Study Abroad Classroom Procedures 

At CIMBA, our classes are small and personal by design. We are able to maintain a strong academic environment by utilizing specific classroom procedures to maximize success. Please use this section as a reference while planning your course. These procedures have been developed after many years of feedback from both our faculty and students.

Establishing Expectations

As our students come from universities across the nation and world, academic standards and teaching styles that students are used to will vary greatly within your class. Please have some sort of graded assignment or pop quiz in one of the first meetings so students can get a feel for what is expected and how to prepare.

Exams and Projects

CIMBA’s education philosophy focuses on problem-solving and the application of learning. Professors should encourage this strategic thinking through other exam methods like short answer, essay, workout problems, or presentations rather than multiple choice tests. CIMBA also requires faculty to give a significantly weighted final or major project during your assigned meeting time for your final. This helps maintain the academic reputation of the program as well as keep students focused on schoolwork during their final days in Italy.

While academics are first and foremost at CIMBA, we also want students to be able to enjoy exploring all that Europe has to offer. When scheduling your exams and project due dates, it has been our experience that it is preferable for both students and professors to have the due dates occur before a travel week or travel weekend.

Mandatory Attendance

To maintain the focus of the program on academics, CIMBA has a mandatory attendance policy in all of the study abroad programs. A student’s first unexcused absence will result in the loss of 1/3 of a letter grade for a semester course (1/2 in the summer), a second unexcused absence is a loss of a full letter grade, and a third cumulative unexcused absence will result in dismissal from the program. In addition to maintaining academic rigor, the attendance policy allows the staff to monitor if there are any issues (an ill student, a student that didn’t return from travel break etc.) Please notify the CIMBA office in Italy ASAP if a student is missing from your class.


Course syllabi are required to be submitted well in advance of the program so they can be distributed to students as well as advisors when the course needs approval for transfer. We understand that faculty continuously develop their content until just weeks before leaving, but at a minimum, send us a syllabi overview that includes the overall content covered and any major projects as soon as possible. This allows students to prepare and advisors to begin the transfer credit process while faculty continue refining their plans. Please see the syllabi archive page for syllabi used in past terms. Syllabi must use the UI policies from the appropriate college. These policies can be found on the University of Iowa Policies page.


CIMBA seeks to keep student costs low by maintaining an up-to-date library of textbooks that have been used in past terms. By borrowing these books, students do not have to purchase and pack heavy texts. To help keep the cost of the program down, please consider selecting one of the books already in CIMBA’s inventory

If you need a desk copy or online access, let us know and we will request access from the publisher. Sometimes textbooks will be the international edition depending on where we are able to obtain the book. If you think there will be significant differences in the content (i.e. Economics and Finance using different currency), please work with the CIMBA office to get the resources needed to accurately plan.

Course Materials

If you have materials like PowerPoints or case studies, there are two ways to make those available to students. You can post the content onto ICON, the University of Iowa’s course management system equivalent to Blackboard. Students will have access to all content posted there. Using ICON will be covered in a faculty orientation; information can also be found on the University of Iowa Policies and Resources page. Another option is having the materials sent to Italy and preprinted so students have a course pack upon arrival to take notes in. The advantage of having printed packs is that students can bring them along while travelling and cannot blame technology lags for lack of access to information. It is also helpful to reduce the amount of printing that students need to do on campus. Course packs need to be submitted at least one month before the program begins to ensure the staff has enough time to print all the packs. Copying smaller jobs such as quizzes, exams, and other things that may arise during the semester can be done once in Italy.