Resources for faculty interested in leading a study abroad experience

Office of Global Engagement (OGE) is committed to the development of new and engaging international activities and study abroad programs for students, staff, faculty and community members. OGE’s main role is to support interested faculty and staff in bringing forward ideas to be developed as viable international activities and projects, as well as support the development and implementation of the international activities and programs


  • Gain appreciation of campus diversity
  • Enhance intercultural understanding
  • Contribute to a global and international perspective
  • Share best practices internationally
  • Implement international components into NIC curriculum
  • Consider relationship with Indigenization


Field school/Faculty-led programs

In field schools, faculty travels with a cohort of participants and teaches an NIC course on-site. In this model, faculty and participants live in the same accommodations/location, participate in group excursions, and travel from site to site as a group. Faculty travel expenses are normally covered by student fees and salary compensation is based on the course(s) taught for the activity abroad. Faculty can collaborate with an international partner institution/organization but would not rely on that institution to be the sole provider of instruction/content. NIC faculty are expected to provide instruction to NIC students, which can complement programming provided by the foreign institution or team-teaching with a faculty member from the partner institution.

OGE can help with the development of the concept and structure, budget, itinerary development, student scholarships, travel support etc., and CTLI and other faculty with experience are available to assist with curriculum and other aspects of the teaching and learning process.

Collaborative Online Intercultural Learning (COIL) projects

Though it has been around for many years, COIL is considered an innovative form of virtual mobility engaging students and faculty online. The nature of the collaboration can take many forms including online discussion groups, common assignments, team projects, videoconferences, and/or class to class meetings. The COIL interaction can vary in length and format, from as short as a few weeks or a semester long collaboration.

COIL projects involve the co-development of a course module by two or more instructors from different countries or regions. These projects could focus on a similar area of teaching, but also could be interdisciplinary in nature.

If needed, OGE can assist with faculty connections, identification of potential partners, and support from NIC faculty and CTLI personnel who are able to help with the technical and structural aspects of delivering COIL. There are targeted training programs available that can also help faculty feel comfortable with the process.

International collaboration and development work

Visiting Scholar: Faculty teaching at a partner Institution

OGE has a long list of partner institutions around the world and the ability to connect with those with whom we may not already have partnership agreements. Faculty can identify teaching/projects/applied research opportunities abroad as a visiting faculty member for short term (one week) or longer. This type of arrangement could be facilitated either directly between the NIC faculty member and the partner institution, and/or facilitated through the OGE.

Leave for Change with World University Service of Canada (WUSC)

Leave for Change is a three-way partnership between NIC, an NIC employee and WUSC. NIC offers volunteering opportunities to any regularized/full time employee; the employee uses their vacation time to take part in and WUSC fully supports, facilitates and organizes the volunteer assignment. As a WUSC volunteer, participants use their expertise and experience to collaborate with WUSC partners, such as a non-governmental organization, an organization in the public or private sector, or a social enterprise in a country in Asia, Africa or the Caribbean. NIC through OGE has supported several employees to participate in Leave for Change over the years in Peru, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tanzania and other locations.

WUSC Frequently Asked Questions.

International Project Work

Engaging in international project work provides the opportunity to share expertise, conduct professional development in an international setting, and collaborate on various components of institutional strengthening projects with colleagues from institutions across the world. Currently, NIC is engaged in one international project in Kenya with partners institutions from both Canada and Kenya.

NIC has global partnerships with institutions in the following countries:


FAQs for Faculty:

What are faculty led study abroad programs?

Faculty-led study abroad programs are short-term programs that are academic in nature and designed to give students hands-on international experiences that relate to their academic goals. They can be virtual mobility (COIL); in person/physical mobility (field school or other mobility structure); or a combination of the two. Minimum of 7 days to up to 6 weeks or longer in the case of COIL.

How do I decide what length my program should be?

It is important to take into consideration the type of student who you will be targeting for this program. Do you consider removing barrier for students to access the study abroad opportunity? What type of experiential learning do you want/do your students need? Are many of your students non-traditional? Do they work? Do they have families or children? If needed, can multiple student learning/mobility needs be addressed through a combination of delivery modes? These are questions that you will have to consider when designing your study abroad opportunity.

How far in advance should I begin planning?

It is best to start planning your program at least 12 months in advance, although it is preferred to start a bit earlier. This gives you time to start talking about the program to your students/colleagues and to work with OGE/your department on the approval and planning process.

Are faculty paid for leading faculty led programs abroad?

Consult with your Dean and Department Chair to discuss plans to propose a study abroad program to determine if the investment of time and resources will be acknowledged and supported by the department.

Salary compensation for faculty led study abroad programs is based on the courses taught. There is no additional salary, stipends, or preparation time for leading programs abroad. Expenses such as airfare, lodging, meals, etc., will be covered for each faculty leader by building them into the program budget.

Do I have to plan everything by myself?

No. The OGE will support with logistics, planning, pre-departure preparation, support during the activities, and the re-integration/evaluation after the study activity. CTLI can assist with structure of learning, COIL delivery, assignment structures.

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