Study Abroad

Teach and Lead a Viterbo Short-term Cross-cultural Course

Viterbo usually offers two short-term study abroad courses each year. Faculty work in conjunction with the Office of Global Education to create and promote the course, and then are responsible for teaching it and leading the international travel experience in conjunction with the class. The travel portion of the class has been anywhere from eight days to four weeks.

These courses must be approved by the Global Education and Study Abroad Committee before they are offered.

See the list of current short-term study abroad programs for more details on some of the courses which have been offered, and contact the Global Education Office if you are interested in creating such a course.

Criteria for Screening of Short-term Immersion Course Proposals

The Global Education and Study Abroad committee has developed the following criteria for screening proposals from individuals seeking to offer Short-term Study Abroad Experiences to Viterbo students. The committee has been established to review proposals, and coordinate the number, type, and scheduling of these offerings:

  • What cross-cultural learning outcomes are addressed in this program?
  • Does the experience provide an opportunity for person to person contact with individuals from the host culture?
  • Does the course include background in both specific cultural information (history, language, culture) as well as in skills for learning about culture, and reflecting on ones own reactions to those experiences?
  • How does the course move beyond a single disciplinary focus to provide a context for understanding that discipline's role in and contribution to the culture as a whole?
  • How is the course enhanced by having an immersion component?
  • What experiences or background beyond disciplinary expertise will enhance the course instructor's ability to facilitate this experience?
  • What is the projected budget for the immersion experience? Does it seem reasonable and financially feasible for Viterbo students given the length of time for the experience.

In addition to using the above criteria for screening proposals, the committee will take into account the following factors in scheduling the number and type of offerings of such courses:

  • Are we offering courses in a variety of disciplines?
  • What combination of offerings and how many offerings a year will yield minimal competition among courses, and maximum enrollment for all experiences?

Process for Proposing a Short-term Cross-cultural Study Course

Developing the Idea

Before investing a lot of time in developing a proposal, speak with Shaojie Jiang, director of the Office of Global Education, about your idea. He can assist to clarify the audience and focus for your proposal as well as share examples of other courses which have been developed. He also can help you with the immersion component of the program by developing budgets, suggesting contacts, or on-site activities, and providing assistance in designing and implementing parts of the preparation related to skills for crossing cultures. In addition, the office has provided time and assistance in the development of budgets, the publicity, and the recruitment and selection of students, and the implementation of the pre-departure orientation. During this stage, the committee at large would also be glad to visit with you, to hear your ideas, provide feedback and give whatever assistance it can.


If the course is being offered as a special topics course, college curriculum committee approval is not necessary. However, for the purpose of keeping people informed as well as scheduling departmental course rotations, we suggest you speak with your department and School dean early in the process about your interest in offering such a course.

Once it is clear that your department will support the offering of such a course, develop your proposal in detail. It should be submitted to the Global Education and Study Abroad Committee with the PDF iconapplication form developed for this purpose. The committee will review it with you, and integrate it into the overall school schedule for such offerings.

If you are developing an immersion component to a class already on the books, the proposal, once it is reviewed and accepted by the Intercultural Education Committee, must also be approved by your school's curriculum committee.


Ideally, the deadline for proposals is March 15, two years before the academic year in which you plan to offer the course (e.g., March 15, 2014 for summer or fall 2015 and spring 2016). This long lead time is necessary:

  • In order for departments to plan appropriately for the scheduling of course rotations.
  • In order for students to be able to factor participation in these courses into their financial aid applications for the following year. Financial aid application for an academic year begins in February the year before. Thus, students must know before that time that a specific course is being offered and what the cost is likely to be, so that they can apply for additional aid.