Faculty-Led Study Abroad Guidelines

Professor speaks to his class in language lab, CAS
Professor Scott Hartley, wearing protective glasses, talks with students in the lab, CAS

Miami University Faculty Led Study Abroad Philosophy

  • Study abroad programs and courses must maintain academic rigor to justify the issuance of Miami credit.
  • Study abroad provides students with extraordinary opportunities for experiential, high impact learning, and personal growth. Most of this takes place outside a traditional classroom or online setting.
  • Curriculum, content, pedagogy and syllabi are adjusted when being delivered in an off-campus location, abroad or away.
  • It is counterproductive for students abroad to spend most of their time abroad reading long assignments or writing extensive papers, although this can and should be done in preparation or post-travel.
  • Study abroad is an investment for students in terms of money and time. We encourage this investment by planning programs that are academically rigorous, culturally immersive, and designed to offer the maximum number of credit hours.
  • The Study Abroad Office collaborates with the academic department and division on each program to ensure understanding and compliance.

Student Learning

  • 2,250 instructional minutes, or 37.5 instructional hours, is the minimum Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) requirement for each academic credit hour. For faculty-led study abroad experiences, this equates for each credit hour to 12.5 formal instruction contact hours and 25 hours of other forms of guided student learning experiences.
  • Contact hour is instruction from a designated and approved Miami University faculty or staff member, or designated and approved guest speaker. Each program has unique design and pedagogy, and demands in the location; therefore this instruction is not limited to time spent in a classroom or in online instruction. Basic risk management and/or orientation activities may be counted as contact hours.
  • Formal assignments (readings, papers, tests, projects) should be weighted no less than 50% of the expectations for an equivalent course on campus.
  • Other student learning experiences do not necessarily involve instruction by a designated and approved instructor. Experiences must be relevant and directly related to the student learning outcomes, preferably to the global learning outcomes as identified by the AAC&U rubrics. Experiences may include (but are not limited to) field trips, site visits, daily or weekend excursions, cultural immersion activities, orientations that include more than the basic level of risk management training or preparation, service-learning, studio or studio-type opportunities, directed home-stay activities, internship or internship-like opportunities, practicum, out of class assignments (individual or group), cultural interventions, and language or culture immersion activities.
  • These experiences must involve all students in the program with an equivalent level of involvement for students.
  • Transportation time generally does not count toward contact hours unless all students are included, and it is designed to provide cultural interventions, contact hour instruction, or guided preparation and/or reflection.
  • The expectation is that alternative delivery modes will maintain standards of educational integrity and demonstrate a degree of engagement consistent with the intent of standard federal and OBOR credit hour requirements.