Leading Team

The faculty member leading the Study Tour and the Accompanying Staff Member form a leading team. As such, they must uphold the strictest professional standards in leading the tour. Students should never be placed in a situation where they are under the impression of a lack of common leadership.

The roles of the faculty member and the Accompanying Staff Member are clearly defined. The Faculty member leads the Tour and is solely responsible for its academic content while the Accompanying Staff Member is in charge of logistics.

The Faculty Member...

  • is the leader of the Tour and as such has the overall responsibility of the Tour including logistical aspects;
  • is responsible for the academic content:
    • clearly communicates what Learning Objectives will be met during the Tour;
    • designs the content of the Tour,
    • clearly sets expectations as regards to assessment;
  • is directly responsible for all disciplinary issues:
    • communicates on disciplinary issues and students’ responsibility (and specifically the fact that disturbance at hotels will be sanctioned and students registered in a room are financially liable for damages to the place)
    • reminds students they are on an academic tour;
    • is directly and personally responsible for making sure that students are punctual and is punctual him/herself;
    • makes sure students have a proper, respectful attitude towards places, people and cultures that host them for the short duration of the Tour;
    • makes sure that students are attentive to guides and display a respectful attitude towards them;
    • maintains discipline at all moments and especially at hotels (noise, drinking, etc.) and
    • reports to the Dean behaviors that should be followed up with disciplinary sanctions;
  • is in charge of risk management during the tour and follows risk management guidelines in accordance with the Miami University Study Abroad Guidelines;
  • is responsible for sharing with students the detailed itinerary of the tour:
    • an itinerary document must be provided to students. If the itinerary document is different from the draft itinerary, it will replace it and will be included in the Road Book. Only one itinerary document should be present in the Road Book: it will be the reference for each and every activity;
    • Students must be precisely briefed on transportations, time, meeting points at all times;
    • Students must be informed of any change in the schedule and the communication of such changes must be reported;
  • exchanges and verifies cell phone numbers with the Accompanying Staff Member;
  • welcomes students at departure:
    • introduces the Accompanying Staff Member, the driver and explains roles;
    • waits with the students on the bus (if applicable) and makes sure they all have their luggage prior to entering the hotel while the Accompanying Staff Member organizes the check-in;
    • reviews the Itinerary with the students either in class prior to departure or on the bus (if applicable);
    • reminds students to bring their itinerary;
  • communicates with students before and during the Tour:
    • the Accompanying Staff Member should not communicate instructions for the Tour to students except if requested by the faculty member;
    • the Accompanying Staff Member cannot be in charge of an activity counting towards contact hours;
    • students must be informed about meeting times for departure each day and must be communicated the program of the day in detail;
  • constantly reminds the students of the tour expectations:
    • students need to be made aware that they are on an academic trip/excursion and need to know what is expected;
  • brings DVDs needed to be shown during the trip (if applicable, for instance when traveling with buses);
  • works with local guides:
    • briefs local guides and explains expectations to them, the format of the group and other important pieces of information;
    • introduces the local guide(s) and coordinates information about expectations for the tour with the guide(s);
  • leads guided activities;
  • organizes at least one debriefing session to hear from the students how they understand and see things they have experienced. In the spirit of academic freedom, faculty members conduct this debriefing session as they deem it appropriate.

The Accompanying Staff Member

  • is responsible for running the logistics of the Tour;
  • follows risk management guidelines in accordance with the Miami University Study Abroad Guidelines;
  • exchanges and verifies cell phone numbers with the Faculty member;
  • constantly counts heads:
    • the Accompanying Staff Member is responsible for not losing students. After everyone is initially accounted for, “buddy checks” are an easy solution, but Accompanying Staff Members should conduct head counts on a regular basis;
  • makes sure that all students are present at departure;
  • respects departure times given in the itinerary and reports missing students to the Faculty member and, if necessary, the Dean by risk management guidelines;
  • controls passports and residence permits:
    • control of passports must be done prior to embarking on the bus (if applicable);
    • students who do not have their passports must not be accepted on the Tour;
    • in case of a loss of passport during the Tour, the Accompanying Staff Member must not delay the group especially at border controls. The group should proceed. Every cost incurred will be charged to the student including per diems of Accompanying Staff Member, accommodation costs, transportation, if it is necessary to stay with the student. The student will also have to make his/her own way back to Luxembourg at his/her own costs;
  • hands out lunch bags (if applicable):
    • for longer bus rides departing from Differdange, a lunch bag is a good alternative;
    • a stop should be planned with the driver or alternatively bags can be distributed on the bus if no stop is needed, necessary or possible;
  • hands out tickets:
    • train or plane tickets should be kept in the Road Book as long as possible and distributed on the bus at the last moment to avoid students losing them;
  • organizes audio guides (if applicable):
    • on a bus the Accompanying Staff Member keeps audio guides as long as possible in the special suitcase and then recollects the devices every evening if the suitcase can be used for battery charging;
    • The Accompanying Staff Member is not in charge of the audio guides on planes or train rides, but needs to organize batteries (including extras) if needed;
  • checks-in first, passes borders last:
    • for flights, the Accompanying Staff Member should be the first in line in order to inform the attendants about the group number and get the latest information, but stays close to the check-in desk until the last student has checked in;
    • the Accompanying Staff Member goes through border control last to make sure all students have crossed the border and there has been no problem;
    • for train rides, the Accompanying Staff Member gets on the train last and makes sure no one is left on the platform (true during the entire trip for all public transportation usage);
  • While the Faculty member is always at the head of and talks to local guides, the Accompanying Staff Member makes sure slower students follow at the required pace and that nobody is left behind (particular attention should be paid to students taking pictures and students with any physical disabilities and/or health conditions):
    • The Accompanying Staff Member keeps the group going;
    • The Accompanying Staff Member makes known current locations and next destinations at all times;
    • The Accompanying Staff Member stops students at traffic lights;
    • informs the Faculty member leading the tour should an unexpected situation arise;
  • organizes check-in at hotels, museums or with guides:
    • the room list should be accessible at all times;
    • the Accompanying Staff Member is the first to leave the bus and has students take their luggage before accessing hotels;
    • informs everyone about special rules, breakfast time;
    • hands out room keys and makes sure every student’s room number is known;
  • always keeps the Road Book available:
    • payment orders may need to be checked;
    • arrangements may need to be verified;
  • makes payments:
    • a proof of the payment corresponding to the amount given with the signature of the recipient should always be secured.