International Program Prosposal Guide


The Office of International Affairs (OIA)


International Program Proposal Guide

International (Study Abroad, Exchange, and Workshops) Program Proposals should address the following Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad:



Mission, Objectives and Purpose
The experience should be aligned with the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan - Engagement KPI of increasing opportunities for TSU students to study abroad and increasing our international student enrollment by enhancing campus opportunities for international learning and engagement.

  • Institutional Policies
  • Purpose
  • Appropriateness  

Institutional Policies: Is the program aligned with the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan of TSU?
Purpose: Does the program have a clearly-defined purpose and clearly-defined academic and/or experiential goals? List the purpose and goals.
Appropriateness: Is the focus of the program appropriate to the site chosen? How?


Student Learning and Development
The program should be reviewed for its stated educational purpose for fostering student learning and development.

  • Student Development
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Language and Intercultural Development
  • Intrapersonal Development
  • Assessment

Student Development: Does the program provide opportunities that encourage student development (e.g., Inter-Cultural engagement and understanding, leadership skills, service orientation, maturity, tolerance for ambiguity, growth in cultural awareness)?
Learning Outcomes: Does the program foster discipline-specific and/or interdisciplinary learning outcomes appropriate to the curriculum, site, and program goals? List the learning outcomes.
Language and Intercultural Development: Does the program provide language and intercultural development opportunities?
Intrapersonal Development: Does the program include opportunities for reflection during and after the experience?   How will the reflections be documented?
Assessment: How will the student learning outcomes and overall student experience be assessed at the program’s conclusion so that subsequent programs are improved?


Academic Framework (for programs offering credit)
There are clearly stated and publicly available policies on academic matters related to this experience.

  • Academic Credit
  • Length
  • Academic Guidelines
  • Academic Evaluation
  • Field Study

Academic Credit: Has the program been approved for academic credit according to TSU academic policies?  Students participating on semester and academic year education abroad programs are permitted to transfer a maximum equivalence of 18 U.S. credit hours per semester. Students participating on summer education abroad programs are permitted to transfer a maximum equivalence of 12 U.S. credit hours for the
entire summer term.

Length: Is the length of the program appropriate to the amount of credit granted?
Academic Guidelines: Are policies on enrollment changes, withdrawal, the awarding of academic credit and grading clearly stated?
Academic Evaluation: Are students evaluated by methods that measure how the site is used effectively in the integration of readings, site visits, discussions, and cultural activities?
Field Study: Does the program make effective use of the host locations for structured experiential and service learning?


Extra-Academic Framework 
The program has clearly stated policies on non-academic matters related to the educational experience abroad.

Faculty and program sponsors should carefully consider the number of sites proposed to visit, their geographical proximity to each other and the time spent traveling between them. More emphasis should be given to having full, in-depth experiences at each site rather than on “seeing everything” by visiting multiple sites and spending only short amounts of time on each site. Visiting a large number of sites and/or countries does not necessarily provide an optimal educational experience.

For volunteer programs, the program should be offered in collaboration with well-established, trusted, and known community-based agencies, private firms, or other organizations located in the host communities.  Will the program have an opportunity to visit another college or university? Is this an opportunity to tell the TSU story, recruit international students, and discuss areas of future collaboration (teaching, research, exchange, MOU)?

Family member/dependent attendance - A successful faculty-led program depends on the full attention and leadership of the faculty member. Faculty leaders are on call 24/7 during the program and will be not only teaching but also managing other aspects of the program including student conduct, medical issues, etc. (even if using a third party provider). Therefore, the OIA and TSU strongly discourage family member participation or accompaniment on education abroad programs. However, if the faculty leader has a specific reason and meets with OIA ahead of time for approval, the following criteria will apply:

a. All family accompaniment or participation must be disclosed as part of the program proposal. Family participants cannot be added after the program’s approval.

b. Faculty leaders must cover any and all costs incurred on behalf of his/her family member(s). These expenses cannot be included in the program budget. It is the responsibility of the faculty leader to pay for all expenses related to accompanying family members. If family members accompany the group on any portion of the program, it is important to make sure that the student program fee does not cover the housing, meal, or excursion costs of the family members in any way (i.e. group transportation, accommodations, etc.).

c. No one under 18 years of age may participate or accompany the faculty leader during the program.

d. The family member must enroll in the basic iNext plan at his/her own expense.

e. The family member must sign a liability waiver, which can be provided by the OIA. For liability purposes, it is important that family members do not have responsibilities related to the program.

f. Family members cannot share accommodations with student participants.

g. Family members should not compromise the planned academic program or prevent student participants from engaging fully in the program in any way.

h.  Faculty leader must complete the Family Member/Non Student Companion form - Appendix N for each non-student companion. 






Preparation for the Learning Environment Abroad
The program participant should get orientation support that is consistent with the program’s mission and the needs of its students.

  • Enrollment in STEP
  • Pre-departure
  • Orientation
  • Ongoing Orientation 

Enrollment in STEP:   The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to enroll with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Pre-departure (Mandatory): The intention of the Global Scholar Online Courses, developed by The Center for Global Education with Education USA & U.S. Department of State, is to introduce students to the opportunities and challenges inherent in participating in study abroad programs. The courses provide them the opportunity for cross-cultural learning, making better sense of their experiences abroad, and further refining their skills in cross-cultural observation, adaptation, and communication.  Go to to register, login, and complete Course 1 NLT 90 days prior to departure . 

