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									Academic Programs Abroad
 2010 Directors’ Handbook


                               Table of Contents
I.     Overview…………………………………………………………………….3

II.    Program Planning……………………………………………………………4
       a. Proposal…………………………………………………………….........4
       b. Budget…………………………………………………………………...5
       c. Payments to Service Providers, Faculty Travel, and Onsite Expenses….7

III.   Recruitment……………………………………………………………..…..10
       a. Website……………………………………………………………….....10
       b. Recruitment Strategies……………………………………………..……10

IV.    Pre-Departure Planning…………………………………………………..….15
       a. Course Registration…………………………………………………..….15
       b. Orientation…………………………………………………………..…...15
       c. Course Planning……………………………………………………….....17

V.     On-Site Management…………………………………………………….…..19
       a. Group Management………………………………………………….…..19
       b. Responsibilities of Directors………………………………………….….19
       c. Risk Management…………………………………………………….…..20

                                         I. Overview

This guide is designed to assist faculty in the development of new, and the renewal of
continuing, short-term programs. Program Directors invest a great deal of time, energy, and
effort into developing programs, and programs that fail to make, or that encounter problems
underway, are understandably viewed with frustration and/or regret. Therefore, this guide has
been developed to serve as a useful tool in avoiding many of the common problems and
difficulties associated with planning and implementing short-term programs.

The purpose of short-term programs is to complement and expand on the lessons and
opportunities students have on campus and to provide students with a unique learning experience
they would be unable to gain anywhere else. The best short-term programs provide participants
with a combination of coursework and cultural experiences. These programs incorporate their
settings into their curriculums and provide students with a unique perspective through which
they synthesize what they have learned through formal and informal instruction. Whether a
program is developed for students in one field or incorporates several academic disciplines in its
course offerings, the opportunities afforded through short-term programs are ones that cannot be
duplicated on the home campus.

The key role in any short-term program is that of the Program Director. Most first-time directors
are surprised by the time and energy needed to plan and direct a short-term program. The
Program Director has numerous responsibilities in all aspects of the program, including
budgeting and planning, recruitment, pre-departure preparation, onsite management, student
welfare, and academic integrity. However, Program Directors also have many resources from
which they can draw to aid them in these processes, many of which are explained in this guide.

II. Program Planning

Both new and continuing short-term programs are required to submit program proposals every
year. Proposals should be submitted to APA and will be reviewed and voted on by the Council
on Academic Programs Abroad. The Council on Academic Programs Abroad may ask those
who are submitting proposals to meet with the Council and discuss aspects of the proposal,
especially if the proposal is for a new program or is submitted by a first-time Director. The
Council tends to make suggestions for changes, rather than rejecting proposals in their entirety,
although the Council does reserve the right to reject programs it deems unsuitable. Once the
Council has made a decision on a proposal, that decision and any accompanying notes will be
forwarded to the Program Director by APA.

Proposals for short-term programs should be submitted to APA by the end of the August before
the program is to occur. Proposals for summer/intersession 2010 programs are due by
September 11, 2009.

All proposals must include the following:
    • Completed proposal form and questionnaire
    • Completed course proposal form (one per course)
    • Syllabus (one per course)
    • Signature page (one per course)
    • Budget, including minimum and maximum numbers of needed student participants (see
       template on APA website)

Proposal forms and budget templates can be downloaded from APA’s website:

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your proposal:

   1. Program Site
      Several factors warrant consideration in settling on the locale of your program. The
      availability of affordable housing is a priority. Safety and security inside and around
      housing sites also merit careful attention. The question of where the group will stay must
      be answered satisfactorily before giving serious consideration to further program details.

       Transportation, cultural and academic attractions, cost of living, climate, and accessibility
       to public transportation are also important. Although a charismatic faculty member may
       be able to get a group to go almost anywhere, the majority of students who go on short-
       term programs have limited travel experience and foreign language abilities and,
       therefore, have different expectations of site locations than more seasoned travelers.
       While every wish cannot be granted, the students’ travel experience (or lack thereof)
       should be remembered when deciding on sites and amenities.

   2. Program Faculty
      The choice of which faculty will participate in a short-term program is very important

       and will do much towards shaping the program. Here are some guidelines for selecting
       faculty for participation in short-term programs:
           • Personal, onsite experience with the location of the program
           • Ability to develop academic coursework directly related to the program site
           • Rapport with students
           • Time and willingness to recruit several hours per week, especially in the fall
           • Ability to work easily with students and faculty in group settings
           • Full commitment to the program (e.g., not applying for a grant which, if awarded,
               would lead to resignation from the program)
           • Willingness to live with the group and participate fully in group life and activities
               for the duration of the program.

   3. Training and Marketing
      Directing a short-term program is a rewarding, but time-intensive, undertaking.
      Marketing and recruitment, which is covered more in-depth in a later section, is one of
      the most time-consuming aspects of study abroad, especially during fall semester. In
      addition, all Program Directors will be required to attend a Risk Management training
      and Record-Keeping and Accounting orientation during spring semester. Directors who
      cannot attend the scheduled orientations will need to make arrangements with the
      Summer Coordinator for a make-up orientation. Before you propose a short-term
      program, make sure that you have a realistic understanding of the time commitment that
      is required of Program Directors.

Program Directors should work closely with APA to develop a budget and program price.
Setting a program price requires both advance knowledge and guesswork. Programs that
advertise a set cost, however, gain more credibility than those with estimated costs, so budgetary
planning should be the first step in compiling a program proposal.

Program budgets derive from two factors: anticipated costs of services and a projected number of
participants. Budgets submitted with program proposals should clearly indicate both the
minimum number of participants needed in order to cover all program costs and the maximum
number of students allowed, based on available amenities at the host site.

   A. Projected Numbers of Student Participants
      Determining the minimum number of students needed requires consideration of the
          • Is the cost prohibitively high to attract a large number of interested students?
          • Is the price substantially lower or higher than comparable programs at other
          • If this program has run before, does its history indicate sufficient student interest
             to generate the minimum number of participants needed? (information on past
             program demographics can be obtained from APA)
          • Realistically, will you have sufficient time to devote to recruitment to enroll the
             needed minimum number of students? (information on recruitment practices will
             be covered later in this handbook)

   The maximum number of participants must also be established at the time the budget is
   drafted, so as to ensure that sufficient space is held by service providers. Nobody can
   guarantee extra rooms will be available later! Also, maximum numbers must be set and
   clearly conveyed to APA, so as to avoid confusion as programs begin to fill.

