Faculty-directed programs should include the same number of contact hours per credit as courses taught on campus, i.e. a three credit lecture course generally carries 45 hours of academic content delivery. Delivery of academic content abroad will look considerably different than domestically delivered academic content during a traditional class schedule. Education Abroad program directors, with the assistance of the department chair and college curriculum committee, should consider how to calculate the academic content delivery hours on a program in which out-of-the-classroom activities are a significant part of the learning experience.
Although faculty lectures are typically not the primary teaching method on international programs, directors should include dedicated time to hold discussions and present content via lectures or presentations throughout the program. It is wise to have a location reserved for such activities prior to arrival. Program directors should also consider the time, space needs, and technology access required for students to complete in-country assignments, readings and projects. Although faculty and students will spend a significant amount of time each day with one another while abroad, it is not appropriate to count every hour spent together as academic credit. It is important to discern when academic content is intentionally being delivered and when students are engaged in independent learning. For example, a group meal at a local restaurant during which the program director presents concepts related to culture or customs is considerably different from the group simply gathering to dine in a local eatery. Although both activities may enhance the student’s understanding of the local culture, only one should be considered for academic credit.
Typically, UK Sponsored programs run from two to six weeks and carry three to six credits, plus the one-credit ISP 599 course. Additional credits can be offered based on the nature of offered courses (e.g., studio courses, language acquisition, etc.). Typically, the travel component for UK Sponsored Embedded programs run from one to two weeks. The length of a program is largely determined by the amount of academic credits offered and program finances. It is important to understand that some scholarships and financial aid will be available based on program duration. Programs of four weeks or greater typically allow students to compete for more scholarships.