Study Abroad



Faculty-led Study Abroad Programs, as defined by the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW), are short-term (within a semester) academic based programs, which involve students’ receiving academic credit for a course. The course includes a study abroad component or the professor may assign an alternate assignment equal to the value of the study abroad component, for those students who do not travel with the class. Courses which include a faculty-led study abroad component must be approved by the faculty's dean prior to offering the course.

Quick Points

To be eligible to participate in a Faculty-led program you must:

  • have successfully completed 12 hours at UIW;
  • have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.4 (some sister schools may require a higher GPA);
  • be in enrolled in the course with a study abroad component.

Academic Qualifications

Students are required to be in good academic standing, with at least a cumulative GPA of 2.4, and enrolled in the academic course containing a study abroad component.  All participants are required to attend and participate in the course.  The lead faculty and/or dean reserve the right to deny the student from participating in the study abroad component, at the student’s expense, if the student is academically unsuccessful in the class and/or other issues arise (i.e. violations of the UIW Student Code of Conduct). 


Academic Protocol

Participants must register in the course that entails a study abroad component.  Visit with your academic advisor to register the course. Once the course starts, your professor will forward additional details and specific information regarding the study abroad component to the course. 

Administrative Protocol

STEP 1 – Passport

Do you have your passport? If you already have a passport, be sure to check the expiration date. Many countries require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after you plan to arrive.

For instructions on applying for a passport for the first time, click here.

For instructions on renewing your passport, click here.

STEP 2 – Research Your Options

Your faculty-led study abroad program experience has the potential to be a life changing experience. Such an experience deserves a great deal of thought and planning. When researching your options, consider the following:

  • Ask the Study Abroad Coordinator, your academic advisor and/or dean to inquire, which faculty is planning a faculty-led program.
  • Contact the professor who is teaching the course with the study abroad component.
  • Make certain you are academically qualified by making sure you have the pre-requisites required (if applicable) to take the course being offered. 
  • Determine the financial budget estimates and speak with financial aid.  
  • Adhere to all the registration and payment deadlines

STEP 3 – Complete the Faculty-Led Study Abroad Agreement

Once you have registered for the courses, you will then need to complete the Faculty led Study Abroad Agreement.  Your professor may designate a date and time to forward and discuss the agreement during class.  If you require the agreement you may obtain copy of the agreement online or the Study Abroad Office.  The agreement must be submitted to the faculty and/or the Study Abroad Office by the third week of class. 

 STEP 4 – Apply for a visa (if required)

You must have a passport in order to travel outside your home country; however a visa is different than a passport. A visa allows you permission to enter a country. Each country has its own visa policy. Depending on the country where you are traveling you may be required to obtain a student or tourist visa.

Your professor will discuss this topic; however, it is always good practice to research this topic on your own.  Please refer to the country’s consulate webpage for specific requirements.
For more information, you can also refer to the U.S. Department of State website. Go to the Entry/Exit Requirements section in the Country Specific Information for the country you are interested in.

STEP 5 – Purchase Travel and Health Insurance

As of spring 2015, ALL faculty led programs require students to purchase international travel and health insurance before travelling abroad.

Your professor and/or the Study Abroad Office will forward information regarding the costs and information.  

It is YOUR responsibility to consult with your physician to make certain you are fit for travel and have the required immunizations before traveling.

STEP 6 – Traveling and Logistics

Your professor is responsible for providing information regarding flights, accommodations, and ground transportation.  It is your responsibility to adhere to the payment plans and arrangements for the faculty led program.   Failure to adhere to payment arrangements and deadlines may result in being denied to participate in the program, even if you have already made partial payments. 

STEP 7 – Attend the Pre-Departure Session

All students, including faculty led participants, are required to attend a Pre-Departure Session prior to traveling abroad. Your professor and the Study Abroad Coordinator will schedule a date and time (may take place during class) to implement the Pre-Departure Session.   

The Pre-Departure Session includes valuable information on procedures, safety, health, culture shock, keeping in touch, and packing. During this session you may be asked to submit your faculty led agreement, copies of your passport, visa, flight itinerary, and other relevant information.

Your professor may extend the invitation to your parents or they can visit with the Study Abroad Coordinator and/or professor at mutually convenient time.

STEP 8 – Register at the Embassy online.

Register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate at the Department of State travel registration page. Registration is important; it allows the State Department to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency.


One of the assessments utilized in faculty led study abroad programs are the students’ grades earned at the completion of the course.  Students’ grades will help determine whether their academic objectives and goals were achieved.  

At the end of the program, all participants will be asked to submit an exit survey in order to (1) capture important demographic information and (2) help assist the University improve future programs.  All surveys are confidential and results will not be shared, distributed, and/or reported outside of University purposes.  

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