B. Exchange Rates
   For international programs, there is no way to know what the exchange rate will be on the
   day you pay for services overseas. Therefore, erring on the side of caution is always
   preferred. Even with the disclaimer “prices subject to change due to fluctuations in
   exchange rate” (anytime you mention the cost of your program, you should include this
   disclaimer!), students will be less than pleased if you have to ask them for more money
   later on. In addition, students who have already signed up must be given the option of
   withdrawing with a full refund of all monies paid, since the new price changes the
   program from the one for which they originally signed up. Legally, we cannot hold
   students to changes in program prices without giving them the option of withdrawing
   without financial penalty. Raising your price, especially after you’ve already advertised a
   lower price, may cause you to lose a significant number of students! Making sure that
   you have budgeted at a realistic exchange rate is crucial to the success of a study abroad

   There are several websites that can help you project costs and follow trends in the
   exchange rate. To get an idea of how the exchange rate for the currency you will be
   using has been moving, you can consult LSU’s Travel office website at
   http://www.fas.lsu.edu/AcctServices/travel/default.htm. You may also want to check
   with Ruesch International (http://www.ruesch.com/na/marketnews/currency/) or xe.com

C. Template for Budgets
   A budget template is available on APA’s website. This template lists common
   expenditures, such as housing, meals, excursions, faculty airfare, etc. All short-term
   programs must use this template when submitting a budget and proposal! Space has been
   provided in the template for you to list additional costs not covered by the template. If
   you are using a travel agent or other service providers for multiple services, please ask
   these providers for a detailed invoice that lists prices for services individually, rather than
   as a lump sum. A few points to remember when filling in the budget template:

       •   Because faculty expenses are divided equally amongst all students, faculty costs
           should be presented separately from student costs (in other words, even if the cost
           of faculty housing is the same per person as student housing, the faculty rooms
           should be listed separately in the faculty section of the template, rather than
           included in the student section)
       •   The template is set up in Excel and includes multiple pages, so that you can
           project costs based on different numbers of students. In your proposal and budget
           summary, you should clearly indicate which number of students is the minimum
           number needed and which is the maximum number of allowed students.

           •   LSU requires that students traveling on university-sponsored programs be covered
               by LSU’s insurance. The cost of the insurance is $0.08 per student per day.
               Faculty is not included in this insurance. In addition, LSU also requires that
               health insurance be purchased for all students and faculty traveling to
               international sites. The cost of this insurance is $1.00 per traveler per day. Please
               remember to calculate the cost of the insurance into your program budget!
           •   Every short-term program is assessed an administrative fee by APA. The space
               for this fee is allotted in the budget template. Each program is assessed a
               $100/student fee.

   D. Faculty Costs
      Calculations of faculty costs should not only include all amenities that students receive,
      but should also cover additional costs, such as per diem and faculty airfare. Faculty
      salary, however, is not paid out of the program budget. Monies for faculty salary are
      generated from the tuition that students pay for the courses they take while participating
      in the program. Program Directors will be expected to meet with APA individually to
      discuss salary arrangements once the program has met its minimum number of students
      and/or the deadline for student applications has passed.

Payments to Service Providers, Faculty Travel, and Onsite Expenses
The most important thing to remember with regards to paying for the expenses accrued by short-
term programs is that nothing can be paid until the faculty member(s) in question have authority
from LSU to travel! APA will prepare your Authorization to Travel and will ask you to stop by
105 Hatcher Hall to sign the authorization. This authorization must be signed and processed by
Accounts Payable & Travel before we can make any payments on behalf of your program.

   A. Payments to Service Providers
      Requests for payments must be accompanied by a detailed invoice. Please explain to
      your service providers that invoices must show a listing of the services being purchased
      in order for LSU to process them. Payments can be made via wire transfer or credit card;
      please find out from your service provider which method of payment is preferred. In the
      case of a wire transfer, invoices must also include the bank name and city, bank sort
      number/swift code, and the account number. We must also have the exact name under
      which the account is registered, especially if it differs from that of the service provider.
      Invoices should not be converted to U.S. Dollars by the service provider; Accounts
      Payable can process invoices in foreign currencies and will alert APA as to the dollar
      amount of the transaction. Please keep in mind, however, that there is no way to
      guarantee what the exchange rate will be on the date that Accounts Payable processes the
      wire request. Accounts Payable can only cut checks in U.S. Dollars. Any service
      provider requesting payment by check must be able to accept a check in U.S. Dollars.
      Service providers who are paid by check must also be registered with LSU’s PRO system
      before the payment can be made. Please contact Jill for information on registration in the
      PRO system.

B. Faculty Travel
   Payments for faculty per diem are usually paid in the form of a travel advance to the
   faculty member. Please note, however, that per diem will not be paid for any meals that
   are included in the cost of the program.

   Faculty must use Louisiana Travel for program-related airfare. They can either use the
   state negotiated air fare or the lowest logical connection. The state negotiated fare is
   usually more expensive, but it is fully refundable and you can make changes to the dates
   of travel without any penalties, although there is a $23 change fee for every change made.
   The lowest logical airfare is usually much cheaper, but it is difficult and expensive to
   make changes. Tickets will be purchased by APA. If you find an airfare that is cheaper
   than the state-negotiated rate, you can ask Louisiana Travel to match the cheaper rate. If
   they are unable to match it, and the rate is 30% cheaper (or 10% cheaper for international
   destinations) than the fare provided by Louisiana Travel, you can petition the Vice
   Chancellor for Accounting Services for permission to buy your own ticket. You do not
   have to pay for your ticket up front; APA will work directly with Louisiana Travel to pay
   for the tickets. Once you have your final itinerary and price, please email the itinerary to
   Jill, so that she can arrange payment.

