Risk Management

Student Mobility Policy | International Partner Providers | International Partnerships (universities)Critical Incident Guidelines | Travel Policy | Foreign Interference | Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (SEAH) | Child Protection | Modern SlaveryEnvironmental and Social Safeguard | Compliance | Booking Travel SmartravellerUnderstanding Risk Assessments

If you are developing an overseas programs for students, you will be required to complete a Risk Assessment and consider the potential hazards, and the likelihood and impact of an event occurring. The  WSU Risk Assessment is required by the Australian Government and Western Sydney University, and must be completed prior to booking any travel.

After meeting with Go Global, the team will create a project portfolio on Microsoft (MS) Teams . The folder will include a partially populated Risk Assessment with risks and  existing controls.

  1. Program leaders are expected to consider the additional controls, specific to the host location
  2. On completion of the Risk Assessment, upload the to the Teams folder and notify the Western Sydney International Go Global team

Provided below are  some risks that can be found on the WSU Risk Assessment.


Health

Participants should consider things such as medical conditions that may be aggravated by travel, medications that may be difficult to obtain at the host destination, whether a prescription for medication is required and if it can be used overseas, whether the medication is legal in the host destination or a letter from a GP is required. Will the participants be travelling against the advice of a medical practitioner, or have all of the required vaccinations.

COVID-19

What are the risks of contracting COVID-19 and other illnesses? What strategies are there for reducing risk?

All participants, including students and staff, are required to uphold the recommendations provided by the WSU COVID-Safe Plan. All participants:

  1. Must take part in pre-departure training and be reminded of their responsibilities and the employment of safe practices;
  2. Must be advised to follow the advice of local authorities;
  3. If infected, are advised to isolate immediately and contact WSU and the in-country provider.

Highlight this requirement to participants during pre-departure information sessions.

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies. Whilst abroad, monitor conditions and follow the advice of local authorities.

Health Risks

What are the specific health risks for the host destination? Are vaccinations required? Will the participants need to take any medications? Do the participants need to have a certain level of fitness?  Do any of the participants have pre-existing health conditions?

Although participating in an overseas activity is exciting for participants, the activity may expose students and staff to serious health risks. Know the health risks so you can make informed choices about where you are going and what you do. When implementing the project, review the specific risks and provide this information to participants. Everyone has a different medical history. Participants should visit a doctor 6 to 12 weeks before departure and find out about vaccines and medications that may be required.

Information about health risks can be found by visiting Travel Doctor-TMVCSmartraveller, and the Australian Government's Department of Health websites.

Key Controls

  • WSU requires all project leaders to review the specific risks and provide information and pre-departure training to participants.
  • Participants are requested to visit a doctor 6 to 12 weeks before leaving Australia and find out about vaccines and medications that may require before and during the trip.
  • Participants are required to self-identify existing conditions in order to assess potential liabilities, remedies or contingencies

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies. Whilst abroad, monitor conditions and follow the advice of local authorities.

Vaccinations

What risks are there if the participants are not vaccinated?

All participants, including students and staff, must ensure that their vaccinations are up-to-date and that they are immunised against any disease before travelling to host location. Project leaders are required to highlight this requirement to participants prior to going abroad (e.g. during pre-departure briefings).

Highlight this requirement to participants during pre-departure information sessions.

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies. Whilst abroad, monitor conditions and follow the advice of local authorities.

Travelling with medications

Do any of the participants need to take personal medications or medical devices on the program? 

DFAT Advice: Travelling with medication and medical devices overseas can be complicated. Participants may have difficulties finding treatments or taking what they need on a flight. Some medications could be illegal in the host destination and locally-bought remedies can be poor  substitutes, counterfeit, or hard to find. See Travelling with Medications.

Key Controls

WSU requires project leaders to highlight risks to participants during pre-departure training and ensure they are not carrying prohibited medication to the host location.

Participants are requested to:

  • see a doctor or travel clinic for medical advice
  • learn about the local laws around medication
  • find out any cultural considerations about the medication or condition
  • pack enough medication to stay in good health for the trip
  • check whether the airline has restrictions on medical equipment or mobility aids
  • make emergency plans in case things go wrong

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies. Whilst abroad, monitor conditions and follow the advice of local authorities.

Mental Health

What attitude does the host location have towards mental illness? What happens if a participant suffers from mental illness?

