Thank you for your interest in leading an education abroad program! As you prepare to develop your program, please make sure to communicate with your department chair and your dean, as they will need to approve your program. Also, please communicate with your departmental budget manager/coordinator, as they will be responsible for managing the auxiliary account for your program. As always, we encourage you to contact us at the OEA so that we can advise you on the details of program development and implementation. We look forward to working with you!
- Administrative Guidelines
A proposal should be prepared and submitted to the OEA as early as possible, but no later than the stated deadline for the forthcoming academic year and subsequent summer sessions. The OEA provides an online proposal submission form which must be completed. Supplemental items to be submitted with the proposal include:
- Syllabus for each course
- Budget with details and accurate price quotes
- Vendor information, including price quotes and refund/cancelation policies
- Itinerary and travel plans, including dates
- Description of on-site instructional and housing sites
- Safety and emergency plan, especially regarding COVID precautions
All current forms must be used, as we update them each year. Proposals using old forms will be returned and not processed until the correct forms are used. Faculty must also provide personal contact information and copies of their passport and photo pages. Proposals must be signed by the lead faculty member, and approved and signed by the department chair, area budget manager, and college dean.
Selecting a Host Site
For the most part, the faculty director is responsible for selecting the program host country and/or site. The site will serve as the best possible location for instruction of the subject matter. The OEA is here to assist with ideas on host program locations and contacts that may serve as providers for the program.
Program Providers: Education abroad providers are excellent resources for faculty planning education abroad programs. They take care of program logistics so that faculty can concentrate on the academic content of the program. FIU has been working closely with Study Abroad Association (SAA), and the OEA strongly recommends that faculty directors explore working with them. New faculty directors proposing new programs will need to work with SAA. They have fair prices and reasonable cancelation policies, and they take pride in helping faculty meet the academic goals of their programs.
Checklist: Faculty using program providers and/or in-country contacts in planning their education abroad programs should use the following checklist for evaluation.
- Curriculum fit
- Intercultural learning outcomes and how these align with the FIU program mission
- Compliance with local laws
- Accessibility concerns
- Compliance with local travel restrictions
- Addressing behavioral, health, and safety concerns
- Coordination with FIU emergency procedures
- Ability to follow FIU travel/purchasing requirements and deadlines
- Financial wherewithal for emergencies
In selecting a host site, faculty directors should pay careful attention to any relevant travel advisories for the country(ies) they wish to visit on the program.
A Note on Host Site and US Department of State Travel Advisories:
Information about the State Department Country Specific Information and Travel Advisories can be found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/. For safety and security purposes, FIU does not allow any study abroad programming in Level 4 countries, and programs in Level 3 countries must be evaluated by the International Travel Committee (ITC). If circumstances change and the State Department changes the level of your selected host site to a Level 3 or 4, FIU may, in its sole discretion, terminate the study abroad program that you are on and require your immediate return to the United States or the nearest safe haven. FIU and/or agents will undertake the travel arrangements for the return of the group to the United States or the nearest safe haven and will attempt to arrange other academic studies for you so that you can complete that portion of your program. If you want to propose a study abroad program to a country designated as Level 3 or 4 by the US Department of State, this program will be submitted to the International Travel Committee that will discuss the case and advise the faculty member/dean/college accordingly.
A Note on Host Site and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisories:
Information from the CDC and guidelines for health and safety planning for travel abroad can be found at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/. In addition, country-specific information – including required vaccines and important health precautions – is available at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list. The CDC also provide travel advisories based on public health concerns, including COVID-19. Advisories are provided based on a three-level system: Watch Level 1 (practice regular precautions), Alert Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions), and Warning Level 3 (avoid all non-essential travel). Programs visiting countries on Levels 2 and 3 must be evaluated by the International Travel Committee (ITC). As a result of COVID, the CDC have also published a four-level COVID risk evaluation system: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/noticescovid19. FIU may, in its sole discretion, deny or terminate a study abroad program in a high-risk location. If you want to propose a study abroad program to a country designated as Level 2 or 3 by the CDC, this program will be submitted to the International Travel Committee that will discuss the case and advise the faculty member/dean/college accordingly.
