Legal, safety and budgetary issues in developing and implementing a health promotion/education study abroad course.
Abstract: Study abroad has always been considered a valuable learning experience. Increased awareness and value of study abroad programs has been reflected by the record number of students choosing this option. Based on the authors' extensive experience, the purpose of this article is to assist interested faculty and staff who are either contemplating or wishing to initiate or enhance a health promotion/education study abroad learning experience by focusing on several key elements. These include legal, safety and budget issues. Topics discussed include institutional and instructor responsibilities, student participant responsibilities, budgeting challenges, developing the budget, budget suggestions, factoring in emergencies, student budgeting, and making travel arrangements. Standards of good practice for education abroad programs are also presented.
Subject: Medical personnel (Training)
Authors: O'Rourke, Thomas
Iammarino, Nicholas K.
Pub Date: 06/22/2010
Publication: Name: American Journal of Health Studies Publisher: American Journal of Health Studies Audience: Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 American Journal of Health Studies ISSN: 1090-0500
Issue: Date: Summer, 2010 Source Volume: 25 Source Issue: 3
Product: Product Code: 8200000 Education NAICS Code: 61 Educational Services
Accession Number: 308741514

Study abroad has always been considered a valuable learning experience. By definition study abroad is the pursuit of educational opportunities and activities in an international setting. During the past decade study abroad has increasingly been recognized as an essential component of a student's college education. Study abroad adds value to their education by preparing them for today's and tomorrow's increasingly global society. Judith McHale, Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, sums it up well, "Today more than ever before, study abroad can help our students to understand our interconnected world and to participate productively in the global economy" (Institute of International Education, November, 2009). Further, she mentions that "the State Department strongly supports study abroad and congratulates all the U.S. students who are taking advantage of opportunities to study abroad." According to Dr. Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education, "It is important for colleges and universities to make it possible for students from diverse backgrounds and diverse fields to take advantage of study abroad opportunities. Additional advantages of study abroad include improved intercultural competence and communication skill as well as enhancing employability both in and outside of their country" (Institute of International Education November, 2009). But the benefits transcend the student participant. International study provides unique opportunities for faculty, teacher and student development and can contribute significantly to the attractiveness and quality of professional preparation programs as well as enhance health education and health services programs (O'Rourke & Macrina, 1985; Iammarino & O'Rourke, 1999).

The increased awareness and value of study abroad programs has been reflected by the record number of students choosing this option. Open Doors 2009, published annually by the Institute of International Education with funding from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs reported, "A record number of U.S. students are choosing to study abroad, reflecting a strong commitment to the value of an international academic experience to prepare them to live and work in a more global society" (2009). Open Doors 2009 also reported the number of Americans studying abroad increased by 8.5% to 262,416 in the 2007-08 academic year. This latest increase builds on decades of steady growth, with four times as many U.S. students participating in study abroad in 2007-08 than in 1987-88. Short term programs (including summer, January term and any program 2 to 8 weeks during the academic year) serve the largest number of Americans (56%) studying abroad while 40% do so through mid-length programs of either one semester, one or two quarters. Only 4% of study abroad students spend a full time academic or calendar year abroad.

As previously mentioned, the most common study abroad format is the short term program. These programs greatly expand study abroad participation by attracting students from subgroups that are less likely to go abroad for a semester or full academic year, whether for academic, financial, or personal reasons. These subgroups include but are not limited to, students from underrespresented groups, such as first generation students, ethnic minorities, nontraditional students, student athletes and students whose fields of study have strict curricular requirements (The Forum on Education Abroad, 2009). Standards of good practice for education abroad programs have been developed and are presented in Table 1.

Short term programs are usually organized by a faculty member with varying degrees of institutional support from their department and/or their campus study abroad office. Utilizing our over two decades of experience in developing, conducting and evaluating study abroad travel biannually, the purpose of this article is to assist interested faculty and staff who are either contemplating or wishing to initiate or enhance a health education study abroad learning experience by focusing on several key elements. These include legal, safety and budget issues.


