Information for leading study-abroad programs

Developing a faculty-led course abroad

LAS faculty who are interested in developing and leading a new course abroad are strongly encouraged to meet with LAS International Programs staff as well as their unit's executive officers to discuss their proposed course before submitting a proposal.

Faculty should keep the following in mind when designing a new course or adding an international travel component to an existing course:


All LAS faculty-led study abroad programs must provide students with clear academic goals and learning objectives that are tied to the study abroad location.

Global competency: While many humanities and social science courses naturally provide students with global perspectives and cultural context, it is equally important for science and other STEM disciplines to incorporate these into any study abroad course. Course instructors should ensure that in addition to field or lab work, STEM courses include instruction, excursions and cultural activities both on campus and abroad that will allow students to contextualize their studies and increase their global competency.

Course set-up: Most faculty-led courses are set up as a first or second eight-week fall or spring course, depending on the travel dates and academic goals of the course. For example, most courses that travel over winter break are set up as second eight-week fall semester courses so that the class can meet on campus throughout the second half of the semester leading up to the time abroad. LAS International Programs staff will work with each faculty member to determine how best to set up the course ,depending on whether the bulk of the on-campus work should be completed before or after the time abroad.


Program dates

Faculty-led courses travel abroad for anywhere from one week to one month over fall, winter, spring, or summer break.

Program leadership

Every faculty-led study abroad program should have two leaders or staff present for the entire duration of the time students are abroad. Faculty leaders may choose to co-lead a course with another faculty or staff member, employ a teaching or program assistant (usually an advanced graduate student) to accompany the group, or hire an in-country program assistant. LAS International Programs staff and academic advisors may accompany a group and can serve as the second leader.

Working with in-country agencies and partners

Many faculty choose to work with institutions based in-country. These agencies can be travel agents who arrange in-country transportation and logistics for the group, third-party providers that provide logistical and program development support in-country, academic and research institutions that provide classroom or lab space, or Illinois partners (usually universities we have exchange agreements with) who may provide some combination of classroom space, logistical support, housing, and more.

Program budget

Please download and use our budget template when developing your program budget.

Course proposal process

New course proposals must be submitted at least one year prior to your proposed travel dates to allow sufficient time to set up logistics and promote your course. 

Please download the Faculty-led Course Proposal Form. Complete and return the course proposal form along with a tentative syllabus, daily itinerary, and draft budget to Elly Hanauer in LAS International Programs.


Candidates with a current teaching appointment with the Urbana-Champaign campus in one of the following employment categories are eligible to apply.

  • Tenured and tenure-track faculty
  • Specialized faculty (PhD preferred)
  • Emeritus faculty
  • Academic professionals (Master’s degree required, PhD preferred)

Graduate students are not eligible to direct a program abroad, although co-teaching may be considered.

Proposal submission

Faculty may submit a course proposal through either of the following two proposal processes:

LAS Global Studies 298 (GLBL 298) Seminar Abroad Programs

LAS Global Studies invites proposals to offer a GLBL 298: Global Studies Seminar Abroad.These seminars abroad are special topics courses designed by faculty to enhance undergraduate students’ understanding of a topic or problem of global import through an on-campus course that extends into a field experience abroad with a research focus. The seminars should foster skills to identify and analyze issues from multiple disciplinary and cultural perspectives, promoting a global mindset and respect for diverse ways of living, thinking and being as a result of cross-cultural exchange.

See previous GSSA offeringsFor more information, contact Tim Wedig in LAS Global Studies.

LAS departmental courses abroad

The LAS International Programs office invites LAS faculty members to work with their departments to develop short-term study abroad courses that will be listed under their department’s rubric. These courses should have a specific disciplinary focus and must be approved by the department head.

Course Requirements

LAS faculty-led courses must be housed in an LAS unit and must grant a minimum of three (3) credits. Exceptions are considered for advanced-level courses that grant less than three credits.

For more information please contact Elly Hanauer in LAS International Programs.

LAS faculty-led course salary policy

Some faculty members teach courses abroad as part of their basic teaching load for their department. Those faculty members are not paid extra funds (in excess of their base salary) to lead study-abroad courses. When faculty members teach courses abroad in additional to their normal load, LAS International Programs pays them a flat salary of $6000 the first time they offer a course. If the course reviews are positive and demonstrate high impact for the students, the salary rates for the courses will increase annually, as follows, with a maximum cap set at $10,500:

Year one: $6,000
Year two: $6,600
Year three: $7,975
Year four: $8,770
Year five: $9,650
Year six and beyond: $10,500


Faculty members who led courses prior to 2018 and received a 1/9th salary payment that was higher than the salary they would receive based on the above salary scale, receive their previous salary amount or $10,500, whichever is less, each year until they have taught enough years to move up the salary scale.

The maximum payment to any faculty leader for an LAS faculty-led course is $10,500.


Selection and review process

All LAS GLBL 298 course proposals are reviewed by the LAS Global Studies Faculty Advisory Committee. Proposal review criteria are included in the annual call for proposals. LAS departmental proposals are reviewed first by the department head and by LAS leadership. All proposals must be reviewed and approved by International Safety & Security and LAS International Programs.

International Safety and Security staff review all in-country program logistics and may advise on changes to itineraries based on travel warnings and security concerns.

Proposal selection criteria are as follows:

  • Clear academic learning objectives tied to the program location
  • Course should provide same academic standards and rigor to equivalent on-campus courses
  • Program director has strong connection to and knowledge of the program site

LAS International Programs will assist with student recruitment and course promotion through the creation of flyers and informational materials, hosting study abroad fairs and advising sessions, and email announcements to students and advisors. While LAS can assist in recruiting students, it is generally the case that the faculty member is more persuasive in the recruitment process. Therefore, we will work with you to create a plan to promote your course widely and make sure eligible students are aware of the opportunity and have all the information they need to apply.

LAS International Programs also manages the application cycle for you. Our staff creates the study abroad course application within the campus-wide My Study Abroad system and manages student inquiries throughout the process. LAS International Programs will work with each faculty leader to tailor the application questions to meet the needs of a particular course.

For faculty-led courses abroad, the faculty leader is responsible for reviewing all complete applications and selecting a final list of accepted students. If appropriate, LAS International Programs will request a ranked wait list for a course. Each course is different and has different prerequisites so each faculty leader may set their criteria accordingly.

Pre-departure activities and resources

LAS International Programs staff works closely with each faculty leader to arrange program logistics and ensure faculty have the resources they need to lead a group abroad. Our office offers pre-departure workshops for students that cover country-specific information, safety and security, as well as issues of identity and discrimination abroad. LAS International Programs staff also offer pedagogy and instructional design consultations to assist faculty best adapt their courses to a short-term study abroad experience.

International safety and security

All faculty and program leaders are required to attend a pre-departure safety & security workshop with the Office of International Safety and Security. For more information on upcoming workshops, please contact Andrew Collum.

All faculty members should review the comprehensive international safety & security resources located on the Illinois International website. There, you'll find information on insurance, training, and resources, as well as emergency information for while you are abroad.

Diversity Abroad workshops & resources

Coming soon.

In the field with students

Coming soon.

Additional resources