Step 1 - Learn More

Discover a new culture, country, and city while sharing with students your research and scholarship.  Build intellectual connections with students while exploring new research ideas and agendas.  New tenure and promotion standards at MSU require demonstrating connections between teaching, research, and service.

It is imperative to be familiar with the MSU International Travel Policy. Please review.

Students choose a faculty-led program either because they desire to go abroad with a faculty member, they have an interest in a particular course, and/or they are intrigued with the appeal of a program that is pre-planned and sponsored by MSU.

9-12 months prior to departure, you need to have chosen your program model, have identified your host country, partner university or program provider and have your proposal prepared for submission.  

Program length varies, but these are designed to be short-term (i.e. spring break) or summer programs anywhere from 2-8 weeks approximately in length.  You will need to propose your course to MSU schedule of classes as well as confirm the term.

Faculty leaders submit a proposed syllabus with their proposal to have their program considered.  Courses abroad are required to include the same elements as syllabi for courses that take place on campus.

Faculty are compensated according to the guidelines established by University policy for study abroad course assignments.

Not all programs need to have a Co-leader, however, many programs have included co-leaders that work in partnership with the Faculty leader and duties, responsibilities and compensation for each are clearly outlined in the proposal.

Our Faculty-Led Study Abroad Coordinator can help you streamline the process. Please set up a meeting to discuss your vision to save you time and help you build a successful program. You can contact the Coordinator via email at [email protected] or via phone at +1 (406) 994-4031.



Step 2 - Build Your Program

Determine purpose, goals, and objectives for your course and develop your course syllabus with clear timelines.  Course selection and approvals must be completed and approved at the time of application.  It is the responsibility of faculty leaders to facilitate approval through their respective departments and agree on number of credits for the course.  If a new course is to be created for a program, it is the responsibility of the faculty leader to follow the standard procedure to request a new undergraduate course through their department.

Step 3 - Plan Your Schedule

Identify host country and/or partner university, dates of travel with as much detail as possible including all transportation logistics when you are in your host country.

Step 4 -  Select Your Provider and/or Institutional Partner

The Faculty Led Coordinator with OIP, can work together with you on partners/and or providers best for the location and academic needs of the program.  Depending on the program, there may need to be a contract in place with a third-party study abroad provider to handle on-site logistics.  All contracts must be reviewed and approved by OIP.

Step 5 - Build Your Budget

All MSU short-term study abroad programs require a program fee in addition to the regular MSU tuition and fees.  Program budgets must be finalized and approved by OIP.  Once finalized, the budget cannot be changed except with the specific approval of OIP.  Costs associated with programs include fixed costs, variable (per-student) costs, a 4% contingency fee, exchange rates and minimum enrollment of students noted.  If a student wishes to apply for or use current financial aid, they must work with MSU Student Financial Aid Services.  Click here to draft your budget:

Draft Budget in Excel

Step 6 - Finalize Your Forms

As Faculty Leader, you must register your own international travel via My Global Connections: Travel Registry.

Once your own travel is registered, you'll start your proposal submission process via Travel Registry.  Have all your documention available from Steps 2-5 above BEFORE you start this process.  

Step 7 - Submit Your Proposal & Go Somewhere!

After online proposal submission, The Office of International Programs needs to receive this form in hard copy with all signatures: Faculty Led Proposal Approval Form.

Submitted proposals will be reviewed by a committee of faculty peers and approved by the Vice Provost of OIP.

Faculty Leaders will be notified of acceptance and will work with OIP to start recruitment for programs.

NOTE:  Programs should not be marketed to students prior to obtaining approval from OIP with a final budget, program cost and approved course syllabus through department.

Accepted students will need to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation as well as a Travel Health and Safety Class.

Group leaders and co-leaders must attend a separate Group Leader Orientation.


Step 8 - Returning to MSU

Within 10 days of returning, faculty leaders are required to submit all receipts and documention for expenses incurred to Wendy Rivers for processing and clearance of travel advance.  

Faculty leaders are required to submit course grades within two weeks of the program completion.

Faculty leaders will ask students to evaluate the academic component of the course by using the appropriate institutional or department forms.

A post-program debrief with OIP within 30 days after the program ends will provide insights, suggestions and lessons learned for planning future programs.


For questions or assistance with a Faculty Led Study Abroad proposal, contact the Faculty Led Program Coordinator at: 

[email protected] | 406-994-4031