Offering a course at an international locale does not inherently create a higher risk to students. No doubt there are increased risks specific to some international locations. These can be further exacerbated when coupled with inexperienced travelers. However, studying in a university classroom in London is not inherently more risky than back on your own stateside campus (Smith, 2008).

With this being said, the health, safety, and security of student participants have become an increasingly more important factor for all involved in study abroad programming (Fischer, 2010). While most programs have always included basic requests for medical information and insurance policies prior to departure and during predeparture orientations, experts agree that we must now provide additional information to students from the time of initial registration through the completion of the program.

Few would deny that we are a more litigious society than most other nations and that in recent years we have seen more emphasis placed on ensuring that our study abroad programs meet a certain level of safety and legal standards. Some of this may be attributed to the post 9/11 environment and our concern for safety related to the threat of terrorism. However, the majority of our concern is the result of the few publicized and sensationalized accidents or deaths that have occurred when students are studying abroad. Nevertheless, these well-known tragedies spurred the major providers in foreign study abroad to reanalyze what they had been doing and resulted in a significant self-study and improvement in policies and procedures related to safety. For similar reasons, most higher education institutions themselves have also ramped up their efforts to ensure the safety of their students both on campus and abroad. Risk management offices have become commonplace at universities and these offices also are responsible for helping set guidelines for long and short-term study abroad programs. In general, all health and safety documents and policies should be prepared well in advance with direct consultation with the appropriate offices on your campus including legal counsel, risk management, disability services and student health services (NAFSA, 2006).


The following have become the minimum standards for implementing and conducting a short-term study program on most campuses. Certainly, there are others that can also be included, however, these listed below provide a framework or checklist for faculty wishing to lead a study group abroad.

The Acceptance Statement/Student Declaration. This written form which may be known by other names is signed and submitted by all student participants and acknowledges that they are aware of both personal and financial responsibilities. It further acknowledges that the student agrees to abide by the program rules and codes of conduct. This declaration may also contain a liability waiver and an assumption of risks. It is best to first contact your Office of Risk Management (or Legal Office) which should have (or will prepare) the Release of Responsibility forms for all participants to sign prior to departure.

Participant List and Emergency Contact Information. Once you have assembled your group and have closed the enrollment, you should create a group list, or spreadsheet that contains pertinent student contact information such as local and permanent addresses for all participants. This list should also include emergency contacts for all participants. Most of the time these will be parents or legal guardians but they can also include close friends or other relatives. As the group leader this is one of the many important documents that should be carried with you abroad. In the event of an emergency the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits school officials to disclose information and records without student consent in order to protect the safety of student or others. The Department of Education also interprets FERPA to permit institutions to disclose information from education records to parents if a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter (U.S. Department of Education, 2007).

Day by Day Itinerary. Naturally, a detailed itinerary is a key document for a short term study abroad course as it provides details to students about their daily schedule and location of their class. However, the itinerary should be distributed to a participant's family and/or emergency contacts as a way of letting them know the day to day whereabouts of the group. This detailed itinerary should include the name of the site visit organization, address/physical location and phone numbers (or email contacts) for all meetings. Whether a separate document or included in the itinerary, hotel and lodging contact information should also be included. While it is strongly discouraged that family or friends contact the organization to locate a student during class time, this information can be valuable should the need arise to make immediate contact in case of an emergency back home.

U.S. Embassy Contact. Before departure you should provide your participants with the location and phone number for the U.S. Embassy in the country or countries of your group travel. Further, if your travel takes you to cities where there is a U.S. Consular Office, it is recommended that you also provide this information. An additional step offered by the U.S. Department of State is called Travel Registration and has become more widely used in recent years (U.S Department of State, 2010). Travel Registration is a free service provided by the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens who are traveling to a foreign country. Registration allows individuals to record information about their upcoming trip abroad that the Department of State can use to assist you in case of an emergency. You may wish to register your student participants with the local U.S. Embassy as an added precautionary measure in case of natural disaster, civil unrest or terrorism.