  • According to the Australian Government’s Productivity Commission, 1 in 5 Australians suffer mental ill health each year. It is important to consider the host location and the attitude towards mental illness.
  • The Australian Government stresses that anyone travelling abroad is subject to foreign jurisdictions, which may view mental illness different from back at home. Consequently, it is important to thoroughly research the destination and determine if there are any concerns that may trigger mental health concerns - see Australian travellers with mental health conditions.

Key Controls

  • WSU requires that all project leaders, review the specific risks and provide information and pre-departure training to participants
  • Participants are required to self-identify existing conditions in order to assess potential liabilities, remedies or contingencies

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies. Whilst abroad, monitor conditions and follow the advice of local authorities.

Travel Insurance

Will the participants be covered by insurance?

Students and staff that travel overseas on approved University activities are covered by the corporate travel insurance policy for the official University component of their trip. This may include travel overseas for the purposes of placement, work experience, practicums, research, conferences, student exchange and study tours.

The University's travel insurance is limited and does not include personal travel or participating in extreme or high risk activities. See Overseas Travel Insurance.

Key Controls

  • The project will have an approved Learning Abroad Proposal that includes a strict itinerary that identifies hazards.
  • During pre-departure training, the project leader will emphasise  university policy, highlighting that participants are not permitted to engage in personal travel or high risk activities.
  • Participants are required to sign terms and conditions for participation in the overseas program

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location with International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies.

Environment

You should consider things such as exposure to climatic extremes (temperature and humidity), and exposure to hostile environments (deserts, jungles, snowfields etc.). exposure to domestic, wild or feral animals, exposure to venomous reptiles, insects, poisonous plants etc. and how far away medical attention is. whether your destination has a readily available source of reliable/safe drinking water, whether your destination has difficulty providing a reliable/safe supply of food (cooked and uncooked).

Climate and natural disasters

Does the host location experience natural disasters?

A disaster can happen anywhere, anytime. However, some destinations experience certain types of natural disasters more often. Before you go, find out what natural disasters are common in your destination. Know what you can do to be prepared. This helps reduce the impact on your health, safety and finances. Find out more.

Key Controls

WSU requires project leaders to review the host destination and to consider the environment and types of disasters that are common in the host destination. They are required to the impact on health, safety, and finances, and how this can be reducted.  Project leaders are required to highlight the risks to participants prior to going abroad and have an emergency critical incident response plan. All participants must be educated about risks and avoidance during  pre-departure information sessions.

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies. Whilst abroad, monitor conditions and follow the advice of local authorities.

Itinerary and Program Syllabus

What season will it be at the overseas location (spring, summer, autumn, winter, rainy or dry). How will this affect the itinerary? What is included in the itinerary? What are the learning goals for the program? Is the prospective location academically sound and culturally relevant? How will the program support the students’ personal and intercultural development?

Designing a program takes skill due to the inherent time restraints, quick pace, and special dynamics of group travel. To ensure success, it is important to have clearly defined curricular goals, academic standards, and onsite logistics planned long before departure.  A well-planned program will successfully incorporate academic content with daily or weekly excursions, lectures, and site visits. The syllabus should clearly explain the subject, expectations, and how the students will be evaluated.

A poorly planned program can be exhausting for students and staff. Try to avoid burnout by scheduling free time, as well as frequent opportunities for the students to de-brief their observations and reactions to the cultures they are experiencing. Make sure that you have enough time in your itinerary for travelling between venues and balance your activities appropriately, e.g. do not plan three gallery visits in one day. In addition, pay attention to the seasons and make sure you are travelling at the right time of the year.

Key Controls

WSU requires project leaders to review the host destination and to consider the itinerary and the appropriate time to hold a program. The itinerary can be affected by the weather, national holidays, or other events. In addition, program leaders are to required consider the academic calendar and student assessments.

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies.

Tours and adventure activities

What types of excursions or field activities, will be incorporated into the program? Will students engage in independent activities?

DFAT Advice: "Australians love sport and adventure, both locally and overseas. Whether you’re crossing the ditch to ski, hiking the Himalayas or strolling the Camino de Santiago, make sure you’re informed and prepared before you go". Find out more.

Wildlife safety

Will the participants be exposed to any dangerous wildlife?

