2018-19 RFP for Short-Term Study Abroad Programs

Proposal deadline: December 15, 2017

Submit your application through the GEO online system.


In support of COLL 300 and the university’s strategic goal of increasing undergraduate study abroad participation to sixty percent by 2018, as well as broader initiatives to support comprehensive internationalization across all schools, the Global Education Office (GEO) at the Reves Center for International Studies is accepting proposals for short-term study abroad programs for winter break 2018-19 and summer 2019. The Short-Term Study Abroad Program RFP is designed to encourage proposals for study abroad programs ranging from 2-8 weeks which enhance and complement existing study abroad programs. Program proposals for long-standing, regularly repeatable programs should continue to follow normal policies of respective schools. Selected proposals will receive significant need-based scholarship funding to help make these experiences financially accessible to students.

Goals for new study abroad programs:
  • to develop international short-term study opportunities in a broad range of disciplines and geographical areas that will appeal to a wide range of W&M students and faculty and which complement existing study abroad opportunities;
  • to keep program costs comparable to summer school costs, to the extent possible;
  • to develop programs that compliment, enhance, and are integrated into students’ on-campus programs/curriculum to the fullest extent possible;
  • to offer courses that are closely and inherently related to the site at which they are taught—and thus offer educational opportunities students could not get on campus;
  • to develop opportunities for inter-cultural learning; and
  • to encourage students, through international experiences and study, to value others’ perspectives and see themselves as part of a bigger, global world. 
Proposal evaluation:

In evaluating the applications, the review committee will take into consideration the following criteria:

  • site-specific nature of course and connection to local learning opportunities;
  • new and previously unrepresented study abroad fields of study and/or destinations; and
  • any possible overlap with existing programs. 

Up to three proposals will be accepted for scholarship funding.

The characteristics of a short-term study abroad program:
  • majority of the coursework takes place overseas;
  • a one-credit pre-course prepares students for the experience;
  • at a minimum, one 3-credit course while abroad (COLL300 eligible for undergraduate students)
  • program represents a one-time study abroad opportunity which may serve as a pilot for a sustainable continuing program; and
  • the program runs during the winter break 2018-19 or summer 2019
Type of support from the Global Education Office (GEO):
  • students and faculty support from start to end of the process (including program development assistance, student selection/vetting help, pre-departure orientation, assistance during the programs, and returnee programming for the year following the abroad experience);
  • help with U.S. and on-site logistics;
  • faculty pre-departure workshops;
  • international contacts and contracts (if needed); and
  • need-based student scholarships (up to $30,000 across for three programs)
Terms of 2018-19 GEO short term study abroad programs:
  • The focus of this initiative is to support short-term study abroad programs which complement the portfolio of existing short-term study abroad programs. Program proposals should address this directly.
  • GEO will provide up to $30,000 in need-based study abroad scholarships for three short-term programs.
  • Programs must include either graduate and/or undergraduate students.
  • Proposals should include an explanation of how the program experiences will be disseminated, both within W&M and more broadly.
  • Programs with the potential for sustainability beyond the pilot phase will receive special consideration.
  • Faculty who are funded are expected to participate in select Reves Center events during and following the funding period, in order to share information about and help promote the program.
  • Faculty directors of these programs are also expected to provide a written summary of 800-1,000 words about the program, which will be used in W&M communications to promote the international dimensions of the university.

Compensation is in line with W&M faculty-led summer study abroad, including: Program Director salaries for the duration of travel and course compensation based on the A&S summer compensation scales. Travel, lodging, and a partial per diem will be provided to Program Directors for the duration of the program.

Short-term study abroad program proposal

The program proposal should address the following questions/issues:

  • Description of proposed program:
    • Where would the program be located?
    • Who is the institutional partner, and why is this partnership a good one?
    • What is the proposed duration of the program?
    • What is the purpose of this program?
    • Which courses will be offered?
    • What sorts of excursions, extra-curricular events, etc. will be incorporated, and how will these compliment the academic program?
  • Rationale for program: 
    • How does the program expand the range of disciplines offered and the geographic range covered by existing W&M study abroad programs?
    • Which students are expected to enroll in this program?
    • How does participation in the program affect the student’s course load in his/her major/minor upon returning to campus?
    • Is the program designed for a broad range of students and faculty? If not, how and why must this program have a specific focus?
  • Program curriculum: 
    • How are these courses different from courses taught on campus?
    • How do these courses compliment and/or expand on-campus coursework? 
  • Estimated program costs:How much is this program expected to cost, including the costs for a W&M faculty director, local faculty, classrooms, on-site administrative costs, dormitories, included excursions and meals, etc.? Please provide an explanation of how these costs were calculated.
  • Support from department/program/school: Has your department chair, program director, and/or school dean expressed support for your efforts to build this program?

Please contact Sylvia Mitterndorfer, director of global education, (email or 757-221-3595) with questions or to discuss possible study abroad program proposals.