C. Onsite Expenses
   In some instances, your service providers may prefer that you pay them in cash once you
   arrive at your destination. If this is the case, these funds will be included in the travel
   advance that you receive for program expenses. In addition, any unspent funds collected
   for your program will also be included in the travel advance you receive for the group.
   Please note that this is a separate advance from the one for your per diem! All faculty
   members receive personal advances, but only Program Directors (or one director, in the
   event that a program should have co-directors) receive group advances. The money will
   be deposited in the same account that LSU uses for your paycheck (you can check to see
   which account is used and/or change your banking account information through PAWS).

   Please check with your bank before you leave and ask them to authorize your ATM card
   for use abroad. Many faculty have found that ATM cards provide the best and most
   affordable way to get access to the funds, whereas credit card providers charge high fees
   (usually 3% or more) for any transaction in a foreign currency. It may be a good idea to
   maintain a separate account dedicated entirely to program expenditures, so that you can
   avoid confusion with personal finances. Your bank statements will record the amount of
   every transaction, the exchange rate used, and the fee charged for the transaction, so you
   will have to submit those if you use credit or ATM cards. Otherwise, we will not be able
   to reimburse you for fees and may have problems with determining the exchange rate that
   was actually used by the bank.

   When you submit your receipts at the end of your program, we must have documented
   evidence of the exchange rate used for any receipts in foreign currency. Otherwise, we
   will have to use the exchange rate that exists on the date the receipts are submitted,
   regardless of whether this rate is more or less than the actual rate used.

Anytime you spend a portion of your group travel advance, you must get a detailed
receipt! Please be aware that often tickets for events also serve as receipts. If you cannot
get a separate invoice for all the tickets, you must collect the tickets from the students
after the event, since they document the activity and the price paid. Please remember that
credit card receipts only record the transaction and overall amount of money paid. They
are different from original invoices! APA needs the detailed invoice for any purchase or
activity. When you return to LSU, you will have to submit all receipts that total the
amount of your advance. Please keep track of how much of your advance you have spent
and how much you have left to spend. If you do not spend the entire advance (or if you
cannot provide receipts showing how a portion of the advance was spent), you will be
required to refund the remaining (or unaccounted for) amount to LSU. If, however, you
spend more than the amount of the advance, you will not be reimbursed for the extra
funds. The reason you cannot get a refund for any funds spent over and above the
advance amount is because the advance that you will be given is the remaining amount of
income from the program, after APA subtracts out the payments that have already been
made. APA does not have a separate fund through which programs are financially
supported; short-term study abroad programs have only the amount of money they
generate through their program fee as income to spend on the group. You will be given
all the remaining revenue for your group in your advance. If you spend more than that,
there is no surplus money from which APA can reimburse you. Any money that you
spend on the group over and above your advance amount will be a gift from you to your
students and will not be refunded by APA. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep track
of how much you have to spend and how much you have already spent.

For international programs, you may want to consider converting the entire amount to the
local currency at once if the amount of your advance is small, so that you only have to
keep track of one exchange rate. For larger advances, however, you may have to convert
money several times. Please keep track of which receipts go with which conversion rate,
as we will need this information upon your return to LSU. You may include bank
statements showing conversion fees as a receipt and submit these as part of your group
expenses. Fees for converting money can be assessed to the group advance, but must
show as a line item on your expense report (a template for which will be given to you by
APA at the Accounting and Record Keeping orientation, during spring semester).

Group advances sound complicated, but in reality they are not difficult to track, if you
keep up with them daily (or nearly daily). APA will provide you with an Excel
spreadsheet to use in keeping a log of your receipts and their accompanying exchange
rates. You should number the receipts so that the number on the receipt matches the line
number in the Excel spreadsheet. Then, when you return, all you have to do is submit the
spreadsheet and the numbered receipts to APA. Receipts must be individually taped to
8.5” x 11” paper when they are submitted. If you owe part of the advance back to LSU,
you should submit a check (made payable to Louisiana State University) for the amount
to be refunded at the time that you stop by APA to sign the Travel Expense Voucher for
your receipts. All advances, both personal and group, must have a signed Travel Expense
Voucher on file and must be reconciled within one month of returning to LSU.

                                      III. Recruitment

The “summer programs” section of the APA website (www.lsu.edu/studyabroad) has links to
individual pages for every short-term program. These websites have replaced the more
traditional brochure that we used to print for each study abroad program. While these websites
are maintained by APA, it is your responsibility to provide the text, photos, graphics, and all
other information to Dawn Humble, the APA webmaster. APA will send you a template for the
website that will allow you to cut and paste text in as you see fit and will post the website once
you have submitted the text and graphics. It is your responsibility to make sure that the
information on your website is correct! Once the page has been posted, you can contact Dawn
about any corrections you want to make. Please keep in mind, however, that these corrections
may not be made immediately, so check and double-check the text you are submitting before you
send it to APA.

Websites that have more information and more pictures are, generally, more successful. At a
minimum, however, your website should include the dates and cost of the program, a list of the
courses offered and prerequisites (if any) for those courses, contact information for you and any
other faculty involved with the program, and information on housing, group excursions, and the
location of the program. APA will add the link for the application to each website so that
students can download the application.

In addition, APA will also have information on its main page about scholarships available for
short-term programs. APA maintains a list of study abroad scholarships in the office, but please
be very careful about giving out information concerning financial aid. The Office of Student Aid
& Scholarships prefers to be the ones to discuss federal aid, waivers, TOPS, etc. with interested
students. Students with questions concerning any of these funding options should be directed to
Student Aid & Scholarships and any additional information on these funding sources should not
appear on your website.

Recruitment Strategies
The most time-consuming part of building a program is recruiting. All program faculty must
make recruitment a top priority, especially during fall semester.

Even well-established programs require active recruiting to meet minimum enrollments. For
new programs, the task of recruiting is even more daunting, as they cannot depend on word-of-
mouth or past participants to help spread the word. Setting up a program website is only the very
beginning of the process.

