Protocols and Policies for Study Abroad Courses

Protocols and Policies for Study Abroad Courses

Definition
Study-Abroad Courses are Brock University credit courses (typically 0.5 or 1.0 credits) offered by a Brock faculty member (or another approved instructor) and delivered at a location outside of Canada. Study abroad courses must meet all the conventional academic and administrative criteria for Brock courses offered domestically.

Course participants are defined as:

  • all individuals who register formally in the study-abroad course through the Registrar's Office at Brock University (or another approved institution), whether as full time students, part-time students, certificate students, or upon a Letter of Permission from another institution;
  • all individuals who audit the course, according to the provisions for course audits in the university graduate and undergraduate calendars, and
  • all those who otherwise participate in the course, in whole or in part, with the written permission of the course instructor.

In cases of limited-enrollment study-abroad courses, priority of access shall be given, in order, to: a) full time Brock students, b) part-time Brock students, c) full time students from other academic institutions, d) part-time students from other academic institutions, e) course auditors, f) other eligible participants.

If enrollment capacity permits, spouses or friends of course participants may be permitted to participate in study-abroad courses at the discretion of the instructor. Such participants are expected to register for a formal course audit, to be bound by all of the same expectations for conduct and behaviour as other participants, to follow the travel itineraries of the study-abroad course, and to participate in all planned course activities.

Only those participants who pay full tuition fees for the study-abroad course can be counted towards any minimum quota of course participants required to make a course academically or financially viable.

Terms and Conditions
Study-abroad courses may be proposed as ongoing or limited-duration offerings in the course bank of any Department or Centre, and are subject to all of the regulations and approval procedures affecting regular domestic course offerings.

Instructors interested in developing and offering a new study-abroad course must consult with:

  • faculty and staff members in their own academic unit
  • the Chair or Director of their own academic unit
  • their Dean
  • any implicated faculty, staff and administrative colleagues in other academic units
  • the Director of Brock International
  • the Director of International Services (if pre-departure briefings are to be provided by that office).

Status of Courses: Load / Overload
Study-abroad courses may be offered on load (i.e., taught as part of an instructor?s normal course load, with no additional course stipend), or taught on overload (i.e., offered in addition to the instructor's normal course load, which will entitle the instructor to be paid the standard stipend associated with such a credit load). The viability and status of the study abroad course will be determined according to the normal workload assignment process in a Department or Centre.

Additional Instructor Stipends
In recognition of the additional administrative and organizational workload associated with the preparation of a study abroad course, the course instructor is eligible for a stipend of not more than $1000 per standard half-credit course (based upon the number of additional hours spent in organizational and administrative activities), as determined in consultation with the Vice President Academic. Normal course preparation time is not eligible for additional remuneration.

Policy on Student International Mobility
In support of faculty who wish to initiate new programs and mobility opportunities abroad for Brock students through the establishment of partnerships with university-affiliated educational programs around the world, this policy on Student International Mobility aims to provide direction and support.

Fee structure
Study-abroad courses generally involve additional expenses. The fee structure is divided into three broad components: academic fees, administrative fees and travel-related fees.

Academic fees are charged on a per credit basis and paid to Brock University. Academic fees cover registration, tuition and ancillary fees for courses given by Brock instructors, according to the regular university fee schedule in the university calendar. Payment of academic fees, due dates, withdrawal charges, refund policies, and associated policies for academic fees follow the regulations listed in the university calendar. Any Letter of Permission fees will be assumed by course participants.

Administrative fees are determined by the instructor in consultation with the Department or Centre offering the course. If required, they are paid directly to the Department or Centre through the instructor (or designated aides). These fees may encompass:

a) Any special course materials;

b) a reasonable prorated proportion of the total travel-related costs of the instructor(s) and any assistant(s) involved, where absolutely necessary;

c) a stipend to cover costs for pre-departure briefing and associated orientation materials, normally payable to the Office of International Services for services rendered.

Travel-related fees are charged to cover all of the direct and indirect additional costs associated with travel abroad: transportation, accommodations, visa costs, insurance, administrative fees, third-party goods and services, etc.

As sufficient lead time is required to plan and prepare for a course abroad, participants will be expected to pay a nonrefundable deposit by a mutually-agreed upon date prior to departure.

All financial accounting for courses abroad shall be transparent, with clear itemized listing of revenues and expenditures. In order to keep costs affordable and improve equity of access, regular academic study-abroad courses shall operate on a cost-recovery basis.

Cost overruns on academic and travel-related portions of the course are the responsibility of the Department(s) or Centre(s) involved. Budget surpluses in excess of 10% of total course cost per participant (excluding tuition fees) shall be refunded to the participants.

Travel Assistance for Faculty Leading International Field Courses Abroad

In collaboration with the Spring Summer Incentive Initative, coordinated by the Office of the Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning, Brock International provides administrative and financial support to faculty who are developing field course abroad opportunities for Brock students. Financial support is in the form of travel assistance, scalable to enrollment, and is available for new international course offerings in the Spring and Summer terms.

