Faculty Leaders collaborate closely with the EAO to identify and select on-site partner(s) to handle all pre-arranged logistics. All programs must have at least one on-site partner but no more than three partners, as necessary. Please contact the EAO to determine the appropriate course of action for selecting the number and type of partner(s). Partners provide programs with in-country support and infrastructure: they identify and secure the services of reputable vendors and react to any changes on-the-ground. An on-site partner may be:
- a partner university or institution, particularly those with a language institute or research center, a history of hosting groups, and/or conference services.
- a professional education abroad organization. Most major education abroad organizations now offer “customized program” services.
- an educational travel agency or tour operator (with staff based in the host country).
- an NGO (non-governmental organization) or non-profit organization.
An "ideal" on-site partner will have staff who know the language and culture, live and work in the host country's time zone, and are prepared to advocate for the group. An ideal partner adds value to the program in the following areas:
- Travel Logistics: Arranges all in-country travel logistics, including lodging, transportation, entrance fees, and possibly meals, managing all "moving parts" of the itinerary.
- Financial Management: Ensures that all negotiations, hiring, and purchases are legal and culturally-appropriate in the host country, while also complying with UNL Business & Finance policies. A partner dramatically decreases the administrative burden of accounting for each individual item or service purchased.
- Academics: Understands the program’s learning objectives and suggests/arranges guest lecturers, industry visits, and other activities that directly support those objectives.
- Safety/Security: Offers an additional layer of support to students and leaders through site-specific orientations/materials, providing input on the emergency preparedness plan, and actively assisting and advising on emergency response.
Services That Must Be Provided by a Partner:
Please note that the following services must be provided by the on-site partner(s), articulated in the agreement, and paid in advance:
- Reserve and pay for participant lodging;
- Reserve and pay for leader lodging (if same as participants);
- Provide input to the leader(s) for the program-specific Emergency Preparedness Plan;
- Deliver a thorough on-site orientation;
- Provide 24/7 emergency support, including a contact number to leader(s);
- If needed: arrange private transportation, overnight excursions, and in-country/regional flights.
Additional/Optional Services That a Partner Might Provide:
Given that program designs vary, it is important to know that leaders are able to include or exclude additional services such as purchasing tickets for public transportation, arranging guided tours of historical sites, providing cell phones to students, etc.
Any service that must be reserved and paid in advance will be arranged by the on-site partner(s). UNL faculty/staff do not book lodging and in-country transportation.
The EAO works with the Faculty Leader in identifying potential on-site partner(s) and vets/approves the partner(s) with the support of UNL's Director of Global Safety & Security. Partners must be willing to provide a price quote at least 9 months prior to departure, provide proof of insurance and licenses/permits that meet industry standards in the host country, sign an agreement prior to the issuance of funds, and be able to accept funds wired from UNL. All contracts must be in compliance with UNL Procurement Services policies: UNL Procurement Services must sign all contracts over $5,000 and publish the contract in the Nebraska State Contracts Database per the LB429 Taxpayer Transparency Act.
Examples of on-site partners used by UNL Faculty Leaders in recent years:
- Belize: Toucan Education Programs (country-specific education abroad company)
- Botswana: EcoTraining (educational travel agency)
- China: IES Abroad Customized Programs (worldwide education abroad organization)
- Costa Rica: The Monteverde Institute (NGO)
- Ireland: Maynooth Campus Conference & Accommodation at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (partner university with conference services)
- Oman: Inspire Oman (country-specific education abroad company)
- South Africa: International Studies Abroad (ISA) Custom Programs (worldwide education abroad company)
- United Kingdom: Foundation for International Education (FIE) (education abroad company)