Depending on the host location, some locations have dangerous wildlife, ranging from monkeys biting and stealing from tourists, to tigers attacking and killing people. Find out more about the specific host destination.

Key Controls

All Learning Abroad projects require an approved Learning Abroad Proposal and Risk Assessment that identifies risks and prevents participants from engaging in hazardous activities.

All students and staff must be educated about risks and avoidance during pre-departure training and arrival orientation sessions.

Accommodation

You should consider things such as difficulty obtaining adequate commercial accommodation, location of accommodation, transfer to accommodation, sanitation.

Health and Safety

Where the participants live during the program, will have a large impact on the overseas experience. Where will participants stay during the program? Is the accommodation safe?

Key Controls

Program leaders are required to provide participants with accommodation in safe areas with appropriate health and safety standards. The leader must consider the itinerary and the accommodation providers’ health and safety record, including security, emergency plans and evacuation procedures.

Pre-book accommodation in safe areas with appropriate health and safety standards. Get advice about your itinerary from a preferred third party provider or partner university.

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies.

Cultural

You should consider things such as local laws, religion, customs, culture. Do you speak the local language. Will you be taking photographs, is this permitted? Dress requirements?

Local Laws

What local laws and penalties are specific to the host destination?

When travelling overseas, participants subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Similar to living in Australia, ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law. It is the responsibility of participants to research and understand the laws, codes of dress and behaviour, and the penalties for the host destination - see Learn the Local Laws.

Key Controls

WSU requires that all project leaders, review the specific risks and provide information and pre-departure training to participants.

  • Participants are requested to research and understand the laws and penalties for the host destination:
  • Local laws may reflect the local religion and customs. Learning about, and respecting, the local religion can help you stay within the law.
  • Medication could be illegal. Even with an Australian prescription, participants could be arrested.
  • Authorities may apply the law inconsistently.
  • Some conservative countries discriminate against certain populations including women and LGBTI travellers.
  • Bribery, under any name, is illegal. Don't give anything to an overseas official in return for special treatment.
  • Understand the local codes of dress and behaviour

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies.

Local Customs

Failure to understand local practice could result in embarrassing situations, loss of reputation, prison,  life threatening situations, and litigation.

Key Controls

Program leaders are required to research and highlight local customs to participants during predeparture training. Participants need to be aware and pre-empt any expectations including traditions, beliefs, values, food, drink and alcohol. Major areas of areas of cultural difference could also include etiquette, discrimination, gender, sex, religion, and languages.

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies.

Knowledge of the Host Location

What experience do you have in the host location? Have you explored and physically visited the potential site?

Key Controls

Before implementing a program, a valuable exercise is to conduct a site visit to evaluate the host country's services, on-site logistics, health and safety, transportation, housing and many other elements. Conducting a site visit also provides a good opportunity to collect materials specific for promotion and pre-departure sessions.

To support the project, you may wish to consider utilising a partner university or approved international partner provider. Before commencing the project, all partners and providers must pass the University's due diligence process. For more information see Program Models and Partnerships

Additional Risk Controls

Utilise an approved international partner or provider. Review location and project with International SOS.

Infrastructure

You should consider things such as whether it is easy to obtain help from local emergency services, ease of access to adequate medical care. Is the local power supply reliable. What level of safety standards applies at your destination. IS there mobile phone coverage where you will be working, will contact (via phone, fax, email etc.) be possible?

Local emergency services

What are the medical and emergency services like in the host destination?

Key Controls
Project leaders are required to research the host destination and ensure that all participants have access to treatment and medical care. Emergency and critical incident plans must be in place prior to departure.

Additional Risk Controls

Review the host location on Smartraveller, with the overseas partner, and International SOS. Seek further advice and implement any additional mitigation strategies.

Lockdowns

What are the risks of lockdowns or curfews due to COVID 19 or other incidents?

Key Controls

Research and ensure the host location is not at risks of lockdowns or curfews - see  Smartraveller. If at risk, postpone or cancel program.

Additional Risk Controls

Review host location with an approved international partner or provider. Consult with International SOS.

Work Environment

You should consider things such as working in confined spaces, working with or exposure to hazardous substances or dangerous goods (radiation sources), are you working with plant, industrial, agricultural or other potentially dangerous equipment, the availability of appropriate PPE. You should also includes activities you will be doing during this period and the associated risks (include details of training, certificates, equipment etc.).

