Policies on Study Away Teaching

State Department Travel Warnings
International courses shall only be initiated in countries with official United States relations. Students will be allowed to study in a country under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning only in rare exceptions (and additional application procedures apply). Exceptions must be approved by the Director of CICE, in consultation with the International Safety Committee. If a Travel Warning is issued for a country during the time a Gustavus Adolphus student or faculty member is in that country, the CICE will work with the appropriate sources to determine the best course of action to reduce risk.

Academic Rigor
Study away programs, whether undertaken abroad or in a domestic setting other than the Gustavus campus, shall be characterized by the same academic rigor and high expectation for student work as on-campus study. Study away courses are expected to:

  • reflect the academic importance of offering the course at the chosen site;
  • be designed to foster intercultural engagement and to provide students with an opportunity to reflect on their intercultural learning and its relationships with their subject content learning; and
  • shall integrate the subject being studied with site visits, guest lecturers, and assignments that engage the students with their study away surroundings.

Course Contact Hours
Study away courses shall have at least as much contact time as courses offered on campus (40 or more contact hours per course per term). Normally they will have considerably more than this minimum. Contact times include class meetings, lectures by the instructor or guest lecturers, and supervised, course-related activities. Although the nature of out-of-class work undertaken in study away programs may differ considerably from out-of-class work undertaken in an on-campus course, the time students are expected to devote to out-of-class work (such as reading, research and preparation of assignments) shall be approximately the same in study away courses as it is in on-campus courses.

Evaluation of Students
Evaluation shall be conducted in a manner consistent with overall college policies and practices and may reflect the special circumstances of a study away experience. Criteria for evaluation in study away programs and courses shall be made clear to students at the beginning of the term.

Program Evaluation
Each study away course or program shall be evaluated by three means:

  1. Online questionnaire distributed to returning students by the CICE. Results of this evaluation will be shared with the faculty leader(s) of the course and their department head(s).
  2. The Faculty Director's final program report.
  3. A periodic review by a member of the Global Engagement Committee.

The results of these three-tiered evaluations will be used by CICE, GEC, and program leaders to review, improve, and assess courses and programs.

Who May Serve as a Faculty Director
Any regularly appointed Gustavus faculty member or administrator with appropriate academic credentials (e.g., a minimum of a master's degree) may serve as a Faculty Director in their second or later year at Gustavus. In addition, retired faculty members with emerita/-us status or research professor status are also eligible. In all cases, the courses to be taught must be approved through the appropriate channels, and the prospective Faculty Director must have the permission of their department head.

Program Services Coordinators (PSCs)
All J-Term faculty-led programs will also have a Program Services Coordinator (PSC), a second responsible staff member who accompanies the program. In some cases, the PSC may be a staff member of the host organization or the service provider that makes arrangements for the program. In other cases, the PSC may be a Gustavus faculty or staff member. Finally, the Faculty Director's partner may also serve in this capacity. For semester programs, the PSC role is fulfilled by an in-country program partner or another logistical expert hired to fulfill that purpose.

Family Members Accompanying Faculty Directors and PSCs
Faculty Directors and PSCs may be accompanied by any second adult whom they choose, though individuals who are not legally recognized as family members will be required to purchase supplementary travel medical and liability insurance coverages. Dependent children may also accompany Faculty Directors and PSCs, though there must then be an additional adult in the party who will have primary responsibility at all times for any accompanying children under the age of 14 at the time of the program meeting dates. Neither the Faculty Director nor the PSC should be the same person as the adult responsible for the care of accompanying children. All accompanying adults and children participate at their own expense (unless the second adult is serving as the PSC, in which case that person's costs are covered), including for any excess rents beyond the standard one-bedroom accommodations, airfares, meals, and other costs. Generally speaking, accompanying family members do not participate in program activities, excursions, courses, etc. with perhaps the exception of receptions or arrival and departure meals. The CICE Director will determine fees payable to Gustavus Adolphus College for all individuals accompanying a study away program who are neither registered students nor a responsible Faculty Director or PSC.

Back-up Policy
All Gustavus faculty-led study away programs (whether J-Term or semester) must have a designated back-up Faculty Director. This individual will step into the role of Faculty Director in the event that the primary FD is unable to participate at a date that is too late to cancel the program. In some cases, the PSC may be considered the back-up, but then a back-up PSC must be established as well.

Gustavus faculty who serve as Faculty Directors or PSCs for study away programs are covered under the College's liability insurance if they are in compliance with the policies and procedures described in this document and the Faculty Director/PSC Handbook and with general college policies.

Student Selection Criteria and Timeline
Each Faculty Director shall establish selection criteria for their own program and describe those criteria in application materials created by the CICE. In addition, CICE staff members will screen all applicants for general study away eligibility. Applications for all programs (J-Term and semester) are processed on a rolling basis as applications are completed, with a waiting list established once the program has reached capacity.

Costs Included
Both Faculty Directors and PSCs receive financial support for their participation in Gustavus study away programs, including: transportation, accommodation (generally in a one-bedroom facility or hotel room), two meals per day, and all admissions costs for excursions and other activities. In addition, while Faculty Directors are compensated either through in-load course recognition or overload salary, PSCs receive no compensation beyond the costs of participation.

Modifications of Approved J-Term IEX Courses
The J-Term IEX Faculty Director may teach only the approved course during the program and may not modify the focus or level of the approved course.

J-Term IEX Exclusive Activity Policy for Faculty Directors
Because of the intensive nature of J-Term IEX study away courses, Faculty Directors must obtain approval from the Director of the CICE to supervise independent study/independent research or internship/career exploration projects during the J-Term in which they are leading the IEX study away course.

Gustavus Self-Insurance Policy for Travel Insurance
Faculty and staff members traveling for the purposes of leading or planning/developing a study away program – or for any other business purpose supported by College funds – should not purchase trip or travel insurance with College funds. Because the circumstances that would precipitate claims for such travel are so rare, the College self-insures for this particular purpose. For that reason, trip or travel insurance that you elect to purchase will not be reimbursable. Note, too, that CICE budgets for and schedules international travel health and disaster evacuation insuance for all students and faculty participating in international study away programs.