In planning a study abroad program, the PL should be familiar with the country, the cultural “do’s and don’ts”, potential excursions, and the exact location(s) where the program will be held. It is likely that certain challenges will occur during the program, and the leader who is most familiar and comfortable with the area, will be able to handle the situation more efficiently and safely for all concerned. A pre-program site visit may be necessary to facilitate any needed local arrangements and familiarity with the area. In deciding on a location. it is best to take some of the following issues into consideration.
Location: As program sites, USU international partner institutions or institutes abroad can provide some of the following: instruction, classroom or office space, excursions, housing, even family homestays and meals. Some PL’s use hotel accommodations as their home base that not only provide housing, but space for meetings/lectures.
Included/not included: USU tuition, fees, medical insurance for program dates and housing are included in the program fee. In addition most local transportation is included as well as entry fees/most excursions for program activities. Program advertising should clearly state what is included. International airfare to and from the US is generally not included. Participants may be expected to arrive on a certain date/time, will be given the PL itinerary to fly with the leader if possible, and/or receive detailed arrival instructions where to meet the group. All or partial Meals may be included in hotel and family stays. In general, any other meals should not be included in the program fee. Local transportation by means of public transport by bus, train, etc is the safest reliable means of transportation and is generally included in program fees. If PL’s rent vehicles for program use abroad, it is very important that they have completed any necessary USU driver training, have a valid driver’s license valid in the abroad location, register all drivers, and have adequate full liability and appropriate vehicle insurance coverage purchased at time of vehicle rental. Each PL will need to discuss their rental vehicle options with USU Risk Management before finalizing any vehicle rentals abroad. Participants or onsite assistants are NOT permitted to drive rental vehicles or transport participants in personal vehicles.Excursions may be include as part of the program fee, or other programs may offer excursions at optional expense onsite. It is necessary to make sure that students understand their participation requirement-which are optional and which will be required- and any additional personal cost onsite.
Health and Safety: PL’s should be aware of any US security or travel warnings in place for countries to be visited. USU Risk Management will make the final assessment of security risk in moving forward with a program. PL’s must make sure any safety issues have been addressed, students are aware of the USU insurance coverage and its limitations, risky behaviors that will not be tolerated, and what to do in case of an emergency.