Study Abroad Liaison Resource Handbook
This handbook is meant to be a helpful tool for Study Abroad Liaisons. It includes some information on your role, timelines, resources, and ways to connect with the Office of Study Abroad. For more complicated issues or questions you can always feel free to reach out to a member of the Office of Study Abroad staff.
Overview of Liaison Responsibilities
- Serve as an academic advising resource to students regarding how courses taken abroad may or may not fulfill requirements
- Advise students and review their Courses Abroad forms during the application process and complete Substitution request forms upon return from abroad.
- Be aware of study abroad application deadlines, programs, and resources.
Mission and Philosophy of the Office of Study Abroad
The Office of Study Abroad helps students live and learn in a new and different cultural context as part of their Brandeis education. The staff of the Office of Study Abroad assist students in accessing educational experiences that foster their development as global citizens through cultural, academic, and linguistic immersion. Aligned with the core Brandeis mission to center social justice, we strive to provide students with opportunities to learn about global inequality and structural social injustices in order to engage as active citizens in our multicultural world. We are committed to assisting any student with a desire to go abroad in finding an opportunity that aligns with their personal, professional, and academic goals. We believe and actively promote the notion that a student’s identity, financial background, and/or academic discipline should not be a barrier to an educational experience abroad.
What We Do
The Office of Study Abroad, a constituent office of Global Brandeis, works to ensure that study abroad is a fully integrated aspect of students’ academic careers at Brandeis University. We oversee a range of opportunities and programming, including:
- Advising undergraduate students on international and domestic programs that earn academic credit, both during the academic year and summer*.
- Supporting students through all phases of the study abroad process, from inquiry to returning from abroad.
- Creating programming to best support student needs while abroad. Examples include: Pre-Departure orientation, Year Abroad, Queer Abroad, Black and Abroad, I Am Study Abroad, Finance and Scholarship Workshops, among others.
- Administering the annual Brandeis-Run Study Abroad Programs in Denmark, Italy, and Mexico by working with onsite staff and Brandeis faculty to provide a Brandeis academic experience abroad
- Overseeing health and safety for students studying abroad, including close collaboration with overseas partners to monitor on-the-ground situations and support student needs abroad.
- Managing global exchange partnerships, which includes providing support to incoming undergraduate exchange students on campus each year.
- Providing advising and support to Brandeis Midyears interested in attending one of our global partnership programs prior to matriculation at Brandeis.
- Partnering with academic departments and faculty to align study abroad with department goals.
- In collaboration with the Registrar’s Office and academic departments, reviewing, monitoring, and processing credit from abroad.
- Supporting students upon return to campus.
- Acknowledging the continued prioritization of diversity, equity, and inclusion work in international education and committing to continuously re-visiting our Anti-Racism plan and goals to best support all students.
*Summer domestic options go through the Registrar’s Office for approval.
- All students, regardless of background, should have the opportunity to study abroad.
- Reflection on identity abroad is a key part of the advising process, and students should have tools available to reflect on how their own identities will be shared and perceived while abroad and how to navigate shifts in their understanding of their identities while abroad
- All students should be cognizant of the impact of colonization and Western influences in their chosen study abroad location and center themselves as learners in a new place.
- Students should have the option to attend non-Western programs that center anti-racist curriculum and are encouraged to study abroad in environments unlike the ones from which they come.
- Office of Study Abroad staff should continually reflect on white supremacy culture within the field of international education, seek new and challenging professional development opportunities related to anti-Racism work, and constantly be re-evaluating our Anti-Racism plans to best support students.
Study Abroad Staff
Alisha Cardwell, Director of Study Abroad
firstname.lastname@example.org; she, her, hers
Contact Alisha for:
- Advising for students last name A–D.
- Transfer credit questions.
- Concerns about a student abroad or planning to study abroad.
- Programming for your department/program.
Ari Massefski, Assistant Director of Study Abroad
email@example.com; he, him, his
Contact Ari for:
- Advising for students last name N–Z.
- Discussing existing Brandeis-Led Programs and the process of proposing a Brandeis-Led Program.
- Questions related to the fall Midyear programs.
- Information about incoming exchange students.
Ashley Trebisacci, Assistant Director of Study Abroad
firstname.lastname@example.org; she, they
Contact Ashley for:
- Advising for students last name E–M.
- Questions around scholarships and diversity-related topics.
- Programming for your department/program.
- Collaborating with Study Abroad Ambassadors.
Contact Erica for:
- Lists of students and statistical information of study abroad students.
- Any questions for which you're unsure of who to contact.
- Distributing information to students.
Study Abroad Ambassadors
Study Abroad Ambassadors are peer advisors who help advise students, market study abroad, and represent study abroad around campus.
