanks for your interest in leading a College of Human Sciences study abroad program! The resources on this page will assist with your preparations to lead a program.

Responsibilities of a study abroad program director

Your responsibilities as a study abroad program director extend far beyond the instructional duties for a class offered on campus at Iowa State. Colleagues at North Carolina State University put it best when they described your role beyond teaching as: “administrator, budget manager, recruiter, travel logistics planner, cultural guide, diplomat, translator and interpreter, decision-maker, on-site student services coordinator, counselor and judicial officer.”

Specific responsibilities of program directors include:

  • Collaborating with the CHS International Programs Office to develop the program proposal
  • Developing an itinerary through which an ISU course can be taught that includes relevant academic and cultural experiences to create local connections abroad for CHS students
  • Cultivating contacts abroad who can provide experiences for CHS students
  • Participating actively in recruiting interested students
  • Meeting regularly with CHS International Programs Office staff to discuss program preparations
  • Screening and selecting applicants through ISUAbroad
  • Leading pre-departure orientation sessions
  • Following ISU policies for international programs and for financial matters
  • Accompanying the student participants during the entire program abroad Communicating with the CHS International Programs Office if there are any difficulties encountered abroad
  • Meeting with the CHS International Programs Office for a post-program debriefing session
  • Preparing receipts and expense forms in a timely manner after the end of the program
  • Completing a final report for ISU’s Education Abroad Committee

Pre-departure orientation

The CHS International Programs Office has prepared a checklist (PDF) of information to cover in your pre-departure orientation course.

Program director training and preparation

The CHS International Programs Office will create a shared CyBox folder with you for training and preparation documentation.  The standard documentation we share includes:

General Information

  • A handbook
  • Program leader workshop handouts and slides
  • Spouse, etc. agreement (if necessary)

Emergency Procedures

  • Emergency contact file for you
  • Emergency contact file for your participants
  • International insurance guide

Program Finances

  • General expense form
  • Hospitality expense form
  • Receipt form
  • “Allowability and Appropriateness” guide for expenses
  • Event card guide

The shared CyBox folder will also be where documents are located that the CHS International Programs Office and you need to access on a regular basis as we all prepare for your study abroad program.