Pre-trip Orientation. The predeparture orientation is a standard part of both long and short term study abroad programs. While its purposes are many and include all aspects of the program, the course of study, and important information about the host country, for our purposes here it also should include important issues facing students overseas including health, safety, and security. While much of this information has likely been presented in the form of the program handbook or trip updates (either in written or electronic form), there is much value to the live orientation session where important issues can be underscored, emphasized, and reiterated to all participants. These predeparture sessions also help serve your legal needs and responsibilities by permitting you to state with a level of confidence that key health and safety information about your program and its policies was covered both verbally and in writing.

International Cell Phone for Instructors. The increased and now commonplace use of cellular telephones has provided yet another means to add another level of safety and ability to communicate with both student participants and your home institution while abroad. Today new technologies allow for individuals to locate and communicate with each other in almost every place in the world. Coupled with the decrease in per minute usage costs, this has made the notion of "staying in touch" much easier for both faculty and students. While many, if not most, personal cell phones will now work overseas, you also have the option of international cell phone rentals from any number of companies in the U.S. These short term rentals are ideal for short term faculty-led courses since these companies offer competitive rates and provide the cell phone (and appropriate electrical outlet chargers) that will work in the country where you will be teaching. Keeping the cell phone turned on 24-7 and charged at all times allows you to receive emergency or important calls immediately from student participants, your home institution, or from parents in case of an emergency back home.


Emergency Phone Contact Cards. Just because you rented (or carried your own) international cell phone and listed this number on your many handouts, it may have little bearing on whether your student participants can actually recall it or access it in times of emergency. A simple yet effective way to ensure that your students actually "have" and can access emergency phone contacts in case of a real emergency is to create and then provide them with a wallet-size emergency contact card. In addition to your local access telephone number, this card can also contain other emergency numbers such as your home institution's Study Abroad Office and the U.S. Embassy emergency number among others. A sample Emergency Contact Card can be seen in Figure 1.

Establish a Crisis Management Plan. After considering and implementing all of the above predeparture procedures, one would be remiss if they did not consider the possibility and consequences of an emergency occurring. While most short term programs are without such incidents, having a crisis management plan and procedures in place is critical in anticipating any number of situations. These include natural disasters, political uprisings, strikes or work stoppages, and acts of terrorism that may occur while in a country. They also include direct consequences to your participants such as legal actions involving students, arrests, hospitalization, robbery, physical or sexual assault, automobile accidents, or even psychological crises. A crisis management plan should be able to address all of these types of potential issues and the plan should be agreed upon and approved by all university stakeholders. The plan should include notification of the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate (depending on the specific type of incident), contacting the participant's family, meeting with all group participants and in some cases arranging for counseling services for participants. Your plan should ultimately consider whether to continue or cancel the remainder of the program. For example, as recent as April, 2010 the University of Texas System officially withdrew 40 study abroad students and all other faculty and staff from seven states in Northern Mexico after (drug) violence escalated in the area (Kezar, 2010).


Proof of Health Insurance Coverage. Today most if not all short term programs require participants to be covered by a comprehensive health insurance policy. These policies are available for purchase through the home institution or program provider although most students are often covered by their parent's insurance. Increasingly, programs are now also requiring (or at least making available) emergency travel assistance. These plans typically provide coverage for emergency medical evacuation or repatriation in addition to a range of other assistance services. As an alternative, the International Student Identity Card provides for some of this type of coverage while offering many other travel related discounts. Relatedly, students with disabilities, current or chronic medical illnesses should disclose any such conditions on predeparture forms particularly as they may relate to accommodations and particular physical needs during the trip.

