Any consideration of developing a study abroad program must include evaluation of student demand, program cost, academic substance, logistics and risk. To date, OIA has provided UC Merced students study abroad options administered the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) and other external organizations. These organizations reconcile demand and cost, work with institutions abroad on academic and extra-curricular matters, and conduct risk assessment and mitigation.
This model has allowed OIA to offer our students hundreds of student abroad programs, suiting a wide variety of student needs and interests. Increasely, however, UC Merced faculty have expressed interest in offering our own, usually faculty-led, programs. While faculty-led programs have notable benefits, their development and administration requires significant infrastructural and personnel resources to address a range of needs, including but not limited to:
- Program development and promotion
- Program location (e.g. a university or other institution abroad)
- Travel planning/logistics
- Travel arrangements (e.g. transportation, room and board)
- Support services abroad
- Budgetary concerns (including contingencies if there is insufficient demand)
OIA currently does have an established infrastructure and personnel resources to handle matters such as these and, given this, any consideration of developing a UC Merced study abroad program should procede from a discussion about how these, and related, matters can be addressed.
If you'd like to discuss the possibility of offering a faculty-led study abroad program, please contact Director of International Affairs, Garett Gietzen (email@example.com)