Contact Ashley Trebisacci to work with an Ambassador for:
- UDR Events
- Meet the Majors
- Classroom Visits
- Learn more about this year's Ambassadors here!
Timeline and Deadlines
September and October
- #BrandeisAbroad Study Abroad Fair -- all liaisons are invited to attend
- The Office of Study Abroad reaches out to departments for virtual classroom visits and collaborative programming.
- Returning academic year, spring, and summer students will be submitting their Petitions to Substitute a Requirement. Study Abroad will host a mandatory re-entry orientation for returning students where we review transfer credit, adjustment, and more.
- I Am Global Week: a week planned by the International Students and Scholars Office that highlights the international nature of campus through academic and cultural program and events.
- Study abroad will plan a mandatory virtual pre-departure program for students departing for a spring semester abroad.
- Liaisons may see the start of increased advising. During this period, students will reach out to you about their “Courses Abroad” virtual form if they want any courses they plan to take abroad to fulfill a major/minor requirement.
- New Program Approval Deadline -- the deadline for new programs to be approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
- Students are encouraged to open their study abroad applications before winter break.
- January will be one of the busiest months for advising and signing "Courses Abroad" forms.
- I Love Study Abroad Week! This is a week of student panels, information tables across campus, and more.
- Students returning from abroad will be submitting their Petitions to Substitute a Requirement form. Study Abroad will host a mandatory re-entry orientation for returning students where we review transfer credit, adjustment, and more.
February & March
- Liaisons may continue to see student requests for appointments until the deadline.
- March 1 – Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Academic Year 23-24, and Summer 2023 Application Deadline
- Study Abroad will plan a pre-departure program for students departing for the summer, fall and academic year terms.
Collaborating With the Office of Study Abroad
- Events, Programs Classroom Visits
- Romance Languages Meet the Majors events
- Faculty advising at some of our evening programs
- Visits from staff or student leaders to talk about the impact of study abroad on students’ academics during the beginning of class
- We can attend these virtually.
- New Program Review
- If you or one of your students has found a program not currently on our approved list, please connect with our office to explore this program.
- Program Development
- To learn more about proposing or developing programs for Brandeis students, please review this website.
- Major/Minor Webpages
- A work in progress that exists as a collaboration between your departments/programs and our office. Pages can be updated or created by contacting Erica Martinson.
- Providing Student Data
- Please contact email@example.com for a list of students who have been abroad or are going abroad. We provide these automatically at the beginning of each semester.
- Serving on a Study Abroad Committee
- Undergraduate Committee for Study and Research Abroad – help select and administer the Sachar Study Abroad Scholarship Awards. Contact Ashley Trebisacci for more information.
Policies to Know
Below are some common policies that students often have questions about. This is not an all-encompassing list but more of a FAQ. You can find more information about eligibility and application requirements on our website and at our online FAQ.
Approved List of Programs: The Office of Study Abroad manages the UCC approved list of study abroad programs. If a student is interested in a program not on this list, they need to propose the program to the Office of Study Abroad who will vet the program and, if appropriate, submit a petition to the UCC on their behalf. The deadline to approve a new program is in December for academic year programs (including fall and spring semesters) and in January for the summer term. The approved list is available here under the "List All" tab.
Language Requirements: While many programs vary in their requirements for language preparation, Brandeis does have a minimum language requirement for four languages. For French, Hebrew, Italian, and Spanish, Brandeis students are required to have taken the equivalent of the first two semesters of the language before studying in a country that speaks that language as a majority language. This requirement only applies to the fall, spring, and academic year and does not apply to languages other than those listed.
GPA Requirements: Fall, spring, and academic year students are required to have a cumulative GPA of a 3.0. This is meant to ensure that students will be able to succeed academically in a new environment. The 3.0 requirement is a Brandeis requirement, although some programs have higher GPA requirements or individual major/department GPA requirements. There is no GPA requirement for summer study abroad but many programs have a minimum GPA.
Residency Requirements: To be eligible for a semester or academic year of study abroad, students must be a member of the junior class or a first-semester senior and must return to Brandeis for at least one semester at an eligible rate of work in order to receive credit. This means that most students apply to study abroad during their sophomore year. There are no residency requirements for summer study abroad but there is a maximum amount of credit a student can transfer to the university, from all external sources, and that is 16 transfer credits.
- First Steps
- Brandeis-Run Programs
- Approved Affiliated Programs
- Resources for Abroad
- Health, Wellness, and Safety
- Returning to Brandeis
- For Families
- For Faculty
- About Us
Brandeis Study Abroad Account
Usdan 169, MS 073
415 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453