Getting ready

Everything you will need to do before departing


Implementation, committees, and check-ins

You will have 2 required meetings after your program is approved by the advisory committee: 

  1. You will meet with your Global Learning Advisor and the GSP Operations Specialist. The purpose of this meeting is to implement feedback given by the committee into the program, divide tasks, and clarify any remaining details between all parties. Following this meeting, your budget will be sent to the Tuition and Fees Consultation Committee (TFCC). Upon approval of your budget, we can officially start promoting your program.
  2. You will meet with your Global Learning Advisor again just before the winter break for a mid-point check-In. The timing may vary depending on your departure date. This meeting is a chance to evaluate if everything is going well in the recruitment and planning process or if amendments need to be made to your program going forward.

Outside of these two meetings, we are happy to meet with you to discuss any questions or concerns that you have along the way. 

Recruitment phase

Recruitment phase

This section outlines the needs of the program you will be involved with from the time it is launched to students, until it is full and closed. 


Promotion is critical for Group Study Programs. There are several methods Study Abroad uses that you will be a part of.

Information sessions are highly beneficial for students to attend so that they can meet you as the instructor and get the essential information they need to make an informed decision. This can be covered in the first half of the session. In the second half, your Global Learning Advisor can cover the application process and preparation required of the students before they depart on the program. In total they typically run for one hour. Holding 2-3 across the Fall term at varied times ensures that you'll reach a variety of students. 

These sessions can be in person or online, depending on the nature of your program and UCalgary's current course delivery method. Online sessions can also be recorded and posted on the program page.

Classroom visits provide potential participants with a brief glimpse of the program and usually will invite them to an information session. Students are very responsive when professors talk about their own programs, however, when necessary, the Study Abroad team is happy to help with these as well.

Visits can be as short as 5 minutes – just enough to give a brief overview of the program and provide follow-up materials containing follow up information and links to the program webpage.   

Your Global Learning Advisor will work with you to design and print marketing materials (such as posters and postcards) that authentically and attractively represent your program. We will order the print materials for you and deliver them to your office at the beginning of September so that you are ready to provide them to your students and colleagues at the beginning of the fall semester. We will also be able to provide you with digital materials that you can share with your colleagues and students on D2L. 

In order to take the guess work out of your marketing materials creation, we work closely with UCalgary Brand to ensure that all print and digital materials meet UCalgary visual identity standards. 

In an effort to reduce paper waste and conserve resources, we will be reducing the quantity of print materials that we use going forward. We are currently working on ways to expand our selection or digital resources that will help you to promote your program to students on and off campus. 

Your Global Learning Advisor will help you develop your individual program webpage. These pages are designed to show detailed information about your program, answer common questions, and link students to other important resources. It will also allow students to apply for your program through our registration system, RAISA. 

The Study Abroad homepage has a program finder that will help students to search programs available each academic year. Your page will be included in the selection of programs searchable in the finder when your webpage is live. 

The three most commonly used platforms by students are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Our advisors and past instructors have found social media to be a useful tool to connect with prospective students and market upcoming events.

While highly engaging and widely used by many students on campus, social media is limited in its reach, as not all students will have an account or be active with all platforms. For this reason, it is best to use social media in partnership with other marketing strategies.

Within UCalgary: 

Using channels within your department is a good strategy to find potential students that would be interested in the courses offered on your GSP. You can work with your Global Learning Advisor to develop language or digital posters that can be distributed to students by email, newsletters, or posted to a D2L page. 


Outside UCalgary: 

We encourage you to use your professional connections outside of the institution to promote your program. We welcome students from other post-secondary institutions from within Canada -- especially other Alberta institutions. Your Global Learning Advisor can walk you through the process of accepting students from other institutions if you have non-UCalgary students interested in joining your program. 

Applications & accepting students

Screening tools

If you would like to receive additional information from the students that is not already included with the online application collected through our system, you can request the following from applicants:

  • Unofficial academic transcripts
  • A brief questionnaire
  • Academic or non-academic references
  • A short interview
  • A program participation agreement

None of these screening tools are required and your Global Learning Advisor can discuss the merit of each screening tool with you at implementation.

Instructors are encouraged to create clear criteria for selecting students in advance. Sticking to them will be important as it can aid in the event that a student appeals being declined or waitlisted for a program.

Who can participate in a GSP?

Generally, GSPs are open to all students who are in good academic standing with exceptions being made at the discretion of the professor. Some programs will limit their applicant pool to students in certain majors, years standing, or with specific prerequisites. When determining pre-requisites, please keep in mind the number of students that you will need to recruit and the size of your applicant pool.

GSPs are not limited to domestic undergraduate students. You can also accept students in the following categories:

  • Open Studies students
  • Visiting students from other institutions
  • International students enrolled in programs at UCalgary
  • University staff members

Pre-departure phase

Pre-departure phase

Once your program is fully recruited, you can start to move forward with the arrangements for your department and in field logistics.

