Office of International Programs

Create a Travel/Study Course

Faculty/staff-led trips are academic and/or recreational experiences that are initiated, organized and carried out by UT Tyler faculty and staff members, working closely with their respective departments and with assistance from the Office of International Programs (OIP). The OIP provides resources to assist faculty and staff to develop their proposal, works to facilitate the approval and submission process, and provides guidance to assist with the completion of all required compliance-related travel documentation. All steps for creating an international travel experience for your students are listed below.

Research shows that programs which are approved and marketed at least two full semesters prior to the time of departure experience better recruitment and are more successful preparing students for their experience abroad. Faculty and staff members contemplating organizing an international experience for their students are encouraged to contact the OIP as early in the process as possible (recommended at least 18 – 24 months in advance).

Deadlines for submitting your travel study proposal:

Spring 2017 trips: Friday, 23 September 2016

Summer 2017 trips: Friday, 10 February 2017

Fall 2017 trips: Friday, 9 June 2017

Part I: Pre-Trip Research Process

Step 1:
Choose the location abroad where instruction will take place.

  • Safety first: Check the U.S. State Department’s website for travel warnings
    • If the country is on the list for travel warnings please note this on the Travel Study Proposal (template found on the bottom of this page), and complete and attach an approved UT Tyler Request for Travel Exemption form to your proposal.
    • For all other countries, complete the Request for Approval of Foreign Travel - Faculty and Staff University Travel and provide it to the Provost's Office for approval.
    • Faculty leaders must be certified in CPR and First Aid. For a list of organizations that provide CPR and First Aid training please follow this website. Minimally, one leader must be certified, however it is preferable that all leaders become certified.

Step 2:
Establish the faculty/staff to student ratio for the trip. The best case scenario is to always have two university representatives on every trip. This ensures that if something were to happen to the primary faculty leader, the students would never be without supervision. It is also recommended to have both a female and a male faculty/staff representative on each trip.

At a minimum, there should be a faculty/staff to student ratio of at least 1:10, but exceptions in either direction could change this recommendation based on the details and factors surrounding each unique trip (location, activities, etc.). Example factors for a change in this ratio allowing more student travelers could include: the travel company you are working with provides adult guides that will be with the group at all times, and/or students will be on a university campus attending classes and not traveling once they arrive to the country. Example factors for a change in this ratio requiring a higher faculty/staff:student ratio could include: a rigorous travel itinerary, site visits that require additional student supervision, and/or general safety issues.

Step 3:
Estimate the cost for travel and accommodations and determine if visas are needed for entry into the country. The University of Texas System has mandated that all faculty, staff, students and guests traveling on university business must use the UT System contracted travel agencies: Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) or Anthony Travel (ATI).

  • NOTE: UT System Travel Agency Policy Exception: All faculty, staff, students and guests who travel on university business are required to use the authorized travel agencies. Those currently exempt from this requirement include: student group travel (10 students or more) and athletic (team) travel.

  • Determine how you will plan the logistics of your trip (i.e., tour company, university collaboration, self-planned, etc.).
    All contracts with tour companies must be vetted by the UT Tyler Office of University Counsel. The OIP will assist with this process.

Step 4:
If offering credit, plan your travel/study course:

  • Consider academic rigor:
    • No credit will be offered for travel abroad that is primarily for site seeing, recreation, or pleasure.
    • 45-48 contact hours must be held in a 3-hour regular or summer session course. Trip orientation must not be included as part of the contact hours.
    • Each course must have learning outcomes equivalent to a traditionally delivered course.
    • Keep in mind that pre- and post-travel sessions and on-site sessions that are not orientation may be counted toward the contact hours.

Step 5:

If offering credit, consult with the chair of your department to determine when the class will be offered:

  • Fall Semester; Spring Semester; Short Summer (in May); Long Summer (generally May-August); Summer I (June - July); Summer II (July - August). Consult with the start and end dates posted by the registrar's office. Classes cannot be held outside of the established dates.

Step 6:
If offering credit, create your syllabus:

  • Try to be as specific as possible.
  • Factor course materials into the cost of the trip.
  • Consider the logistics of assignments and site reports overseas.

Step 7:
Be aware of all student steps described in the "Getting Started" section of the OIP Study Abroad website. Alert all interested students that they must make an appointment with an OIP Study Abroad advisor to initiate their application process as quickly as possible. Remind students to apply for UT Tyler and outside scholarships. Please note that faculty cannot submit letter of reference for one of their own travelers. 

Step 8:
Complete and submit the Travel Study Proposal Template (for trips that offer credit), the Recreational Trip Proposal Template (for trips that don't offer credit)or the Proposal Renewal Template (for a renewal of either type of trip), by the established due date (see above) and follow all international travel requirements as described in UT Tyler's Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) and Chapter 13 of the Manual of Policies and Procedures for Student Affairs (MOPP).

Part II: Pre-Trip Planning Process

Refer to the Faculty-Led Study Travel Programs Procedure for Faculty Members. OIP staff are available to assist with this process.