Please contact Sheila Young, Director, Brock International, at extension 4404 for more information.

Responsibilities of the Instructor
In addition to fulfilling all standard Faculty Handbook and Calendar expectations for a course given at Brock University, the instructor(s) (and / or designated support staff) are responsible for the following:
Academic responsibilities

Course outline: preparation of a course outline which provides a clear description of the academic expectations and evaluative criteria associated with the course, including:

  • expectations for attendance and participation;
  • any meeting dates, times, and locations outside of the formal course period (e.g., pre-departure briefings, post-course presentations, etc.);
  • criteria for evaluation, mark weight, and due dates for assignments;
  • penalties for overdue assignments.

Interaction with the Registrar's Office (or equivalent at other institutions) in the preparation of Letters of Permission for nonstandard credit equivalencies (where applicable);

Liaison with students enrolling from other institutions (where applicable).

Logistical responsibilities
Itinerary: preparation of a detailed itinerary, indicating:

  • meeting places, dates, and times;
  • program activities (academic and extracurricular)
  • modes of travel,
  • accommodations

for the formal period of the study-abroad program. The itinerary should clearly indicate which items are the responsibility of the student to arrange and pay for, and which have been organized and paid for by the instructor on behalf of the student.

The course instructor is responsible for providing clear instructions about the location, date, time, and meeting place where a study abroad course is to begin and end. However, unless otherwise arranged, course participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from the initial meeting and departure points for the course.

The course instructor is also responsible for coordinating all activities and procuring goods and services which are necessary during the formal duration period of the course. Such activities, goods and services may be purchased on behalf of the course participants by the course instructor, using travel-related fees collected in advance (e.g., bus rentals, leasing of facilities, etc.), or may be purchased onsite by the participants themselves as required (e.g., local bus fares, taxi fares, admission charges to fee-charging attractions). The fee structure for a proposed study abroad course should clearly describe these travel-related expenses (or accurate estimates of their enumerated cost) at the time the course proposal is developed;

Liaison with institutions and organizations abroad: Instructors are expected to coordinate all arrangements with institutions and organizations abroad (including academic institutions) pertaining to services rendered, facilities used, and expertise engaged in the context of formal course activities;

Liability waivers: instructors are responsible for the initial distribution and subsequent collection of completed, signed and witnessed liability waiver forms (For the complete pdf. version of the Assumption of Risks, Responsibility, and Liability Waiver for Brock University Study Abroad, Work Abroad, International Co-op, International Internship, and Exchange Programs, please Click Here)

Responsibilities of Course Participants
Liability waivers: Course participants must complete a liability waiver form and hand in to instructors prior to departure. (For the complete pdf. version of the Assumption of Risks, Responsibility, and Liability Waiver for Brock University Study Abroad, Work Abroad, International Co-op, International Internship, and Exchange Programs, please Click Here)

It is every course participant's responsibiltiy to attend the pre-departure orientation session hosted by the Office of International Services. Some of the important programs the session covers include:

  • Credit Transfer to Brock
  • Translation of Grades
  • Fees to Pay to Brock Prior to Departure
  • Travel Documents
  • Proof of Immunization
  • Insurance (Property Insurance, Health Insurance)
  • Banking Overseas

In addition to meeting all standard Faculty Handbook and Calendar expectations for a course taken at Brock University, course participants are responsible for the following:
Prior to departure -

  • meeting all academic prerequisites and standards for the course;
  • familiarizing themselves with the course outline and the expectations of the course;
  • arranging travel to and from the study-abroad site, unless otherwise arranged;
  • obtaining and paying for all required visas, immunizations, and insurance;
  • payment of all academic, administrative, and travel-related fees on time;
  • familiarizing themselves with the responsibilities, expectations, liabilities, hazards, and constraints of travel and study in an international context;
  • familiarizing themselves with the social, cultural, economic and political context and conventions of the destination country, so that they are prepared to interact in a safe, responsible, and non-offensive fashion with local people in social, commercial or civil interactions;
  • informing the instructor of any significant medical conditions (allergies, food sensitivities, diseases, mental illnesses, etc.) which may be significant in an international study-abroad context, and assuming all responsibility and liability for such conditions.

The onus of responsibility for knowledge of health risks in the destination country lies with course participants. Course should seek out relevant authorities (e.g., travel medicine office, regional health clinic) about any health precautions, immunizations, medications or health risks associated with travel and deployment of course activities. Follow-through on immunizations, prescriptions, or other forms of prophylaxis and all associated costs are the responsibility of the course participant.

In course -

  • bringing along any required medications (with original prescriptions) or medical devices in quantities necessary to deal with any of the above medical conditions
  • assuming responsibility for all debts incurred, in total, at home or abroad
  • abiding by all laws, rules, regulations and cultural protocols of all jurisdictions visited, and assuming all responsibility and liability associated with the above.