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Study Abroad

Hiring & salary payments

This page covers the various ways in which individuals can be hired and compensated to work on faculty-led study abroad programs. For information about UW Study Abroad’s program director salary allotment policy, please visit the Faculty-led Program Policies page.

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Program salaries

Salaries for all UW faculty, staff and students must be paid through UW Payroll, facilitated by the home department and working in collaboration with UW Study Abroad.

There are three methods by which faculty and staff can be paid for their work on faculty-led programs.

  1. The department chair agrees to continue to pay a faculty or staff member from the department’s budget. The faculty or staff member then remains on salary and no coordination with UW Study Abroad is needed.
  2. The faculty or staff member is paid from the study abroad program budget. In this case, UW Study Abroad will work with the faculty or staff member’s payroll administrator to arrange for salary distribution. See the table below for UW Study Abroad’s salary policy.
  3. A portion of the faculty member’s salary is charged to the program budget. This portion is often equivalent to the cost of hiring a temporary replacement to teach the courses on campus that the faculty member would have normally instructed. Some department’s refer to this as a salary buy-out. In this case, UW Study Abroad will work with the faculty or staff member’s payroll administrator to arrange for salary distribution.

UW Study Abroad Salary Policy

The following policy apply to salaries for program leaders that are charged to the program budget administered by UW Study Abroad. In cases where salaries for program leaders are paid by a department (and do not appear on the program budget) program leaders should work with their home department/college to determine salaries. All salaries should be approved by the program leader’s home department/college. Salary will be paid within the pay periods that correspond to the program term.

Autumn, Winter, Spring (10 weeks) Summer Quarter (8 weeks) Short-term (Sum A, Sum B, Early Fall)
UW Faculty up to 3 months of salary up to 2.5 months of salary up to 1.5 months of summer salary
UW Staff up to 2.5 months of salary up to 2 months of salary up to 1 month of salary
Teaching Assistant For all programs, TAs must be paid according to their appointment and union guidelines. A schedule of TA salaries can be found online at the Graduate School Website.

*Where salary is included in the program budget, the appropriate Benefits Load should be included corresponding to the appointment.

Arts & Sciences salary policy

Beginning with Arts & Sciences study abroad programs in Autumn 2018, UWSA will add a “replacement teaching fee” (RTF) into most quarter-long faculty-led study abroad programs, so that Departments receive some funds to hire replacement instructors while their faculty are teaching abroad. 

  • A “replacement teaching fee” will be required for faculty who lead study abroad programs and remain on their salary for the period of time that they are abroad. This is primarily tenure-track faculty, and senior lecturers who remain on salary for the quarter that they are teaching abroad. It would not apply to faculty leading study abroad programs who are NOT on Departmental salary and who are already paid from student fees collected by UWSA.
  • UWSA will pay $7,000 per quarter and quarter-long benefits (approximately $1800) using study abroad program student fees as a contribution to a faculty member’s normal salary. This amount would be deducted by the Department from the usual quarterly salary the Department pays out to the instructor; the Department can then use this savings of approximately $9k to hire a part-time lecturer to teach on campus. The result is that the tenure-track faculty member would be remunerated the same as if they were teaching on campus. (See below for the amount paid as RTF for Teaching Assistants).
  • Quarter-long faculty-led study abroad program costs will increase, to extent that the replacement teaching fee is not already factored in to the program costs. The RTF will be added to the overall costs of the program, and count as instructional costs that are borne by the student participants.
  • Teaching Assistants (graduate students with the appropriate appointment) on quarter-long study abroad programs would likewise receive the same compensation as if they were on campus for the quarter. UWSA would work with the academic department so that study abroad program student fees pay this amount, thereby freeing the Department to hire another TA to teach on campus during this period.
  • If a faculty member wanted to teach 2 study abroad classes on a quarter-long study abroad program and have this count toward more than 1 of their on-campus teaching load, this would need to be approved in advance by the Department chair.

Steps to set up salary payments from a UW Study Abroad Program Budget

  • Coordinate with UW Study Abroad and your home department to determine appropriate salary amounts during the budgeting process. Consult the table above.
  • Work with your Departmental Payroll Coordinator to ensure that a proper appointment is in place for the duration of the program and determine appropriate salary payment options.
  • Your Departmental Payment Coordinator and UW Study Abroad will work together to enter appointments and salary distributions for the period of the program.

Hiring graduate students

All Faculty-led programs require two UW staff people to run. Graduate students can be hired to work on these programs. As with Graduate Assistantships offered on campus, G.A.s, T.A.s and R.A.s hired to work with study abroad programs are hired directly by the employing department (generally the department sponsoring the study abroad program) and are covered by a union contract. Each individual department must conduct its own hiring process; UW Study Abroad cannot appoint Graduate Assistants. Faculty interested in hiring a Graduate Assistant should consult with their department to determine the appropriate appointment and requirements to hire a Graduate Assistant.

There are two types of appointments:

  • Teaching Assistant: work with students in a teaching capacity: grading, lecturing, facilitating discussion.
  • Hourly Appointment: other types of duties, such as advising, logistical support or administration.

These appointments entitle the student to certain benefits and compensation. Additional information about terms, benefits, and responsibilities is summarized below. Departmental administrators or HR representatives may also be able to provide guidance on this process.

For more detailed information please refer to the Graduate School website about Assistantships.

Recruitment & hiring

Graduate Assistantships should be advertised. Sponsoring departments often have an internal mechanism to publish available Graduate Assistantships.

  • Graduate Assistants should be provided with a job description that includes a detailed breakdown of tasks and percentages of time to be spent on task categories.
  • Graduate Assistants should also be provided with an appointment letter, outlining:
    • Appointment for which the student was hired
    • Supervisor
    • Payroll Title
    • Compensation
    • Beginning & End Dates of Appointment
    • The appointment should be entered into the UW Payroll system and administered by the sponsoring academic department.

Graduate student salary & benefits

Whether through departmental support, student program fees or other sources of funding, the program is responsible for providing the following salary and benefits and should plan for these expenses in the program budget:

  • Graduate Assistants should receive a salary according to rates outlined in the negotiated agreement. See the Graduate School website for current figures. As a UW employee, the student will be paid through the UW payroll system.
  • Graduate Assistants receive benefits through the Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP) according to the rates outlined in the negotiated agreement. See the UW’s Benefits website for information about current benefits.
  • Salary and benefits can be included in the program budget and charged to the program budget. The Departmental Administrator or Payroll Coordinator will set up the grad student’s payroll and will work with UW Study Abroad to obtain the appropriate budget number to charge the salary. 

Workload & job expectations

Most Graduate Assistants are 50% appointments that carry an average workload of 20 hours per week. Graduate Assistants must also fulfill the requirements of their academic workload (generally 10 credits). This balance can be difficult to maintain in the context of study abroad. There should be a realistic plan in place to help balance professional and academic responsibilities.

Graduate Assistantships can be more than 50% FTE, but if the appointment carries a 75% workload, the Graduate Assistant must also be compensated at that level.

Registration & tuition waiver

Graduate Assistants should be enrolled in at least 10 graduate credits, the minimum number of credits for full-time enrollment as a graduate student. There are a few options for funding tuition associated with these credits.

  • The Graduate Assistant may register for credits on the MyUW system and pay their usual tuition and fees. A tuition waiver may be provided by the department or the cost of tuition can be included in the program budget and paid by the program.
  • Graduate Assistants participating in faculty-led programs can enroll for 10 credits of Independent Learning through UW Study Abroad (includes independent research, practicum, internship or externship). This is often the most affordable option for programs. There are no tuition charges associated with this option so the department will not need to provide a tuition waiver and the program will not need to budget for the cost of tuition. There is a Study Abroad Fee for this process. The Study Abroad Fee will be charged to the student’s account and can be budgeted and paid for by the program.