While the temptation is strong to recruit solely for one’s own program, students often find this
type of recruitment to be more of a “sales pitch” and tend to view such attempts with suspicion.
In general, it is best to try and sell study abroad in general, using specific examples from your
own program. For example: “The first day of a study abroad experience can often be a bit
overwhelming for students. That’s why in Paris, for example, we try to have lots of group
activities planned for students, to help them adjust to life in France”. Students will respond to
this approach much better than presentations along the lines of, “Here’s why Paris is better than

London.” Perceived competition between programs has consistently been found to lower
students’ opinions of study abroad as a whole, so approach recruitment with a collaborative
approach, not a competitive one. You want students to know where you are going and to come
with you, but you do not want to find yourself saying things like, “You don’t want to go there!
Go on my program instead”. If all directors agree to participate in this cooperative form of
recruitment, it usually means higher enrollments overall.

When should I start recruiting?
The simple answer: yesterday! The earlier you start recruiting, the better. You want to talk to as
many students as possible before Thanksgiving, so that students can plan their summers and have
plenty of time to talk the idea over with family and friends and start saving money! Many
students will make the decision to participate in a short-term program, but then wait to turn in
their application for a few weeks (or even months). If you wait until spring to start seriously
recruiting, you will lose many of those students who need time to think it over and decide for
themselves. Plus, you want an idea of what your enrollment will be like before the deadline, as
that will help you in planning field trips, meals, excursions, etc. While the beginning of fall
semester is hectic for everyone, that really is the ideal time to focus on recruiting for short-term

How many students do I need to talk to?
There is no simple answer to this question, but a Program Director who has one out of every 10
students sign up for his/her program is very lucky. Do not count on any student who has not paid
a deposit and expect that roughly 10% of the students initially signed up will drop out before the
program begins. In 2008, we received 450 applications for short-term study abroad programs.
Of these 450, 100 dropped out before the programs left. In 2009, APA received 415 applications
for short-term programs, and 68 of these eventually dropped out.

A simple rule to follow is: whenever you think you have surely spoken to enough classes and
student groups, schedule three more presentations. As difficult as it may seem now to get
everything done, you will be grateful for this extra work once the deadline for applications has
passed and your program is full of students.

What are the most effective methods for recruitment?
In an ideal world, study abroad programs would fill up simply because students are anxious to
seek out the opportunity, and they would actively find the programs that interest them. In reality,
however, students often have to be convinced and encouraged to study abroad. Simply running a
program and putting a flyer about it on your office door will not be enough to fill the spaces in
your program. The following recruiting methods are tried-and-true techniques:

   1. Study Abroad Fair
      Every year, APA hosts a study abroad fair in the Union. This fair, usually attended by
      1200 or more students, is a great opportunity for you to reach a large number of students
      at once and start to gather the names and emails of students interested in your program.
      At the fair, students are able to pick up information on a variety of national and
      international programs, so you should make sure that you follow up with students who
      express an interest in your program by adding their names to an email contact list and

   sending them updates on your program. Although the details of your program may not be
   completed by the time of the fair, you should be prepared to give students a general
   handout, so that they have something to take with them about the program. This flyer
   should include your contact information, in case a student has questions later.

2. Class and Group Presentations
   By far, the most effective way to recruit students is through presentations to classes,
   student organizations, dormitories, Greek organizations, etc. These presentations do not
   take much time – classroom presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes and group
   presentations should be no more than 15 minutes with time for questions and answers
   afterwards, if possible – and provide students with a lot of information and a face to
   identify with the program. In addition to targeting specific groups of students (for
   example, foreign language students for language-based programs), you will also want to
   focus your attention on freshmen and introductory courses, as these courses tend to be
   larger and can, therefore, maximize the number of students you reach with one
   presentation. Most first-time travelers who sign up for short-term programs express
   interest initially after a class presentation, so this should be the main focus of your
   recruitment plans.

3. Posters
   Eye-catching posters displayed in well-trafficked areas can be great ways to reach large
   numbers of students and provide them with basic information, including ways to find out
   more about the program. Posters that include tear-offs with the website and/or your
   email address will probably be more effective than those where the student has to write
   down the contact information. The tear-off posters are easy to design, as evidenced by
   the plethora of them around campus advertising everything from local bands to
   apartments for lease and used furniture for sale. Also, as long as the posters are not in
   color (consider using brightly colored paper instead of color photos), they are cheap to
   copy. Just remember when you design your posters that they will be photocopied in
   black and white, so originals that have lots of colorful photos may not look as good once
   they’ve been photocopied!

4. Reveille
   Rather than placing ads in the Reveille, consider approaching the editor and/or staff
   members about doing a story on your program. In 2006, the Reveille ran weekly articles
   from a student on the LSU in Ireland program, chronicling her experiences. You could
   have past participants talk to the reporter to give their perspectives, or talk to them
   yourself to tell them about an upcoming program (a combination of both would be most
   effective, actually). Just make sure that you know what information is going into the
   article ahead of time! Negative publicity is not what you are after. You can also
   purchase ads in the Reveille, but they can be expensive and may not be any more
   effective than a steady supply of posters around campus. If you do decide to advertise in
   the Reveille, make sure you build this into your budget from the beginning! You have
   probably noticed that other universities around the state take out ads in the Reveille to
   advertise study abroad programs. These ads still only have limited effects, and remember
   that those programs do not have the advantage of being on campus regularly and being

   able to go around and paper the campus in posters! Nor can they make presentations to
   classes and student organizations.

   In the past, the campus radio station’s reporters have given study abroad a good deal of
   free publicity, which has been effective in generating phone calls and emails from
   interested students. You will need to contact the radio station ahead of time and send
   them the text of the announcement that you want read, but this is a relatively easy process
   that can be done via email and generates a great deal of effect for the small amount of
   effort that goes into it.

6. Email Lists
   You should save the email address of every student who contacts you about your
   program. If a student talks to you at the study abroad fair, get his/her email address (if
   possible) so that you can continue to contact them. When you do a class presentation,
   pass around a list for students to sign up for more information. These email addresses
   should be compiled into a list, so that you can easily email all of them at once. This is the
   single best way to keep students interested after they have expressed an initial interest.
   While this email list will not reach students who have not expressed an interest (that’s
   what the other recruitment methods are for), it will definitely help you to keep in touch
   with those who have expressed an interest. Since the majority of students who go on
   short-term programs have never traveled extensively before, they need a little more
   convincing. If nothing else, they need to be convinced that the idea of spending a
   summer away from Louisiana is a tangible, conceivable idea.

