Offering a Travel-Learning Course

Process Overview

Travel-Learning Courses consist of a 1 or 1.25 credit Parent Course normally combined with a .25 credit Travel Component. Travel-Learning Courses are applied for on an annual basis, for the following academic year. The Committee on Academic Programs reviews the applications and submits its recommendations to the Administration, which selects the courses to be offered.  

The deadline for applying to CAP to offer a Travel-Learning Course for the 24/25 academic year is 15 January 2024.

If the Parent Course is not already in the catalog, the instructor, with approval from the academic department/program, will need to submit a proposal to the Committee on Academic Programs to add the course as a temporary addition to the catalog.

A complete proposal consists of 3 parts:  (1) a Travel-Learning Course Proposal Form including an uploaded Course Narrative file, (2) an uploaded Budget Worksheet, and (3) information from the faculty member's department chair.  Proposal instructions are found on the CAP website.

Course Narrative Instructions can be found attached here (PDF).

Information from the faculty member's department chair is to be completed and submitted separately using the on-line Travel-Learning Proposal -- Information from Department Chair Form.

Part-time faculty are eligible to apply for a TLC, but there are restrictions based on annual course load--contact Darrell Albon for more information.

For general resources on developing and implementing a short-term study away experience, please see below.

Budgeting / Planning Guidance

  • IOCP can assist you with the development of your budget.  The budget for the course is the responsibility of the faculty instructor.
  • The course budget submitted with the Travel-Learning Course Proposal Form is an initial estimate, which the faculty member should update over the summer.  In some cases, after final costs and enrolment have been established, the estimated cost may be lowered and final student charge established.  (See timeline below for more information.)
  • The Travel Budget Note Sheets (Word) may be helpful in planning your day-to-day traveler costs. They were designed to be printed and used in the initial stages of planning/budgeting.
  • For estimates of cost for travel (including air, land and accommodation), please contact a Christopherson Business Travel (CBT) University Team Advisor at: 800-285-3603   Email: To get a quote or price estimate, please contact them directly. For general information see: OWU Travel / OWU Group Travel.  CBT has group booking specialists within their University Team for domestic and international travel.
  • A TLC Budget Worksheet (Excel) is here provided to assist faculty with course budgeting:  The first tab is for figuring the per-traveler cost and the second for figuring the over-all course travel costs. The total per-traveler cost is carried over to the total course budget sheet. These may be adapted to individual needs. You need a budget with estimated per person costs as part of your proposal. Then, when classes are accepted and once final numbers of students are known, you will need to submit a revised budget in August (see timeline below). 
  • The TLC budget must be inclusive of transportation (both air and ground), accommodations, meals (3 per day), entry/activity fees, and all other costs for the program.  Students while travelling are only responsible for incidental and personal expenses, extra food, souvenirs and the like.  
  • The full cost of travel for the faculty leader and the faculty/staff co-leader is covered by the institution.
  • Initial budgets must also include a 20% per-traveler contingency.
  • For 2024/2025 TLC's the per-traveler charge for international insurance / crisis support will increase to $140 (up to two weeks).  
  • Those participating in the travel portion of a TLC, who are neither students nor faculty leads, will be charged the full cost of their participation, normally twice the student charge.  
  • For converting foreign currency into US dollars, you use an on-line currency converter such as . When converting to US Dollars make sure you use the interbank rate +2 % or 3%—this can be done by using the drop-down menu immediately under "the currency I want" box.
  • Travel must be completed within the semester in which the TLC is offered or, at the latest, must be completed within 21 weeks of the first day of classes, in order to comply with Federal Financial Aid regulations.  
  • Information about students staying in OWU residence halls prior to and after a TLC:  Students will not be charged for staying in their rooms before or after a TLC during the Fall, Thanksgiving and Spring Breaks. Students may be charged for staying in their rooms during the Winter Break, depending on the dates of stay, and may be assigned to a room that is not their own.  (Contact  IOCP if students in your course will need to stay in the residence halls during the Winter Break.)   Students will not be charged for stays of a reasonable length in the residence halls after graduation in May, but they may be required to relocate to another room and will have to make arrangements for their property to be moved out or stored prior to departure.  Students must follow the instructions Residential Life gives them about break registration. It is best to have May travel commence within a few days after graduation.  Contact IOCP, if students in your course will need to stay in the residence halls after graduation.  
  • Some students may want to request a deviation to their flight routing (returning from a TLC to their hometown, not Columbus, for example).  This might be possible in some cases.  Contact CBT for more information.  Columbus, CMH, is the airport from which all deviations are defined.
  • Faculty leads who are approved to offer a TLC will receive a $3,000 course development budget that will become available in July.  This budget, if not used to fund the development of the field experience for the course, may be used to off-set costs associated with the course itself.
  • Student billing, financial aid and refund information can be found here.
  • The OWU Academic Calendar with dates for breaks can be found here.

