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Western Kentucky University

Faculty-Led Study Abroad

the Spirit of Adventure

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Guiding Principles

WKU Faculty-Led Study Abroad programs (FLSA) are to be planned, administered, and assessed based on these guiding principles:

  • Courses should provide rich, academic content and opportunities for personal growth, while also improving cultural awareness.
  • Planning, well in advance of a program start date, increases the likelihood of achieving the intended learning outcomes.
  • The chosen international destination(s) must be central to the clearly defined learning outcomes.
  • Student safety while abroad requires preparation in all phases of development and implementation.
  • DELO’s ability to financially manage FLSA courses should relieve faculty from handling student monies directly.
  • Electronic processes ideally replace paper processes.
  • Two-deep leadership promotes balance in meeting the demands of leading a program.
  • FLSA programs are a shared responsibility.

FLSA Administrative Process

FLSA program are guided by the current Faculty-Led Study Abroad Manual (Rev October 2011).

See the Leader Support and Resource page for the update Leader Introduction and Administrative Manual.

It is recognized that the new model will be implemented over time and adjustments will be made as needed. The goal is to increase and improve FLSA programs and support leaders in all phase their programs. The manual is intended to make the process of creating a FLSA program more accessible and transparent to faculty.  

FLSA Leadership

The Division of Extended Learning & Outreach (DELO) extends educational opportunities beyond the traditional university setting.  Academic units who create and deliver successful programs are the beneficiaries of DELO’s services through academic outreach, faculty development, personal and workforce development, conferencing & catering, event planning, and study away (see

The Office of Study Away (SA), a unit of DELO, was established in May 2010 as a complement to study abroad.  Study away programs function similarly to FLSA programs, but travel to locations in which students need no passport.  WKU added faculty-led study abroad programs to the Study Away portfolio in 2011.  Under this structure, the Office of Study Away provides collaborative administrative support, logistical oversight, budgeting, financial management, marketing with faculty leaders, their departments, and colleges.  Study Away staff work directly with program leaders and often serve as a proxy for them related to non-academic matters (see

Office of International Programs (OIP) is led by the Chief International Officer for Global Learning (CIO-GL) with responsibility to expand opportunities for the active engagement of students in international learning experiences both off-campus and on-campus.   The CIO-GL must approve all FLSA programs (new and repeating) in order for a program to proceed (see

The Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning (SAGL) works primarily on the student and academic side of the study abroad development process. SAGL has traditionally focused on aiding in recruitment and providing orientation, pre-departure, and re-entry session for students. (see   

International Education Advisory Council (IEAC) is composed of faculty representing the various academic colleges who advise the CIO-GL on issues related to internationalization at WKU.  The IEAC members review FLSA proposals and provide feedback to the program leaders.  IEAC recommends action by the CIO-GL on each program (see   

The Program Leadership Team is the faculty and staff who serve as on-site administrators in a two-deep leadership model. They share in the development, implementation, post program reporting, and financial reconciliation of the program.  A minimum of two program leaders are required for each program.  Because the program fee paid by participants covers all or a portion of each program leader’s expenses, each leader is expected to be engaged in all aspects of the program for the benefit of all the participants.  The sharing of responsibilities and duties among the program leaders, in cooperation with Study Away staff, increases the likelihood of a successful program. 

Faculty-Led Study Abroad Courses

FLSA courses are defined by the following:

  1. Program location(s) require a valid passport.
  2. Offer at least one WKU credit course taught by a WKU faculty member.  The course(s) are set-up in Banner with specific characteristics that differentiate them from on-campus courses.  FLSA courses are customarily offered in WKU’s winter term or summer session.  However, activities tied to courses during fall or spring academic terms are handled on a case-by-case basis.

NOTE:  Courses offered through third-party providers or consortia to which WKU belongs, even if led by WKU faculty, are outside the scope of the FLSA program unless the faculty member and his/her department specifically designate the course is to be offered in an FLSA program.


The new Faculty-Led Study Abroad model offered by DELO is designed to help make your program work by providing these services:

  • Budget management and financial reconciliation
  • Marketing support
  • Student registration and billing
  • Travel coordination and logistics
  • Orientation support
  • Support Recruitment - Recruiting students is a joint effort among the faculty leaders, the academic departments and colleges, Study Abroad & Global Learning, and the Study Away office. WKU faculty members have a wide sphere of influence and can generate a lot of interest in your programs. Word-of-mouth enthusiasm can spread among other students, working to your advantage.

Start Planning Now…

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 Last Modified 1/11/15