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What is a Travel Study course?

Travel Study courses are faculty–led programs abroad. These are short–term, on– or off–load courses that take place abroad generally during winter, spring and summer breaks. They are UVM courses taught by UVM faculty for UVM credit. It’s an exciting opportunity to expand the students’ learning experience as well as your teaching experience beyond the framework of the classroom setting through innovative, on–site immersion in another culture or natural environment. Last year, over 230 UVM students participated in 23 Travel Study courses at locations all around the world from Japan to Costa Rica. Course offerings range from environmental sciences, language, cultural and historical studies to recreation management and community development.

When would I lead a course?

Most Travel Study courses take place during winter, spring, and summer breaks. There is also the option of designing a course that takes place during the regular semester with a travel–study segment during a break period. OIE/CDE can work with you to determine the best option for you and your students.

How can I design a Travel Study course?

If you have an idea for a course and curriculum that you think may be well–suited for a Faculty–Led Program Abroad, contact the Travel Study team. CDE and OIE will collaborate with you to provide an administrative framework for your course.

When do I need to start planning?

Starting up a new course takes time so plan to begin the process at least one year prior to the course’s start date. The deadline for submitting a course proposal with Department Approval is March 31st.

Deadlines for submitting a course proposal to lead a course abroad are well before the regular course submittal process with departments and the registrar. This allows us all time to create budgets, arrange logistics, and recruit students.

It’s good to start thinking about logistics and sketching out a mental plan for the course early in the planning process. This includes thinking about lodging, meals, and in–country travel options.

What am I responsible for in the planning process?

You are responsible for designing and marketing the course as well as complete student preparation. This means being responsible for designing curriculum and taking lead responsibility for the logistical planning of travel, housing, meals, and travel, facilitating pre–departure orientation, recruitment, and the selection and registration of course participants. As a result, you also bear a responsibility in developing the budget and will work in conjunction with OIE and/or CDE to determine a final course budget based on the cost picture you provide.  Please note- all flights purchased with UVM funds require trip cancellation insurance, which may be purchased with your flight. 

Although it may sound overwhelming, there are a variety of manageable solutions for arranging the travel component of the course and OIE/CDE can help you to ascertain which solutions will work best for you. Continuing and Distance Education will also work with you to help market the course to students and other suitable populations. It’s good to remember that planning a new course is always most labor intensive the first year. The burden of planning is generally reduced in subsequent years.

Other responsibilities incumbent upon you in the pre–departure and travel portion of the course are outlined in detail in the faculty handbook and contract.

How often would my course take place?

Some courses take place annually, others biannually. However, as the Travel Study program expands we will be working to institute a regular, balanced schedule to ensure that all departments, majors and geographic regions are well–represented over the course of the year. We will work with you to ensure that the solution that meets both your desires as well as institutional and academic goals for the university.

I’ve got an idea for a course. Now what?

Contact the Continuing and Distance Education’s Travel Study Team to discuss your idea. You will then fill out a Travel Study course proposal form describing course content, cost and including a syllabus and itinerary. The course must be approved by CDE/OIE and your department and submitted to the Office of International Education by the deadlines above. You will generally be notified of a decision within a month to six weeks. A Travel Study mandatory workshop for faculty directors will also be arranged before your departure to discuss health, safety and risk management.

How is the course financed?

Students who participate in Travel Study courses pay regular tuition, as well as a program fee and airfare. The program fee covers travel, food and lodging expenses, entry to museums, in–country transportation, language courses, etc. as well as other general course expenses. Airfare is an additional added expense for the student.

Ready to begin planning your course?

Contact Us! Travel Study is administered jointly by The Office of International Education and Continuing and Distance Education. Call Continuing and Distance Education at (802) 656–2085 or the Office of International Education at (802) 656–4296 or email us at travel.study@uvm.edu.

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