Welcome International Program Leaders!

Dear International Program Leader:

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 Annette Mares-Duran, Faculty-Led Program Coordinator.

Program Proposals and Travel Warning 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.

Proposal (Travel Advisory Levels 1 and 2)

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.

Need help navigating the system? Click HERE to see screen shot instructions for the process. 

Need help completing the Proposal? Click HERE to see an example.

If you have any questions about the process or if you experience difficulties while applying, please contact Group Program Coordinator Annette Mares-Duran, amares2@unm.edu

Travel Warning Exemption & Proposal (Travel Advisory Levels 3 & 4)

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, 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.

Need help navigating the system? Click HERE to see screen shot instructions for the process. 

Need help completing the exemption? Click HERE to see an example.

If you have any questions about the process or if you experience difficulties while applying, please contact Group Program Coordinator Annette Mares-Duran, amares2@unm.edu

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 Orientations” tab)

  • UNM will not offer or support programs whose dates & destinations are or become subject to a level 3 or 4 travel alert unless approval is granted. The Provost or designee will decide whether to grant an exemption in consultation with the UNM Health and Safety Committee.

Program Leader Orientations, Workshops, and Training

Workshop Series

The Group Leader Annual Health and Safety Training must be completed annually as outlined in UNM Policy 2710


Date Location Time Notes
Group Leader Annual Health and Safety Training 04/03/19 MVH 3097 3-4pm Required Annually
Group Leader Annual Health and Safety Training 04/04/19 MVH 3097 3-4pm Required Annually


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 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 Annette Mares-Duran, Faculty-Led International Program Coordinator, at amares2@unm.edu, 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 “International Program Leader Health and Safety Orientation” 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.

  •    Protecting 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


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. All program renewals need to be submitted to GEO by October 15th.

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.


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

  • Providing information about budget structures 

  • 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 Valerie Cardenas: vcardenas@unm.edu 

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.

Managing Program Enrollments


Program leaders can check on the students’ applications.  To do so, go to the EA home page studyabroad.unm.edu, click the Login button. Login with your UNM NetID and password, and you will be taken to the “Admin Home” page. 

On the black menu bar on at the top of the page, there are a few options.  To see the applicants, click "Applicants". From the drop down menu select "Search". This will pull up a search function.  You can search by student name, by the name of your program, or since you only have access to students in your program, you can leave all the fields blank and simply click "Search".  This will pull up everyone that has applied to your program for all terms, past and present. 

On the next page, you can sort the applicants by click on the "group by" tab. 

Now, you can click on each student (or program name for each student) and see their documents. The row of red tabs across the top has a lot of useful information about the students. 

The most important tabs for you are Questionnaires, Materials, and Profile.

The tab “Questionnaires” has the documents that students have to answer questions for or upload documents. For example a copy of their health insurance information, passport copy, flight itinerary etc.

If the item is in red lettering, the participant has completed that item. You can click on it to see it. If the wording is in black, the participant has not completed that material yet. 

The tab “Materials” has the documents that students can sign electronically or have to submit in person. For example participant code of conduct, risk and conditions form, health and safety fee. 

Another useful tab is “Profile”.  This tab has all of the student’s basic information. For example: emergancy contact, addresses, phone numbers, majors, gpa, etc. 

If you are using the system for the entire application process for your program, you will be using the "status" tab. 

“Status” is where you go to accept students.  When students apply, they are automatically listed as “Pending”.  You can go in, use the drop down menu, and select “Accepted” and click “submit”.  The students will then be sent an automatic email, letting them know they have been officially accepted. 


Tab Descriptions: 

  • · Overview: this is the summary page you are currently on.

  • · Questionnaires: these are documents that the students need to complete. They are things such as application questionnaires, upload passport copy, insurance information, etc.

  • · Materials: these are documents that students need to sign electronically such as Risks and Conditions forms, or payments that are made electronically.

  • · Reviews: this tab can be ignored. We do not use internal reviews.

  • · Profile: if you want student information, such as Banner ID number, major and minor information, GPA, year in school, addresses or phone numbers, that information is here.

  • · History Log: this will show you when the student logged into the website and what they did.

  • · Email: you can email the student through the online system. This also allows you to view the student’s email address.

  • · Comments: if you would like to make comments, you may, but they are only visible by you and any other administrators.

  • · Recommendations: if your program is set up to require letters of recommendation, you can view them here.

  • · Status: this tab is where you change the application status of your students. Once they have submitted their information and you would like to accept them into the program, you go here. Then under “Application Status” you can change it to “Accepted”.

  • · Documents: if an administrator has attached external documents (such as an official transcript) to this student’s account, they will be found here.

  • · Journal/Credit Transfer/Learning Content/Assessments: these tabs are not currently being used.


Student Registration Process

Students apply the Education Abroad (EA) online application system.  Students begin the process by searching the EA 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 a a checklist once the participant has logged in. 

Documents include:

  • 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 Consultation Visit 

  • Travel Documents (includes passport and flight itinerary)

  • UNM Faculty-Led International Program Application (ONLY IF you use the software system for your application process)

  • $50 Health and Safety Fee

Electronics Signatures for the:

  • Emergency Contact Waiver (allows leaders and GEO to call emergency contacts if needed)

  • UNM Participant Code of Conduct

  • Assumption of Risks and Conditions

  • Special Needs or Circumstances Form

For those 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 as well.

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 informtion on viewing student materials. 



Funding for Faculty-Led Programs 

Study Abroad Allocations Committtee (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.

Student scholarship information can be found HERE