Develop an Education Abroad Program


Thank you for your interest in leading an international study program. The University of New Mexico is committed to providing short-term international study opportunities for students.  Each year, UNM departments sponsor summer or intersession international courses, field trips as part of semester courses, and a variety of other programs to give students international experience and exposure to other cultures. These programs can be among the most important educational and personal experiences UNM can provide for students, and we appreciate the commitment of faculty and staff members who put in the extra time and energy it takes to plan and direct these programs.

The Study Abroad advisors in the Global Education Office (GEO), working with the UNM Health and Safety Study Abroad Advisory Committee, have put together this “Best Practices” web package for faculty/staff members who plan to lead UNM-sponsored international programs. The materials provided here are designed to help you:

  1. Understand your responsibilities and legal obligations to the students and the university in your role as a program leader

  2. Provide you and the students with the critical information you need before you travel

  3. Protect the health and safety of your students and yourself while involved in international study

The Vice President for Academic Affairs has designated the Global Education Office (GEO) to work with faculty and staff to support international programs and participants to assure that the university is exercising “due diligence” to protect the health and safety of those on the program and to minimize liability risks for you as a program leader. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Sara Gutierrez, Faculty-Led Program Coordinator.

Program Proposals & Exemptions

To register your international program, please complete a program proposal and/or exemption online. Please select the appropriate option for your program. First, please search your proposed destination on the U.S. Department of State Website to determine the Travel Advisory Level. The U.S Department of State uses four Travel Advisory Levels.


Complete the proposal in this section if your proposed destinations are currently under a State Department Level 1 (Exercise Normal Precautions) or level 2 (Exercise increased Caution) Travel Advisory Level. If the proposed location is listed with a Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or 4 (Do not Travel), please complete the Travel Warning Exception & Proposal below. This proposal may be used for programs in Mexico, provided your group will only travel to states with a Level 1 or 2 advisory.

If you have any questions about the process or if you experience difficulties while applying, please contact Group Program Coordinator Sara Gutierrez,  

Submit Now


If you wish to register a program to a destination which is currently under a State Department Level 3 (Reconsider Travel), or Level 4 (Do not travel) Travel Advisory and are traveling with undergraduates, you must complete the Exemption Request in addition to the Proposal.

After you have completed the exemption and proposal, you will be contacted by the chair of the Health and Safety Advisory Committee to schedule a meeting to discuss your proposal. The Committee will issue a recommendation to approve, defer, or deny an exemption, and a ruling will be made by the Provost (for UNM Main Campus, branch campus and Law School programs) or the Chancellor (for HSC programs). This ruling may be appealed to the President of UNM. Approval of exemptions for programs in regions under a level 3 or 4 travel avisory is not guaranteed. The Exemption Request process can be lengthy, so you are strongly urged to begin this proposal well before your group's planned departure.

If you have any questions about the process or if you experience difficulties while applying, please contact Group Program Coordinator Sara Gutierrez,

Submit Now

Policy 2710: Education Abroad Health and Safety

Read Policy 2710

Policy 2710 in a nutshell:

  • Policy 2710 applies to all study abroad programs sponsored or organized by any department or student organization at UNM (Read it all, but pay special attention to section 5 for groups)

  • All programs must be approved in advance, in writing, by the applicable supervisor (chair, dean, director, etc.) You will upload letter from your supervisor into your proposal)

  • All student participants must be registered with GEO Education Abroad (See “Process for Students and Participants” tab)

  • Program Leaders and participants are required to purchase health and accident insurance at least at UNM-recommended coverage levels, including medical evacuation and repatriation of remains (For leaders, this will appear in the system after your proposal is accepted. For students it will be part of their health and safety materials)

  • All Program Leaders must attend UNM training coordinated and approved by the Health and Safety for Study Abroad Advisory Committee (HSAC).  (See “Program Leader Training and Workshops tab)

  • UNM will not offer or support programs  whose dates & destinations are or become subject to a level 3 or 4 travel alert and traveling with undergraduates unless approval is granted. The Provost or designee will decide whether to grant an exemption in consultation with the UNM Health and Safety Committee. Groups traveling with undergraduates and graduate students have different requirements. Please refer to Policy 2710 for details

Program leader Workshops, Training, & Resources

Below you will find self-paced and in-person (Zoom) sessions. The Group Leader Annual Health and Safety Training must be completed annually as outlined in UNM Policy 2710


TitleResources NotesCompletion Survey
Facilitating a Faculty-Led International Program from Start to FinishClick HERE to view presentation. Click HERE to download example timeline.How do I start planning an international program?  What do I need to consider as I plan my program? What resources are available to guide me through the planning process?Once you are done, please lets us know by completing THIS FORM
Group Leader Annual Health and Safety TrainingClick HERE to view PresentationWhat is Policy 2710? What are my responsibilities? What health and safety expectations do I need to set with my program participants? What do I do in case of an emergency abroad?Once you are done, please lets us know by completing THIS FORM
Managing Participant Enrollments in VIA TRM Click HERE to view User Guide How to guide to view/review applications, accept applications, and view student profiles.N/A 
Budget Template and Program Fee Collection Flyer 