Developing the Travel Experience for your Course

  • The IOCP Office provides services and resources to help, for these, please see: Menu of Services (PDF)
  • The Forum on Education Abroad has published standards for short-term programs: ForumEA -- Standards for Short-Term Programs . The Forum also offers resources for those developing courses: ForumEA -- Resources . (A log-in and password are needed for some parts of these sites. Call ext 3072 or email Darrell to get access.) Copies of The Guide to Successful Short-Term Programs Abroad by Spencer and Tuma are available in the OWU Connection / IOCP Office.   Additionally, the 2012 OWU Travel-Learning Resource Guide is available here: OWU TLC Guide (PDF).
  • All travel arrangements must be made through:  Christopherson Business Travel (CBT) University Team Advisor Group: 800-285-3603   Email: To get a quote or price estimate, please contact them directly. For general information see: OWU Travel / OWU Group Travel. CBT has group booking specialists for domestic and international travel.  Every detail does not have to be fixed before requesting a initial quote. Faculty must then work closely with CBT to develop itinerary and complete budget.
  • Examples of syllabi and/or itineraries from previous OWU Travel-Learning Courses and faculty-led international and domestic travel courses at other institutions may be available. Contact IOCP with your request.
  • In depth country safety, health and security reports are available upon request. Updated ones will be provided prior to departure.
  • Students travelling internationally are required to complete two on-line training modules -- Pre-Departure Essentials and Cultural Essentials.  Other pre-departure support for students is also available, including peer advising for first-time travellers, travel medicine consultations, passport and visa support and a pre-departure safety and risk management presentation. Contact the IOCP Office for more information.
  • Faculty are required: 
    • to create and hold pre-departure travel information sessions and to provide travel and destination resources that are specific to their own course.  
    • to share the travel itinerary (and any other schedule), accommodation lists and flight information as soon as it is available and to provide updates to these in a timely manner.
    • to provide packing guidance and, whenever possible, packing lists. 
  • Support while travelling is provided by the IOCP Office. All people travelling on OWU-sponsored programs are covered by accident, sickness, and evacuation insurance and have access to emergency support world-wide. There is a crisis plan and desk-top scenario exercises for faculty and staff leads.
  • TLC Rubrics have been developed by faculty. Please see:
  • Certain activities are prohibited by our institutional insurance policy. These include: skydiving, parachuting, hang gliding, bungee jumping, mountain climbing, pot-holing, zip-lining, motorcycle riding, scuba diving (unless scuba diving is an assigned part of the curriculum of study for course credit) and certain athletic activities (contact Darrell for details). Students/faculty/staff are not permitted to operate motor vehicles outside of the USA
  • Faculty can choose one member of the faculty/staff to support and to travel with their TLC.  
  • Please note that part-time faculty may need the permission of the Provost in order to participate in the TLC Program.  Please contact the IOCP Office first at extension 3075 to learn about restrictions.
  • Please also note that individuals classified as non-exempt must be paid for all hours of activity related to the course and are eligible for and must be paid over-time.  Permission of the supervisor and the Provost are needed for members of the staff to participate.  Please see the Staff Handbook for more information. 
  • Those participating in the travel portion of a TLC, who are neither students nor faculty leads, will be charged the full cost of their participation, normally twice the student charge.  Prior approval is needed for non-students & non-faculty to participate in any aspect of a TLC.  
  • Travel to countries/regions with a U.S. Dept. of State Level 4 Travel Advisory is prohibited.  Travel to countries with a U.S. Dept. of State Level 3 Travel Advisory will be reviewed by the University administration.  
  • See below for more resources.

Once Your Course Is Selected

If your proposed course is not currently in the catalog you will need to fill out the Temporary Course Proposal form. This will be available on the CAP website.

All Travel-Learning Courses will include a .25 unit Travel Component section* (for example, the travel component section associated with ASTR 110 is ASTR 110 TL). Students will have to register for the TL section in addition to registering for the parent course. All accepted courses will need to fill out the Travel Component Proposal Form which will be available on the CAP website.