Work Placement Risk and Agreements

Since there are risks associated with work environments, a risk assessment should be implemented to create positive and safe off campus learning experiences. Although each school and departments have distinct learning objectives, there are common challenges with all work experiences. As a result a best practice plan should have the following features:

  • Be sure that staff and students understand their roles and responsibilities
  • Understand and apply risk reduction techniques
  • Engage with the Placement Hub and ensure the right contract is in place for the overseas experience.

Transportation

You should consider things such as whether local public transport is reliable and safe, if using ferries or charter vessels are they reliable / safe. Are local airlines reliable / safe? If you are driving are you familiar with local road rules and practices, you should consider things like loss of luggage.

Visas

  • What type of visa will participants require when participating in the program?
    • A travel visa is an official government document that temporarily authorises a non-citizen to enter and temporarily remain in a country. A visa is usually a stamp, sticker, or card that is placed in a passport and is checked when entering a country. As a program leader, you will need to consider the type of visa required for the overseas program. Depending on the experience or location, visa processing can sometimes take many months. Therefore, it is important to contemplate visas when developing a timeline. In addition, be aware that prospective participants in the program will have different backgrounds, such as places of birth and/or citizenship. Due to different circumstances, this may affect visa requirements.
    • Key Controls
      • Staff employed by the Australian Government or Western Sydney University are not permitted to provide direct advice to participants about visas.
      • All participants will be educated about risks during pre-departure sessions. Ultimately the individual participant is responsible for determining with the appropriate consulate(s) if they have the correct visa and requirements for the country(s) they are entering, well in advance of travel. Only the embassy or consulate for the host location(s) can provide up-to-date information about visa requirements. This information may change constantly.
      • Participants are required to sign terms and conditions for participation in the overseas program

Passports

  • Do the participants have valid passports?
    • Prior to travelling abroad, all participants require a valid passport with more than 6 months until expiration from the date of return. For further information see the Australian Passport Office or  the relevant foreign consulate (non-citizens / international students).
  • Key Controls
    • All participants will be educated about requiring a valid passport during the application and pre-departure sessions.
    • Project leader or support staff will check passports during the selection process.
    • Participants are required to sign terms and conditions for participation in the overseas program.

Local transportation

  • After arriving in country, how will the participants be transported to accommodation or other venues? Will you be driving? Are you competent or have the correct licence? 
    • Although public transport is a cost effective and convenient way of travelling overseas, there may be challenges. Get to know the specific risks for the host destination and how to mitigate any liabilities. See Public Transport. In case of last minute changes, make sure that you have a robust, yet flexible itinerary.
    • To alleviate challenges, it is highly recommended that project leaders consider engaging with a WSU preferred provider or partner university. see Guidelines for Developing Instructor-Led Short Programs.
  • Key Controls
    • Program leader engages with a preferred third party provider or partner university to assist in planning and managing the program. Before commencing the project, all partners and providers must pass the University's due diligence process.
    • During pre-departure training, the project leader will emphasise  university policy, highlighting that participants are not permitted to engage in personal travel or high risk activities.
    • Participants are required to sign terms and conditions for participation in the overseas program.

Security

DFAT Risk Rating

  • How safe is the proposed destination? What is the current DFAT Travel Advice?
    • To guide Australians and avoid difficulties overseas, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) maintains travel advisories on Smartraveller for more than 170 destinations. The Smartraveller advisories assist people in making informed decisions and highlight the risks that could be faced in host location(s). Smartraveller includes information about security, safety, health, local laws, or natural disasters. The advisories also highlight areas that are clearly not safe for travel.
    • Smartraveller has 4 levels of risk.
      • Level 1 – Exercise normal safety precautions
      • Level 2 – Exercise a high degree of caution
      • Level 3 – Reconsider your need to travel
      • Level 4 – Do not travel
    • Further information about these precautions can be found on Travel Advice Explained.
  • Key Controls
    • If the risk rating for a host location is Level 3 or above, the program must be reviewed for cancellation or stricter measures must be implemented to reduce the likelihood of any hazards occurring. Contact the Manager, Short Mobility for further advice.

