University of Southern Indiana

Responsibilities of Program Directors

  1. Obtain approval for proposed programs from appropriate sources in department, college and from Academic Affairs. Attend the orientation program for program directors sponsored by the Center for International Programs, Travel Services and Risk Management.

  2. When possible, conduct site evaluations for proposed new programs as well as periodic reviews of existing programs with regards to health and safety.

  3. Consider health and safety issues in evaluating the appropriateness of an individual's participation in a study abroad program. Monitor health-related issues through the U.S. Center for Disease Control.

  4. Monitor the social and political situations of the host countries, at a minimum, through the U.S. Department of State's Travel Advisories and Warnings. In case of a travel warning, consult with the Study Abroad Risk Management team to determine the necessary action.

  5. Participate in an annual orientation covering safety and liability and other pertinent topics sponsored by the Center for International Programs, Travel Services and Risk Management.

  6. Work closely with the Registrar, Student Financial Assistance, the Dean of Students and the Bursar on the program participants' status, registration, tuition and financial accountability.

  7. Conduct, or have conducted on their behalf, regular on-site inspections and reviews of their respective programs to ensure the safety of each international experience and location. Every USI student should have timely on-site access to a USI faculty/staff member or officially designated in-country professional provided by the host institution/organization to assist with academic, logistical and organizational problems during the program.

  8. Provide their respective participants with accurate and reliable pre-departure information through orientation meetings and publications, including information on the culture as well as on travel advisories announced by the U.S. Department of State, disclosure of known risks to health and personal safety, academic practices at the host institution and cultural and legal norms that vary from customs in the United States.

  9. Require participants to show evidence of appropriate health insurance coverage for the duration of the program. Either provide appropriate health and travel accident insurance to participants, or provide information about how to obtain appropriate coverage.

  10. Ensure that all participants have supplemental travel insurance which includes repatriation and medical evacuation. Groups traveling in the name of USI are covered by ACE USA International Advantage® Package through Risk Management. Additional trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended for all student groups.

  11. Ensure that all participants read and sign a Participant Agreement and Release Form, an Authorization of Medical and Surgical Consultation/Treatment Form, and complete the online forms Participant Data Form and Health Information Form before participation in the program.

  12. Provide information for participants and their parents/guardians regarding when and where the sponsor's responsibility ends and the range of aspects of participants' international experiences that are beyond the sponsor's control. In particular, program sponsors and directors generally:
    • Cannot guarantee or assure the safety of participants or eliminate all risks from the study abroad environments;
    • Cannot monitor or control all the daily personal decisions, choices and activities of individual participants;
    • Cannot prevent participants from engaging in illegal, dangerous or unwise activities;
    • Cannot assure that U.S. standards of due process apply in legal proceedings outside of the U.S. or provide or pay for legal representation for participants;
    • Cannot assume responsibility for the actions of persons not employed or otherwise engaged by the program sponsor, for events that are not part of the program, or that are beyond the control of the sponsor and its subcontractors, or for situations that may arise due to the failure of a participant to disclose pertinent information;
    • Cannot assure that home-country cultural values and norms will apply in the host country.

  13. Develop contingency plans to follow in case of an emergency while leading a group outside the U.S. Provide information to participants on who to contact in case of an emergency both at home and abroad. Follow appropriate USI Emergency Action Protocol when an emergency occurs in the U.S. or abroad.

  14. When reasonable and appropriate, conduct a post-program debriefing for participants which addresses issues of reverse culture shock and re-entry into American society.

Contact Heidi Gregori-Gahan

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