Student Code of Conduct. Assuming that faculty and the institution are the only ones responsible for ensuring a safe program is naive. Student participants also share in this process. They do so in several different ways. Student participants should be made aware that it is their shared responsibility to know their school's student code of conduct (or the host school's in addition to their own university). This includes issues such as the university's policies on alcohol and other drugs, and sexual harassment among others. Further, while predeparture meetings should discuss the behavioral expectations of student participants and provide information related to cultural awareness, it is ultimately the student's responsibility to be an educated and informed participant. Depending on the program sponsorship, a student should know if he/she is accountable to their home institution's conduct and disciplinary standards or does the sponsoring agency supplant home-campus policies? (Smith, 2008). Further, it must be made clear to participants as to the rules and expectations for "off campus" conduct while participating in a study abroad course. For example, is independent weekend travel considered "off campus"?

Students should read and carefully consider all trip related materials as well as attend and participate in all pretrip orientation meeting and activities. Reminders and reinforcement of expected behaviors, country laws, rules, customs and cultural expectations will go a long way in preventing health and safety problems while abroad.


Developing a realistic budget is essential but challenging. Both the instructor and prospective students need to know in advance the costs associated with the study abroad learning experience, since arrangements such as airfare, ground transportation and course related expenses abroad, such as space and other course elements, need to be made well in advance of the actual travel dates and before it is know if sufficient demand exists or needed funds even are collected. That is, one can't purchase air or rail tickets in advance without knowing how many are needed and at what cost. We let students know about the availability and cost of the class fifteen to eighteen months in advance but enroll nine months in advance and collect the funds in two installments over the next three months.


Enrolling too far in advance can't be done due to the uncertainty confronting students to commit too far in advance. Another challenge is that often, once air, rail, lodging and other contractual arrangements are made, they are either not refundable or at significant economic penalty. Enrolling just a few months before traveling can't be done because arrangements and reservations to ensure availability and at a known cost-effective price need to be made many months ahead of actual travel dates. One can't simply go out and purchase ten or twenty air tickets or secure lodging a week before traveling. Finally, many costs associated with the trip such as lodging, food and local transportation are paid in local currency at the time of travel but the exchange rate of that currency is unknown until actually paid. A currency exchange rate a year in advance may be quite different a year later due to completely unforeseen political or economic circumstances or other world events. Thus the problem is to cost out the study abroad course well before the actual costs are known. Fortunately, based on our conducting 15 study abroad classes over the past two decades and readily acknowledging this is not an exact science, realistic and accurate budgeting is certainly possible.


From the outset, knowledge of the specific budget components of your intended travel is essential. Courses may vary but budgets generally include airfare, lodging, ground transportation, and food/ meal cost. Additionally course expenses may include tuition and fees which may or may not include instructor salary and travel expenses, classrooms or meeting rooms, audiovisual equipment, guest speaker fees, health insurance and reading materials. Your school may have additional requirements. Finally, financial contingencies for emergencies, to be discussed later, need to be anticipated and included.

The goal should be a realistic and flexible budget. Budgeting too high may result in insufficient student demand. Budgeting too low is also problematic. Most schools, including ours, expect study abroad classes to be self-supporting especially in the current poor economic environment across higher education. If you budget too low it may be problematic later to ask students for additional funds once a price is quoted. Students expect and should receive a realistic price for the learning experience. Adding on after the fact is not welcomed and may result in lowered enrollment which has economic implications for students and instructors to be mentioned shortly. We suggest you realistically budget but build in budget flexibility in the form of a cushion that will allow you to expand or contract those elements of the travel and course related expenses without diminishing the overall value of the learning experience. Attention will now be focused on achieving this goal.

