Benefits of a Faculty Led Study Abroad Programme

Published 21/01/2020

A faculty-led study abroad programme gives students the opportunity to both study and experience life in a different country. It aims to enhance academic studies under the support and supervision of the university or college that the student attends.

Programs can vary in length considerably, depending on the desired outcomes, however they are usually short-term projects ranging from 2-6 weeks that often coincide with the breaks between terms. An example of a faculty-led programme might be a group of Geography students travelling to more remote parts of the world, such as Fiji, to study the cultural impact of youth participation in sport. Or perhaps a group of psychology students embarking on a mental health initiative overviews to understand the wider implications of such illnesses.

The possibilities for faculty-led programmes really are endless and the right partnerships between inspiring faculties and experienced organisations, who have valuable local knowledge and expertise, can lead to the delivery of meaningful and empowering experiences with long-lasting benefits (for students, host communities and faculties themselves).

In this blog, we delve a little deeper into the benefits of faculty led study abroad programmes and tips for making the most out of such opportunities.

Benefits of Faculty Led Study Abroad Programmes

Credit Bearing & Real World Impact


Faculty-led programmes can be designed in a way that meets the cultural and academic objectives of a particular study-programme. This means that most faculty-led programmes may constitute part of the course and are credit-bearing. At Think Pacific the credit-bearing programme may involve working with young Fijians in a range of sports, extra-curricular health and well-being activities and even helping Fiji achieve National Development Goals. This means that the benefits are felt throughout the community as well as to the individual student. Plus, a major advantage to credit-bearing faulty-led programmes can be seen when it comes to student recruitment. With hundreds of universities to choose from, the opportunity to enhance academic studies through travel is often an influential factor in deciding where to go.

With Think Pacific, our projects help support Government aims and objectives, so not only it is a fantastic learning experience for students, but it actually makes an impact too! This collaborative approach is where we see a huge opportunity for win-win scenarios with all participants.

Experience new cultures

Students that seize the opportunity to experience new cultures will undoubtedly benefit in the short-term in terms of a greater knowledge and appreciation of the world we live, but can also reap long-lasting benefits when it comes to future employment. Studies are frequently showing that candidates who have experience in other countries and cultures are often favoured compared to candidates who have limited or no experience outside their home country.

One of the huge advantages to a faculty-led program with Think Pacific is that students are fully immersed into Fijian culture by staying and working in a remote village so that they really do experience life like the locals, rather than being outsider looking in.

On the ground support

For many, the thought of simply heading to somewhere new, never mind a remote part of the world, can be a little daunting to say the least. With a faculty-led programme, students can be reassured in the knowledge that they have the support from their faculty whilst on their adventure. When partnered with organisations who also have the added bonus of being familiar with local surroundings and access to local contacts, the whole concept of studying abroad becomes a little less daunting.

At Think Pacific we have years of experience and pride ourselves on the phenomenal safety, support and duty of care to our volunteers (we were recently highlighted by GoOverseas in their annual awards for “volunteer support” again). We have the unrivalled benefit of having staff in the UK and Fiji (our Co-Founder Harry actually lives in Fiji!), meaning we can deploy hands-on support around the clock to our teams. Our Team Leaders also live amongst volunteers on project, meaning someone is available 24/7, giving universities and parents peace of mind.

Administrative Burden

Many of the benefits discussed so far relate mostly to the student, however, let’s not forget the benefits to the faculty members and universities too. Aside from the reward of facilitating unique opportunities for your students, a partnership with a well-established organisation can help you lessen the administrative burden when it comes to organising a trip through the educational system. At Think Pacific, for example, we have access to a variety of valuable partnerships with the Fijian Government and Fijian Ministry of Youth and Sports, allowing us to take care of pretty much the whole trip for you; from the accommodation to the excursions and much more. This lessens the administrative concerns for the faculty member and gives them the flexibility to focus their attention on the academic objectives of the programme and their teaching.

Here at Think Pacific, we work in collaboration with universities and institutions and can offer bespoke projects to the Fiji Islands that align with your faculty’s academic needs and desires. Our wealth of experience and local contacts ensure working together to create amazing projects needn’t be quite such a daunting task. You can rest assured in our years of experience, and lessons learned that you are facilitating an incredible opportunity that expands your students’ international experience and helps to prepare them for life beyond the academic world.

If you’re interested in being a part of such an incredible experience for your students, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today to find out more.

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