Learning Abroad Expertise
Learning Abroad provides a framework that enables departments to offer high quality, academic programs in a manner consistent with national best practices. By collaborating with Learning Abroad, departments can focus on the scholarly elements of programming rather than the administrative tasks of program administration, allowing students to have a transformative global learning experience. Emphasizing Career Development, Community Engagement, Language Immersion, and Research Experience, Learning Abroad works with experts in a variety of fields to help departments develop sustainable, valuable experiences that promote learning and help students develop transferable skills for the classroom, community, and workplace.
Over the past two decades, educators have worked to establish best practices and national standards that promote the safety and quality of education abroad programs. As part of this vast and dynamic network, Learning Abroad also gives departments important access to national and international resources such as affiliates, partner institutions, and professional organizations that establish important standards for student programming abroad. Examples of these networks include the Diversity Abroad Network, Association of International Education Administrators, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Forum on Education Abroad, and the Institute for International Education. Additionally, the legal landscape for international programming has changed dramatically in recent years, challenging universities to ensure that programs are transparent and accessible for all students and mitigate health and safety risks. Learning Abroad is on the cutting edge of these developments and assists departments in navigating the changing legal environment for international programming.
Academic & Administrative Advantages
An international academic program is a complex learning experience for students. It involves coordination, preparation, and integration before, during, and after a program. To facilitate global learning throughout this continuum, Learning Abroad offers a variety of support services that reduce the burden on academic departments. There are several primary areas in which Learning Abroad provides support infrastructure for departments and colleges. A description of these services is found below.
Legal Compliance, Insurance, and Liability
- Emergency Response and Preparedness- 24/7 International Emergency Hotline and response assistance. Emergency Response Plans/Protocols/Training for faculty and staff leaders. Crisis response coordination alongside local and U.S.-based international assistance providers. Department of State traveler registration and consular services response coordination. Management/oversight of student data and information within a centralized, accessible database.
- International Insurance, Travel Assistance and Support- Management/oversight of student, faculty, and staff enrollment in University-contracted international health insurance, travel assistance, and emergency evacuation coverage. Health insurance contracting, student enrollment management, policy and coverage awareness for students, billing and collection of charges, and insurance claims support. Management of individual or group evacuations (medical and security). Faculty/staff access to University liability and indemnification coverage.
- Contract Management- Ensures that contracts comply with federal, state, and local statues. Coordinates with University Purchasing for bidding and outsourcing regulations. Ensures that agreements are designed to benefit students and departments and provide high quality interactions with partner agencies. Confirms that agreements adhere to best practices in International Education. Reduces redundancy or conflicts with pre-existing University contracts. Ensures that contracts align with University oversight of critical student concerns (i.e. Dean of Students policies; ADA; Student Health and Safety; Title IX and Clery Act reporting; sexual assault response, etc.)
- Health, Safety, and Security- Safety and Security Assessments for University-managed international programs. Customized, site-specific pre-departure health and safety orientations and risk mitigation tools and strategies. Review of specific support/assistance concerns related to University-managed international programs traveling to high-risk travel locations. Management and oversight of student behavioral issues, health risks, concerns and individual medical issues (Student Health Clearances; Dean of Students Office disciplinary clearances; ADA requirements). Collaboration with the Behavioral Intervention Team to support students with special needs and mental health concerns.
- Compliance- Reporting and compliance for federal, state, and local legislation. Awareness of and compliance with Campus Security Authority (CSA) responsibilities for Clery Act Reporting and Sexual Assault Response Protocols required by law at the University. Legal waivers, disclosures, and notices that protect the U, faculty, program assistants, and students. Women Against Violence Act and Hate Crimes Reporting and Compliance. Title IX Reporting and Compliance. ADA Reporting and Compliance. Basic visa support and advising. Immigration support and advising for international students. Visa and passport advising for travelers.
Pre-departure & Re-entry Programming
- Student Orientation and Preparation- Student orientation development, coordination, and monitoring. Scheduling support for program-specific orientations. Learning Abroad 101 development, coordination, and tracking to ensure that students are prepared for learning abroad commitments. Thematic workshops to prepare students for culture shock, financial planning,
- Re-entry Integration- Global U Program development, support, and implementation. Integrated reflection that promotes the development of transferable skills. Sponsorship of activities, workshops, and events for returned students. Coordination with partner offices on campus to facilitate research experience, career development, community engagement, and language immersion opportunities. Co-curricular certificate development and coordination. Re-entry awards for outstanding students. Nomination of students for national awards and recognition.
