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Study Abroad Faculty Information

Teaching Abroad

Study Abroad Logo This opportunity is open to all full-time Los Rios faculty  
(due to load limits contained within California Education code and Title 5 we are unable to offer this opportunity to adjunct faculty). 

The application for London (Fall 2020) and Florence (Spring 2021) is now available:  Application to teach in the Los rios Study Abroad Program

Applying to the Los Rios Study Abroad Program

Program Highlights:

  • LRCCD is a member of the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium (NCSAC), a four-district alliance consisting of Los Rios, Santa Rosa Junior College, Contra Costa Community College District, and San Mateo Community College District.
  • Each district sends 20-30 students and one faculty abroad each semester. 
  • NCSAC contracts with the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) for all travel, facilities, and field trip arrangements. AIFS also provides local support staff and a 24-hour a day, 7-day a week emergency contact. Faculty will teach three (3) courses of their discipline and an interdisciplinary Life & Culture class. Life & Culture will be taught by guest lecturers organized by AIFS, and the district faculty will administer assignments, tests, and be the instructor of record.
  • Faculty selected to teach in the program take the lead in recruiting students for the Study Abroad program and schedule between 12-15 information meetings during the day at multiple locations throughout the district in addition to other marketing activities during the semesters preceding the semester abroad. 

LRCCD Faculty Benefits

  • Live and teach abroad for 13 weeks. Travel on your own before or after the session.Full-time faculty members are paid their usual salary for 100% load*. 
  • Airfare is paid for by AIFSFaculty are provided a maximum $3,500** housing stipend and assistance in acquiring appropriate accommodations. 
  • Faculty must pay all other costs such as food, entertainment and housing costs in excess of the housing stipend. Full participation in all activities scheduled on the itinerary, on the same basis as the students, including transfers, sightseeing tours, etc. 
  • Access to a shared office with computers, printers, and internet access.

  *Adjunct faculty cannot be considered to teach abroad due to FTE load restrictions
**Dollar amounts vary depending on program location


Selected faculty will be required to recruit a minimum of 20 students who commit and attend the program.  Faculty receive compensation including round trip airfare, paid admission to all events that are part of the student package, and a housing stipend based on meeting the minimum number of committed and enrolled students. Recruiting meetings and strategies vary, but should include class visits in your discipline, conducting informational and orientation meetings, and working with the other Consortium faculty and Study Abroad Program Directors.

Plan for a minimum of three outreach meetings per month between your selection date and the student application deadline for your trip, with the number of meetings increasing in the year prior to your semester abroad. The Consortium will be paying particular attention to candidates' proposed student recruitment strategies.

Please note that selection and participation is contingent on LRCCD's continued association with NCSAC.


Semester Location Faculty Campus
Spring 2014 Florence, Italy Valerie Kidrick Sacramento City College
Fall 2014 Paris, France Jon Hanson Sacramento City College
Spring 2015 Florence, Italy Patrice Gibson American River College
Fall 2015 Barcelona, Spain Steve James Sacramento City College
Spring 2016 Florence, Italy Kerstin Feindert Cosumnes River College
Fall 2016 London, England Shannon Mills Cosumnes River College
Spring 2017 Florence, Italy Emily Wilson Sacramento City College
Fall 2017 Barcelona, Spain Steve James Sacramento City College
Spring 2018 Florence, Italy Marcia McCormick American River College
Fall 2018 London, England Kristinal Casper-Denman American River College
Spring 2019 Florence, Italy Holly Piscopo Sacramento City College


Summer Term: London, England
Mark Stewart
Phone:  916-484-8319
American River College
Summer Term: Florence, Italy
Bill Wrightson
Phone:  916-484-8429
American River College

Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Los Rios Study Abroad Program?