Terrorism

  • Is the host location prone to terrorism?
    • Terrorism remains a threat to Australians living and travelling overseas. Many terrorist groups have demonstrated the intent and capability to undertake attacks, including against Australian interests. Find out more.
  • Key Controls
    • A Learning Abroad project must have an approved Proposal and Risk Assessment that: 
      • Considers the level of security at the destination
      • Avoid locations that are possible terrorist targets
      • Have a clear emergency and critical incident response plan
      • Train students and staff
      • All participants will be educated about risks and avoidance during pre-departure training
    • Contact the Manager, Short Mobility for further advice.

Civil unrest and political tension

  • Is the host location prone to civil unrest and political tension?
    • Civil unrest is conflict between different groups of people living in the same country. It can be peaceful or violent. It can range in scale from a few people at a small local rally, to a large demonstration with 1000s of people. Find out more.
  • Key Controls
    • A Learning Abroad project must have an approved Proposal and Risk Assessment that: 
      • Considers the level of security at the destination
      • Avoid locations that may have civil unrest or political tensions.
      • Have a clear emergency and critical incident response plan
      • Train students and staff
      • All participants will be educated about risks and avoidance during pre-departure training
    • Contact the Manager, Short Mobility for further advice.

Crime

  • What are the common crimes in the host location?
    • Before going overseas, you need to be aware of some of common crimes in the host country. Find out more about what to do if a participant is a victim of a crime overseas.
  • Key Controls
    • WSU requires that all project leaders, review the specific risks and have an emergency and critical incident response plan
    • All participants will be educated about potential crimes and avoidance during pre-departure training
    • Participants are to abstain from travelling alone, even in major cities and tourist sites

Program Design

Excursions and extra-curricular activities

  • What types of excursions or field activities, will be incorporated into the program? Will participants engage in independent activities?
  • There are a number of different types of excursions or field activities that you could incorporate into a Learning Abroad activity. These include:
    • Academic Excursions: These outings are related to themes of the course and have a clear academic purpose which is communicated to the students. The program leaders accompanying the students facilitate the learning.
    • Orientation Excursions: These usually occur during the first days for the program and are designed to help students adapt to their new surroundings. Examples included guided tours through the immediate neighbourhood or city.
    • Recreational Excursions: These could be inexpensive side trips for tourism or recreational purposes. Longer or more expensive options should generally be optional and at the student’s expense. The program budget should only reflect academic excursions.
    • Field Assignments: In addition to excursions, leaders should incorporate structured field assignments into their program. Field assignments are an important variety of active learning. The analysis of the experience may be individual (a written report), team (oral report to the class), or the full class (group discussion, or a written report to which each student contributes one part.

Academic recognition

  • Will the students be enrolled in a Western unit or receive unspecified credit? What is the value of the overseas short program?
    • On average, standard Instructor-Led Programs have a value of 10 Credit Points and the duration of the trip would between 2 and 3 weeks. This is the norm, however there are short programs that could last up to 10 weeks and have the value of 40 Credit Points.
    • A Credit Point is the numerical value given to a unit that indicates the total contribution required to complete a course. At Western Sydney University the standard workload for one session is four units (40 Credit Points) with most units valued at 10 Credit Points each. The average 10 Credit unit requires approximately 3-4 hours of face-to-face teaching each week, not including additional work outside of this instruction.
    • A useful way of determining the academic value for an Instructor-Led Program is to arrange the itinerary in a grid and record the number of academic hours for each day. Depending on the nature of the program, academic hours can be mapped to the program outcomes and could include pre-departure, arrival and post-departure instruction; lectures at overseas universities, on the bus, in the field or at work sites; assignments, readings, and journals; independent exploration etc.
    • A well-designed program will take full advantage of the cultural opportunities and local idiosyncrasies and thread these into the itinerary.
    • Important: Students that are not eligible for academic credit, are disqualified from receiving OS-HELP or NCP mobility grants.

Academic calendar

  • Will the program be offered during the mid-year or end-of-year breaks? Will the timing of the program coincide with student assessments? What season will it be at the overseas location (spring, summer, autumn, winter, rainy or dry)? Will the program be offered to students that are studying in their last semester?
    • Deciding on the right time to hold a program, is very important. The itinerary can be affected by the weather, national holidays, or other events.
    • Individual students considering the program may be affected by their year of study (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), e.g. eligibility for OS-HELP, or complications with graduation. For students participating in 3 year degrees, the ideal time for students to participate in a program is usually from second year to the middle of third year.

