Faculty and Staff Study Abroad Opportunities

Guidance on Leading Trips

Faculty members are invited to propose leading short-term study trips and service learning trips abroad and in the United States. WVC Study Abroad Program is committed to supporting each chosen proposal, and to providing scholarships to a limited number of the students who participate in the trip.

Information to Consider when Composing a Proposal

Organizing and leading a trip for colleagues or students, abroad or in the States, is an opportuntiy to practice experiential learning activities, to broaden social responsibility, and to engage in global issues across disciplines. Study Abroad helps faculty members to better understand how to explore local and global concerns, how to engage students with real-world problems and solutions, and how to advance ethical integrative thinking, teamwork, and service.

Educational trips and service learning projects provide professional development opportunities and motivation for faculty members who want to stay current with their disciplines, to collaborate with one another, and to learn to weave important concepts rooted in global citizenship, social justice, equity, and cultural competency.

Following are reminders and guidelines for composing proposals to lead successful trips:

  1. Successful educational trips and service learning projects are characterized by these core principles:
      1. They are safe and structured so that all students can focus on learning and expanding their experiences.
      2. They are affordable and accessible to a broad range of students.
      3. They are enriching and challenging opportunities for all participants in the trip.
      4. They prompt deep understanding of the content of the course/s linked with the trip, of the specific destinations, and of the people and cultures in those destinations.
  2. Faculty members are encouraged to lead trips that include teaching transferable general education courses (since that way faculty members are loaded and remunerated).
      1. But trips may be scheduled without them being linked to a course/s (such as in the case of concert tours), and courses don't always have to be GE transferable.
      2. If a faculty member wants to organize a trip without being loaded/without teaching a class and wants Study Abroad Program to provide scholarships for participating students, clarify that in the proposal.
  3. Faculty members are advised to follow established procedures for scheduling courses, and to work with their Department and Division Chairs, as well as seek the support of colleagues in their departments.
  4. Faculty members scheduled to teach a course as Study Abroad may consider that course as part of their contractual load or as an overload (in which case it is important to review the union contract).
  5. Faculty members have the option to schedule the class as strictly Study Abroad (in which case enrollment has to be discussed with the faculty member’s Department Chair, Division Chair, the Office of Instruction, and sometimes PGC; Study Abroad Program offers guidance in this process), or online with its regular enrollment minimum and cap (in which case alternative assignments must be included for students who do not participate in the trip).
  6. Courses need to be listed in the schedule of classes and a basic description of the Study Abroad component must be included (for example: specific dates and times for pre-departure and post-return meetings on campus, emphases of the courses, if any, dates of travel, price of trip, and contact information). For further guidance on composing the specific notation for the schedule of classes, contact SAP.
      1. Faculty members may “front-load” the contact hours during the pre-departure meetings scheduled face-to-face or online. And you may dedicate contact hours for post-return meetings.
      2. Contact hours cannot be awarded for a visit or a tour unless those activities include a lecture, discussion, and instructional activity.
      3. The total number of contact hours awarded per course must meet the minimum number of hours of the course of record. Typically, 1 credit requires at least 18 hours of classroom or other supervised instruction.
  7. Faculty members are expected to follow the COR just as if they were teaching on campus or online. This includes meeting contact hours, delivering all instruction, homework, evaluating work, and issuing grades.
      1. However, while leading a trip, faculty members are also expected to participate in all scheduled activities for the duration of the trip, to provide leadership and mentorship to students, and to guide them in making sure that all WVC policies are followed.
  8. Faculty members are reminded that students are expected to adhere to all established WVMCCD policies, procedures, and codes of behavior.
      1. Students are required to sign a contract detailing those policies, procedures and codes of behavior.
  9. Faculty members are encouraged to collaborate and to create interdisciplinary learning communities. Teams of two or three faculty members, each teaching one course, are ideal. That lowers the cost of the trip for everyone.
      1. Faculty members are also encouraged to collaborate with colleagues in other community colleges and universities.
  10. Faculty members are highly encouraged to work with long-established providers/organizations such as EF College Study Tours, GEEO, CIEE, and other WVC approved vendors, because they set up the scaffold (the logistics and international travel medical insurance) for the trip, which then allows the faculty members to focus on teaching and enjoying the trip.
  11. Organizing a trip without the support of a provider is onerous, more expensive, and presents problems with liability. But, if the faculty member wants to organize a trip without the support of a provider, it is certainly possible. Study Abroad Program can provide support and guidance.
      1. If the faculty member wants to organize a trip without a provider and wants Study Abroad Program to provide scholarships for participating students, clarify that in the proposal.
      2. In such a case, faculty members and students still have to complete and sign medical and other release forms.
  12. All faculty member/s and students participating in trips are asked to complete medical and other release forms. Study Abroad Program will work with the faculty members in tailoring these forms to the specific needs of their particular trips.
  13. At this time, all faculty members are responsible for securing and paying the fees for their own passports and other documents required to travel, personal expenses, and immunizations.
  14. Faculty members may consult their doctors and/or seek information about immunizations at the WVC Health Center, health resources in Santa Clara County, and the Center for Disease Control.
  15. The completed proposal to lead a trip must be submitted to study.abroad@westvalley.edu.
  16. Once the proposal is reviewed by the Study Abroad Advisory Council, the faculty member/s will be contacted and follow-up/guidance will be provided by Study Abroad Program.

Proposal Form

Study Abroad Program Faculty Proposal to Lead a Study Tour

The form for leading study tours in 2019 is forthcoming.

Here you may download and review the fillable PDF proposal form (144 KB) used for leading study tours in 2018.

