Marauders Abroad Programs

The Office of International Programs and Services (IPS) welcomes faculty and staff who are interested in designing and implementing MAPS: Marauders Abroad Programs! Those who have done so commonly state that it is an amazingly rewarding experience and that they enjoy working with students outside of the typical classroom environment. IPS strives to support faculty and staff in their Program Leader roles to prepare for a successful trip.

Getting Started

Whether you have a detailed program in mind or still in the beginning stages, meet with IPS' Faculty Coordinator and/or the Associate Director of Education Abroad & Partnerships to review the Steps to Lead a MAPS Program, review proposal requirements, timeline, and other important information.

Completing a MAPS Proposal can take some Program Leaders (PL) a few hours and others a few months to complete as it depends upon a variety of factors such as if you are planning it yourself, with another colleague, or working with a vendor. IPS prefers to meet with faculty as soon as possible to start the process to ensure there is enough time to prepare a successful program.

Contact Information:

MAPS Proposal Deadlines:

The following deadlines for MAPS Proposals are set to help ensure enough time can be committed to review and approve proposals, and to allow sufficient time for the marketing and recruiment of participants. 

Program Term Proposal Deadlines Suggested Application Deadlines for Participants
Summer September 20th February 20th
Fall February 20th May 20th
Winter May 20th September 20th
Spring May 20th September 20th

Note: PLs may complete their proposals in advance of the deadline to allow additional time for marketing and recruitment. 

  • Program Conceptualization and Proposal
    A MAPS Proposal will be created for you once you meet with an IPS staff member, or by email request for all returning Program Leaders. The MAPS Proposal will be accessed and completed electronically through the International Travel Portal. You can log into this website using your Millersville credentials. 

    Steps to Lead a MAPS Program:
    1. (If a new PL) Attend a CAE Session to learn about the process and/or meet with IPS.
    2. Complete a MAPS Program Proposal *Deadlines apply. IPS will gain necessary campus approvals. 
    3. Recruit participants and review participant applications.
    4. Complete Pre-Departure paperwork and lead a Study Abroad Orientation for participants.
    5. Depart for a Successful Program! 

    Questions to Ask Yourself:
    What are the learning goals of your program?
    How will my program leverage the unique learning opportunities of the destination?
    How will i prompt students to reflect on their learning in and outside of the structured experience?
    How will I support the continuity of student learning pre-departure, on-site, and post-program?
    How familiar am I with the cultural values, norms and language of the host community?
    How will my program respect the values and norms of the host community and avoid imposing an undue burden on its resources?
    Will local infrastructure support a safe and effective program (transportation, housing, healthcare)?
    What are the risks associated with this destination?
    What requirements do students need to meet to participate?

    Looking for Inspiration? The Forum on Education Abroad offers course and program profiles shared by faculty and education abroad professionals. Millersville adheres to Forum's Standards of Good Practice and Code of Ethics.
  • MAPS Program Design Options

    All faculty and staff-led study abroad programs are known as MAPS: Marauders Abroad Programs. As a Program Leader (PL), it is important to know who is responsible for every aspect of your program. Depending on your experience, interest, and availability, PLs may be interested in one or more of the following MAPS options:

    MAPS with Full Responsibility: You are responsible for all aspects of the program, from initial planning, budget, delivery, and assessment. In this option, PLs may choose to do all the preparation work individually or utilize the services of a provider to take on the logistics and risk management responsibilities. 

    MAPS with Shared Responsibility: In this level, you provide and manage the academic component while IPS coordinates the program logistics. This collaboration allows newer PLs to engage in study abroad programming with limited administrative responsibilities. Example: EPPIIC Adventures

    IPS-Led MAPS: IPS coordinates the program logistics and academic components. IPS acts as Primary Program Leader and other MU faculty/staff are recruited as Secondary Program Leaders. Example: CAMP Global 

  • Responsible Parties

    Program Leader(s):

    • Responsible for pre-departure and onsite arrangements as well as program implementation.
    • Responsible for program marketing.
    • Assist IPS with ensuring all participants’ applications and paperwork are complete.
    • Review participants’ applications with IPS to determine participant eligibility.
    • Provide location specific Study Abroad Orientation session for participants and their supporters which should include a minimum of information regarding:
      • Participant expectations
      • Health and safety issues (specific to the host location)
      • Adjustment to the host culture
      • Information about the host location and society
      • Topics include but are not limited to: Appropriate dress, Local laws and customs, Local mobility (which neighborhoods in the area are safe), Gender dynamics, Youth/elder relationships, Food and meal etiquette, Safe behavior
    • Provide participants with continuous on-site orientation to the host culture, local environment, above listed topics, and overall program.
    • While abroad act as an emergency responder and work with IPS regarding any issues related to participants’ physical and mental health.
    • Between you and any Secondary Program Leaders, be accessible 24/7 to participants and IPS while abroad. Including during both planned program activities and during free time.
    • Academic programs – Academic departments and colleges have the responsibility for the academic content and instructional delivery methods.

