Propose a Program

Faculty-Led Education Abroad Proposal Process

Thank you for taking the time to consider organizing a UNL Faculty-­Led Education Abroad offering. Teaching a course abroad takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and organization, and we appreciate the fact that you are dedicated to supporting our UNL students and their efforts to become globally engaged and aware. We look forward to partnering with you in this endeavor.

This document is intended to outline the steps needed to take in order to plan, propose, and develop a faculty-­led course abroad. Please discuss any details or concerns that you may have with Education Abroad Office (EAO) staff, as well as with your department chair/head and deans. You do not have to do this alone. The EAO staff will work with you on the non-­academic aspects of design including housing and transportation, budget development, marketing, and safety, liability and communication issues.

  • Step 1: Consult with your department chair/head about your proposed course. Ideally, proposed courses will satisfy major, minor, college or ACE requirements. Discuss how the proposed course fits into the departmental and college curriculum, as well as any cross-listing possibilities. In addition, schedule an appointment to discuss the offering with the Education Abroad Office. This appointment will help us help you.
  • Step 2: Draft a proposal (see guidelines below). Before and during the proposal-­writing process, contact potential on-­site coordinators and in-country contacts for activity and cost information. The EAO can assist you with this. If you offered a course abroad in the past, please use these guidelines and schedule to inform your department/college and the EAO of your intention to repeat it. You may include materials from previous years, address logistical or budgetary issues, and outline any improvements you plan to make.
  • Step 3: Submit your proposal to your department chair/head for review and approval.
  • Step 4: Upon approval from your chair/head, submit your proposal to your college dean or designee for review and approval.
  • Step 5: Submit the signed Faculty Leader Proposal Agreement and Department and College Proposal Agreement along with your proposal to the EAO for review of financial, travel, health, and safety logistics. If applicable, the EAO will share concerns and recommendations with you and your department/college. Again, EAO wants to work with you throughout the proposal process.
  • Step 6: Your department and/or college will notify you of formal approval and submit a request to have the course listed. Please share the course name and number, term/session, and number of (variable or fixed) credits with the EAO so that we can better assist you by advising students accurately.

Education Abroad proposal narratives should include the following:

  1. Learning Outcomes: Please list 3-­5 key learning outcomes for students.
  2. Program Overview: In 2-­3 paragraphs, please provide an overview of the offering describing location and its advantages, type of program (residential-­based in one location, language study, itinerant "study tour"), relationship to other UNL education abroad programs (acknowledging potential cooperation or competition with other UNL programs), etc.
  3. Leader Biography: Describe the faculty leader(s)' prior experience as an education abroad leader, experience in the host country/region, and level of local language proficiency (if the official language is not English).
  4. Academic and Cultural Experiences: Provide a detailed overview of how site visits, guest lectures (by faculty and other experts), guided tours, interactions with local students/peers, and other academic and cultural activities will be integrated into the program. Indicate the nature and level of contacts already made. Estimate the number of contact hours to be provided through these experiences.
  5. Logistical Arrangements: Provide a description of desired or selected on-site coordinator(s) and logistical arrangements, including flights, student housing and meals, transportation, classroom space, etc. Indicate whether visas for U.S. citizens and/or special immunizations will be required (also important for budget purposes).
  6. Student Qualifications: Specify minimum, as well as preferred, student qualifications (GPA, academic level, prerequisites, etc.) for enrollment in the course. Please indicate if graduate students, students from other colleges and institutions, and visiting and post-bacc students will be eligible to participate.
  7. Student Enrollment/Recruitment: Estimate likely student enrollment, specifying the absolute minimum (must be at least 5 students) and absolute maximum. Identify primary person(s) taking responsibility for recruiting students; and provide a reasonably detailed description of the plan to be used for recruitment. (Learn more about marketing and recruiting students, and how the EAO can assist).
  8. Student Preparation: Describe any pre-­departure preparation students will receive in addition to the general orientation provided by the EAO.
  9. Evaluation/Assessment and Reentry Programming: How do you plan to help students process their academic and personal experience? Describe any planned post-­course activities/events that are designed to help students process their experience. Include your evaluation or assessment plan. Please note the EAO will administer a general survey, and students in all UNL courses must be offered an opportunity to complete a course evaluation.
  10. Health, Safety, and Accessibility: Briefly describe issues of health, safety, and accessibility in the host environment(s). Describe how student preparation and logistical arrangements will address these issues and minimize risk. Describe any special physical requirements of the program activities. (Refer to the US State Department website for information on crime and other travel hazards, and the CDC website for health issues).
Proposals also should include the following attachments:
  1. Preliminary Budget for the offering developed in partnership with the Education Abroad Office, using the EAO budget template. The cost of an offering is one of the most important aspects of drafting a proposal. Upon college approval of your proposal, the EAO will meet with you to determine the final cost advertised to the students. (Leaders should not communicate cost information directly to students, verbally or in writing). Expenses associated with an education abroad offering are affected by a host of variables that may include location, strength of the U.S. dollar, student enrollment, airfare, lodging, field trips, lectures, etc. The more you can keep costs at a reasonable level, the greater the likelihood of a successful proposal and a full contingent of students. EAO staff are well experienced with budget preparation and eager to work with you to pull together a realistic budget and an affordable study abroad course. After a budget has been prepared and approved, EAO will manage it for you, working with the University to collect student charges, making payments to vendors, enabling advances, facilitating reimbursements, and assuring that you are in compliance with UNL policies.
  2. Schedule & Itinerary: Please include a provisional schedule and itinerary so that reviewers can see the planned structure of the offering, as well as view scheduled contact hours.
  3. Copy of your syllabus (fully developed).

Planning Timeline

The faculty leader and the Education Abroad Office work together throughout the year on the following: course planning and proposal, course development, student recruitment, pre-­departure preparation, implementation, and evaluation. Please be aware that marketing a study abroad offering is a shared responsibility between the faculty leader, the department sponsoring the program, and the Education Abroad Office.

Approximate time prior to departureActionsSummer (depart
(depart Aug-Sep)
Spring, SprING Break, Winterim
(depart Dec-Mar)
9 to 15 months prior New offering planning: discuss plans with academic department and college; meet with EAO staff to discuss ideas; and contact on-site coordinators. Spring-Summer Summer-Fall Fall-Spring
9 months prior Proposal deadline.
Approval is required from the chair and dean (with review by the EAO).
Priority: August 15
Final: September 1
December-January January-February
8 months prior Chair or dean will inform faculty of formal approval.
Faculty leader and EAO staff will collaborate on development and finalize the price.
The approved offering will be posted to the Education Abroad website, and will be announced to the campus community. Marketing and recruitment will commence.
September January February
8 months prior to 3 months prior Faculty leader will take part in promotional activities, including but not limited to course-specific information sessions, classroom presentations and attending the Fall and Spring Education Abroad Fairs. September-February January-April February-November (varies by departure date and program model)
3 months prior Application Due Date.
Decision Date: One week after application due date, students are notified whether they are accepted, waitlisted or not accepted (may be notified earlier if admission is rolling).
February 1 April 1 September 1
(Spring and Winterim) November 1
(Spring Break)
2.5 months prior Commitment deposits due.
Final decision made by department/dean (in consultation with the EAO) to run or cancel the education abroad course.
February 15 April 15 September 15
(Spring and Winterim) November 15
(Spring Break)