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Putting Together a Travel Course Proposal

FMU Faculty are encouraged to create Travel Courses for students (and other faculty or staff) to participate in.  You may organize the entire travel component yourself or through independent Program providers such as EF Tours (http://eftoours.com), though costs associated with such providers are frequently higher.  See the list of "Non-FMU Programs" in the left-column index.

STEP 1 is to download the Travel Course Proposal Form or to request from Jon Tuttle, at 661-1521 or JTuttle@fmarion.edu.  Before filling it out and returning to Dr. Tuttle, consider each of the following:

  • Prepare a syllabus or course description.  Be as specific as you can about course content and the role travel will play in it, particularly the awarding of grades.  Be sure the course you're proposing is also already approved by the Academic Affairs Committee and/or in the course catalogue.
  • Meet with your Department Chair or Dean to discuss your proposal.  You cannot submit the proposal without the approval of your Chair/Dean.  
  • Determine who you expect to participate.  Just your students?  Other students?  Students in certain majors, or any students?  Upperclessmen only?   Can faculty or staff members apply?   The type of course you offer is going to affect how you organize it, the excursions you may want to take, and the overall cost.  If you are arranging your travel through an independent provider, you should familiarize yourself with their rules/guidelines as well.
  • Put together a wish list of places and activities.  How easy will it be to travel from one location to another?  Can you stay in one hotel and take day excursions to nearby locations?  How much will each activity cost?  Is there a group or early ticket rate available?   Be sure to build in free or rest time as well.  
  • How are your costs to be covered?  Are you going to pay the same as each participant?  Or will you charge a fee to cover some of your own costs?   If you are using an independent provider, do they offer the organizer (you) a special deal based on the number of students/participants? 
  • Prepare your budget.   Keep in mind that your goal is to keep costs sufficiently low that FMU student or faculty members can join you (because without them, the trip won't happen).   Consider first the various expenses you and your students must incur: airfare, tuition and fees, trains, buses, meals, hotels, vehicle rentals, excursions, insurance costs, etc.  Then look at your wish list: are all those activities still feasible?  
  • Is your destination safe?  Consult the Department of State's travel advisories at  http://travel.state.gov.  Consider also the necessity of VISAs (some countries require them in addition to passports) and also of inoculations or vaccinations.   For health alerts/warnings, consult the Center for Disease Control web site (http://www.cdc.gov).
  • Complete your Travel Course Proposal Form. Be sure all sections have been completed, particularly a budget showing the cost breakdowns for each participant.   Review the proposal with your Department Chair or Dean and have him/her sign the cover page. Then sign and date the form yourself and send it to Jon Tuttle in FH 146.
  •  
  • ONCE IT HAS BEEN APPROVED

Dr. Tuttle will provide you with forms that all students/faculty staff must complete before participating.  You will be responsible for collecting payments and seeing that travel arrangements are made.

Advertise your Travel Course and convene a Q&A meeting so potential participants can hear more.  Collect names and contact information, and follow up with the requisite applications and insurance forms. 

Select your participants and begin booking flights, hotels, and other activities.  

Be sure to collect all waivers, medical insurance information, and emergency contact information from each participant. We generally hold Pre-Departure Sessions where missing documents are asked for.  This would be a good time to go over the final schedule with the participants and make sure all fees have been paid.

And above all: have a great time.   Travel courses are an excellent opportunity for all concerned!

 

  

Last Published: September 8, 2011 10:50 AM
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