Study Abroad

Getting Started: Program Directors

UWB students in ZambiaMany UW Bothell faculty are incorporating global learning into their classrooms. Teaching a course for UW students abroad is a way to deepen the international experience for both program leaders and students.

Left: UW Bothell students on an Exploration Seminar to Zambia. Check out the Featured Programs page to learn about other study abroad programs led by UW Bothell faculty and staff.

Study Abroad Program Development

To create a new study abroad program, start with the following questions:

  • Where would you like to go? Where is your regional area of expertise?
  • How much time would you like to spend abroad? Faculty-led programs range from short-term study trips to term-long courses.
  • What will be the thematic focus of your course?
  • Who will handle on-site logistics such as local travel, housing accommodations, excursions, etc.?
  • Is there an advantage to partnering with a co-director from another department or a staff member?
  • Who will cover your salary while you’re abroad? Will it continue to be paid by your department or built into the program fee paid by students?

IPE Proposal

The Program Proposal that you will submit to International Programs & Exchanges (IPE) asks for information about the overall concept and structure of the program, and requires information on proposed courses, on-site logistics, issues of health and safety, finances and more. Proposals are assessed based on selection criteria that emphasize academic rigor, thorough planning, and familiarity with the program location.

Comprehensive guidelines and planning tools are available on the IPE website.


Expect the planning and approval process to take about a year: four months of your own planning plus eight months of working with International Programs & Exchanges on the Seattle campus to approve and market your program, as well as select and prepare students. For example, proposals for Summer Programs and Early Fall Exploration Seminars are due on Oct. 31 of the previous year.

Leslie Ashbaugh, CUSP Director and Professor in Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences who's been leading a study abroad program to Zambia, suggests the following steps and specific recommendations:

  1. Brainstorm a good match between a program's focus and the destination of choice
  2. Submit IPE Proposal (consider that this initial planning can take many hours of internet work, since accommodations, travel, food and events must be budgeted for in detail)
  3. Advertise program
  4. Interview student participants (first by phone and then face-to-face) and finalize participant list
  5. Establish a Blackboard site for communication
  6. Students and directors purchase airline tickets through STA Travel in U District (I use La Juan)
  7. Organize Mandatory meetings (at least 2)
    Mandatory meeting #1: Getting to know one another and Orientation questions
    Mandatory meeting #2: Student driven country research (history, language, food, etc.) and student driven personal project research (in my case, health, education, democracy, etc.)
  8. Continue to communicate through the Blackboard site: Packing lists, Itinerary, Background readings, Airline information, etc.
  9. Packing party!


More Study Abroad Planning Resources

Global Initiatives
Natalia Dyba, Director


Office of International Programs and Exchanges
459 Schmitz Hall
(Seattle campus)


Provost’s Fund for International Education

Awards of up to $7,500 to support specific academic aspects of faculty-led study abroad programs.

Lauren Easterling
UW Study Abroad
Box 355815