Career Strategy Fellowships Study Abroad Summer Session

Proposing a Program

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Yale Summer Session is a part of The Center for International and Professional Experience (CIPE), which is comprised of Study Abroad, Fellowships and Funding, Summer Session, and the Office of Career Strategy.  Yale Summer Session and Yale Study Abroad work closely to make the faculty-led programs happen. These offices join with other academic advisers on campus to support students throughout their four years at Yale as they make decisions about their academic plans and explore career options. Through workshops, information sessions, and individual advising, CIPE staff help students to clarify their goals, to identify opportunities in the U.S. & abroad that are right for them, and to build upon their experiences in meaningful and purposeful ways.

New Program: Proposal Template & Timeline

Interested in proposing a new Yale Summer Session Program Abroad? Get started by reviewing the program proposal template and timeline. Proposals for new programs must be received at least 18 months in advance of the summer in which the program would be slated to run.

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Deciding to Teach or Lead a Program Abroad

Yale Summer Session (YSS), together with the Yale Study Abroad, encourages faculty to consider teaching or leading an existing summer study abroad program. Additionally, YSS is eager to partner with faculty in creating new opportunities abroad that meet institutional and student aims.

Why teach or lead a Yale Summer Session Program Abroad?

  • To broaden student interest in a particular field of study.
  • To broaden student understanding and interest in the world around them.
  • To connect Yale students to other students around the world.
  • To encourage students to take more courses in your department back on campus.
  • To build your own professional credentials.
  • To engage in professional networking opportunities abroad.

Leading a study abroad program requires first and foremost a student service-oriented attitude. It is a very rewarding experience, but one that requires a higher level of commitment than teaching a course on campus. Teaching and leading a study abroad program also requires some administrative work. While you will have time to yourself at the host site, keep in mind that your time is not your own. Your first commitment is to the program and students. The following is a list of what is expected of you.

Before the program begins

  • Put together a syllabus and tentative schedule of program activities at the beginning of the spring term (alone or with other faculty).
  • Participate in faculty orientation in the spring term.
  • Put together a tentative budget of program expenses (alone or with other faculty) during the spring term for approval and reconcile that budget at the end of the program.
  • Be ready to meet with prospective students to answer their questions and concerns during the spring term.
  • When necessary, work with YSS on logistical planning for the program.
  • Plan for and participate in an on-campus orientation for students during the spring term.
  • Advise students to look into the need for a visa to study in your program's location as soon as possible.


  • Act as Yale representative at the host site (alone or with other faculty).
  • Be prepared to be in charge of students in case of an emergency (alone or with other faculty).
  • Be available to students 24/7 in case of an emergency or student crisis.
  • Lead cultural excursions that you have organized on a weekly basis (alone or with other faculty). Be available to counsel students on academic and non-academic issues.
  • Keep track of your reimbursable program-related expenses.
  • Ask YSS when unsure if an expense is program related.

Guidelines for Creating a New Course and Program Abroad

Faculty interested in leading a summer program abroad must consider the following when planning a study abroad program:

  1. Courses are taught and led primarily by Yale faculty. Visiting faculty may teach only if approved by the academic department sponsoring the course.
  2. The instructor is responsible for all course content. It is expected that the course includes excursions and other activities that take place outside the classroom and are intended to enhance the student’s overall academic experience abroad.
  3. Students shall not incur extra cost for any activity required as part of the course of study. These activities shall be included in the general program cost. Students pay a program fee that will determine your program’s activity budget. The instructor should consult with the Study Abroad Director to confirm that activity costs do not exceed the program budget.
  4. All course proposals must be approved by the sponsoring department’s DUS. To fill out a course proposal form online, please go here:
  5. All courses must be credit-bearing and approved by the Course of Study Committee (CSC). After YSS approval, the course proposal is sent to the CSC. Courses should generally be offered for two credits. Two credits are a full session load, and students generally expect that they can take more than one credit while studying abroad.
  6. A course must have at least 10 students enrolled by the application deadline of February 15 to proceed. If there are not at least 10 students enrolled, the instructor must consult with the YSS Dean and Study Abroad Director in order to determine the feasibility of running the program with fewer than 10 students. Courses are generally capped at 18 students.
  7. Instructors are involved in the planning, creation, and execution of the course and program from the very beginning, and shall consult and or work with YSS in every phase to create the best possible experience within the budget for students.
  8. If two or more instructors are on-site together because they are co-teaching or running two courses concurrently, one instructor from the Yale faculty is designated as the lead instructor. The lead instructor will typically be the senior faculty member and has primary responsibility for ensuring student safety and welfare.
  9. Participants must be at least 18 years of age by the time the course is held and have completed one year of college. An applicant who is not enrolled in a university may be considered if he or she has already completed a bachelor’s degree.
  10. Yale students shall have first priority for all programs, except where special arrangements have been made. However, visiting students may be accepted to a Yale summer program. An instructor may decide that he or she would like to advertise the study abroad program to students outside of Yale. The Study Abroad Director can advise and/or work with the instructor to accomplish this.

