For Faculty

John Coumbe-Lilley, PhD Program Leader

John Coumbe-Lilley, PhD
Program Leader

This page contains links to a range of posts on this blog I wrote since beginning to lead study abroad programs. The posts are aimed at faculty and inidviduals interested in the faculty experience. You will notice I do not talk about or name specific students. My comments are limited to my experience including my working partnerships with my teaching assistant, UIC Study Abroad office colleagues and overseas partners.

My posts try to convey the objectives and processes I used before and during the program. The purpose of this page is to share ideas and ways for reader’s to use my experiences and insights for their own benefit for their future study abroad programs.

Leave a comment or email me at if you would like to follow up with me about something you would like to have a conversation about.

Finding the right location

Day four and the longest Marcos and I had together. As usual we met at 7am and headed off west to Parque Nacional Carara about a 90 minute drive from San Jose through early morning traffic. As soon as we arrived a large male and smaller female gecko greeted us outside...

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Rich with surprises.

Like clockwork Marcos and I met at 7am outside my hotel for our third hiking and nature excursion. We set off to the city of Cartago about a 80 minute drive east from San Jose to a national park on its perimeter on the offside of the Irazu volcano and a walk around it...

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Peaking, Bouldering & Learning

We got on the road at 7am making our way west to El Encanto, en Puntarenas about a three hour drive with a stop off in Mirador for a tasty empanada before arriving a tour destination. The good news was we arrived safely, geared up ready to go and the bad news was that...

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Peaking on Pico Blanco

I had an early start today, up at 6:00am to prepare for the day with a hot shower, shave and a hearty breakfast from the hotel buffet. Whenever I can walk to a place I do (sometimes this can drive friends and loved ones nuts but I enjoy it in most weather), and today...

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Planning for Success

Getting ready I arranged a second planning meeting following my whirlwind 4 night visit last March where I toured several opportunities but they were not quite ideal for the program I had in mind. Particularly because I intend to lead annual programs to Costa Rica and...

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E-Sea Living

On Tuesday, June 5th, we had a day trip to Costa Brava! Our day began as we set sail on a ship built in 1915 named "The Rafael." The captain of the ship, Joan, was quite a character! He was so knowledgeable, animated, and engaging. He taught us the history of the...

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3 Lessons I Did Not Expect to Learn as a Faculty Leader

I had no idea five years ago I would wake up at 6am on a Sunday in Barcelona, Spain to arrive on time to catch a train for a 2 1/2 hour ride to the base of the Pyrenees mountain range to prepare for a weekend of hiking with a colleague and the some students who...

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In the works Costa Rica 2019.

In 2019 we intend to offer a 2 or 3 Costa Rica programs lasting 1-3 weeks. To do so I had to make a scouting trip to Costa Rica. I spent a whirlwind five days there meeting new associates and experiencing new things and fresh places. I had not been to Costa Rica...

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For Faculty: Recruiting for Your Program

Recruiting for your program Programs  seldom  run  unless  faculty  has  built  recruitment  capacity.  I  recommend  recruiting  12 months  before  you  intend  to  lead  your  program. Which  means it might  take  you  about 18  months to plan, prepare, recruit  and...

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