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Faculty & Staff: Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a topic below to find some of the commonly asked questions faculty and staff have pertaining to study abroad! Looking for a particular topic? Click on one of the sections outlined below to be directed to that area of this page! 

Can I lead a study abroad program as an adjunct faculty?

No, you must be a permanent UNI faculty or staff in order to lead a study abroad program.

How do I start a program proposal?

To start a program proposal, go to -> Faculty/Staff -> Prospective Course Leaders. Or, click here. At the bottom of the page, click the “Submit Proposal Now” button.

I have led this program before. Do I have to submit a proposal again?

Yes. All UNI instructor-led programs are approved on an annual basis via the program proposal application.

What is the proposal process?


The proposal process consists of the prospective course leader completing all components of the online program proposal application hosted on Once these components are complete, the application’s questionnaires describing the proposed program are printed by the Short-term Programs Advisor and submitted to the Study Abroad Center (SAC) Director for logistical approval.

After logistical approval, the proposal is submitted to the applicant’s Department Chair and College Dean for academic approval. Programs offering capstone coursework will also be reviewed by the Liberal Arts Core Director.

Do I need to meet with the Short-term Programs Advisor before starting the program proposal application?

No. However, meeting with the Short-term Programs Advisor is highly recommended, especially for first time applicants. The Short-term Programs Advisor can offer advice and guidance for the proposal process, particularly in regard to program itinerary creation.

When I click the “Submit Proposal Now” button, I am asked about log-in credentials. How should I respond?

Select the following response option: “I have a username and password.” You will use your UNI username and password to log in.

I started a program proposal application, but I can’t select my program locations from the drop-down menu. What should I do?

Select the location nearest your intended location. For example, if you are staying in Oxford, England, but Oxford is not an option, you could select London.

How do I return to the proposal to continue working?

Go to and select the “Login” button in the top right corner. Use your UNI username and password to log in.

Once logged in, you will be on your applicant home page. Select the name of your application (i.e. “Short-term Program Abroad Proposal”) under the application term (e.g. “summer 2016,” “winter break 2017,” etc.)

I don’t currently hold a valid passport. What should I do about the Submit Passport Information signature document?

The purpose of this document is for all applicants to understand that in order to lead a program abroad, the applicant needs to hold a valid passport and a scan of that passport needs to be on file with the SAC prior to leading a program abroad. If you hold a valid passport at the time of application, you can electronically sign this signature document. However, in order to expedite the proposal approval process, you can leave this document unsigned while you apply for a passport. Once you have your passport, return to the application and sign the document.

All of the proposal components are marked as complete. Is there a “Submit” button?

No. There is not a “Submit” button. Your proposal is flagged as completed by the application system. The Short-term Programs Advisor will compile the completed program proposal questionnaires and provide them to the SAC Director for the first step of the approval process.

Do I have to attend the in-person Course Leader Emergency Management Training?

Yes, every course leader must attend this in-person training every year they lead a study abroad program. Failure to attend the training will result in your future program proposals being rejected.

What are the SAC’s Housing Guidelines?

Below are the housing guidelines for course leaders:

  • Course leader must be housed in a room separate from any student program participant and cannot share a bed with any student under any circumstance;
  • Course leader must be housed in a room within the same hotel, hostel, dorm or apartment complex as the student participants. If this is not possible, then accommodations within close walking distance will be provided.

Below are the housing guidelines for students:

  • Male and female students must not share rooms (no co-ed rooming)
  • Each student must have their own bed (no bed-sharing)
  • UNI program participants cannot share rooms with non-program participants

Can I bring a relative/friend on the program?

If a course leader is planning to bring an accompanying individual (i.e. spouse, partner, friend, child, etc.) on the program with them, the SAC strongly encourages them to consider the intense nature of the short-term program and the amount of time they will need to spend with students.

That said, if any course leader is planning on taking an accompanying individual(s) with them, it must be discussed with SAC staff at least six months in advance to the departure date.

The accompanying individual(s) will need to submit their information by complete the SAC Travel Registry. In all cases, no program funding can be used to pay for the accompanying individual’s expenses. If they are to be included in program activities, transportation, and/or accommodations, payment for these must be made directly to the vendor whenever possible. If the accompanying individual is sharing the course leader’s accommodations, the course leader will be responsible for paying 10% of their housing costs either directly to the vendor or to the SAC. Please see the Course Leader Travel Reimbursement Guidelines for more information.  

It will be the responsibility of the course leader to enroll their accompanying individual(s) in the CISI insurance plan. This will be possible after the course leader has been enrolled. The course leader must contact CISI directly to enroll their accompanying individual(s) and pay for their coverage.

Finally, it will be the responsibility of the course leader to enroll their accompanying individual(s) in the State Department’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) prior to departure by going to their website.

Any accompanying individual who attends the program and does not adhere to the above guideline becomes the primary personal, financial and legal responsibility of the course leader, should anything happen.

A few students did not participate in a program activity. Can they receive funds for these activities?

Students who decide not to participate in pre-paid program activities will not receive any refunds. For more information, see the Refund and Withdrawal Guidelines.

Can non-UNI students participate in my program?

Yes, assuming they meet UNI Admission’s requirements and course prerequisites. Students from other universities wishing to participate in UNI instructor-led programs will apply to UNI and become non-degree seeking students for the purposes of the program coursework. Please direct non-UNI students to contact the Short-term Programs Advisor for more information.

What is CISI?

The SAC enrolls all course leaders in the Iowa Regent’s Universities’ Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) plan. This is a comprehensive accident and sickness coverage as well as emergency services. This is at no cost to the course leader.

What is STEP?

The SAC enrolls all course leaders in the US Department of State’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). lists the following benefits of enrollment:

  • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
  • Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
  • • Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

Do I need a Travel Health Consultation?

The SAC encourages course leaders to receive a travel consultation prior to leading a program abroad as well as receive an exam upon return.