Course Planning: A New Program

Understanding the Program Budget

Before getting started, it is important to understand how a study abroad program budget works during the summer.

Yale Summer Session Programs Abroad are self-funded, meaning that our budget is based exclusively on tuition enrollment. Student tuition and fees pay for the instructor’s summer salary and fringe benefits, housing, travel, and all other expenses related to the program. This is important to keep in mind when planning a program abroad. If we can estimate the income for a particular program, we can plan an operating budget.

In a program’s first year YSS may be willing to run a program with fewer students than is necessary to cover the program’s cost. However, after the first year YSS will only support a self-sustaining program. YSS is willing to discuss with the instructor ways to make a program succeed. For example, a program may need to eliminate certain features in order to bring down costs or increase student program fees or tuition in order to cover costs. The pros and cons of such solutions will be weighed before making a decision.

Some budget items incur a per-student cost and some incur a flat rate. The following costs may enter into your program budget:

  • Welcome lunch/dinner (per student rate)
  • Farewell lunch/dinner (per student rate)
  • Museum entrance fees (per student rate)
  • Classroom costs (flat rate)
  • Housing costs (per student rate)
  • Site coordinator fees (flat rate)
  • Honoraria for guest lecturers (flat rate)
  • Excursions fees (per student rate)
  • Transportation related to activities (flat or per student rate)
  • Course materials (flat or per student rate)

The Course Proposal

  1. Start planning early. Preliminary talks with YSS should start no later than August, and preferably in May, for the summer of the following year. This first meeting is a time to discuss with YSS the feasibility of supporting your program.
  2. Choose a location. You may or may not have decided on a site country or city by the preliminary meeting with YSS. Picking a location for a course is perhaps the single most critical decision. Some courses, such as language courses, can be offered in numerous towns or cities, and picking one is not always easy. Large cities have certain advantages, as do small towns in the countryside. Much depends on the kind of experience you want your students to have.
  3. A primary consideration is finding facilities and a hosting institution. Often this is done through professional acquaintances and your own knowledge of a particular town or region. Costs are certainly another important consideration. Finally, it is important to remember that Yale maintains a list of cities, countries, and regions that are restricted for the conduct of official Yale courses. Even if a location is not on Yale’s restricted list, YSS and the instructor(s) must agree upon the safety of the site location. Considerations to take into account include the general political situation in the host country and the general safety of the host city, local geography, the site’s distance from and access to medical facilities, etc.
  4. Submit a course proposal. Summer course proposals are normally written in September, to be approved by the Course of Study Committee (CSC) in October. Brochures and other promotional materials for study abroad courses are distributed beginning in October. This means that a final course proposal should be finished by mid- to late-September. When the DUS has approved the course proposal, the instructor should fill out the Course Proposal Form (online). YSS attends the CSC meeting for final program approval.
  5. Involve the department. The DUS and Chair ultimately approve the course proposal. It is imperative that the DUS and other department members be involved in planning a study abroad course from the earliest moment. The course, whether a foreign language course or not, must fit in with the department’s curriculum and should fulfill the needs of Yale students who take courses in the department, not just majors. Since much of the effort and resources for the course comes from the department, it is critical that the department support the course and is prepared to promote it.
  6. Consult with Yale Summer Session/Yale Study Abroad. These programs are a collaborative effort between YSS and the academic departments. A working relationship should be established at the preliminary meeting with YSS and should continue throughout the duration of program planning and during the program itself. We have experience with these sorts of courses and can advise you as to what has been successful in the past. We can also advise you as to Yale College and YSS policies with regard to study abroad. A close working relationship is essential to success.
  7. Take emergency planning into consideration early. Ask yourself if there are certain aspects of location or politics that might present certain security risks? Stay informed of current health and security considerations in your proposed country by reviewing the U.S. Department of State Travel Alerts & Travel Warnings, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and United HealthCare Global security reports. Also review The Yale University International Travel Policy for Yale College Students. This policy relates to countries of heightened risk and when the university would decide to restrict study abroad in a particular country. It is your responsibility to be aware of this policy and how it relates to your proposed study abroad destination.