   You should set aside time each week to email your contact list (maybe first thing in the
   morning every Friday? Or Wednesday afternoons right before your last class?) If you
   have compiled the names in a group or list, it’s easy to send out a mass emailing to all of
   them at once. These emails don’t always have to be heavy on the recruiting; remember,
   these students are already interested – you’re just trying to keep them interested! Mix
   fun, cultural notes in with the factual information about the program. You want to make
   sure they have the factual information as well, but mixing it up with the more fun-filled
   emails will help students to feel at ease about the program. Emails that make the city or
   country where your program will be feel more “real” will go a long way towards keeping
   students. Professors who have used this technique successfully in the past have made it a
   point to send out a variety of emails. For instance, if you’re doing a program in London,
   on week one send an email that says “hey, check it out! It’s currently 60 degrees in
   London! Sure beats the heat here, eh?” and then has a link to a weather site for London.
   On week two, send information on some of the field trips you’ve planned for the group.
   Then, maybe on the third week, send out an email reminding students that LSU has a
   study abroad scholarship that they can start applying for in January and encourage them
   to begin thinking about their essays now. Your emails don’t have to be long and detailed;
   they are designed to establish a rapport between you and your students and to pass on
   information about the program.

For first-time contact, face-to-face recruitment efforts (classroom presentations, speaking to
student groups, setting up informational meetings in dormitories, etc.) work best. Follow-up
contact can be handled via email, but for the most part students will show interest in the program
only after meeting you in person. A few students may email or call you about the program, but
in general you should expect to have to go out and meet the students in order to gain their initial
interest. Once you’ve met them, then you should start the emailing process so that they do not
forget about the program!

                                IV. Pre-Departure Planning
Course Registration
Sections of courses offered on short-term programs will be set up by APA early in spring
semester. You should send a finalized list of courses offered in your program to APA by the end
of January to ensure that all of the necessary courses are set up.

APA will register students for their courses. However, students should make sure that their flags
have been lifted by their advisors so that they can be registered. Please remember that students
cannot take courses for which they have not met the prerequisites. In addition, students cannot
take courses which they would normally not be allowed to take here on campus. For example,
freshmen who are not allowed to take 4000-level courses on campus cannot take 4000-level
courses on short-term programs, either.

In general, students on your program will select two courses from those offered and take those
courses while participating in the program. In rare instances, however, a student may need a
course that is not offered through the program. In this case, students may arrange to take one
course on independent study while participating in the program. The independent study course
should relate to the program site and be offered by one of the faculty members teaching on the
program. The independent study must be approved by the faculty member offering the course,
the Program Director of the study abroad program, and APA. When you submit your list of
courses to APA, you should include any independent studies that you wish to offer. Independent
studies have to be set up, just like “regular” courses, so APA will need to know about them in
order to arrange for their setup for summer term.

Students are assessed program fees at the time that they are registered for courses, so it is very
important that they are registered for the correct courses, as dropping and adding courses may
disrupt their program fees.

Once the deadline for applications has passed and you know which students are participating in
the program, you should hold several planning meetings with the other faculty participating in
your program to solidify plans for the program and prepare for the pre-departure orientations.

You want to have at least two pre-departure orientations. The amount of information you need
to give to students before they leave is too much to be absorbed in one meeting. One meeting
should focus on the practical details – travel documents, arriving at the site, emergency contact
information, the student code of conduct, etc. You should also emphasize the purpose of the
short-term program, i.e. that academics are the first priority and that students should expect a
good amount of work. The second meeting should focus more on cultural notes – what
differences the students should expect, how to deal with culture shock, different customs and
traditions they should be aware of, etc. Be sure to discuss and include in printed materials
strategies for handling strong anti-American sentiment. You should alert APA to the
dates/times/locations of your meetings. APA must attend at least one orientation, to discuss
insurance, course registration, and LSU policies and procedures. Students will not be registered
for classes until they have attended this APA session.

A few points to cover with your students in their orientation:
 • Accommodations will not be four stars! Tell students at orientation exactly where they can
     expect to live. If possible, show pictures of the dorm/hotel rooms and/or other available
     facilities. Be sure to be up-front and honest with your students about where they will live –
     many future problems can be avoided (or, at the least, lessened) if students have a realistic
     image of where they will be living before they leave.
 • Provide students with a mailing address and emergency contact information for the place(s)
     they will be staying, as well as a detailed itinerary they can give to their parents and
     friends. This would also be something to post on your program’s website, so that parents
     who lose their copy can easily access the information at any time! A copy of this
     information must also be provided to APA before you leave Baton Rouge.
 • Remind students that short-term programs are walking intensive. Recommend that they
     start an exercise program before they go, so that they are able to keep up on group
     excursions. Students must bring comfortable walking shoes – no flip flops! Even if they
     are willing to take the risk, resulting injuries will require attention and are disruptive to the
     schedule for the other students.
 • Provide students with a suggested packing list, including a list of things not to take.
     Students taking regular medications should take sufficient medication and ask their doctors
     for new Rx, written for generic drugs. Written prescriptions for glasses/contacts are
     international. Students should also pack basic first aid items. A sample packing list will be
     provided by APA to each program.
 • Remind students that they will have to carry their own luggage everywhere. Also, provide
     students with information on the local climate(s), to aid them in packing.
 • Warn students of any dress expectations they must comply with for excursions (not
     wearing shorts in cathedrals, for example). Students should dress discretely, so as not to
     attract unwanted attention or give out mixed signals.
 • Provide students with a map of the airport. Provide specific directions for travel and
     meeting place onsite. Try to arrange two or three meeting times and have one of the
     program staff meet the students and guide them to the place they will be staying.
 • Insist that students provide you with a copy of their flight itinerary and passport
     (international) or driver’s license (national) before they leave Baton Rouge.
 • Discuss the rules of the program with the students. Make sure that they understand that
     drunkenness, violence, or other inappropriate behaviors could result in dismissal from the
 • Remind students that they are representatives of their country and LSU, and they need to
     act accordingly.
 • Students on international programs who have not yet done so by the time of your
     orientation must apply for a passport ASAP. Students can do this at the post office in the
     union. You can also find additional locations in Louisiana where students can apply for
     passport by visiting www.travel.state.gov