Course 1: Before You Leave - This course is for students who are in the pre-study abroad stage, whether they are thinking about study abroad, searching for a program, or preparing for departure. This course provides them with the opportunity to determine their goals for study abroad, know how to search for the program that is best for them, learn what documents they need, and prepare for cross-cultural and language learning.

Orientation: A pre-departure orientation is a required part of all education abroad programs, including TSU Faculty-Led, for both students and faculty leaders. OIA coordinates this meeting and provides Faculty Leaders with the date and time several months in advance.  OIA will lead the beginning Health and Safety section of the orientation meeting and then faculty leaders will lead their break-out sessions to discuss various topics including budgeting, culture, behavioral expectations, packing, etc.  Faculty leaders are encouraged to require additional meetings prior to the mandatory pre-departure orientation, especially to focus on academic expectations, but must also require attendance of their participants to the already scheduled orientation by OIA.  Participant attendance is strictly mandatory to convey to students that faculty leaders and OIA are serious about the program, to diminish disciplinary problems and emphasize faculty’s expectations, and to reduce liability. Consortia-Led program - Students and faculty leaders with TnCIS will attend/participate in their TnCIS orientation 
Ongoing Orientation: The program will provide students with a continuous “Orientation” to the host culture by providing them with information about the host location and culture in order to maximize their experience and learning.


Student Selection and Code of Conduct
The program should maintain, and make publicly accessible, its commitment to fair and appropriate policies regarding student selection and conduct.

  • Student Selection
  • Diversity/Non-Discrimination
  • Code of Conduct 

Student Selection: Are the prerequisites, recruitment and selection processes transparent, published, and fair and consistent with general institutional standards?
Diversity/Non-Discrimination: Does the program welcome and act with respect towards students regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, or national and ethnic origin.
Code of Conduct: Will the program inform students of its student code of conduct, disciplinary processes and the consequences of violations prior to the beginning of the program, and consistently applies them during the program?


Health, Safety, and Security
The program has established and continuously maintains effective health, safety, security and risk management policies, procedures and faculty/staff training. 

  • Safety and Security
  • Health
  • Insurance
  • Emergency Communications
  • Student Emergencies
  • Group Emergencies
  • Emergency Procedures

Safety and Security: Have the program participants signed up to the U.S. Department of State “Smart Traveler” program?
The Tennessee Board of Regents and TSU do not permit travel to countries or portions of countries where the U.S. Department of State currently advises against travel or tourism by Americans.  

Health: Is the program leadership aware of student health issues prior to departure and is well prepared to handle student, faculty, and staff health issues that may arise?
Insurance: In order to meet TBR requirements, all TSU education abroad participants and faculty leaders will be enrolled in the iNext basic plan. Participants will pay this fee to the OIA. Faculty should not collect these fees.  Some programs may be required to purchase a more comprehensive plan or other insurance add-ons, such as political evacuation, depending on the current situation abroad.
Emergency Communications: Does the program have adequate emergency communications plans?
Student Emergencies: Does the program have emergency contacts for individual students in case of emergencies?
Group Emergencies: Does the program have emergency contacts and contingency
plans in case of an emergency that impacts the entire program?
Emergency Procedures: Are students aware of what to do in the case of emergencies?


Ethics and Integrity
The program is organized in conformity with ethical principles and practices by using the Code of Ethics for Education Abroad as a guide.

Faculty Led Cancellation/Refund Policy - If based on the recommendation of the Faculty Leader (FL), Academic Affairs (AA),  or OIA determines that a program should be cancelled or terminated due to an emergency or crisis situation, the process for notification and refunds will be determined by DIA and the Faculty Leader.

State Department Travel Warning or Center for Disease Control Travel Health Warning - If either the US Department of State or the Centers for Disease Control issue a travel warning for the area where a TSU program is being conducted, OIA will consult with the FL, AA and . Depending upon the severity of the warnings, OIA may suspend approval of experience abroad while the warning is in effect. If following consultation with FL and OIA, TSU decides to continue the program, the updated information must be distributed promptly to students and students must be permitted to withdraw.

Financial Responsibility - Tennessee State University does not assume responsibility for financial risks associated with participation in its faculty-led education abroad programs. If the University cancels a program prior to departure or while the program is in progress for reasons beyond its control including, but not limited to, such things as political unrest or danger to participant safety, only those fees refunded to TSU by service providers will be returned to participants. TSU will make reasonable efforts to obtain refunds from service providers such as hotels, airlines, and tour agents, etc., but no refunds are guaranteed. Fees paid will only be refunded to program participants to the extent they are refunded to TSU.

       Cultural Sensitivity:

  1. Does the program act with sensitivity to and respect for differences between local cultural norms and those of the home culture?
  2. Does the program provide an orientation of students, faculty and staff so that they are aware of applicable host and home country ethical and legal practices, and understand the host society, in order to avoid actions that negatively impact that society or the image of the host country?

Budget: Every budget must account for the total group expenses, grant investment, student investment in the expense categories below:     

Expense Total Expense for Group OIA Investment Student Investment Other Investors
Air Travel        
Insurance = $650 for group        
Course Fee =$1000 per student        
In Country Transportation        
In Country Excursions        




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