Program Approval & Administration

Program Administration

Please keep in mind that directing a study abroad program is time consuming and requires months of commitment. The deadline to have maymester and summer programs approved is September 15th, and program directors should start planning their programs well before that deadline.

If you are a faculty member thinking about starting a new study abroad program, please contact Ryan Rathmann, Director of Study Abroad Programs ( to set up a meeting. Per the university’s Study Abroad Management Policies, Study Abroad Programs must be notified of all programs in which students will travel abroad using the Georgia State University name and/or resources. This includes programs of short duration that are administered by Schools and/or Departments.

Program Approval

The following information and forms will guide you through the procedure of planning, proposing and gaining approval for your program. New programs have their own approval form, which must accompany a formal proposal. Existing programs only require a simple annual renewal.

Study Abroad Management Policies

Program Approval Policy

New Program Approval Packet

Program Annual Renewal Form

Program Description for Medical Evaluations

Program Deposit Request Form

Study Abroad Program Deposits Guide

Early Program Administration

The following are steps to take and things to be aware of immediately after the approval of your program so that you can plan ahead.

Agency Accounts

Study Abroad Program Directors at Georgia State University use program agency accounts to manage their study abroad finances. This is an account in which fee money can be deposited, e.g., when students pay their fees, the money is deposited directly into the account. This money can then be used for the program costs by the Program Director. Once your program has been approved, please contact Shirl Trawick (404-413-3073, who will help you establish an account for your program. For more information, please view the Business Manager Manual (2014).

It is essential for Business Managers to familiarize themselves with the Business Manager Manual (2014) guidelines and adhere to its policies.

Questions should be addressed to Shirl Trawrick, Senior Accountant, Accounting Services, 404-413-3073,

Student Fees

Your classes should be listed in Banner as “I” campus. Therefore, when your students register, all student fees, with the exception of the technology fee and the BOR Institutional fee, will be automatically waived. The only exception occurs when a student is taking another course(s) on campus during the same term (e.g. if a student studies abroad during Maymester and returns for summer classes on campus; Maymester is technically part of the same term).

Non-Resident Students

If you have any non-resident students, either GSU or transient, enrolled in your program, they should only be charged in-state tuition for your course(s) plus a $250 fee. Unfortunately, this does NOT happen automatically in Banner upon registration. Please send Dawn Foster a list of these students as soon as possible and she will work with Student Accounts to apply the proper charges. Otherwise, these students will be charged out-of-state tuition.

Contract Information

Legal Affairs is available to assist Program Directors with contracts used in the planning and execution of their programs. When possible, Program Directors should negotiate contracts before leaving the U.S. so that the documents may be submitted to Legal Affairs for review before signature by authorized University representative. Questions about contracts may be addressed to Melanie Paidipalli in Legal Affairs (

Accomodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations during their study abroad experience should discuss these needs with the Program Director at the time of application. Program Directors should work with the staff of Study Abroad Programs and the Office of Disability Services to determine appropriate accommodations on a case by case basis.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) divides vaccines for travel into three categories: routine, recommended, and required. Visit the CDC website for detailed information and requirements for the destination of your program. Advise your students early to obtain any required vaccinations per specified deadlines.

Advertise Your Program

While your own class presentations are critical to recruitment, Study Abroad Programs is available to assist you with advertising your program. This is a vital aspect of coordinating a study abroad program that is often overlooked. If you would like to ensure that your program is as visible as possible to a wide audience of students, please click here to learn about ways that we can help you spread the word.

Transient Students

If your program will have participants from other universities, it is very important for these students to understand the procedures required of them by the university for admission, as well as for participation in your program. This information is given to them in when they apply to a program online.

Pre-Departure Administration

1. Accepting Students

Before accepting any students into your program with the online application system, please make sure every student has provided an electronic signature of the Waiver of Liability and Refund Policy Form.  Once students have been accepted, they will receive an automatic email informing them to complete their Physician’s certificate and upload it into the online system. No student should be allowed to travel with a program that has not provided a health form with a physician’s signature indicating the student is well enough to travel on the program.

2. Program Directors Meeting

All Program Directors are required to attend an annual meeting in the spring. We will cover new issues, procedures, emergency management, and review pre-departure steps. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

3. Pre-Departure Checklist

Program Directors should use the Pre-Departure Checklist to ensure all steps are complete as required by the Georgia State University Study Abroad Management Policies.

4. Emergency Pocket Brochure Template

Please complete a the template for an emergency pocket brochure for your students and email it to Dawn Foster a month in advance of departure. The template can be accessed here.

Final Steps

Once your program concludes, we’d love to hear about how it went! Sharing your successes and frustrations can be very helpful to us as we advise Program Directors.

Program Evaluation:

Study Abroad Programs will administer an online program evaluation. Students will automatically receive the evaluation after the program concludes. Evaluation results will be shared with the Program Director. The evaluation is a mandatory component of the Study Abroad Management Policies.

Also, don’t forget to tell your students about Crossing Paths, Crossing Cultures International Photo Competition. It’s a great way to further promote your program. The awards ceremony, held in the Fall, is also a perfect opportunity to have a reunion with your students. This event is also when our Program Director of the Year for the previous academic year is announced! Please join us and encourage your students to do the same! Check in with our office for details on the fair ceremony location and time.