Customized Program Development Process | API Study Abroad

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Interview with Joan Solaún.

API Institutional Relations team member, Emily Nagle had the opportunity to interview API’s Director of Caribbean and Latin American Programming, Joan Solaún. Joan was recently honored with the NAFSA International Education Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field in honor of Marita Houlihan.  “Given Joan Solaún’s warm, vibrant character, it is no surprise that her passion for [...]

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Customized Program Development Process


The Phases of Program Development:

Phase I: Program Planning
  • The school or faculty leader submits an API program request form to give us an idea of what you are looking for in a program. This form will ask you to provide such information as dates, location, academic focus, desired excursions and cultural/academic visits, type of accommodation, etc.
  • API will review the request to ensure we can meet your needs in the desired location on the requested dates.
  • If API is able to submit a bid, API will send you an initial proposal outlining the program price and services/activities included soon after receiving the completed program development form. API will also provide a tentative itinerary for the program.
  • We will work with you to make any adjustments to better meet your needs and price point before sending a final, more detailed contract to you for your signature.
Phase II: Student Recruitment
  • If requested, API can design and print marketing materials (brochure or flyers) to help you promote your customized program.
  • Recognized for our innovative and outstanding social media presence, API is also happy to spread the word about your program to outside students via various social media outlets, as well as on our website and other study abroad websites such as
  • API’s Customized Program team will check in with you occasionally to check on program numbers and see how we can help you ensure that enrollment numbers are met.
Phase III: Pre-Departure Planning
  • Once it is determined that the program has met minimum enrollment, API will set up students with a convenient set of online forms in order to provide us with important information such as housing requests, dietary restrictions, flight information, etc. All students will be required to submit to API an original release agreement that has been signed and notarized. Without this signed release, a student may not participate in the program. Forms will be coordinated in advance with the school to ensure that we are not collecting the same information from students twice. Faculty and any program guests will also be required to submit some standard forms to API.
  • If applicable, API will request a rooming list from the school for any accommodation requiring shared housing arrangements.
  • At this stage, API’s staff will begin to finalize arrangements and payments. Note that some adjustments may need to be made to the itinerary in order to coordinate the logistics (opening hours, guest lecturer availability and other such factors that can impact the schedule of events).
  • API’s Financial Services team will work with the school to coordinate invoicing and payments according to the schedule outlined in the program agreement.
  • 2-3 weeks prior to the program start date, API will send final packets to the school to distribute to students. These packets contain handbooks and other important pre-departure information such as on-site contact information, itinerary, insurance cards (if applicable), etc.
Phase IV: Program Operation
  • Throughout your program, you can count on API’s on-site resident directors or our local partners (depending on location) to be there!
  • Resident directors will present students with an on-site cultural and safety orientation to prepare the group for their time abroad
  • Resident directors will organize and attend all excursions, cultural events, and academic visits.
  • On-site staff is equipped and available to assist with student issues or emergencies that may arise.
Phase V: Program Evaluation
  • At the end of the program, if you are not implementing your own program evaluations, API is happy to collect evaluations from all student participants. API will provide a program evaluation to the school administrator and faculty leader(s) as well.
  • API will analyze the evaluations and ensure any recommendations or critical commentary are investigated to improve the program for future years.