In developing the budget, factor in start-up costs. These may include course related flyers, brochures, ads in campus newspapers or other media (such as professional organization newsletters if you plan to recruit outside of your institution). Factor in telecommunications to set up class or meeting rooms, visits to agencies while abroad, any other required study abroad office fees such for administrative services, or required health insurance beyond that on campus. Finally build in instructor travel if needed to make course living and learning arrangements. Often this is required when the course is initially developed and when there isn't already a university presence at the study abroad location. Subsequently arrangements can usually be made via e-mail/fax and/or phone.

Next, to the extent possible, try to lock in prices without actually purchasing if the cost is in dollars. Most airlines have a group desk requiring a modest down payment with the option of changing or cancelling reservations without penalty within several months of departure. After that the penalties can be significant. The same holds for lodging, ground travel and course arrangements abroad such as for space and speakers if necessary. We travel to England and Scotland in mid May during the intersession period immediately after the spring semester and before summer school. This avoids traveling during the peak high cost summer months. We conduct the entire three week course by making a series of site visits, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, for four days a week, to key health organizations and government agencies that provide several speakers during the visit. Almost all visits and speakers are provided gratis by the organization. In this way we minimize course facility and speaker expenses. When the speakers are finished, the instructors utilize the meeting room to supplement the instruction and integrate course readings from our syllabus with speaker presentations.


For costs in a foreign currency such as Euros or British Pounds, we suggest you pay a known cost in advance since exchange rates are subject to change. While exchange rates can change in your favor by the time you travel, they can just as likely fluctuate to your disadvantage. The goal should be budget predictability and not budget uncertainty. For example, we know months ahead the lodging costs in British pounds but not in dollars unless purchased at the time. So we advance pay knowing our exact budgeted cost to avoid the ambiguities of any subsequent fluctuation in the exchange rate between pounds and dollars. For our course the bulk of expenditures subject to currency fluctuations are paid six months before actual travel.

However, it usually isn't possible to either lock in or advance pay for all budgeted items. For example, our trip includes local transportation, some meal and lodging costs and visiting places of interests with admission fees that can't be prepaid. Rather they must be paid at the time in the foreign currency which is subject to change in the six months between the time the budget was developed and funds collected. If the cost at the time of travel is more than budgeted, we scale back without noticeably straying from what was described to students at the outset. For example, our trip mentions including "ground transportation" but, if necessary, buses can be substituted for trains, trains taken at off-peak times, lodging amenities scaled back. At times public transportation may be substituted for cabs and, at times, we may walk to a visit rather than taking public transportation. Our trip includes an orientation session on campus before departure. Usually, food and refreshments are included but can be reduced or eliminated if necessary. Similarly, we can reduce the number of tourist places of interest or sights to see or choose less costly places. If the budget situation changes in our favor we can, and have done, the opposite of what was just described. We have experienced both scenarios over the years. On our most recent trip in 2009 we experienced a very favorable currency exchange rate and were able to enhance all aspects of the trip including collecting several hundred dollars less from students than originally quoted. Understandably, students and their parents were most appreciative.


In budgeting, factoring in emergencies needs to be considered. Emergencies should not be considered unexpected cost. They can and should be anticipated and included. This does not mean that every conceivable emergency needs to be budgeted. To do so is unnecessary and would raise the costs significantly. What are these emergencies? They can include lost or stolen luggage, wallets, or purses, medical expenses or medical evacuation (for a reasonable $35 fee our university mandates study abroad student insurance to cover this contingency), Others may include labor strikes which can delay or prevent transportation, and flight or train delays resulting in missed connections or additional non-budgeted travel days as was recently experienced when travel to and from Europe was suspended for several days due to volcanic action in Iceland. Also, terrorism or the threat of terrorism may result in unanticipated and costly outcomes. In all of these instances the instructors may need to have funds available to meet the challenge.