Click HERE to download the Budget Template 

Click HERE to download Payment Support Information 

Click HERE to download the Payment Collection Flyer template (If you will be asking students to pay at the UNM Cashiers Office) 

** If you are a first-time program leader, we recommend attending in-person/via Zoom.

How much will the program cost? How can I finance my program? What is the role of GEO and what’s the role of my department in collecting payments from participants? How do I make payments to vendors? N/A



Spring 2024


DateLocationTimeNotes RSVP
Facilitating a Faculty-Led International Program from Start to Finish



ZOOM (RSVP for link)

2 - 3 PM

12 - 1 PM

How do I start planning an international program?  What do I need to consider as I plan my program? What resources are available to guide me through the planning process?RSVP HERE
How to write a budget, collect program fees, and make payments2/23/24ZOOM (RSVP for link) 2 - 3 PMHow much will the program cost? How can I finance my program? What is the role of GEO and what’s the role of my department in collecting payments from participants? How do I make payments to vendors?


Using VIA TRM to manage program enrollments3/1/2024ZOOM (RSVP for link)2 - 3 PMLearn all you need to know to be able to look up who has applied to your program, communicate with participants, and accept applicants into your program using the GEO system.RSVP HERE
Group Leader Annual Health and Safety Training




ZOOM (RSVP for link)

12 - 1 PM

2 - 3 PM 

3 - 4 PM

What is Policy 2710? What are my responsibilities? What health and safety expectations do I need to set with my program participants? What do I do in case of an emergency abroad?


Mandatory for new leaders to attend one session.

Study Abroad Fair04/9/2024SUB10 AM - 2 PMThis is a great opportunity to promote your program! RSVP HERE


Program Leader Responsibilities

The University of New Mexico strives to provide its students the opportunity for education experience through approved academic programs taught in other countries by UNM faculty and staff, consistent with Standards of Good Practice established by the Forum on Education Abraod and the Health and Safety Guidelines established by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. 

  • Program Leaders should take reasonable steps to plan the education-abroad experience. While planning your program, please:
  • Read Policy 2710: Education Abroad Health and Safety
  • Contact Sara Gutierrez, Faculty-Led International Program Coordinator, at, 505-277-4032 to discuss program goals/requirements
  • Complete the program proposal. It is recommended that the proposal is started at least 12 months before departure and is completed at least 4 months before departure. See “Program Proposal” tab for more information.
  • Complete the “Group Leader Annual Health and Safety Training” annually. See "Program Leader Orientations, Workshops, and Training" tab. 
  • (Optional) Apply for funding through the Office of the Provost’s Study Abroad Allocations Committee
  • Require students to complete their health and safety registration on the GEO website and pay the applicable GEO fee. You can see a list of the materials collected in the following tabs
  • Stay current on State Department travel alerts and warnings and register your itinerary with STEP
  • Ensure all participants attend the student health and safety orientation before departure. GEO will hold large group orientations for group programs. Small group orientations are available upon request.
  • Obtain prescribed health and accident insurance.
  • Protect the confidentiality of any health information disclosed by a participant
  • Complying with Clery reporting requirements(link is external) by filling out the incident report form when necessary

Please see "Facilitating a Faculty-Led International Program from Start to Finish" in the Leader Workshops and Trainings tab for additional support.


Program Proposals must be reviewed by the Global Education Office (GEO) — and the Health and Safety Committee if applicable — and all programs (proposals and renewals) must be approved by the Associate Director of the Global Education Office. Each year every education abroad program must be renewed. 

The program leader must designate an assistant or co-leader. During the study abroad program, the program leader, assistant or the co-leader must remain reasonably available in person or by phone to the participants. As the UNM representative in the host country, the program leader will remain reasonably available to UNM officials (i.e., in the event that a family member of a participant notifies GEO of a family emergency). If the program director is not able to be reasonably available in the host country, the program director must establish a host country contact person who may be reached at any time by UNM. This contact person must be informed of the whereabouts of the participants to the extent reasonably possible. In addition to the program leader, the co-leader or assistant must be available on the trip to lead the group in case of an emergency.

If a student is hospitalized and the group must continue its itinerary, at least one of these leaders must remain with the student to ensure his or her safety and well being.  The program leader is required to comply with Clery reporting requirements (link is external) by filling out the incident report form when necessary.