Los Rios's Study Abroad Program is an opportunity for students and faculty to study, teach, and live abroad during the summer or academic school year. Los Rios partners with the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium, which includes Los Rios and the Contra Costa, San Mateo Community College, and Sonoma County Community College Districts. Specifically, Los Rios faculty work with faculty from College of Diablo Valley College, San Mateo/Skyline College, and Santa Rosa Junior College.

2. Is teaching Study Abroad open to both regular and part-time faculty?

Only regular faculty may participate in the semester-length Study Abroad programs.

3. How do I apply?

The Study Abroad Office announces the application process for the semester-length programs approximately two years in advance of departure. Applications are sent out as a general announcement email to all faculty, and can also be found at the Faculty Application link directly above this FAQs section. Applicants are expected to adapt his/her application, curricula, and choice of courses to the specific study abroad locations applied for (e.g. London and/or Florence). Applicants may apply, and in fact, are encouraged to apply for more than one location and semester. Applications for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 programs is above. Applications are screened by the Study Abroad Office. Based on the success of their applications, some faculty will be asked to interview. From these candidates, two faculty members are recommended to the Consortium for each semester abroad, and the Study Abroad Deans from all four colleges meet to finalize the program choices. Ultimately, only one Los Rios faculty member is selected per semester abroad.

4. What does a good application look like?

Applicants should explicitly state how their proposed courses and lesson plans will capitalize upon the opportunities of the study abroad location, make use of local resources, and be enhanced specifically by that location. Please attach a modified course description incorporating these ideas for each course you propose to teach (limit of 125 words). Applicants should demonstrate enthusiasm for the study abroad program, and maintain realistic expectations as far what can and cannot be accomplished in one semester, student behavior, the faculty role in the international setting, etc. Specifically consider the following:

  • Tailor your proposal to indicate how your proposed lesson plans adapt especially well to the specific location. What is the value added to the student for taking these classes in London or Florence as opposed to locally?
  • Classes selected must be able to recruit students, and offer them a variety of options so they can put together a full schedule of transferable classes during their semester abroad. If you are proposing a summer program, make sure the proposed destination and courses are attractive to students, safe, and logistically doable without too much expense.
  • Demonstrate the willingness and ability to actively recruit students for the program, and include any innovative or unique ideas for recruitment.

5. How many classes will I be expected to teach?

Faculty teach three discipline-specific courses and an inter-disciplinary Life and Culture course, for a total of 80% load during the semester abroad. The remaining 20% is fulfilled the semester before teaching abroad, during which time the instructor is responsible for recruiting students into the program. Faculty are expected to arrange recruitment meetings in conjunction with the Study Abroad office and utilize other recruitment tools (e.g., Facebook, classroom visits) to build enrollment in the program. (Please see information on How to Recruit Students.)

6. Can faculty in all academic disciplines apply?

Yes. Faculty from all academic disciplines may apply, although faculty should note that science labs and studio facilities currently are not available while teaching abroad in our semester-length programs. Course must be both UC and CSU transferable, or both.  Use the Los Rios college catalogs to ensure proposed courses meet this requirement Courses should fulfill both a CSU general education requirement and an IGETC requirement. Courses with no prerequisites are preferred. Courses that are 3 unit, lecture only (no lab) courses are preferred. Due to the structure of the consortium, we are only currently able to offer courses that are currently in American River College's Catalog, so make sure that the course that you are selecting is available to be offered through ARC.

7. How do I know if I meet minimum qualifications to teach courses in another discipline?

Please refer to the Statewide Academic Senate website containing the current list of minimum qualifications for faculty at community colleges, listed by discipline: 

If you believe that  you are eligible to teach in another discipline, fill out and submit thePetition for Additional Service Area form to LRCCD Human Resources. 

8. Will I get paid?

Faculty are paid for a full semester load.

9. How many students generally enroll?

While enrollments vary from college to college and from semester to semester, the average class size is between 25 and 35 students.