Summer Seminars

Since 2011 WVC has dedicated funds to support faculty members' participation in seminars abroad. By summer 2017, there are 16 faculty members who have completed Global Citizenship Alliance's "Global Citizenship Seminar for Faculty and Administrators" in Salburg, Austria and Potsdam, Germany. Other faculty members have attended CIEE's "International Faculty Development Seminars" on various topics in Buenos Aires, London, and Paris. These seminars provide participants with rich academic content, diverse intercultural experiences, and innovative approaches they can apply to teaching, service, and their own research interests. All are focused on problem-solving, globalizing curricula, and increasing global understanding.

This spring 2018 faculty members are encouraged to apply for support to attend seminars during summer 2018 taking place in Spain, South Africa, Cuba, England, Germany, or France. Below is the application and instructions for applying.

Global Citizenship Study Abroad Program

International Professional Development Seminars for Faculty Members

Summer 2018

The WVC Global Citizenship Committee and Study Abroad Program, with the support of the WVC Office of the President, is pleased to invite full-time faculty members in all disciplines to apply for one of two opportunities to attend an international professional development seminar during summer 2018.

The general aim in offering these two opportunities is to provide faculty members with diverse intercultural experiences that help to increase global understanding, and with innovative approaches that help to internationalize teaching and service to WVC.

A.   You may choose one seminar from among the following:

1.     6 to 13 or 14 to 21 July: Global Citizenship Alliance offers the Global Citizenship Seminar for faculty and administrators in Potsdam, Germany. Price is $2,500 plus airfare.

2.     CIEE offers seminars on various topics and in different locations:

a.     3 to 9 June—Seville, Spain: Communication Strategies in Context: Culture Learning and Community Engagement Through Digital Tools.

Price is $2,750 plus airfare. 

b.     10 to 16 June—Cape Town, South Africa: Developing Sustainable and Reciprocal Courses for Study Abroad.

Price is $2,750 plus airfare.

c.     10 to 16 June—Madrid, Spain: Learning While Leading: Supporting Intercultural Development Through Study Away.

Price is $2,750 plus airfare.

d.     18 to 28 June—Havana and Viñales, Cuba: Contemporary Cuban Society.

Price is $3,950 plus airfare.

e.     2 to 8 July—London, England: Grow Abroad: Enhancing Study Away Through Online Learning.

Price is $2,750 plus airfare.

f.      10 to 16 July—Paris, France: Best Practices for Creating Successful Faculty-Led Programs.

Price is $2,750 plus airfare.

g.     15 to 21 July—Rio de Janiero, Brazil: How to Embed High-Impact Intercultural Development in Short-Term Study Abroad and Faculty-Led Programs.

Price is $2,750 plus airfare.

B.    Once you choose one seminar, submit a 250-word proposal describing how

a.     attending the seminar will impact your teaching,

b.     your service to the college,

c.     and your commitment to Global Citizenship.

C.    Do not put your name on your proposal.

a.     Instead, at the top of the page, put the date, the location, and the name of the seminar to which you are applying.

D.   Include a separate cover page

a.     with your name,

b.     email address,

c.     and your telephone number.

E.    Submit your proposal to WVC.Academic_Senate@westvalley.edu by 5:00 PM on Friday 16 February 2018.

a.     Please mark the subject heading in your email with “application to attend faculty seminar.”

F.    Note that preference will be given to faculty members who have not previously received support to attend a summer seminar abroad.

G.   Note that if you choose a CIEE seminar you must register by the beginning of March and that you are responsible for paying a required $75 non-refundable deposit.

H.   A blind-review of your proposal will be conducted by an ad-hock subcommittee of the WVC Academic Senate.

I.      The reviewers will assign points as indicated below:

Up to 5 points each
Rationale: the rationale of the proposal is clearly stated and aligned with the objectives of the seminar.
Impact on Teaching: the proposal clearly lays out how the objectives of the seminar will positively impact the instructor’s classroom teaching. 
Service to WVC: the proposal clearly states how the objectives of the seminar will impact the instructor’s service to WVC.
Global Citizenship:  the proposal clearly states how the objectives of the seminar will contribute to the instructor’s commitment to Global Citizenship both on and off campus.
Total points (out of 20)

J.     The two proposals with the highest number of total points will be selected.

K.   Winners will be notified by 5:00 PM on Friday February 23, 2018.

L.    Funding awarded will be used to pay only the seminar fee and round-trip airfare—up to a total $4,500 per proposal.

a.     No other expenses will be paid.

b.     You are responsible for paying transportation to/from airports, passport/visa fees, required international emergency medical insurance if attending GCA’s seminar, international departure taxes, and any other personal and incidental expenses. If you attend a CIEE seminar, you are responsible for most of your dinners.

M.  The seminar fee will be paid directly to either GCA or CIEE.

N.   Airfare will be purchased by STA, a travel agency contracted by WVC.

O.   No funds will be transferred directly to you.

P.    GC Committee and Study Abroad Program request that faculty members apply only

a.     after they have confirmed their availability to attend the entire seminar, and only

b.     after they have verified that they have valid passports that will not expire within six months of departure for the seminar.

Q.   Faculty member’s obligations: If your proposal is chosen and you accept to attend the seminar, you also accept the following obligations:

a.     Participate in an update presentation to the Board of Trustees during their scheduled meeting in October 2018.

b.     Contribute a 250 word entry, with pictures, reflecting on the lessons you learned while at the seminar; your entry will be posted in the Global Citizenship blog. 

c.     Since seminar fees and airfare costs are not refundable, agree that if you do not attend the seminar as planned, you will reimburse (to WVC) all expenses paid for your seminar.

Call to Lead Study Tours

Details for leading study tours are forthcoming.

last published: 3/21/18