Budgeting and Program Cost

  • Who creates and approves the budget? What are the costs? How much are students willing to pay for this opportunity? How will the opportunity be resourced and financed? Will low enrolment or lack of interest affect the program cost? What does the program fee include (credits, flights, meals, excursions, transportation, visas)? How will you pay for goods and services while abroad?
    • Creating a budget for your program is a critical step in planning. The program leader, in consultation with the School/Institute is responsible for creating a program budget and assuming all financial risk associated with the study tour. The budget process will help you determine the financial viability of the program and the students' program fee. The program fee must cover all program expenses.
    • To determine the financial viability of a program, experiment with the Worksheets found in the Proposal for a Global Learning Project. Try dividing your costs with several different participation numbers and see what impact it will have on the budget. It is better to set the fee higher, rather than overestimating the participation rate and not having enough money to cover program expenses.
    • Please keep in mind that when you are promoting an opportunity, the final cost must be clear, accurate and not misleading to students. It is illegal to make claims about goods or services that are incorrect or likely to create a false impression.
    • During this process it is highly recommended that the overall cost is not intentionally reduced to save money while also diminishing the quality of the program and put at risk the safety of participants and the reputation of the University. Setting a fee that is too low in an effort to make the program look more attractive to students will lead to financial hardships for your School/Institute.

Financial Assistance for Students

  • Is there any financial help to assist students to participate in a program?
    • OS-HELP: a large majority of student mobility experiences are funded by OS-HELP, a deferred HELP debt loan for undergraduate Australian citizens undergraduate or postgraduate students enrolled in a Commonwealth Supported Place who want to undertake some of their study overseas. Loans over $8,000 are available. Academic approval is required; have completed 80 credit points of study, and have 10 credit points remaining on return. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation and other travel or study expenses. Students can access a total of two OS-HELP loans over their lifetime. The debt has the same repayment conditions as HECS-HELP and are indexed accordingly.
    • New Colombo Plan: The New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program provides funding to Australian universities and consortia to support Australian undergraduate students to participate in semester-based or short-term study, internships, mentorships, practicums and research in 40 host locations across the Indo-Pacific region. Mobility projects must attract course credit or fulfil mandatory course requirements. Short-term grants up to $3,000 per Student are available. Projects must have a minimum duration of two weeks.

Travel Insurance

  • Do students or staff need to pay for travel insurance?
    • Students that travel overseas on approved University activities are covered by the corporate travel insurance policy for the official University component of their trip. This may include travel overseas for the purposes of placement, work experience, practicums, research, conferences, student exchange and study tours. Please note this cover is limited and does not include personal travel or participating in extreme or high risk activities.
    • It is advised that you visit the Overseas Travel Insurance webpage and review the information and policy provided on this site. You should find out what it does and doesn't cover before departure.
    • Before travelling abroad all participants (students and staff) should Download World Travel Protection Card
    • If you experience a medical or security problem while travelling, you are encouraged to contact Customer Care (see What to Do in an Emergency below).
    • For more information or enquiries regarding insurance, please see the contact details on the Overseas Travel Insurance webpage.

Booking flights

All group travel must be booked through the University Travel and Expense Management System (TEMS). See Western Sydney University Travel. For further advice about booking travel for students, contact the Western Sydney University Travel Team (opens in a new window).

Program Administration and Partnerships

  • How will the program be administered? Who is responsible for each task during the program life cycle? Will you be leading the students abroad independently or will the program be supported by partner universities, third party providers or local experts? Will your program be sufficiently staffed to achieve learning goals and respond to emergencies? Are contracts required and what form of due diligence is in place?
    • When developing a project, it is important to clarify who is responsible for the overall management of a program, the day-to-day administration, and logistics in-country. There are a number of ways a program can be delivered. For more information see Program Models and Partnerships.

Program Models and Partnerships

What type of model should be used?

When developing an oversees project, an important consideration is the type of model that will be utilised.

  • How will the program be administered?
  • Who is responsible for each task during the program life cycle.
  • Will you be leading the students abroad independently or will the program be supported by overseas partners, third party providers or local experts?
  • Will your program be sufficiently staffed to achieve learning goals and respond to emergencies?
  • Are contracts required and what form of due diligence is in place?

There are a number of ways a program can be delivered.

