1. Create a Flexible Timeline
Be sure to do research on your destination and arrange your timeline to include (or exclude) dates around holidays, cultural events or even times of unfavorable weather.
2. Set Goals
Set goals for the trip, this should include education objectives with specific points or experiences that students can take away. It helps if these goals are in line with departmental and university goals!
3. Classroom Prep
When arranging accommodations for student learning at your destination be sure to create or obtain (if you are using an partner university) detailed syllabi with Course titles, numbers and transfer information. It could be helpful to contact the Registrar for assistance with university requirements.
4. Seek Accommodations
Provide information on student housing, transportation requirements and student meal options. Having a Plan B for all of these details is helpful and shows forward thinking in addition to concern for student well-being.
5. Consider Pre-Departure Orientation
Planning to host a pre-departure workshop or class is a great way to exhibit organization and address any student concerns and questions. Orientation also can help you, the faculty leader, find out what students expect or hope for on the trip allowing you to make itinerary or accommodation changes as necessary.
Prepare a detailed budget of expenses for faculty leaders as well as each student on the trip. Be sure to include what parts of the budget (if any) will/could be covered by tuition or university funding and calculate the total cost to a student. Make note of what expenses might not be covered by the budget such as additional activities, meals and airfare. TIP: Add a section to your budget that is for emergency use, overestimating a budget is generally better than exceeding a budget once you reach your destination.
What kind of student would be interested in your trip? Consider major, class year, GPA, extra circular involvement etc. Then create a plan to attract these types of students and what would be the most successful, social media, posters, info sessions, presentations during a class, etc. Also consider if students from outside of your university would be interested and if so how you could reach out to other schools to promote your trip.
8. Have an Emergency Procedure
Sometimes things happen, but having a general plan of action during an emergency can never hurt! Be sure you show that you have a plan to collect and store student emergency info during the trip and that you will have access to it in the event of an emergency (this could mean having a working cell phone or continuous access to Wi-fi). Also collect embassy information, medical center locations and all accommodation and backup accommodation information and leave it with your home university.
9. Plan a Post Trip Reflection
This can help to emphasize the goals and objectives of the trip as well as allow students to process their new experiences and assimilate back into your home university culture.
10. Get Approval!
Following these steps should help you create a successful faculty-led trip proposal that your administration and students will love!