F. AGENCY ACCOUNTS
You will need an agency account for your program. This is where the money from student fees will be deposited. Agency Account differ from State of Virginia accounts in that purchases do not need to be made through the eVA system and the State of Virginia purchase card cannot be used. You can be reimbursed for expenses incurred on your personal credit card from the agency account. To set-up an agency account, you will need to contact Dawn Schwartz, Financial Reporting Manager. To pay for study abroad expenses from an agency account, you will need to complete an online request form and a signatory form. Please click the links below to access these forms.
Procedures for the transferring of scholarship funds to your agency account are outlined here.
Payments from Students
In order to make payments, students should turn in a study abroad program payment slip with their payment to the office of cashiering. Once your agency account is set up, contact the office of international affairs and we will send you these payment slips to distribute to your students. Be sure to fill out the "Program" and "Program Account" lines on the form before distributing them to your students.
G. PRICING YOUR Program
It is important to keep in mind that revenues collected must cover all program expenses for the group. Remember there are now funds provided by the provost's office to help defray the costs of bringing a second faculty or staff member on the program (see section K). Because of changing exchange rates, and unexpected occurrences, it is recommended that you build in a price buffer. It is easier to issue refunds than to raise the price of a program later on. Use the currency converter to get a feel for the current exchange rate. Also note that there is a refund policy that allows you to establish a nonrefundable deposit. It also explains the consequences associated with a student dropping out of a program.
H. PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
It is required that faculty leaders submit required documents to the Office of International Affairs by the deadlines listed in the faculty leader checklist (below). It is also required that you register your student group with the Department of State before departure (see the STEP program).
GUIDELINES FOR REGISTERING A GROUP IN THE STEP PROGRAM:
When uploading a spreadsheet of travelers using the group upload feature, the spreadsheet obtained from the STEP website should not be modified in any way except to enter traveler information in the designated columns. Please download the new template and enter your group information and upload this using Chrome or Internet Explorer as your browser (Firefox is not compatible with our website). This is the template that should be used to upload a group of travelers.
When attempting to enroll a group using a spreadsheet template, please review these lists of guidelines which should reduce or eliminate the errors you receive.
Students should also register themselves and indicate who information may be released to in an emergency. Listed below are also links to additional information about culture shock, disabilities, Center for Disease Control suggested vaccinations, and how to obtain a passport.
Reference the faculty checklist for group study abroad program for a list of what of is due and relevant dates.
Need to travel with cash?
- Many program leaders need to be cash to pay for expenses while abroad (cabs, street vendors, etc.). This is definitely possible.
- A few weeks before departure, program leaders will create a Banner check request and have it signed by their department head. The check will be payable to the program leader. The check can be cashed and the funds spent while abroad.
- It is important that program leaders keep all receipts and create a log of any expenses for which receipts are unavailable (for example, noodles from a street vendor in Thailand).
- A reconciliation of this cash advance will be part of the program leader’s budget reconciliation.
- If cash remains at the end of the trip, the funds can be distributed to students as a refund. This can be done easily, but documentation of receipt of the funds is required. It is suggested that program leaders develop a document such as the one linked below. The exact amount can be filled out at the time reimbursements are made. Student signatures must be obtained. Program leaders will use this signed document as a receipt in the budget reconciliation.
Receipt of Funds by Students EXAMPLE
I. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLAN
Program leaders are required to develop an emergency plan that will be distributed to all participants. The plan must also be submitted to the university. A copy of the Emergency Situations Guide should also be carried by the leader for reference if needed.
Your Emergency Plan must include the following:
J. EXPENDITURE REPORT
Upon your return from a study abroad, you are required to submit an expenditure report that details how the money was spent for your program. This should include an itemized list and accompanying receipts. Information should include all expenditures as follows:
- Expenditures and receipts for airline travel and other forms of transportation
- Expenditures and receipts for housing
- Expenditures and receipts for excursions
- Expenditures and receipts for meals
- Expenditures and receipts for admission fees
- Any other uses of money
In some cases, receipts are not available (for example, from street food vendors in Thailand). During the program, faculty leaders should keep a log of these expenditures. These expenditures should be detailed in your expenditure report with an indication that receipts were not available. It is your responsibility to carefully document your expenses.
You must also give a simple accounting report of your total expenditures and your revenues from student payments (see sample report here). If surplus funds were returned to students, this should be indicated as well.
This report must be submitted to Lorie Kennon in accounting within 3 weeks of your return. It will be kept on record in the accounting office.
K. Compensation for Faculty Program Leaders and Financial Assistance for Second Chaperone
The provost's office now allocates funds for financial assistance to help defray the costs of bringing a second faculty or staff member on study abroad programs as a second chaperone. Please be aware of the following policies:
- Compensation and financial assistance will depend on the number of students enrolled on the program. Be sure to read the footnotes on the following Excel spreadsheet carefully. Please see the revised compensation structure (.docx) for faculty program leaders. You must enter your FULL e-mail address and system password to open the spreadsheet.
- Please be aware that the funds coming from the provost's office are state funds and therefore cannot be put into agency accounts. Faculty study abroad leaders must plan to apply these funds to hotels, tours, airline tickets, etc. and money will be wired to these companies.
- In order to receive these funds, program leaders must submit a Banner Payment Request form using the appropriate budget code provided by Eva Philbeck.
- Please note that there is a policy stating that these prepayments cannot be made more than 90 days in advance of the program's departure date. For more information regarding this policy, please see the following documents: