Learning Abroad Center

Leader Health Information & FAQ

Program Leader Health Process

In an effort to make this travel experience a positive and engaging educational experience for faculty/staff Leaders and participants, the Learning Abroad Center has prepared a brief synopsis of the essential functions for Program Leaders. The purpose of this information is two fold: (1) to adequately provide leaders with concrete informational about the physical, social, and sensory requirements of the job and (2) to provide a format that allows for a discussions of needed accommodations for your successful travel and leadership of this activity. 

Essential functions include:

  • attendance at mandatory pre-departure orientations and meetings;
  • 24-7 availability for the term of the program (the details of this differ by program but student emergencies rarely happen during the business days);
  • ability to manage the teaching requirements for the course in addition to the student service requirements;
  • maintain contact with the UMN education abroad office/sponsor unit through out the program;
  • report all behavior and health/safety incidents to the UMN education abroad office/sponsor unit and consult on required response;
  • participate fully in all aspects of the program.

The Learning Abroad Center and the Disability Resource Center work collaboratively to facilitate equal access for faculty and staff with disabilities or medical conditions seeking to lead an education abroad experience and to provide information on accessibility at overseas sites. The Disability Resource Center, UReturn, is the office designated to serve all employees (including faculty and staff) with any disability or medical condition requiring reasonable accommodation(s). The Accommodation process is an interactive process and will allow the LAC and on-site partners to assist in appropriate planning and reasonable accommodations and to facilitate support in program implementation and emergency response.e.

Program Leader Health FAQs

  1. Are you currently taking any medications (prescriptions, over-the-counter)? Consider how you will be able to access your medication while abroad. Depending on the length of your program, you might have to ask special permission from your insurance and/or doctor to receive medication for the full term of your program. You might be surprised to learn that many drugs that are legal in the US, including those commonly available over-the-counter, are illegal abroad. Review the US State Department Traveler's Checklist. Also consider refrigeration needs and any needles or other equipment you will require to access your medication.
  2. Do you have any health conditions (emotional, physical or sensory) that may impact your ability to be successful in leading a program abroad?
    The job of Program Leader for an overseas program is one of long hours and returned Program Leaders report that they were surprised by how tired and run down they felt. Those leaders with health conditions are advised to take extra care to consider the risks and foreseeable interruptions in their work that might result in order to work with the Learning Abroad Center to reduce the risks. See Mobility International's Travel Abroad resources.
  3. What are the possible budgetary implications for any of your health needs or accommodations?
    The Learning Abroad Center is dedicated to assisting Program Leaders in planning for a successful experience abroad. It is important that you consider not only student, but also your own, needs when building the program budget with your Learning Abroad Center contact.
  4. Are there valuable academic activities that you would be unable to participate in but you would like to include for students? Would accommodations allow you to participate?
    Program Leaders must participate in all Program activities with the students. However, if you are unable to participate or need special accommodations to participate, the Learning Abroad Center looks forward to working with you to come to a mutually agreed upon solution.