Support from GEO

Education Abroad Advisors from GEO can help provide support in a number of areas to make your job easier, such as:

  • Providing guidance for Policy 2710: Education Abroad Health and Safety
  • Creating and managing a public website
  • Publicizing your program and helping to recruit students
  • Creating a customized application using StudioAbroad software
  • Managing application process and program requirements
  • Collecting Health and Safety documents 
  • Helping you find universities, third party providers, and organizations to aid in program development
  • Helping you arrange a program timeline (See Workshops and Trainings tab)
  • Providing information about budget structures (See Workshops and Trainings tab
  • Providing pre-departure orientation and/or helping you plan and conduct your own orientation activities
  • Providing you with information about “best practices” in the profession, and with resources and materials from other universities, government agencies or other organizations
  • Advising you and students about visa requirements, travel warnings, health and safety information, insurance and other issues related to your trip planning
  • Advising students and parents about logistics of the program
  • Helping students find funding for their education abroad program  
  • Providing or assisting you with student/program evaluations
  • Providing assistance with enrollment data collection and reporting  
  • Putting you in touch with the appropriate UNM campus resources to assist you in case of an emergency, disciplinary issues, or other problems that arise during the trip

For programming in Mexico, we can connect you with the New Mexico Trade and Higher Education Center of Mexico City. Our onsite program coordinator can offer assistance with partnerships, space, and program planning resources. For more information please contact:

We hope this information will be helpful to you. The study abroad advisors in the Global Education Office (GEO) are available and willing to assist you with any questions or issues you may have. We hope you will also suggest other useful materials, information or services we could provide to help trip leaders and students have safe and productive international programs.

Student Registration Process

Students apply through the Education Abroad (EA) online application system.  Students begin the process by searching the study abroad website for your program.  The "Brochure" page for your program will contain an "Apply Now" button.  Students click this button and the fill out all of the requested information.

Every time the student logs in, they will see all of the documents that they still need to complete and can complete them online.

ALL participants are required to complete health and safety materials. All of the required materials will be in a checklist once the participant has logged in. 


Application: (OPTIONAL)

  • Program leaders may choose to have an application process for students/participants.
  • For group leaders that will be using the StudioAbroad system for their entire application process, we can work together to customize it. If your program requires any additional documents, such as an application form, etc., please email us these documents as Word files, so we can incorporate them into the online application.
  • This is not required. If you choose not to have an application, students will be directed straight to the Health and Safety Materials. 

Health and Safety Documents: (REQUIRED)

  • Basic Information/Profile (Name, birthday, major, etc)
  • Health Insurance Requirements (We provide participants the link for purchase, and group code in their online account) 
  • Smart Traveler (STEP) Registration (This is through the U.S Department of State. Each participant will do this for themselves) 
  • Travel Health Consultation Visit (Preferably with SHAC)
  • Travel Documents (includes passport and flight itinerary)
  • UNM Faculty-Led International Program Application (ONLY IF you use the software system for your application process)
  • $75 Health and Safety Fee

Electronics Signatures: (REQUIRED)

  • Emergency Contact Waiver (allows leaders and GEO to call emergency contacts if needed)
  • UNM Participant Code of Conduct
  • Assumption of Risks and Conditions
  • ISEP Registration- Enrollment in the appropriate course alerts the Registrar, Financial Aid, and the Bursar's office of status as a study abroad student and indicates the appropriate workflows regarding enrollment status, financial aid and scholarship disbursement, and tuition payments
  • Special Needs or Circumstances Form

Learning Content 

  • Student Pre-Departure Orientation (Required) - They can access this at any time as needed. You can see a copy HERE.
  • Preparing for Cultural Difference (Optional) - They have access to this at any time as needed. You can see a copy HERE. 

We will give the trip leader administrative access to the program on our website. This will allow you to see students’ information in real time, as they apply and complete the materials. If you would like to delegate someone else as the administrator, please send their information to us. Please see the "Managing Program Enrollments" tab for information on viewing student materials. 


Funding and Opportunities for Faculty

Study Abroad Allocations Committee (SAAC): The SAAC announces two university-wide Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for faculty from Main Campus, the Law School, and the Health Sciences Center. More information HERE. Proposals are usually due at the start of October.

The Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad: More information HEREUsually due early Spring. 

CIEE $20,000 Access Grant: If you have an innovative idea that opens the door to study abroad for underrepresented students, CIEE would like to hear about it! Submit your proposal HERE (usually due around April each year) for the CIEE 2021 $20,000 Access Grant.

Faculty Seminar in Senegal: More information HERE. (Application Deadline is usually around January of each year)

Professional Development for Staff and Faculty in Greece: More information HERE. 

Instituto Franklin-Universidad de Alcalá - Call for courses from partner institutions - Teach in Spain: APPLY HERECourse proposals are usually due in January of each year.

U de Alcala is looking for faculty to teach a 45-hour course (3 credits) in the fields of social sciences, humanities, and professional studies with a comparative transatlantic perspective, but we are also open to receiving proposals from different fields. Faculty would teach their course for 3-4 weeks and instruct their lessons in English. This is an excellent opportunity for professional development and research. Interested faculty members of your institution could come teach their course in Alcalá de Henares, Spain and even bring their family members.