Logistical Planning of the Program

Start early with logistical planning. Logistical planning for a study abroad course involves the securing of:

  • a host site (classroom, office space, etc.)
  • classroom equipment (photocopiers, computers, video equipment, Internet access, etc.)
  • services for students (e.g., do you know where you will take students if they become ill?)
  • instructor and student housing
  • local support staff and or local vendors
  • travel and transportation services such as airport pickup

It will be necessary to make contracts for on-site support. General Counsel approves and signs such agreements and thus must be involved in the negotiating process.

  1. Host Site. Some classrooms can be rented in a commercial space. Often a hosting university can provide a suitable classroom. Fees for classroom space should be negotiated early on, and technological needs should be included in such discussions and should figure in contracts. The fee for the classroom should be a flat rate and not a per student cost.
  2. Student Services. Will students be provided with certain services normally available to other students at this site, e.g. a student ID, library privileges, dining privileges, etc.? What arrangements need to be made in order to secure these services for students?
  3. Housing and Travel. When a course focuses on language study, it is preferable to house students with local families. When this is not possible, or for courses where language study is not the main thrust of the course, students may be housed in dormitories or apartments. Arrangements must be made through a local agency or institution. YSS can assist the instructor in locating student housing if necessary.
  4. Local Providers. Banking customs and payment protocols often differ around the world. Find out how the host institution or individual can or wants to be paid, and determine by the spring semester if such a transaction can be conducted within Yale policies.
  5. Wire Transfers. Wire transfers are a time-consuming process at Yale. Please allow three weeks for processing. In most cases less time is necessary, but the paperwork does pass through several Yale offices before the actual transfer takes place. To assist YSS staff in the process, please have ready the provider’s complete bank details as well as a U.S. tax form signed by the local provider. Yale requires all providers to sign a tax form verifying their foreign nontaxable status. Contact YSS staff to verify the bank details required of the provider and to request a tax form.
  6. Exchanging Money. You may wish to request a travel cash advance to pay for program expenses that cannot be paid by wire or credit card. You must submit a budget for the advance three weeks prior to when the funds are required. The advance may be directly deposited into your account or onto a Yale issued debit card. When exchanging money abroad, you are advised to withdraw the funds in one or two lump sums. Please save and turn in the bank exchange rate or ATM receipt along with the cash receipts from your purchases no later than 30 days from the end date of your program. YSS staff will use this exchange rate to reconcile your purchase amounts back into US dollars. Without an exchange receipt Yale policy requires staff to use the date of purchase exchange rate found at, which may not reflect the true cost of your purchases in dollars. The correct exchange rate allows us to calculate most fairly either how much Yale owes you or how much you owe Yale through a reconciliation of your cash advance. All money taken through a cash advance must be paid back to Yale.
  7. Purchasing Card. YSS will provide Yale faculty with a purchasing card (corporate credit card) to charge program-related expenses where possible. Keep all itemized receipts in addition to credit card receipts. Yale College policy requires both receipts related to the charge.
  8. Student Travel. Students are expected to make travel arrangements to and from the host city on their own. However, faculty may suggest a preferred flight(s) to students. Coordinated arrival may be important if the program arranges group pickup from the airport, although in most cases students are responsible for finding their own way to the housing location. If the program does arrange group pickup it is the instructor’s responsibility to communicate this information to students and to indicate what time of day students should arrive in order to meet him/her, or the local coordinator. If an instructor arranges a van or other vehicle to collect students, this is considered part of the local site costs and must be approved by YSS. All housing arrangements made by YSS and the instructor will begin the Saturday before the first Monday of class in the host city, and will finish the first Saturday after the course ends. Students should not arrive earlier than the Saturday before class begins, or stay longer than the Saturday after class ends, unless they have arranged their own accommodations.

