Program Leaders

As a land-grant institution, the University of Connecticut seeks to prepare students for active personal and professional lives in local, state, global contexts. For many students, the most feasible way to go abroad, whether financially, psychologically, or academically, is with an instructor they know and trust.

For faculty, staff, and graduate students who lead them, UConn Programs can be very rewarding, in part because of the heavy amount of work involved. The leader may serve as the instructor of record, as with any course on campus. That said, they are also the logistical coordinator and primary line of student support while abroad. As a result, leading a UConn Program can be very different from teaching inside the average UConn classroom.

We expect leaders will:

  • View instruction with a student-centered focus, maintaining both student enthusiasm and an active, rigorous pedagogical approach;
  • Offer expertise in the course content areas for which a course will award credit;
  • Have first-hand, relevant experience in the country of interest;
  • Communicate clearly, frequently, and collaboratively with Education Abroad and other campus stakeholders;
  • Take seriously the safety and security all program participants; and
  • Commit to and uphold the policies, procedures, and laws of the University of Connecticut, the State of Connecticut, the United States, host institutions and organizations, and the host country.

Given the extraordinary level of effort and maturity required of program leaders, Education Abroad may not approve programs from prospective leaders, or reapprove them from repeat leaders, who do not illustrate their willingness or ability to serve these ends.

On a program abroad, the leader should always consider student safety in planning group activities and be responsive to student needs. That said, students are legal adults and agree to take responsibility for their actions when they apply for a program. Leaders should not, and are not expected to, behave as parental monitors or to anticipate all possible challenges.

While most programs run smoothly, emergencies occasionally do arise. Students may experience minor or serious medical emergencies or become victims of crime. For more information about preparing for and dealing with an emergency, go to the Emergencies section of our website.