We suggest building in a cushion of about 5% per person of the known budgeted expenses. These funds can be used to address emergencies, avoid a potentially bad situation if a student drops out at the last minute, incurring unanticipated costs, temporarily loaning a student funds for clothing or expenses due to loss of luggage, a wallet or purse, unexpected fees such as for luggage on airlines or new government imposed fees for travel security or for needed but unexpected changes to reservations. The cushion should also include start-up costs for the next trip. Having done our trip on 15 previous occasions, we have built up a sufficient cushion to address any of the above emergencies. If the cushion gets too big we simply lower the cost of the next trip.


In pricing the trip we suggest not taking too many or too few students. In our travel abroad course the student travel related costs are separate from normal tuition and fees. The student travel costs fee is in addition and includes covering the cost of instructor travel and the cushion for emergencies and other unexpected expenses as mentioned above. Since those costs are fixed, the advantage of taking more students is that it spreads those costs over more people thus reducing each student's cost. For example, if those costs are $2,500 and there are 10 students then travel costs fee for each student includes $250 for instructor travel and emergencies. If enrollment goes to 20 students then each student pays only $125. However, taking too many students has drawbacks. On our trip we use a variety of public transportation including subways, buses, cabs and intercity rail services. As the group gets larger it is more difficult to move people especially in crowded rush hour periods, or secure needed intercity travel reservations or adequate meeting space for our visits. Likewise, in our course travels throughout England and Scotland, outside of large urban areas we often use "bed and breakfast" facilities that can usually house only 5 to 10 people each, spread across several blocks. For our trip, we have found that a total group size of 30 including the two instructors to be optimal in terms of spreading those fixed costs while being able to meet course logistic and educational requirements.


It's one thing to have a course budget but it also is necessary to advise students about their budgets. While our trip covers most travel related expenses such as airfare, lodging including breakfast, ground transportation and so forth, it doesn't cover all expenses. Other expenses include the cost of a passport if they don't have one already, and lunch and dinner that students do on their own. Other costs not included are sightseeing and cultural and recreational events outside of class. At our pre-trip orientations sessions we cover these uncovered items and provide budgetary suggestions. We also provide basic information on the advantages and disadvantages of using ATMs vs. credit or debit cards vs. cash or traveler's checks, as well as a number of other travel and consumer issues to maximize their budget and travel enjoyment.


In some institutions much of the travel and course arrangements are made by the academic department. Some universities use their study abroad office with minimal or no involvement by the instructor. Understandably, some instructors prefer this arrangement especially when the course involves teaching in a classroom setting similar to that on campus. However, often study abroad involves a very different learning context that includes travel and unique learning opportunities than those in a traditional setting. To the extent that this is the case, we encourage instructor control over the account consistent with all university rules and regulations and administrative oversight. Our experience clearly indicates that the more intermediaries, the less instructor control and the greater the costs, since often there are fees or other charges all along the process.

Let's first focus on control. In our case the two instructors have an intimate knowledge of both the college student and traveling abroad with each having made numerous previous trips. The instructors have a keen awareness of student needs, student budget constraints and securing the best value for the travel dollar. As a result we can optimize the travel experience whether air or ground travel, lodging, cultural and sightseeing opportunities for both students and instructors. Admittedly, this requires more effort but also more satisfaction in the overall living and learning experience than if planned by someone in an office on campus who, although well intentioned, may not have the same knowledge or expectations as those doing the living and learning with the students. Basically, we suggest you design and implement the travel/study learning experience.

There are other practical cost considerations for assuming responsibility. Generally, the more you outsource the higher the trip costs. Fees are charged by travel agents to make arrangements and generate tickets for air, rail and other arrangements. Also, the landscape within educational institutions has changed in the current challenging economic environment. Services once provided as part of the overall educational experience have been unbundled. In response to reduced funding, many university study abroad offices charge fees for services previously provided without charge. To be clear, we are not suggesting avoidance of all these services. Rather, we suggest you assess the value of each service in relation to its cost and the overall travel budget and decide accordingly. At times, fees for some services may be well worth the time and effort saved and enhance the quality of the travel/study experience. In other circumstances this may not be the case.


