The purpose of this policy statement is to identify those individuals who are approved to participate in, and with, education abroad/away programs sponsored by Miami University. Miami University defines an “education abroad/away program participant” as a student enrolled in an education abroad or away program or a workshop director fulfilling specific administrative responsibilities for the program.
Miami does not permit individuals to be included in, or to accompany, workshops who are not considered “education abroad/away program participants” except for the limited circumstance involving the spouse/partner and/or minor children of a workshop director.
Miami students must be registered for workshops or programs in order to participate. Individuals who are students at other higher education institutions become Miami students for the duration of the workshop by virtue of their limited admission, and registration. An individual who is not a student at an institution of higher education can participate in a Miami education abroad/away workshop by registering as a Miami student participant for the duration of the workshop under “Non-Degree Student Status.” Each student participant, including those under the “Non-Degree Student Status,” must meet all qualifications, prerequisites, and requirements for selection as a participant.
All workshop personnel, whether paid or unpaid, should be indicated on the workshop proposal. Individuals who serve any function in a workshop must have a clearly defined and documented role. Individuals outside the institution, including those retired from Miami or employed at another institution, must have their role defined and documented by the workshop director, and approved by the unit or department and division.
Workshop directors’ spouses/partners and/or minor children are strongly discouraged from accompanying short term workshops. Miami University education abroad/away workshops are academic in nature and accompanying families lead to an appearance of a vacation or travel tour, and lack of academic rigor, or diminishing the immersion experience leading to appropriate global and cultural learning outcomes. Further, when families accompany programs, there is an increased level of support needed in risk management and crisis response at the program and university level. Faculty and staff are encouraged to consider companions traveling to the location before the program begins, or after the program ends and conducting personal travel during the pre- or post-program period.
Workshop directors anticipating that spouses/partners and/or minor children will accompany them should carefully review the following aspects of the workshop for suitability to accommodate families: the length of the workshop, the age of the minor children, the location of the workshop, the nature of the workshop, the extent of activity involved during the workshop, the availability of accommodation, and the impact of their presence on the program and the enrolled students.
Workshop directors’ spouses/partners and/or minor children may not be included in the education abroad/away workshop activities. The program director or faculty member is responsible for the payment of all expenses for the spouse and/or minor children, as well as ensuring safety of the traveling companions. These expenses cannot be incorporated into the program budget, and they cannot be part of any reimbursement request or invoice that is submitted to Miami. Any non-refundable expenses for cancellation of arrangements made on their behalf will be the workshop director’s sole responsibility. Faculty leaders are responsible for obtaining passports and visas for dependents at their own expense. Minor children will reside with parents during the program, not with student participants, and all expenses are covered by the faculty member.
Workshop program arrangements are not made to accommodate the needs of spouse/partner or children. All accommodations are made with the understanding that it is an academic program designed to meet the academic, cultural, and professional requirement for students and faculty members. Spouses/partners and minor children cannot, in any way, impair the operation and administration of program activities associated with the workshop or otherwise infringe on other workshop participants. Spouses and minor children must complete the Education Abroad/Away Travel Workshop Companion Form prior to departure and submit to the Miami University Education Abroad office.
After all of these considerations are deliberated, if the choice is made for a family member to accompany the faculty member, notification will be made to the Education Abroad office, and the program leader will complete the approval form to be routed for approval from the department chair, divisional dean, and the Assistant Provost/Director of Education Abroad.
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