Pre-departure responsibilities

Once you reach the minimum number of students, you will have to start reaching out to your vendors to make bookings. These will likely be based on the research you have already done in creating your budget and include accommodations, transportation, and special activities (such as events, site visits, conferences, etc.). As you reach out to vendors, it is important to connect them with the GSP Operations Specialist for payments to be made, bookings confirmed, and ensure that everything fits into the previously approved budget.

Once recruitment for the program is full, you and the students will receive instructions by email for purchasing your flights. The email will include a travel information form that you must fill out and return to the travel agent in person or electronically.

All flights must be arranged through our designated travel agent. Everyone is required to travel together from Calgary for risk management reasons 

The cost of instructor flights and insurance are built into the program budget. We work with the travel agent to book and pay for instructor flights for all in program flights. The budget covers the equivalent of an economy round trip between Calgary to the destination. You may also wish to change your dates in order to stay on longer after the program ends. Be aware that you will be responsible for any deviation of price from any upgrades or change of return dates.

Students are permitted to travel on after the end of the program but they must book their return flight to Canada through the travel agent assigned to your program. If your students travel on, they are responsible for communicating their plans to the travel agent at the time they submit their air letter (travel information form). They are also responsible for submitting their assignments by the dates on the course outline unless an extension is provided by you.

Your Global Learning Advisor will host one mandatory pre-departure session that will include you as an instructor, teaching assistants (if applicable), and students. This session will focus on intercultural capacity development, safety abroad, conflict resolution, and group dynamics. The nature of this session will vary based on the nature of your program and the region of the world that you may be visiting. We will work with you to design an orientation that meets the needs of your program - both online and/or travel. 

Students will also be required to complete online modules on D2L, organized by UCI Study Abroad, before their departure.

Your group may also need additional sessions depending on your programming. This may include, first aid training, travel clinics, or even swim assessments. Your Global Learning Advisor will work with you and our stakeholders to make these arrangements for your students.

You will be provided with instructions to input your request for travel advance into the PeopleSoft system by the GSP Operations Specialist approximately four weeks prior to departure. When there is more than one instructor, the cash advance is usually given to just one instructor. When setting this up, you will be asked to identify how much cash must be insured if you must travel with currency on your person. All accounts regarding finances must be settled, after your program ends, as soon as possible with the GSP Operations Specialist.

Managing cash advance funds while in the field in crucial to the program’s success as all programs are cost recovery.

Before departure you will receive a cash advance breakdown detailing the different categories that the money you have been advanced is intended for. This will likely mirror the remaining expenses to your vendors. 

Departmental Responsibilities

Communicating with your department to make sure your courses are timetabled can be done at this point. Your Global Learning Advisor will need to know the name of the department contact responsible for helping with student registration as well. Lastly, you will need to make arrangements for any classes you plan on having on campus before departing on your program.

You Global Learning Advisor is more than happy to help you navigate this process. Reach out if you have any questions.

Academic Work

You are welcome to hold academic sessions to prepare your group for their in-field experience as you see fit. However, group study programs are not allowed to have work assigned to students that will count towards their grade prior to the in-field dates of your program. In the past professors have hosted a meet and greet, packing sessions, an in depth program overview, or a discussion or readings (just to name a few activities) with students in six to eight weeks leading up to their departure.

If you would like to set an academic foundation for your students before they leave, you can assign readings, discussions, and D2L activities. Some professors even take the week before their departure to conduct classes with their students.

A comprehensive Emergency Response Plan must be completed and submitted to Study Abroad at least two weeks prior to departure. It should include: 

  • a detailed accommodation itinerary
  • identification and management of hazards
  • in-field phone numbers

You may request a travel briefing from Risk Management and Insurance if submitted 3 weeks in advance through the following link. This is highly recommended. You can also request a risk assessment from International SOS when you are putting together your response plan. Risk Management can provide you with our access code for International SOS when you are putting together your Emergency Response Plan. 

In addition to the travel briefing, you may use the details from the Risk Considerations section of your proposal as a start. We also recommend using Global Affairs Canada, International SOS, and any other information sourced from relevant organizations (World Health Organization, Centre for Disease Control, etc.) to create an informed and up to date plan with the current conditions of your destination(s) close to your date of departure. 

An entire term could go by between when you talk to a student in an information session to when the group needs to travel together. We encourage instructors to keep in touch with them and give students the chance to meet each other in some capacity. Holding meetings and facilitating group discussions online are great ways of doing that! This also has the added benefit of bolstering students' excitement for their program, and making the travel experience smoother for everyone as the group is familiar with each other in advance.

You will need to make sure you complete any additional items required from UCI Study Abroad such as: 

  • Registering yourself as the instructor of the program in RAISA
  • Providing a copy of your passport
  • Register to drive with Risk Management (if necessary)
  • Reviewing the Travel website from Risk Management
  • Completing First Aid certification*
  • Getting any required vaccinations for travel completed**
  • Register your travel with the Registry of Canadian Abroad

*It is a requirement that one member of the instructional staff on a program be first aid certified.                             
**Please note that you must arrange this independently and it will not be paid for by the University of Calgary.