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Leading an International Center faculty-led program

Faculty and students on train

The International Center is pleased to partner with faculty in administering high quality study abroad programs. Our experienced staff work closely with programs directors throughout the process from program approval through your return. While the center takes care of a considerable amount of the administrative responsibilities for each program, faculty program directors play an important role in ensuring the success of their programs.

Faculty program director benefits

Faculty who choose to be involved in study abroad often make the commitment because they appreciate the impact these programs can have on a student’s education. Leading a study abroad program can be satisfying because of the opportunity to provide hands-on, exciting experiences for students. As a high impact activity, study abroad provides the unique opportunity to enrich student learning by utilizing the host country to enhance your teaching, which, in turn, makes for stronger academic departments.

In addition, leading a program provides opportunities for you to conduct research abroad, make connections with colleagues from other countries and participate in other forms of professional development.

As a program director, you may be compensated for your time abroad. This compensation varies by program, but typically includes:

  • Salary or stipend
  • Airfare
  • Accommodations
  • Some or all meals
  • Local transportation costs
  • Other academic program expenses (museum entrances, supplies, etc.)


As a faculty program director, you will have the opportunity to expand learning outside the classroom through the types of courses and excursions you choose to offer during the program. You will also serve as a representative of MU and the students’ main point of contact while abroad. While you already are experienced as an instructor and adviser, you may find these roles differ in the study abroad setting. Many first-time faculty program directors are surprised by the degree to which students look to them for support in dealing with homesickness and the process of cultural adjustment.

Other key responsibilities lie outside the realm of usual faculty/staff functions on campus, and there are many specific processes, requirements and legal issues about which you need to be informed. These include expectations regarding your role in risk management and in working to ensure students' health, safety and security. Students are held responsible for their own health and safety abroad; however, faculty program directors are asked to serve as a resource for students and to provide support in case of an emergency or student conduct issue.

Please review each section of this website and the Field Guide for Faculty Program Directors carefully to better understand what is expected of faculty program directors.

If you have any questions regarding roles and responsibilities, don't hesitate to contact the director of study abroad.