    International Programs and Services:

    • Facilitate in the development of programs and ensures compliance with university policies, best practices in study abroad, and health and safety requirements.
    • Create online brochures on the Study Abroad Portal and assist the PL with marketing.
    • Coordinate the online Study Abroad Portal process for applications, pre-departure paperwork, and welcome back activities.
    • Train Program Leaders on health and safety issues and best practices.
    • Provide general Study Abroad Orientation programming and materials for participants and their supporters.
    • Provide 24 hour emergency support during program start and end dates.
    • Liaison with required health and travel insurance company when needed.
    • Review participants’ applications with Program Leader(s) to determine participant eligibility. IPS reserves the right to make the final decision regarding an applicant yet will do so in consultation with the necessary parties.

    Department Chair:

    • Approves to confirm awareness of the program and reviews the program budget. Programs offered for academic credit are reviewed regarding the department’s requirements, offerings, and other academic details. 


    • Approves to confirm approval as the Program Leader’s manager. If the program is for academic credit, they approves that the program is educationally appropriate.
  • MAPS Proposal Review & Approval

    Once your MAPS Proposal is complete, notify IPS. IPS will review the proposal based on the MAPS  Evaluation Rubric and provide feedback to PLs. The IPS Faculty Coordinator will meet with PLs individually to review the rubric and answer questions. 

    MAPS Evaluation Rubric

    PLs have three days to make any changes before the proposal and the completed rubric is sent to the Department Chair and Dean for approval. It can take between 1-3 weeks to gain approval after IPS has completed their review.

    Upon approval, you will be notified by IPS and a program brochure and student application will be created on the International Travel Portal. IPS will notify PLs once the application is ready and provide assistance in marketing and recruitment. 

  • Proposal Tips: Planning and Budgeting
    As part of the program proposal, you will need to submit a budget. Program Leaders are ultimately responsible for their program budget, unless they are participating on an IPS-Led MAPS Program. The budget is reviewed by your Department Chair and/or Dean. 

    Questions to Ask Yourself:
    • How will the program be funded? Will low enrollment affect the program?
    • How will I pay for services before students have paid deposits?
    • How will I pay for goods and services while abroad?
    • Is my program sufficiency staffed to achieve learning goals and respond to emergencies? Secondary Program Leaders are encouraged for programs will more than 5 student participants. 
    • Will I need to hire local experts or service providers? How will they be vetted and arranged?
  • Proposal Tips: Student Advisement, Recruitment, and Selection
    PLs are responsible for recruitment. IPS will actively market programs that are open to all MU students through in-person and virtual study abroad advising, and print and digital marketing. PLS must meet the minimum recruitment threshold to financially operate the program, or run the program at a loss. Additional Departmental permission will be required if you are teaching an academic class. 

    Questions to Ask Yourself:
    • Are recruitment and selection inclusive, fair, ethical, transparent, and accessible to students?
    • What are the requirements for academic eligibility?
  • Proposal Tips: Student Preparation and Orientation
    Questions to Ask Yourself:
    • Are program goals clearly articulated? How will I prepare students to achieve these and their personal goals?
    • How are students asked to familiarize themselves with the location, cultural nuances, and local news?
    • How will I communicate expectations related to academics, housing, independent travel, and culturally-appropriate behavior?
  • Proposal Tips: During the Program
    Questions to Ask Yourself:
    • What is my role on-site? What is the expected time commitment to fulfill this role? This may change depending on the level of program design as well as if you are a Primary or Secondary Program Leader. 
    • How will I communicate with participants while abroad in case of an emergency?
    • Have I reviewed the emergency communication plan with students?
    • Whom do I contact on-site/in-country in the event of an emergency?
    • What opportunities are available that encourages responsible use of non-scheduled time?
    • What is the contingency planning process for scheduled activities and transportation?
    • How will I support student adjustment and moderate group dynamics? 
    • How often do I check in with my students to ensure that I am aware of issues?
    Common Risks for Program Leaders to Respond To:
    • Food and water safety
    • Illness or injury of participants
    • Delayed or cancelled transportation or activities
    • Unexpected costs, charges, or tips
  • Student Return and Follow-up Administration

    Student Return and Transition

    Upon completion of the program, provide participants opportunities to engage in other global or cultural activities on campus.

    Questions to Ask Yourself:

    • What opportunities are there for students to reflect on and share their experiences?
    • Are there additional academic components or meetings needed following the travel portion of the trip?

    Follow-Up Program Administration:

    • Reconcile the program budget.
    • Complete the MAPS Program Evaluation Survey with IPS.
    • Participate in a debrief meeting with the IPS Faculty Coordinator to make adjstments or improvedments for future programs and IPS support.