Planning for the Unexpected

In addition to planning for classroom and course needs, it is essential to plan as much as possible for student needs outside of the classroom. The following list is example of situations that may arise outside the classroom:

  • A student becomes ill and needs to visit a doctor.
  • A student is involved in an accident and needs to go to a hospital.
  • A student suffers emotional stress and needs to talk to a psychological counselor.
  • A natural disaster occurs in the host city or country.
  • A terrorist attack occurs in the host city or country.
  • A local political situation destabilizes the host city or country.

Neither Yale nor the faculty representing Yale can be expected to ensure with absolute certainty that no physical or emotional harm will come to a student. However, we must have a plan and resources in place that allow the instructor(s) or on-site coordinator to deal effectively with adverse situations that present themselves. Therefore, a significant step in program planning should include:

1. Preparing a Resource Packet of Information Consisting of:

  • Yale’s Travel Assistance. Become familiar with the material on the website of the Office of the Controller (Risk Management):
  • UnitedHealthcare Global Insurance. All students and most faculty participants are covered under UnitedHealthcare Global for the duration of the study abroad program (except Bilbao where students are covered under local health insurance). Make sure you are familiar with UnitedHealthcare Global resources should you need in-country support. Consult study abroad staff with any questions you have about UnitedHealthcare Global.

2. Establishing an Emergency Action Plan

Read over the Yale Study Abroad Emergency Action Plan in Appendix E. Confirm with the Study Abroad Director that you understand it and that you and the Study Abroad Office have the same understanding of procedures should an event occur.

3. Reviewing the Incident Report Form

If an incident occurs while abroad, the instructor must complete the Incident Report Form and email it to Kelly McLaughlin (, Study Abroad Director. Please review this form in advance so that you know what types of incidents must be reported and what information will be required. The Incident Report Form, which includes detailed instructions, is available in Box at Yale. See Appendix E for more information.

Advertising Your Program

It is essential to advertise your program as broadly and effectively as possible, both inside and outside of the department. It is especially important that students taking courses in your department know about the program to be offered abroad as soon as possible, since most students plan for the following summer during the fall.

During the fall semester, the instructor as well as other members of the instructor’s academic department will work with the YSS staff to advertise the program through such means as promotional materials in print, information sessions, classroom announcements, and academic advising. There are many ways to advertise your study abroad program:

• Make announcements in your class.
• Visit/make announcements in your colleagues’ classes.
• Ask colleagues to announce your study abroad program.
• Make and distribute flyers (YSS can assist you in this).*
• Have informational meetings (a Yale Study Abroad staff can come to a meeting you plan).*
• Use the Study Abroad website to advertise your program. Videos and photos of your program abroad are especially appealing to students for this purpose. 

In addition, YSS attends events such as the Academic Fair (August), a “Yalies Abroad” panel during Family Weekend (September), the CIPE Summer Opportunities Fair (November), Bulldog Days (April), and other events around campus. Please inform us if you have materials you would like us to hand out to interested students.

*Please note: this is a collaborative effort and is not the exclusive responsibility of Yale Summer Session/Yale Study Abroad. Also, please inform our office of any promotional efforts carried out on your own as we would like to track the rate and success of such efforts.

