Montana State University
International Programs > Faculty-led Study Abroad Programs

Faculty-led Study Abroad Programs

Visit our Summer Programs Abroad page to learn more about 2012 short-term Faculty-led programs

Nationwide, faculty-led study courses abroad are increasing in number, a response to their popularity with nontraditional and working students unable to leave home for a semester or year abroad. The courses are typically offered in the summer, however, winter interim programs are also possible. Course length and credit load varies, although most courses are designed to spend 3 to 7 weeks abroad and carry 3 or 7 credit hours.

Remember: OIP can help you create your program; when you lead a study-abroad program through OIP, we can help you with your budget, travel, faculty compensation, promotion, and other logistics.  


When you are ready to begin the process, fill out this Study-abroad Proposal and return it to 406 Culbertson Hall.  Don't worry if you don't get this proposal form filled out completely- we will help you bring the proposal to completion.

Tips for developing a faculty-led study abroad course

Interested in leading a study abroad course?  If so, answering the following questions will aid in initial planning:

  • Who is your target audience?

  • What country/countries would you like to visit and why?

  • What will your itinerary look like?

  • Think about travel logistics: Will you use bus and/or train? Hotels and/or homestays?

  • Sightseeing and excursions: How will they tie into your academic curriculum?

  • When do you want to offer the course and for what length? (Keep in mind that students applying for financial aid in the summer need to take a total of 6 credits.  You should consider making your course worth 6 credits or plan your trip within the first or second summer session, so students can take credits in the opposite session.)

  • Will any of the participants need special arrangements?

  • Sustainability: Can this course run more than one time?

  • Health and Safety: Is the proposed country and program itinerary safe? How will you mitigate risk?

  • Is a visa or other paperwork required to get into the country?

Other strategies in the beginning stages of creating a program might include:

  • Get student feedback on where they would be interested in going.

  • Review travel brochures, travel websites and other materials.

  • Research other universities’ international opportunities and review their short-term programs abroad. Good websites to start searching: and

  • Meet with OIP a year in advance of when you want to take the trip.

  • Secure approval from your department.

  • Talk over your course ideas with colleagues and get their input for fine tuning (they can also be very instrumental in advertising the course to their own students!).

  • When designing your itinerary, allow for sufficient contact hours in your schedule.
  • Keep in mind that MSU short-term programs should place academics first.

Getting started

OIP encourages the creation of new faculty-led study abroad programs and has staff on hand to help. We can offer asssitance related to:

  • program design
  • budgeting
  • student recrutiment, interviewing, and advising
  • advertising
  • visa management
  • pre- and post-sojourn orientation
  • evaluation
  • in-country logisitics (travel, lodging, events, classrooms)
  • credit brokerage
  • emergency assistance
  • money management
  • transportation ticketing
  • international ID cards
  • record keeping
  • health and saftey

If you are interested in developing and leading a program abroad, please contact:

Kevin Brustuen, OIP Coordinator of Faculty-led Study Abroad Programs
Phone: 994-7512