The Travel-Learning Course travel (field experience) must be completed within the semester in which it is offered or, at the latest, by the end of the 21st week after the start of the semester in which the parent course is offered. This is a Federal DOE Title IV (Financial Aid) requirement.

Because of the extraordinary issues involved in traveling with students, there are many practical reasons for requiring the separation of the .25-unit Travel Component's credits from the Parent Course's. These include:

  • Seniors traveling in May cannot graduate if a full-unit Parent Course's grade is outstanding
  • Separating the Travel Component from the class allows a student who is unable to travel due to unforeseen circumstances (health, finances, etc.) to still receive fair credit for work completed during the semester—they can drop or withdraw from the .25
  • Separating the Travel Component allows faculty to fail students for the .25-unit course in case of misbehaviour, failure to participate while traveling, or other breaches of rules/conduct.  It also allows faculty to specify requirements for preparation for and participation in travel prior to the start of the trip.
  • Separating the .25-unit Travel Component allows faculty the opportunity to grade travel on an S/U basis, which can alleviate parts of student anxiety about situations where we are asking them to take larger academic or social risks. (If there is a compelling reason that your course should not include a separate .25-unit Travel Component, or why the grade for the full course should include the travel, you may make a case for that in your initial proposal.)
  • All students travelling must be enrolled in the .25-unit Travel Component credit. If course is approved not to include the .25 Travel Component, students must be enrolled for the full unit of credit for the course. Travel-Learning Courses cannot be audited.

Travel-Learning Course Timeline for Faculty

(For 23/FA and 24/SP Break TLC timelines, please contact Lisa Ho.)

For 24/SP May TLC's: 


  • November -- CAP issues request for TLC proposals
  • CAP deadline for submitting proposals (usually in early January)


  • January – CAP and Administration approval and selection of TLC's
  • Further TLC planning by faculty


  • June/July/August
    • Facutly TLC planning & research (including, if chosen, travel)
  •  August
    • Revised TLC budget due by 31 August. This is not the final budget; rather, it is one that will take into consideration adjustment to TLC course curriculum/itinerary, budgeting of costs for the second faculty/staff traveler, revised estimated costs for travel and accommodation etc.


  • September -- SP/24 student recruitment:
    • Third or fourth week of September -- Travel Learning Course Session during OWU Connection Conference. 
    • Student recruitment in 
    • Mid September  --  TLC student application system opens
    • End of September  --  TLC student application deadline
    • Planning meetings as needed with OWU Connection staff continue
  • October:
    • 1 October -- Temporary Course Proposal and Travel Component Proposal Form (if applicable) submitted to CAP. 
    • Selection of TLC students for course by mid-October
  • November:  
    • Student notification of accept/deny/wait-list status for TLC Courses;
    • Student registration for Spring courses;
    • Travel forms sent to students;
  • December:
    • 15 December updated TLC budget to Darrell Albon.


  • January, February or March:
    • Course charges finalized
    • Students billed for TLC enrolment
  • February:
    • IOCP student Pre-Departure Modules (safety, health, travel, cross-cultural skills) go live;
    • Faculty one-one-one pre-departure meetings with IOCP staff.
  • March:
    • Spring Break TLC travel
  • April:
    • Faculty one-one-one pre-departure meetings with IOCP staff.
  • May:
    • Post-graduation TLC travel (reminder -- travel must end within 21 weeks of start of the semester)
  • June/July:
    • Students sent TLC course evaluations

Some helpful international travel resources for faculty:

Education Abroad Faculty Toolkit - The University of Kentucky.

A general resource about international faculty led courses from our partner AIFS - 

Innovating Faculty-Led -- Podcasts that discuss innovative ways to develop and lead programs and "explore programs from the genesis of an idea through program development and implementation." 

Information about responsible, ethical and sustainable study abroad: Responsible Travel resources from Transitions Abroad, Sustainable Study Abroad from Middlebury College, Sustainable Travel Checklist from Sustainable Travel International, also the Ethical Traveler website.

Mobility International USA - an organization advocating for international exchange for people with disabilities.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection - information about re-entering the USA.

US Department of State - see links to International Travel and to information about specific countries information, also has a section for US students studying abroad.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - information about health issues and immunizations by country.


OWU Connection


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