After successful advertising, which we hope will attract many applicants, instructor(s) will be informed of every applicant to the program after March 1. Faculty will be e-mailed the applications for their programs and must read through applications and recommend the students best suited for their programs, ranking students for a waitlist as necessary. If the program does not have the minimum number of applicants to run, the application will stay open and you may continue to recruit students. The Dean of YSS holds the final authority on all admissions decisions.

Course Planning: Returning Programs

Please review the content for planning for new courses (above) as most of the material applies for returning courses.

The Course Proposal

It is not necessary to submit a new course proposal form once a course has been approved by the Course of Study Committee. However, please consult with YSS if you and your department would like to run the course the following year. The Dean of YSS will contact the DUS of departments offering courses in early fall to ask for a submission of study abroad programs for the following summer. A course that has run successfully in the past does not need to seek approval again, but a conversation about running the program again should happen with the Study Abroad Director in September.


Confer with YSS each fall about course logistics. Will your program return to the same host site? Will you run the program in the same session or do you need to change the program dates for a particular reason? Will you use the same on-site coordinators and/or local providers? Will you plan the same kinds of activities and excursions or will you create a new activities agenda? It is likely that your program will use the same providers from year to year? Nevertheless, YSS must sign a new contract with these providers each year. YSS must be informed of significant changes to the program during the fall term.
IV. Responsibilities of the Instructor

Instructors responsible for students participating in the YSS study abroad program may encounter demanding and sometimes frustrating situations that do not arise on the New Haven campus. YSS shares in the responsibility of providing a quality study abroad program and is the instructor’s partner in preparing students for a rewarding experience.

The Site Coordinator

Every host site will have a Site Coordinator. A Site Coordinator must be a Yale faculty member (ladder or non-ladder) who is also teaching a summer course at the site. Graduate students cannot be Site Coordinators. Some departments may prefer to share the site coordination duties between two instructors. The duties of the Site Coordinator will typically include arranging extracurricular activities that are intrinsic parts of the program. The Coordinator will also be responsible for ensuring that the site can support medical care and for arranging such care if needed, and may also be called on to facilitate students’ needs in cases of emergency.

Prior to Departure

  • Advising students about their program.
  • Assist YSS with program marketing and informational meetings.
  • Assist YSS with setting up communications or contacts overseas.
  • Assist YSS with pre-departure student orientation.
  • Plan & participate in student pre-departure orientations
  • Participate in faculty orientation
  • Advise students of any high-risk physical activities that may be required during the program (extensive walking, hiking, climbing up hills, etc.).
  • Provide a syllabus to students.
  • Create and provide YSS with a tentative schedule of field trips and other activities that complement your course’s main learning goals and curriculum.

During the Program

  1. Serve as a liaison between students, host institution, Yale University, local U.S. governmental offices, and government officials in the host country.
  2. Communicate with YSS by e-mail/phone/fax/mail with program updates at the agreed-upon intervals.
  3. Upon arrival, conduct on-site welcome/orientation.
  4. At welcome/on-site orientation, reiterate your role and course expectations to students (this should already have been discussed at pre-departure orientation).
  5. Strive to achieve a good group dynamic.
  6. Assist students with cultural adjustment.
  7. Be responsible for coordination of program excursions and field trips and/or work in partnership with the on-site coordinator who handles these kinds of activities.
  8. Advise and counsel students when needed.
  9. Resolve student discipline issues, and in some cases call for the dismissal of a student from the program.
  10. Respond to natural, political, and social emergencies in the host country.
  11. Oversee the academic program.
  12. Oversee all payments and keep receipts of program-related activities in host country.
  13. Keep accurate financial receipts for end-of-program accounting with YSS.
  14. Submit Incident Report Forms, if applicable. This should be done no later than 24 hours after the incident.

Program Conclusion

  • The instructor designated as Site Coordinator must submit a Faculty report to YSS and the academic department, detailing program activities, signaling concerns or suggestions for changes to structure, activities, etc. for the following year.
  • All program leaders must reconcile cash advances and purchasing card charges (if applicable).
  • Submit any claims for reimbursement with appropriate receipts and supporting literature describing what each receipt corresponds to using the guidelines provided by YSS.