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- What is an academic sabbatical? 2 answers
I read several questions about sabbatical leaves in this website. When checking a faculty list, it is common that some are on sabbatical leave and some are visiting professors. When emailing professors, it is not strange to receive a reply that he or she is on sabbatical leave.
However, the general picture of sabbatical visits is unclear to me. It is interesting to experience a new academic environment in a different country; but how do people handle it?
Cost of Living/Moving: When someone goes to another country, there are lots of unexpected expenses. High rent for a furnished house (for a year). They still have expenses in their home country (like mortgage). They will receive half of their salary from home the university and zero from the host university (not considering exceptions where getting paid for occasional tasks).
Research Output: The professor cannot plan for a long-term research. Probably co-supervise some graduate students.
Position: It is not clear to me what the place of a visiting professor is. In a research group, he is not a postdoc to follow the PI plans to get hand in experimental works, and he is not the boss to plan and conduct others. In a department, the head cannot force him to teach a course (it is not his duty), and the department has not offered him an official position, space and service for doing nothing. The vague point for me is that there is no official contract to define each party responsibility (as the host university is not paying).
How can one handle the expenses? And what is the professional motivation to do a temporary job (beside the fun part of going somewhere)?
Sorry for a series of questions, I could not separate them.