Accompanying Individuals

Faculty-Led Study Abroad Programs

Guidelines for Accompanying Individuals

The Principia Study Abroad Office seeks to promote an environment that is safe and conducive to learning during the study abroad experience. This policy delineates the role of and expectations for accompanying individuals on education abroad programs.

Principia study abroad programs are academic programs and should not be designed or conducted so as to cater to the needs of ancillary individuals who are not enrolled in the related academic course(s) and study abroad program. To this end, accompanying children, spouses, or partners generally should not be permitted to participate in classroom and academic activities (to include sitting in the classroom and/or participating in academic discussion), and their presence should not interfere with the success of the academic operation, impact the quality of the study abroad program, or present increased risk management considerations and liabilities for the college.

These guidelines are provided to assist program staff in making informed decisions related to including family members on their study abroad programs administered by the Principia Study Abroad Office. The Study Abroad Office must reiterate that such courses are, first and foremost, academic programs and, like their counterparts on campus, these classes, field trips, and cultural excursions cannot cater to the needs of accompanying individuals who are not enrolled students. However, the Study Abroad Office recognizes that accompanying individuals can and do provide a supportive role to the faculty/staff leading the program. Faculty/staff wishing to have non-students/non-employees accompany them on study abroad programs must first discuss their plans with their assigned study abroad program manager and subsequently with the Director of Study Abroad, at least 1 semester prior to the time their program will commence.

Within the context, specific needs, and constraints of each individual study abroad program it is the prerogative of the Study Abroad Office to set specific parameters and expectations or to deny accompanying individuals’ formal participation on any Principia Study Abroad program.

Definitions and Guidelines:

Individuals, defined below, who are not enrolled students or non-employees will be collectively referred as “accompanying individuals.”

A. Spouse/partner/support person

  1. A “spouse/partner” refers to either the spouse or the domestic partner of a faculty member or Resident Counselor, irrespective of sexual orientation.
  2. A spouse/partner may accompany the faculty member or Resident Counselor for the duration of the program or a portion of the program as long as it does not interfere with the faculty/staff member’s duties to the program and the students.
  3. For liability and course credentialing purposes, spouses/partners should not have any responsibilities related to the academic program (e.g. taking roll, monitoring tests, managing finances, etc.). 

B. Children

  1. The faculty member or Resident counselor’s children or legal dependents may accompany the faculty/staff member for the duration of the program or for a portion of the program as long as it does not interfere with the faculty/staff member’s duties to the program and the students.
  2. If the child is under the age of 12, the faculty/staff member must provide a caretaker. This caretaker could be the spouse/partner of the faculty/staff member.
    1. The faculty/staff member must cover the caretaker’s expenses.
    2. Students on the program should never serve as a caretaker, as this detracts from the program and the student’s experience, and students should never feel pressure to perform personal services for a faculty/staff member.
    3. The faculty/staff member cannot be considered the primary caretaker.
    4. Other faculty or staff members involved with the program cannot serve as a caretaker.
  3. It is strongly recommended that faculty/staff members carefully consider the impact of taking children on these programs. Logistically, the more children that are involved, the more difficult it becomes to make accommodation arrangements, and the more difficult it is for the faculty/staff member to focus their full attention on the program, especially in areas/sites considered more challenging and posing additional hazards.

Financial Considerations

  1. Faculty/staff members pay all expenses of accompanying individuals. The Study Abroad Office does not allow such expenses to be paid by student program fees or monies mixed into program budget accounts. This means that separate payments directly from the faculty/staff member to the College will be required for these expenses. Student program fees cannot, in any way, subsidize accompanying individuals. 

Logistical Arrangements

  1. All program accommodations are made in furtherance of an academic program designed to meet the educational needs of the students. Program accommodations are not designed to meet the needs of accompanying individuals.
  2. Faculty/staff members are responsible for obtaining passports, visas, vaccinations (if required by host countries), and insurance coverage for all accompanying individuals.
  3. Faculty/staff members must organize the travel arrangements of accompanying individuals whenever these arrangements deviate from those made for the planned study abroad program or if accommodation cannot be made for accompanying individuals within the planned study abroad program, such as (but not limited to):
    1. Transportation to and from the study abroad location(s)
    2. Excursions in the host country
    3. Accommodations
    4. Meals
  4. Where appropriate, accompanying individuals may room with the faculty/staff member if accommodations allow, per approval of the Study Abroad Office.
  5. Accompanying individuals are not permitted to share accommodations with students.
  6. Accompanying individuals should not compromise the planned academic program in any way, such as (but not limited to):
    1. preventing the faculty/staff member from attending or leading excursions or other academic elements of the program.
    2. disrupting class or field trips.
    3. preventing students or other faculty/staff members from engaging fully in the academic or student-affairs aspects of the program.
  7. Accompanying individuals should not make any further, undue work for the Study Abroad Office staff or program: 

Principia College Personal Conduct Standards

It is the expectation that all accompanying individuals will respect Principia College’s personal conduct standards regarding alcohol-related products, recreational drugs, tobacco/nicotine-related products, and violence. 

Disputes or variances regarding any of the guidelines whether specifically covered above or otherwise, will be subject to decision by the Director of Study Abroad, in consultation with Study Abroad Office Staff and Dean of Academics.