Guidelines for Developing International Short Programs

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Welcome to Western Sydney University’s guidelines for planning, developing, and implementing overseas short programs for students. Thanks to the dedication of many staff at Western, there are a multitude of experiences available for students to travel and experience first-hand what it is like to live, learn and work in another country.

What is an Overseas Short Program?

A short program could include one or more of the following components;

  • Subjects at an overseas university
  • Work experience: internships, placements or volunteering
  • Instructor-led (also known as Faculty-Led or Study Tours)
  • Research
  • Site visits
  • Excursions
  • Conferences
  • Competitions and more

Students can participate in these activities independently or a program may be instructor-led (managed and led by university staff).

Visit the Western Students Go Global to view current opportunities.

How do I create an Overseas Short Program?

1. Create your concept

  • Consider the desired features and challenges your prospective program may have: locations, time periods, costs, risks, academic recognition, promotion, in-country logistics, partnerships, legal agreements and more. To help with your ideas, see Conceptualisation

2. Schedule a meeting with Western Sydney International (WSI)

  • To schedule a meeting with WSI, complete the Short Program Questionnaire. WSI will provide further advice about the prospective program which may include information about partnerships, providers, legal requirements, budgets and resourcing.
  • Who is Western Sydney International (WSI)?

3. Seek initial endorsement from your School/Institute

Seek initial endorsement from your School/Institute. The International Office will notify the Academic Unit (School/Institute), requesting initial endorsement for the proposed program. The Academic Unit will need to consider University objectives and resourcing.

4. Submit a Learning Abroad Proposal

  • If the concept is endorsed by your Academic Unit, a comprehensive Learning Abroad Proposal (or equivalent Academic Unit documentation)  is required for approval by the University. The Proposal should include an itinerary, budget, and risk assessment. It is advised that prospective leaders seek further advice from their Academic Unit about any additional processes.
  • If a third party provider is involved in the management of the proposed program, the organisation must have completed the Third Party Global Provider Due Diligence process and entered an agreement with the University. Where the partnership involves a commercial arrangement, the provider may be required to enter into a contract with the Academic Unit. The Office of General Counsel must be advised of this fact and be involved in the preparation or review of the contract documentation prior to signing – see Purchase requisitions and contracts

5. Implement the program

  • If the Learning Abroad Proposal is approved, it’s time to implement the program and take the students abroad. This implementation stage includes a number of important tasks:
    • promotion of the program
    • recruiting and selecting students
    • booking transport and accommodation
    • providing pre-departure training for students and staff
    • organising in-country logistics and more
  • Every short program is different and each task will differ depending on the type of model utilised.

6. Return Home and Evaluate the Program

  • Return Home and Evaluate the Program. The aim of this stage is to determine the performance and level of achievement.
    • Were the the objectives met?
    • What were the challenges?
    • What can be improved?
    • Will the program be sustainable?
    • Reconsider the original Conceptualisation
  • If the program was successful and you would like to manage another opportunity, it’s time to start planning immediately for the next trip.

I've already received approval to implement a short program, what do I do next?

If you have an approved Learning Abroad Proposal or equivalent Academic Unit documentation (see Step 4 above), visit the Implementation webpage. This site includes information about advertising, selecting students, pre-departure training and more.


Throughout these guidelines are video interviews from Western staff sharing their knowledge about developing opportunities and leading students abroad. Feel free to watch these videos and gain valuable insights into implementing overseas short programs.

Further information and support

Main Contacts

Manager, Short-Term Mobility
Steven McDonald

Western Sydney International, Go Global
Phone: (02) 9685 9847 / 0447612523

Administrative Assistant, Government and Mobility Programs
Nancy Go
Western Sydney International, Go Global
Phone: (02) 9685 9969