Before you Leave Baton Rouge:
Here is a to-do list that you should review and complete before leaving Baton Rouge for the
summer. While you may have completed some of these items ahead of time, you should make

sure that all of them are completed before you leave, as these are important, but often
overlooked, tasks:
            • For international programs: register all students and faculty participating in your
                 program with the State Department. To do so, go to
            • Provide APA with your complete travel itinerary, emergency contact information,
                 and all syllabi for the courses taught in your program
            • Verify course enrollments with APA to ensure that students are registered for the
                 correct courses and have met the prerequisites for those courses

Course Planning
In most cases, courses on short-term programs are small and there is a strong motivating factor in
the melding of classroom learning with field experiences. Teaching can be livelier and more
encompassing of students than is typical at home. On the negative side, students are strongly
tempted to spend their evenings in the cafés or pubs, rather than studying; those having their first
dormitory experience may have difficulty disciplining themselves, getting adequate rest, and
doing the preparations they need to do for class. A few students are more interested in traveling,
partying, and drinking than they are in studying.

This is an academic program and students must be reminded of that. Easing their burden by
having them complete assignments before departure can help meet their objectives and yours, but
ultimately you will have to impose rules and penalties for breaking those rules.

 A. Course Schedules and Attendance
    Students should quickly get used to the routine of classes and field trips for each course. A
    schedule of class times and field trips should be given to students at their pre-departure
    orientations to reinforce the idea that these programs are academic in focus. Once onsite,
    faculty should insist that students get to class on time and that they meet promptly for
    departure for field trips.

     Students should not be absent from classes or field trips, unless they are ill. The program
     attendance policy should be explained at orientation and students should be reminded again
     at their first onsite orientation. Make it clear to students that attendance is mandatory and
     that they must attend classes and field trips, if they expect to pass.

 B. Enrollment and Drop/Add Policy
    Students cannot withdraw from all their courses and remain in the program; they must carry
    at least six credit hours. Dropping or adding courses is difficult, given the distance from
    LSU and the fact that your program’s schedule may not match up with LSU’s summer
    registration calendar. All programs must follow the registration calendar established by
    LSU, regardless of the actual dates of the program. Students are still held to the drop/add
    deadlines established by LSU for summer or intersession semesters, so for some programs
    this may mean that drop/add ends before the program begins.

     Students should be discouraged from dropping courses once they are onsite, unless it is
     absolutely necessary. If a student does need to drop a course and/or add another, you must

   contact the Summer Coordinator as soon as possible so that the student’s registration can be

C. Class Morale, Faculty-Student Relations
   The short-term program setting brings teachers and students together for many hours, in
   formal and informal settings; you will eat together, live in close proximity, travel together,
   and go through many of the same cultural adjustments together. In such situations,
   emotions can be at a very high pitch. Students experiencing the stresses of new cultures can
   turn their frustrations – or their need for emotional support – towards the faculty member,
   who often is experiencing stresses as well.

   You will inevitably be more important to your students on this program than you would be
   in Baton Rouge. You are their counselor, their interpreter of very new and puzzling
   experiences, travel guide, mentor, and disciplinarian, in addition to being their professor. It
   is important to be prepared for the special situation in which you will find yourself. You
   must be supportive, helpful, and friendly, while at the same time being careful to maintain a
   certain distance, to protect the students and yourself. You must remember that your private
   life, protected from scrutiny in Baton Rouge, will be very much in view in the short-term
   program setting – what you eat and drink (and how much), with whom you spend your time,
   etc., will be public knowledge. Often, when you most want to be left alone, a student with a
   very real need will descend on you and need counsel.

   It is a challenge to play all of these roles over the course of one summer. Most people
   succeed, however, and actually manage to enjoy it!

                                   V. Onsite Management
Group Management
You will be traveling with a group of diverse students. For some, this may be the first time away
from home, the first time living in a group setting, and the first time that they will be able legally
to consume alcohol. While study abroad offers many culturally rich and wonderful experiences,
it can also offer many temptations.

Your responsibility and aim is to provide reasonable structure and an appropriate balance
between individual freedom to explore, respect for the rights of others, and the safety of
everyone. It is crucial that you acquaint students with security issues and guidelines for
minimizing the risks of theft or attack that exist everywhere. It is equally essential that you make
clear to them the guidelines to be followed as regards their own behavior as well as the penalties
to be suffered for failing to follow those guidelines.

Responsibilities of Directors
Study abroad Directors must exercise precautions for the safety of students and faculty on their
programs. Program Directors have communication and logistical responsibilities, and these
represent the expectations of the LSU administration.

   A. Communication
        a. The Director will provide written and oral guidelines to students during
           orientation and other meetings onsite. This information will advise program
           participants on matters of dress, behavior in public, speech, places to avoid, and
           travel, with specifics on safety and sources of assistance in case of emergency.
           The Director will also explain to participants the consequences of failure to follow
           the guidelines set forth (see section d under Logistics, below).
        b. For international programs, the Director will provide the nearest U.S. Embassy or
           consular office with a list of names, addresses, and passport numbers of all
           program participants before departing the U.S. This information can be submitted
           online via the State Department’s website: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/
        c. The Director will regularly seek information from governmental and other sources
           to learn of potential hazards related to the sites, field trips, and activities of the
           program and its participants.
        d. In the event of illness or injury to any program participant, the Director will notify
           LSU officials immediately and, when appropriate, parents or persons designated
           as emergency contacts of participants. The Director will also notify governmental
           authorities in the event of injury caused by criminal acts (for additional
           procedures and information, see Emergency Guidelines, below).
        e. The Director must keep written notes on all communications related to the
           security of the group, particularly on advice received by government authorities,
           and on advice and instructions the Director gives to participants. These notes will
           be submitted to APA at the end of the program and become a part of the
           permanent record of the program.

