Taking students abroad requires a lot of responsibility and program management, but it is also a truly rewarding experience for you and your students. While you are abroad, you not only serve as the academic instructor, but you also become a cultural guide, counselor, risk manager and program director. It will be necessary for you to understand the administrative tasks, risk management protocols and communication expectations to ensure a successful program and participant safety.
Communication with the SAS Office: Prior to departure, faculty directors must provide SAS with a final program itinerary and emergency contact sheet that will include the 24/7 phone number you will use while abroad. Additionally, faculty should ensure they have all necessary emergency numbers programmed into their phone. This may include: the emergency number for the Director of Study Abroad, UF Police, your host provider’s emergency contact information, and numbers for the local police, fire department, ambulances etc.
Once on-site, all faculty are required to notify the Director of Study Abroad via email when all students have safely arrived. Should an emergency arise, please first attend to the immediate needs of the person/group and then immediately notify the Executive Director of the International Center in the event of any such emergency and fully advise of all details.
Communication with students: Please make sure that you collect the cell phone numbers of each student on your program during your program specific pre-departure orientation. In the very unlikely event that a student does not have a cell phone, please ask them to provide an email. You can also find this information in our online application system.
Accompanying students: As faculty director, you agreed to participate in all program related activities. Therefore, you are not permitted to leave the program and students unattended unless it is an established free weekend. Even then, we encourage you to not leave the host country, so that you are quickly available, should an emergency arise.
Traveling students: If students are planning to travel during a free weekend, they are required to provide you with an address of where they are going.
Managing the program budget: If possible, payments to vendors should be made prior to arrival in country. In many instances, our office can assist with those payments. However, we understand that you may need to pay for some travel and group expenses while you are abroad. To help you manage a program budget, we suggest you implement these tips:
- Keep program funds separate from your personal funds
- Open a new account that will be specifically used for program funds (if applicable)
- Make note of international transaction fees and record that information
- Increase the cash withdrawal limits with your bank
- Bring a copy of your signed budget with you or have it accessible to you at all times
It will be incredibly important that you keep receipts for all expenses, including items $25 and under. You should keep a daily ledger of expenses corresponding to each receipt in English (date, vendor, purpose, amount in foreign currency and U.S. dollars). You should also include any necessary explanations for each expense/receipt on the ledger. To learn more about how to submit your receipts for reconciliation upon program completion, click here.
Risk Management & Response: Faculty directors are expected to serve as the University of Florida liaison in any emergency situation that might arise in the foreign country and report back to the Executive Director of the International Center. UFIC’s responses to crises depend on the nature and extent of the crisis and are guided first and foremost by the need to attend to the immediate safety and well-being of the student(s). Our Executive Director carries a 24/7 emergency phone and is typically the first to receive notice of an emergency and will be able to help guide you through proper emergency response, or, if warranted, will notify the UF Crisis Response Team. Please make sure that you always have access to the UFIC Emergency Protocols and are familiar with the Student Code of Conduct to address any academic/behavioral issues properly and in accordance with the US constitution.