Advising, Applications, & Marketing
- Advising- Advising services for students and departments. Application assistance and processing. Support for non-U of U applicants. Collaboration and outreach with the Office of Equity and Diversity.
- Application Management- Access to the Terra Dotta online application portal. Development, management, and monitoring of student applications. Customized reports for Departments and Faculty.
- Marketing- Brochure and webpage development, editing, and printing. Learning Abroad Fair & Expo coordination (free to approved programs). Promotion through UPN screens, posters, classroom presentations, yard signs, banners, shuttles, and other venues. Tabling events to speak with interested students. Utilization of on-campus marketing through collaboration with student organizations, Plazafest, ASUU, residence halls, academic departments, UUAC, Campus Recruitment Committee, and various relevant clubs. Program promotion at national, regional, and state conferences and in national education abroad forums.
- Registration & Enrollment- Course creation, registration coordination, scheduling support and enrollment monitoring. International Requirement coordination and recording. Access to waivers of University graduation, residency, and transfer credit policies. Support for international transfer credit and transcripting.
- Teaching and Learning- Pedagogy consulting and curriculum integration support. Support for new program development and program enhancement. Development, implementation, and analysis of program assessments and evaluations. Workshops for academic advisors, faculty, and departments. Coordination and implementation of IR requirement exceptions for students participating in Learning Abroad Programs. Curriculum integration support and consulting.
- Networking and Connections- International education networking and connections to enhance programming and cultural integration onsite. Access to PAC-12 initiatives and collaboration. Coordination of programs with strategic initiatives of the University, College, and Department.
- Policy Exceptions- Coordinates exceptions to University policy that create barriers to student participation including residency policies, graduation policies, transfer credit restrictions, etc.
Learning Abroad provides a variety of financial services to departments and students.
- Discounts- Discounted tuition for Learning Abroad courses offered on Faculty-Led Programs.
- Financial Aid and Scholarships- Coordination with University Financial Aid Office for eligibility and distribution of Federal Financial Aid. Office for Global Engagement scholarship access, coordination, and disbursement. Collaboration with the University Scholarship Office to ensure that scholarships comply with state and federal law. Scholarship promotion, access, distribution, and compliance. Support and nomination for national scholarships such as Boren, Gilman, and Generation Study Abroad.
- Budgets and Billing Management- Budget development and management. Post-program reconciliation processing. Bill pay and reimbursement. Wire transfers & foreign currency check acquisition. Travel office administration. Student billing and collection of funds. Coordination of charges for tuition discounts.
- External Funding Opportunities- Support for grant application development. Inclusion in University grant applications.
- Taxation- Automated integration of billable costs into 1098-T (tax forms for education expenses).
Learning Abroad at the University of Utah falls under the auspices of the Office of Global Engagement, an administrative unit in Academic Affairs. The University has designed Learning Abroad to be partially self-funded and partially University-funded. For the self-funding portion, the University has set up an administrative fee structure for Learning Abroad. The administrative fee is charged to each student participating in a Learning Abroad opportunity. The U’s fee structure aligns with the fees charged for education abroad programs at the U’s peer institutions. In an effort to incentivize participation and neutralize the cost of these fees for students, the University provides a substantial tuition discount to students participating in Faculty-Led Programs. This discount ultimately results in a cost savings for students. A breakdown of the cost savings between an on-campus course and a Learning Abroad course is found below:
$1846.79 - $930 = $916.79
(Cost of a 4-Credit (Cost of a 4-Credit (Cost Savings
On-campus Course) Learning Abroad Course) the Student)
Additionally, students are eligible for over $200,000 in Learning Abroad scholarships provided through the Office for Global Engagement. Students can also access expert support for external and national scholarship applications.
Note: Estimates above are based on main campus course estimates for resident, junior-senior tuition rates for the 2016-2017 school year. Learning Abroad course costs includes SCH for 4 undergraduate credits, the Learning Abroad Fee, and $250 in departmental compensation. To calculate the cost of additional Learning Abroad credits, add $45 per additional credit hour to the amount listed above for undergraduate credits. For graduate credits, add $60 per additional credit hour.