   B. Logistics
         a. The Director will plan all aspects of group travel, especially for field trips related
             to the program, so as to ensure maximum safety of the group.
         b. The Director has full authority to cancel or revise any field trips or excursions
             planned by any program faculty as necessary to provide for the group’s wellbeing.
             The Director will also instruct other program faculty on security measures to
             follow in leading such trips.
         c. The Director will work with those in charge of residence halls and other lodging
             facilities to maintain optimum safety of participants.
         d. The Director is empowered to dismiss from the group any participant who fails to
             follow the guidelines of the Program Director and host(s), especially when the
             behavior of a participant endangers other members of the group. Guidelines for
             the dismissal of students have been established and are included in this
             guidebook. Directors should follow established protocols when determining
             when and how to dismiss a student. Should the Director dismiss a program
             participant, the Director will notify LSU officials of the dismissal. The dismissed
             participant must pay for the cost of any alternative lodging and the return home
             and will not be reimbursed by the University or program faculty for those costs.

Risk Management
Study abroad may involve unique risks to participants and a higher level of responsibility for
supervisors. This section describes how Program Directors and faculty can best protect their
students from harm and themselves from litigation. The next section is devoted to procedures for
handling crisis situations abroad. Please note that these procedures for handling crises are not
optional. They are to be followed exactly by all program administrators or faculty in the
situations described.

   A. Safety and Tort Liability Issues
         a.      Background
             Tort law covers civil suits involving wrongful acts that result in injury, loss, or
             damage. Negligence is the most common tort litigation. In study abroad, the
             most common example of negligence is a failure to counsel students sufficiently
             about risks and dangers – natural, social, political, cultural, and legal – inherent in
             living in a foreign environment.

              A legal judgment of negligence must prove duty, breach of duty, proximate cause,
              and actual injury. Duty is defined as an obligation recognized by the law. A duty
              is determined when “the risk in question is deemed to be foreseeable through the
              objective eyes of a reasonably prudent person in a similar situation”. Once a duty
              has been determined to exist, a standard of care is established. Disregard of this
              standard of care is a breach of duty and can result in a lawsuit. For example, a
              Director who takes a group of students into a known war zone has breached
              his/her duty.

              With a breach of duty established, a litigant must determine proximate cause.
              Proximate cause is proof that the breach of duty resulted in the injury, loss, or

     damage in question. Finally, successful litigation requires that an actual injury,
     physical or mental, occurred.

     It is important to note that the standard of care in study abroad programs is higher
     than at the home campus because students are in unfamiliar environments without
     the support networks to which they are accustomed. In addition, students may be
     operating in non-English speaking populations. You must be conscious of this
     fact during pre-departure preparations and onsite management of your program.

     The following are ways to minimize the risk of tort litigation.

b.       Program and Site Familiarity
     You must be thoroughly familiar with the program; service providers; and the
     cultural, political, and social conditions of the site. Investigate the security of all
     accommodations and the safety record of all transportation providers. Research
     the security of all destinations and the areas through which the group will travel
     using ground transportation.

     Be aware that LSU does not allow students to travel to areas for which the State
     Department has issued a travel warning. To view a list of current travel warnings,
     visit http://travel.state.gov/travel/

c.      Supervision and Backup
     Your program is an operation that requires your attention 24 hours a day, seven
     days a week. Make sure that someone is always in charge. Another faculty
     member (ideally) or service provider (if nobody else is available) must be
     available in case the Director is unable to function. Students should always be
     accompanied during group travel.

     Someone should be available to handle emergency situations at all times.

d.      Insurance
     Students and faculty participating in LSU-sponsored international study abroad
     programs are covered by a health insurance policy purchased through T.W. Lord
     & Associates. This health insurance policy covers students and faculty for
     medical emergencies arising while they are on the program, even if the
     emergency is the result of a pre-existing condition. In addition, the policy also
     covers medical evacuation and repatriation. Those travelers participating in
     domestic short-term programs must have health insurance that will cover
     hospitalization and emergencies while participating in the program.

     LSU has liability insurance coverage which provides protection to the Director
     and program faculty for liability arising out of the performance of their duties
     with the University. Within the terms and limits of such insurance coverage, the
     insurer is obligated to defend and indemnify the University and its employees
     against liability arising out of bodily injury caused by an occurrence, including

     any claims for bodily injury to a program participant.

e.       Orientation
     One of the best ways to ensure the safety of students and minimize the occurrence
     of litigation over negligence is to provide a thorough orientation. The orientation
     should include:
     1.     Cautions about alcohol and drug abuse and a warning not to carry, buy, or
            sell illegal drugs
     2.     A warning that students are subject to local – not U.S. – laws and that little
            can be done by the program or the U.S. Embassy to help students who are
            caught breaking the law
     3.     Region-specific health information, such as the nature, prevention, and
            treatment of region-specific diseases; required and recommended
            vaccinations; water and food risks; and descriptions of persistent and
            epidemic diseases.
     4.     Travel health information available from the Centers for Disease Control at
     5.     Advice to prepare a customized medical kit including prescription
            medications in labeled bottles, generic prescriptions for refills, and an extra
            pair of eyeglasses (if needed)
     6.     Information about the psychological consequences of jet lag, culture shock,
            homesickness, loneliness, changes in diet, lack of exercise, and so on
     7.     General instructions for emergency medical situations – using an emergency
            telephone system (like 911), calling an ambulance, a hospital or doctor, or
            an embassy or consular office
     8.     Prudent advice on how to minimize the possibility of being the victim of
     9.     Advice to avoid political activity
     10. Local diet and eating patterns, including ways to accommodate students
            with special nutritional needs or preferences
     11. How to locate routine and emergency professional medical help
     12. Facts on local crime and the political situation. You may wish to distribute
            the State Department’s Travel Advisories and Consular Information Sheets

f. Ready Access to Emergency Information
   It is required that you provide students and the APA office with daytime and
   evening telephone numbers that they can use in an emergency and the address(es)
   of the program. Students should be instructed to leave a copy of this emergency
   contact information with their family and friends, in case someone here needs to
   reach them while they are overseas. You must include your own detailed travel
   itinerary (including flight dates and times, locations, etc) with the copy that you
   provide to APA.

g. Keeping Basic Information on Students
   Directors should have, onsite, photocopied information pages from the passports
   of every student and faculty member, in case passports are lost or stolen or

           individual persons have to be identified.