Partner Model

These Learning Abroad projects are organised and managed by a partner university or organisation, located in Australia or overseas.  Depending on the agreement, the institution may provide pre-departure, airport pick up, student support, in-country transport, accommodation, and more. Some partners can also lend a hand in the development of programs, arranging work placements and site visits to areas of interest, develop cultural excursions and more. Depending on the program design, Western staff may or may not accompany the students overseas. The Partner Institution Model requires a formal agreement between Western Sydney University and the external university.

Third Party Model

Some projects utilise Third Party Providers (TPP). The core business of a Third Party Provider is the design and management of overseas programs. These organisations can provide 'off-the shelf' opportunities or can tailor a project to your specifications, incorporating many additional activities such as industry visits, expert lecturers, and complimentary travel and accommodation for staff. Depending on the program model, Western staff may or may not accompany the students overseas. If you decide to engage with a provider, there must be a Preferred Provider Agreement or equivalent in place.

Instructor-Led Model

A 'pure' Instructor-Led model means that the prospective leader takes full responsibility for every aspect of the program, with no support from a partner institution or third party provider. Apart from academic content, the leader is accountable for the operational aspects such as arranging accommodation, in-country transport, industry visits and more.

If this model is adapted, it is good practice to have a staff to student ratio of 10:1. Further, to deal with an emergency situation, all programs should have a minimum of 2 project leaders, a leader and a deputy.

Short programs require extensive knowledge and resources and unless you are a highly experienced leader, it is recommended that you take advantage of the mixed model which includes utilising partner institutions and third party providers.

Mixed Model

This is the most common and usually the safest method for delivering a program. Program leaders concentrate on different aspects of program delivery, including the academic content, whilst the partner(s) provides logistical support.

Global Learning Logistics Worksheet

To help formulate the logistical roles and the type of model you wish to utilise, use the Global Learning Logistics Worksheet.

Working with External Partners and Mitigating Risk

It is extremely important that each partner is thoroughly investigated and the right agreements are in place.  Western Sydney International (WSI) is the central point to manage the establishment for all international agreements and maintains ongoing partnerships with institutions and providers around the world – see WSU student International Mobility Policy. WSI can help identify prospective partners, whilst ensuring the correct due diligence process has been followed. If you would like to develop an opportunity with an external organisation, it is advised that you reach out to the Manager Short Term Mobility in Western Sydney International (WSI)  goglobal@westernsydney.edu.au for further advice - book a consultation: wsiconsultation.youcanbook.me. If a new agreement is required, extensive due diligence is required. See the following webpages:

Commercial Agreements

If the overseas program includes a commercial arrangement, an additional contract is usually required. The contract must:

  • Be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel. For legal services, use the online request form. You will need to attach all relevant documentation related to the request, as well as Dean/Director approval to approach the Office of General Counsel for advice on this matter.
  • Progress through the University Procurement Process. Please consult with your School/Institute Manager or Management Accountant.

The program leader in consultation with the School/Institute is responsible for creating a program budget and assuming all financial risk associated with a Learning Abroad activity.

Student Recruitment

Student Interest and Demand

  • Have you surveyed or gauged interest from students about the prospective program or host location? What is your Value Proposition? What academic relevance does this location have?
    • Each year a number of overseas programs at Western are postponed or cancelled due to low demand or competing activities. Students may not find the opportunity appealing, be able to afford the experience, or have the time or ability to participate due to work commitments.

Promotion

  • How will the program be promoted? What techniques will be used? Who will be doing the advertising? What is the timeline advertising and selecting students?
    • Program leaders are responsible for promoting and recruiting students for their program.
    • Western Sydney International will support the promotion of a programs that have been approved by the appropriate delegates and the correct due diligence process has been followed.
    • Contact Manager, Short Mobility for expert advice and support. The International Office can develop efficient processes for Learning Abroad projects.

Selecting Students

  • How will you select the students? Will students need to complete an Expression of Interest? What will be the selection criteria - a GPA requirement, Short answers, interviews?
  • There are many different methods used to evaluate students for an overseas experience. This may include assessing academic achievement, Grade Point Average, a statement of purpose, knowledge about a country or program etc.
  • Contact Manager, Short Mobility for expert advice and support. The International Office can develop efficient processes for Learning Abroad projects.

Further Information

See Guidelines for Developing Overseas Programs for Students.

Contact Us

If you require any assistance, contact the Manager Short Term Mobility.