10. Do I need to speak the language if traveling to a non-English speaking country?

Although it is helpful for faculty to speak the native language of the country where they will be teaching, it is not necessary.

11. What are my out-of-pocket expenses?

AIFS provides a travel and housing stipend for faculty teaching abroad. However, the stipend may not cover the full cost of housing, especially in those foreign cities with a high cost of living. In this instance, the faculty member is responsible for covering the remainder of his/her housing costs. Food and all other expenses while abroad are the faculty member's responsibility. Faculty may get to participate in AIFS-sponsored cultural events and field trips for free. Depending on the location, faculty might also receive a local cell phone, free library card, museum pass, and/or a pass for public transportation.

12. Will I be provided with any logistical support regarding living arrangements while abroad?

Yes. AIFS will either find you a place to live or will assist you if you decide to make your own arrangements. Ultimately the type of living accommodations for faculty will vary by location and faculty preference.

13. Is it possible to bring my family with me?

Absolutely, but AIFS provides a travel and housing stipend for the faculty member's expenses only. AIFS is happy to make arrangements for your family, but the faculty member is responsible for reimbursing AIFS.

14. Will I maintain my current health benefits?

Yes. Los Rios covers you fully; however, if you need medical treatment while abroad you might have to pay up front and then be reimbursed. It is recommended that you check with your health provider prior to your departure to clarify their policies for medical treatment while abroad.

15. Will teaching Study Abroad affect my STEP placement?

No, teaching abroad will not affect your STEP placement.

16. Do I have to worry about FLEX obligations while I am abroad?

Currently you do not have to worry about your FLEX obligations while you are abroad.

17. What are my responsibilities outside of teaching?

Faculty must coordinate with their fellow study abroad instructors from other community colleges ahead of time to prepare the curriculum and grading rubric for the Life and Culture class. Additionally faculty often are expected to provide moral and emotional support for students while abroad.

18. What are teaching facilities like?

Teaching facilities vary by location, and can range from very basic (i.e. no media support) to fully-equipped classrooms. Faculty are apprised of the specific classroom arrangements prior to departure.

19. What happens to my classes at my home campus while I am abroad?

A full time temporary replacement may be hired or your classes may be divided among a few different instructors.

20. Does grading work the same abroad as it does at my home campus?

Yes. In order to maintain the appropriate number of units and the integrity of our courses, grading must be exactly the same abroad as at home.

21. Will I have weekends and evenings free?

Sometimes. Often, Life and Culture classes are scheduled during these times, so as not to conflict with regular classes. Additionally, field trips, events, excursions and/or guest speakers may also occur during these times.  


Global competence is a continuing process of acquiring specific economic, historical, and geo-political knowledge which support the intercultural communication skills and authentic lived experiences that allow a person to function in another culture, and result in attitudes of cultural appreciation and interdependence. While participating in a specific Study Abroad program the student will have opportunities to study and generally survey the host country's historical, cultural, and geopolitical influences, as well as the societal structures to develop an understanding and appreciation of the host culture as different from U. S. American culture.

Northern California Study Abroad Consortium and the Los Rios Community College District's  Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Global Competence: As a result of participating in the Study Abroad program, the student will be able to contextually appreciate, analyze, and articulate global competence.
  2. Personal Growth: The student will be able to successfully live and thrive in a culture not the student’s own and grow individually and personally from the experience.
  3. Continued Interest in Travel: The student will incorporate an interest in international travel into the student's lifelong learning plan.
  4. Knowledge Acquisition: The student will incorporate specific cultural, geopolitical, economic, and social knowledge into academic and personal contexts.
  5. Development of Skills and Experiences: The student will develop skills to appreciate visual, historical and experiential cultural products of cultures different from the student's own.
  6. Attitude Enhancement and Change: As one consequence of participating in the Study Abroad program, the student will question, analyze, and potentially change attitudes about the host culture that the student had prior to the experience, and this attitudinal analysis will result in less ethnocentric behavior.