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Keys to a successful program

Study abroad program leaders have identified the following elements as those that make for the most rewarding and successful study abroad program:

  1. Avoid simply duplicating courses taught in East Lansing. Relate subject matter to the host country.
  2. Utilize the personnel, facilities, and cultural resources of the host country as much as possible, with the aim of providing students with opportunities for an interculturally unique experience.
  3. Provide greater student-leader contact and interaction than is usually possible on campus.
  4. Give attention to detail during all aspects of preparation.
  5. Prepare in advance for potential difficulties, problem cases and emergencies.

A quality study abroad program will maximize the use of the people and resources available in the host country. Students want an experience that they cannot obtain in East Lansing.

Your efforts and creativity in publicizing and recruiting will determine the success of your program.

Set realistic enrollment targets when creating the program budget. This will result in an attractive program fee and a realistic budget for the program.

Regularly check your application files. Become familiar with the application process and the Study Abroad Student Guide so that you can answer questions and retain enrollments.

Order the study abroad sections of your courses following the usual on-campus course section scheduling process. Monitor your enrollments throughout the program.

Communicate regularly with students through orientation sessions, informal gatherings, email, social media, and phone to provide information and build group cohesiveness.

Be proactive in addressing your expectations and the group's expectations for the program during pre-departure and on-site orientation.

Be prepared to handle on-site logistics and finances.

Be prepared to respond to behavioral problems and emergencies.

Provide feedback to OSA. The only way we can make program improvements is through feedback from you and your students. Promptly submit a program report and encourage students to respond when they receive thir online evaluation.

Thank you for the time, energy and commitment that you have given to the program and our students. You have helped to transform lives. We hope that you will continue to be involved with study abroad at Michigan State University.