In this case, the student must apply for and meet the requirements set out by UW Study Abroad for Independent Learning, separate from their role as a Graduate Assistant. The student should submit the Independent Learning application by the deadlines outlined below. The student will need to get at least 10 graduate credits pre-approved by his/her department, supervised by someone other than faculty leading the study abroad program. Contact your program manager to open an Independent Learning application for a Teaching Assistant.

Winter September 15
Spring December 15
Summer March 15
Fall June 15

Recognizing the unique context of study abroad, the sponsoring department can submit a Petition for Reduced Enrollment to the Graduate School. If approved, this would allow a Graduate Assistant appointment for a student registered for 0-2 credits, depending on the circumstances. The cost of the 0-2 graduate credits can be paid for by the program and included in the program budget.

Summer enrollment

During the summer quarter, Graduate Assistants need to enroll in a minimum of 2 graduate credits.

    • If they enroll in 2 credits through the MyUW system, the cost of tuition for these two credits can be included in the program budget and paid by the program, as outlined above.
    • Graduate Assistants can also apply for 2 credits of Independent Learning through UW Study Abroad for summer quarter as outlined above.

Insurance options

Graduate Appointee Insurance Plan (GAIP)

Graduate students with Graduate Student Appointments are covered for medical expenses by the Graduate Appointee Insurance Plan (GAIP). For medical expenses incurred out of the GAIP network, only 60% of the total expenses will be covered by this plan. Since all medical expenses for Teaching Assistants working on UW programs will be incurred abroad, Teaching Assistants utilizing this option should be aware of the coverage limitations.

For more information see the Benefits Office website.

UW Student Abroad Insurance

The UW Student Abroad insurance covers 100% of both regular and emergency medical expenses incurred abroad. It costs $2 per day and it can be purchased for up to two weeks on either end of the program. It is required for all study abroad students and it is strongly recommended for Teaching Assistants working abroad.

Graduate students conducting independent learning abroad must purchase the UW Student Abroad regardless of their eligibility for GAIP.

For more information and instructions on how to purchase the UW Student Abroad Insurance see the UW Student Abroad Insurance page.

Teaching assistant buy-out

Faculty often remain on salary with their home department for the duration of their time teaching on a UW Faculty-led Program. It is also possible for faculty to be paid by study abroad program budget rather than use departmental resources. Please see Faculty-led Program Policies for information on budgeting for salaries.

If the faculty’s home department cannot fully cover the cost of the faculty salary for the duration of the program, the program budget may include the cost of a Teaching Assistant to replace the faculty member while abroad. The department may then charge the amount of the faculty’s salary that is equal to the cost of the Teaching Assistant’s salary and tuition to the program budget. The program budget should not directly pay for the cost of teaching staff that are not actually teaching on the program.

Department administrators will work with UW Study Abroad to confirm any buy-out arrangements and arrange for payment.

Unaffiliated (non-UW) program staff

Unaffiliated program staff might include a local coordinator, local faculty or instructors or other types of non-UW staff providing service to the program. Salary payments for unaffiliated program staff cannot be made until services have been rendered. Up to 50% of the agreed salary can be paid as early as halfway through the dates of service. The remaining 50% will be paid upon completion of service.

Documents required to pay (non-UW) US citizens

  • Independent Contractor Form
    • Visiting Lecturers/Teachers/Speakers
    • All other non-instructional services
    • W-9
  • Official invoice which includes:
    • Job description
    • Dates of service
    • Payment instructions including bank information for a wire transfer
    • Payment terms, including cancellation policy
    • Details on any travel expenses covered by the UW Study Abroad Program

Documents required to pay (non-UW) non-US citizens

  • Independent Contractor Form
    • Visiting Lecturers/Teachers/Speakers
    • All other non-instructional services
  • Official invoice which includes:
    • Job description
    • Dates of service
    • Payment instructions including bank information for a wire transfer
    • Payment terms, including cancellation policy

Please refer to the Paying Foreign Nationals section of the Global Operations Support website for additional requirements.