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Information for Faculty

ESF faculty/staff who plan to conduct an international program or academic course abroad must obtain approval from their 1) academic department; 2) the Associate Provost for Instruction and Dean of the Graduate School; 3) The Director of Business Affairs (or designee); 4) the Provost & Vice President; 5) the Coordinator of International Education; and 6) the SUNY system Office of International Programs on the forms included below.

Leaders of international programs must adhere to all ESF and SUNY policies and procedures regarding international travel and student programs. Please review the guidebook below to aid you as you go about developing an ESF Short-Term International Program.

Time Line for Developing Short-Term International Academic Program

Program leaders are required to plan for an international course offering at least 8 months in advance of when the proposed travel will take place. Please use the time line below to aid you in your planning. Please note that courses will be approved on a case-by-case basis according to the established deadlines; individuals deviating from the time line below assume the risk that their course may not be approved.

Approval Process

  • Assess need for the international program and the potential for sufficient enrollment.
  • Consult with your Department Chair and the Associate Provost for Instruction to gain support for the program concept and pre-approval via the Short-Term International Academic Program Pre-Approval Form.
  • Continue developing program framework, objectives, syllabus, and itinerary.
  • Consult the Director of Business Affairs in order to obtain program budget guidelines.
  • If applicable, consult with logistics providers regarding available services and costs.

  • Submit final proposal to the Office of International Education (OIE) including: 1) Short-Term International Academic Program Pre-Approval Form; (2) Calculating the Program Fee Worksheet; (3) Short-Term International Academic Program Proposal Cover Page: (4) Short-Term International Academic Program Proposal (including sylabus and program itinerary) to the Office of International Education (227 Bray Hall) by:
    • Fall programs: February 1 (or at least 7 months prior to travel)
    • Winter programs: May 1
    • Spring programs: June 1 (or at least 7 months prior to travel)
    • Summer programs: December 1
  • If you are submitting to renew a program, please only submit the (1) Short-Term international Academic Program Approval Renewal Form and (2) Program Fee Worksheet. Please submit by the same dates as above.

  • Develop promotional materials (e.g., flyers, meetings).

  • Activate marketing plan to promote program and recruit students.
  • Provide students with application forms.
  • Communicate with OIE for assistance and guidance.

  • ll applications received and reviewed and participants selected for program.
  • Provide applications and Participant Information Spreadsheet of accepted students (include full name, SU ID, sex, and email) to Office of International Education.
  • Contact Bursar with deposit amount, total program fee, and IFR account number to charge
  • Distribute  “International Academic Program Student Forms “ to participants 
  • Instruct students about paying program deposit and remaining program fees.

  • Submit Program Arrangements and Detailed Itinerary Form including emergency contact information, flight/travel/hotel information, and daily schedule along with the program leader(s) passport and visa copies to the Office of International Education.
  • If there have been any changes to you participants, also submit an an updated Participant Information Spreadsheet of students participating in the program to the Office of International Education.

  • Submit final grades for students to the Registrar’s Office.

  • Submit reconciled budget including a spreadsheet that details expenses by date of purchase and type of purchase along with all receipts of purchases to the Business Office.
  • Submit students’ evaluations of the course (International Program Student Evaluation Form) to the Office of International Education.

  • Submit International Programs Program Leader Report to the Office of International Education.
  • Hold debriefing 'meeting' for all program participants on campus or via email.
  • Conduct study abroad returnee programming to share experiences with greater ESF community.


Please contact the Office of International Education to request all forms.

International Academic Program Proposal Deadlines

  • Fall programs: February 1
  • Winter programs: May 1
  • Spring programs: June 1
  • Summer programs: December 1 

Accepted Participants

Program leaders must instruct accepted participants to complete the ESF International Academic Program Student Participant Forms.

Accepted participants must submit completed ESF International Academic Program Student Participant Forms (Participant Information; Agreement and Release; Student Health Information; Physician’s Statement; and Statement of Insurance) along with the requested supplemental documentation [copy of passport, visa (if applicable), flight itinerary, and proof of health insurance coverage] to the Office of International Education no later than 1 month prior to trip departure. The Office of International Education will review them and provide program leaders with an electronic file of forms for their program.

International Health Insurance and Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Coverage

SUNY students who participate in international programs are required to carry comprehensive health insurance with medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. No exemption from the health insurance fee shall be allowed except for participants presenting evidence of a religious objection or those individuals for whom comparable coverage has been obtained through an exchange agreement, an employment benefit, or foreign government sponsorship. It is recommended that you include SUNY health insurance coverage for students in your program fees; in the event of a medical emergency, this will make obtaining treatment and services easier.

Note: Neither the State of New York, through its agents, nor the State University of New York through its agents and employees, is responsible in any manner whatsoever for the payment of any claim for health-related services provided to individuals covered under this insurance policy. The State of New York and State University of New York are not responsible for obligations incurred by individuals who are not covered by this insurance policy. All individuals participating in the University’s health insurance programs described herein are responsible for reviewing all descriptions of the scope and level of coverage offered by this policy. Such participants will be solely responsible for obtaining additional coverage not provided under this program if such is deemed necessary by the participant.

Offering a Previously Approved Program in a Subsequent Semester

Program leaders are not required to go through the full formal review process if they are offering a previously approved course in a subsequent semester. Program leaders should submit the Short-Term International Academic Program Approval Renewal Form and Program Fee Worksheet by the proposal deadline noted above. The Participant Information Spreadsheet should be submitted to the Office of International Education once program acceptance decisions have been made (4 months prior to departure). The Program Arrangements and Detailed Itinerary Form, completed ESF International Academic Program Student Forms for each participant, and an updated Participant Information Spreadsheet (if participant information has changed) should be submitted no later than 2 weeks prior to departure.

Upon completion of the program, program leaders must also provide the Office of International Education with the International Program Student Evaluations for the course and the International Programs Program Leader Report.

Offering a Non-Credit International Experience or Project

If you are offering a one-time non-credit international experience or project that includes only ESF students, please complete the Non-Credit Program Arrangements and Detailed Itinerary Form 1 month prior to departure.

Note on Using Education Travel Providers

It is not unheard to partner with international tour operators or education travel providers in order to help arrange for student and faculty travel. The form and structure of these partnerships vary, as does the level of institutional involvement in the process. Since these arrangements can implicate various procurement, ethics, and conflict of interest rules, with the Office of International Education's guidance you should:

  1. Conduct a thorough evaluation process based on the following criteria:
    1. Knowledge of and experience in the countries being visited
    2. Expertise in the academic field of the program
    3. Reputation as evidenced by recommendations of other educational institutions
    4. Understanding of U.S. safety protocols and security issues
    5. Transparency in financial arrangements
    6. Cost (recognizing that the other factors are often more important than lower cost)
  2. Seek referrals from SUNY CIE through the Office of International Education.
  3. Create a clear contract with the provider signed by an ESF responsible authority.
  4. Ensure that the contract makes it clear that the legal relationship is between the provider and the campus.
  5. Ensure that no staff member receives unethical benefits from a provider.

Post-Program Evaluations

Program leaders are required to distribute the International Program Student Evaluation Form to participants in order to obtain feedback about the international course offering. These are intended to be anonymous evaluations; if you are unable to administer them at the end of your program, please contact the Office of International Education and they will distribute the forms to students electronically.

Additionally, program leaders are required to submit the International Programs Program Leader Report within a month of the end of the program.