B. Contractual Liability
   This form of liability stems from not providing the services or quality of services that are
   promised. In order to avoid contractual litigation, you should do the following:

       a. Be honest about travel, prices, housing, food, etc.
       b. Include disclaimers – e.g. prices may vary, services may change – in program
          literature. For example, “all costs are subject to change because of unanticipated
          increases in airfare or other program elements or fluctuations in monetary
          exchange rates”
       c. Provide equivalent services when changes are made
       d. Obtain clear, written contracts with service providers that include services, costs,
          and a refund or alternative plan, if first-choice services cannot be provided

   All participants have joined the program of their own free will, and none have been
   required by LSU to participate. Students must sign statements waiving the liability of the
   University and its employees for any injury sustained which is beyond the control of
   program administrators and faculty.

C. Crisis Management
   All of the crisis management protocols below require that you contact APA at 225-578-
   6801 or 225-578-6814. Information on APA’s 24-hour emergency cell phone will be
   provided to you before you leave Baton Rouge, so that you can reach APA at any time, in
   the event of an emergency.

   When handling any crisis, document your actions!

       a. Medical Emergencies
          Before departure, you should learn about the general attitudes toward healthcare
          in the host culture, e.g. do doctors hesitate to use potent drugs and take a wait-
          and-see approach or do they aggressively treat problems? This information will
          be invaluable in dealing with medical emergencies.

           In cases of serious medical situations, you should do the following:
           1. Take the person to a hospital/clinic, verify the nature of the emergency with a
               doctor, inform healthcare personnel about chronic medical conditions, and
               assist with medical insurance paperwork
           2. Obtain the medical help indicated
           3. Contact APA with the nature of the medical emergency and keep in regular
               contact with APA until the emergency has passed. Advise APA if the student
               does NOT want the emergency contact notified
           4. Have the student call his/her emergency contact. If the student is not able to
               communicate, APA will call the contact
           5. If the student has not signed authorization for you to obtain medical treatment
               (included in the waiver the student signs for APA), seek authorization from

      the student’s emergency contact. Remember, you are not the student’s legal
      guardian, but you should try your best to get medical attention for him/her
   6. The following is a list of information you should obtain to assess the situation:
        a. Student’s name
        b. Date of accident or commencement of illness
        c. Details of injuries, symptoms, present condition, including temperature
        d. Name and telephone number of attending physician
        e. Name, address, and phone number of hospital or clinic
        f. Drugs administered
        g. X-rays taken and results
        h. Surgery proposed and type of anesthesia.

b. Natural Disasters and Group Accidents
   In the case of earthquake, flood, avalanche, epidemic, bus crash, etc., do the
   1. See to the safety of all group members
   2. Communicate with APA as soon as possible as to the safety and state of health
       of all group members, the group’s location, plans, and when you will contact
       APA again
   3. Communicate the same information to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
       Diplomatic channels are an alternative way to get information to APA if
       public communication systems fail
   4. Consult with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate, local police, local sponsors, etc. for
       advice on how to respond to the situation
   5. Discuss plans with group members. This may include change of location,
       change in program schedule, cancellation of the program, or a shift in
       emphasis in the program.
   6. Some students may decide to return home immediately. Of course, this is
       their prerogative and you should assist in making arrangements

c. Civil Disturbance
   1. Be aware of situations and locations which can be potentially dangerous.
      Warn students and advise them to avoid such areas whenever possible.
      Discourage or forbid, if necessary, attendance at particularly sensitive political
      meetings, rallies, or other sizable gatherings
   2. Keep the U.S. Embassy notified of your location at all times. You must
      register all members of your group with the State Department before the start
      of your program. Make sure you fully understand evacuation procedures to be
      followed in case it becomes necessary
   3. Keep APA informed of developments and follow instructions issued by the
      U.S. Embassy
   4. Contact APA as soon as possible in the event of a coup, assassination, riot,
      revolution, etc. so parents who call may be fully informed.

d. Missing Program Participant

   1. Inquire with friends and associates of missing participant about his/her
   2. Notify the U.S. Embassy, local police, and local sponsor(s) and give them
      your telephone number
   3. Notify APA at once. LSU will notify the student’s emergency contact. Be
      sure to provide APA with as many details as possible regarding what
      happened and what is being done.
   4. Check with authorities daily and inform APA of any new developments.

e. Student Arrested
   1. Report situation to U.S. Embassy or Consulate
   2. Follow procedures given by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate as to additional
   3. Notify APA about incident

f. Robbery
   1. Call local law enforcement agency
   2. Assist student in obtaining funds to replace stolen money
   3. Have student call emergency contact
   4. Notify APA

g. Assault
   1. Go through medical emergency procedures (section a)
   2. Call local law enforcement agency to report incident
   3. Notify APA about the incident

h. Rape
   1. Go through assault protocol (section g) and medical emergency procedures
      (section a)
   2. Notify APA about the incident
   3. Help student find counseling. Keep in mind that in many cultures, medical
      doctors often are the first point of contact for people struggling with emotional
      or psychological issues
   4. Help student (if requested or required) return home

i. Death of a Student or Faculty Member
   If a student or faculty member dies while participating in the program, record all
   available facts accurately. The atmosphere surrounding the program will be
   emotionally charged, and it is very important that the tasks below are handled
   promptly and effectively.

   Take the following steps if a student or faculty member dies:
   1. If word comes from phone, obtain the identity of the person giving the
   2. Determine the cause of death – if an illness, what illness; if an accident, what
      kind, where did it happen, who else was involved, etc.

3. Find out time and place of death
4. Get name and address of undertaker, if available
5. If the participant died in an accident, inquire about the local laws regarding
6. Find out if anyone has contacted the participant’s family
7. Contact APA immediately regarding insurance coverage and procedures for
   repatriation of remains.

Reporting the death of a student:
1. Inform APA immediately. APA will then follow LSU protocol to notify the
   family per LSU’s emergency procedures.
2. Notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately

1. Continue to keep a chronological record of events and actions as they occur
2. Talk to other student participants and keep them informed and counseled
3. APA will assist the Program Director or responsible person in making
    arrangements for the repatriation of the body
4. Gather the participant’s belongings and make an inventory
5. Wait for State Department or Consular instructions on handling and returning
    belongings to the family. Note: in case of death, all personal belonging
    automatically revert to custody of the State Department.


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