Study abroad has always been considered a valuable learning experience. Increased awareness and value of study abroad programs has been reflected by the record number of students choosing this option. Essential elements of a study abroad experience include familiarity with legal, safety and budget issues identified in this presentation. This article identifies and discusses key issues in each of these areas to assist interested faculty and staff" who are either contemplating or wishing to initiate or enhance a health promotion/education study abroad learning experience. Understanding and incorporating the information presented enhances the likelihood of a successful study abroad learning experience for both study abroad organizers and participants. Realizing that each study abroad experience is unique, those interested in organizing this type of learning opportunity are encouraged to incorporate and adapt the material presented to fit their situation and institutional requirements.


Fischer, K. (2010). Study-abroad missteps remind colleges to train trip leaders. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

Iammarino, N. K., & O'Rourke, T. W. (1999). Planning and implementing an international travel/study course experience for health professionals and students. American Journal of Health Education, 30(3), 166-172.

Institute of International Education. (November 16, 2009). Americans studying abroad in increasing numbers. Retrieved from Americans-Study-Abroad-Increasing

Institute of International Education (2009). Open doors 2009 (Annual. New York City, N.Y.: Institute of International Education.

Kezar, K. (April 27, 2010). UT system recalls students from Mexico due to violence. The Horn. Retrieved from"_in_mexico_withdrawn_to_us_indefinitely_due_ to_violence

NAFSA: Association of International Educators. (2006). By example: resources for education abroad offices and advisers. Retrieved from

O'Rourke, T. W., & Macrina, D. (1985). Enriching professional preparation in school health through international study. Journal of School Health, 55(10), 425-427.

Smith, S. M. (2008). Legal liability relevant to study abroad. Retrieved from international-studies-articles/legal-liability-relevant-to-study-abroad-736032.html

The Forum on Education Abroad, (2009). Standards of good practice for short-term education abroad programs. Carlisle, PA.: The Forum on Education Abroad. Retrieved from ForumEAStandardsShortTermProg.pdf

U.S. Department of Education, (2007). Balancing student privacy and school safety: a guide to the family educational rights and privacy act for colleges and universities. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of State, (2010). Travel Registration. Retrieved from

Thomas O'Rourke, PhD, MPH, CHES

Nicholas K. Iammarino, PhD, CHES

Thomas O'Rourke, PhD, MPH, CHES, is Professor Emeritus of Community Health at the University of Illinois. Nicholas K. Iammarino, PhD, CHES, is Professor/Director of Health Sciences and Chairman of the Department of Kinesiology at Rice University. Please address all correspondence to Thomas O'Rourke, Ph.D., MPH, CHES, 1206. S. Fourth St., Rm. 129, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL 61820; PHONE: (217) 840-7036; FAX: (217) 333-2766; EMAIL:
Table 1. Standards Of Good Practice For Short-Term Education Abroad
Programs *

1. Mission, Objectives, and Purpose: The program
relates to the education abroad mission of the
organization and has well-defined academic and/or
experiential objectives.

2. Student Learning and Development: The program is
reviewed in the light of its stated educational
purpose for fostering student learning and development.

3. Academic Framework (for programs offering credit):
The organization maintains clearly stated
and publicly available policies on academic matters
related to education abroad.

4. Extra-Academic Framework: The organization maintains
clearly stated policies on non-academic
matters related to the educational experience abroad.

5. Preparation for the Learning Environment Abroad: The
program or its sponsoring institution
provides advising and orientation support that is
consistent with the program's mission and the
needs of its students.

6. Student Selection and Code of Conduct: The program
maintains, and makes publicly accessible,
its commitment to fair and appropriate policies
regarding student selection and conduct.

7. Organizational and Program Resources: The program has
adequate financial and personnel resources.

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

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

* Adapted from: Standards of Good Practice for Short-Term
Education Abroad Programs, The Forum on
Education Abroad, 2009
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.