Instructor Guide for Group Study Programs

Everything you need to know to lead a group abroad

What is a Group Study Program?

Group Study Programs (GSPs) offer students the opportunity to be part of a cohort of UCalgary students taking a block of globally themed courses situated within one discipline and/or associated with specific geographical locations. Group Study Programs traditionally involve international travel and provide you the opportunity to take your classroom into the field and offer a set of courses complementary to the destinations being visited. Using existing research and teaching connections, or through the development of new global connections, you can tailor your program’s courses to give students firsthand, experiential knowledge of your subject matter.   

Many instructors new to travel-oriented Group Study Programs struggle with visualizing how to take classroom curriculum directly into the field. This enhanced learning experience will take some time to plan as you will have to reconsider how you present your topic, assess learning outcomes, and logistically care for your students. The Study Abroad team is here to support you every step of the way. You will find support and advice in program development, logistics, budgetary matters, and many other areas related to field programming. The responsibility for the academic content of your program will remain with you and your academic department. Programs can be hosted by or held in collaboration with another university (these are not classified as "exchanges") or can use the field as their classroom. 

What about virtual programs?

Virtual Group Study Programs consist of globally-themed online courses situated within one discipline and/or associated with specific geographic locations. They provide opportunities for students to collaborate in international partnerships (institutional or organizational) and to connect with students located in the regions of study. There are many possibilities that a combination of travel, virtual, and on-campus GSP components allow. UCI Study Abroad is excited to see how instructors use this creative pedagogical space to develop programs best suited for their student communities, partners and disciplines.

Instructor handbook

Click the image to view the 2020 handbook. It can be of use when preparing your program, and also while in the field - the handbook is updated every year and shared with instructors prior to departure.


The GSP journey

Your responsibilities as an instructor will change with each phase of your Group Study Program. Here is what you can expect throughout the execution of your program.

Getting ready

Getting ready

Once your program is approved, the Study Abroad team will help you with advertising, admission of applicants, and preparing the group as a whole.

In field

In field

The possibilities are endless when you move your classroom outside of the traditional campus setting! Learn how Study Abroad supports you while you are in the field with the students and the resources that you will have access to.

Upon return

Upon return

When you're back on campus, we can help you wrap up your program (and get you excited about running your next one).