Recruitment and Advertising
The OEA will work closely with the faculty director to develop advertising for the program. Faculty directors are responsible for actively recruiting students to their programs. The OEA will assist the faculty in recruitment activities.
Faculty directors should schedule several informational meetings to recruit students for their programs. It is ideal to schedule meetings at both the MMC and the BBC campus, but if your target audience is only at one campus (e.g. Journalism), it is perfectly acceptable to hold all informational meetings at that campus. Previous years have presented additional challenges due to the COVID pandemic, so we encourage faculty directors to host online information sessions.
Faculty directors should have the online program application in the OEA application portal, the OEA-produced digital program flyer, as well as any additional recruitment materials for the program at the informational meetings. It is important to ensure that all students receive all provided program information BEFORE submitting applications so that there is no confusion regarding the program requirements and expectations. Setting expectations is especially important because of travel restrictions resulting from COVID. The Office of Education Abroad staff is happy to be present and/or participate in your informational meetings. The OEA can also put all program-related meetings and activities on the OEA website and calendar upon request.
**Faculty directors cannot accept program payments or applications until program proposals have received final approval by all parties involved, including the OEA.
The target for undergraduate programs is 12-17 students, and the target for graduate programs is 8 students. Once approved for running having achieved the minimum enrollment target, any program that then sees any enrollment losses prior to the start of the program must be re-assessed by the OEA, the department, and the College as early as possible to determine whether the program is to be cancelled.
NOTE: The required student to faculty ratio for programs is 15:1. For programs with more than 15 students, it is required that a second faculty director, FIU staff member, or other program assistant be added to facilitate program logistics and safety for program participants. Furthermore, it is recommended that programs with more than 10 students also have a second faculty director, FIU staff member, or other program assistant. The hiring of accompanying faculty, staff, or assistants must be covered by the program budget and be in compliance with HR salary and employment requirements.
The Office of Education Abroad (OEA) will review student to faculty ratios at the proposal stage and once student enrollment has been finalized. If programs are not in compliance with the student to faculty ratio requirement, the OEA will contact the faculty director to modify the proposal according to this requirement before approving the program. Exceptions may be made in consideration of program destination, in-country support, or the nature of activities in which the program participants will be involved.
All students participating in study abroad at FIU are required to apply to the program using the online Education Abroad application protal.
The application and details of each program are available online for every program. The corresponding faculty director for the program will have access to view online applications and to accept students into their programs. Passport copies, medical forms, course enrollment forms, special needs forms can now be completed online and/or uploaded by each student.
The Role of Faculty in the Application Process
The faculty director must first receive the online application from a student and accept the student to the program prior to accepting a program deposit or application fee.
Faculty directors can meet with and interview students before accepting them into their programs. It is important to discuss program activities and requirements, as well as the students’ comfort level and any issues regarding their participation.
As the faculty director, you are responsible for providing program-specific pre-departure orientations that will cover issues such as travel arrangements, packing lists, what to expect, local culture, students’ rights and responsibilities, etc. You must hold a few pre-departure orientation meetings with your students.
The Role of the Student in the Application Process
All prospective students must first meet with the faculty director to discuss program requirements and expectations prior to applying for the program, and they must be aware of all application requirements and program application payments and deadlines before submitting an online application.
Students also need to know the cancellation and refund policy for the program, which will be outlined in detail in the program application that students read, acknowledge, and sign.
All students must be in good academic and conduct standing with the university (at least a 2.0 GPA and no student conduct records or holds). It is the responsibility of the faculty director to review this information before accepting a student. The Office of Education Abroad reserves the right to withdraw a student from the program if they do not meet these requirements.
The Office of Education Abroad requires all students participating in any study abroad program to complete a mandatory pre-departure orientation addressing issues of personal health and safety, emergencies abroad, travel information, etc. This orientation is now online in the Education Abroad application portal.
Students must complete all requirements for the study abroad program, including being cleared on their medical forms by a US-licensed physician. If students are not cleared by their physician, they may need additional clearances from specialists. The Office of Education Abroad will review all of the medical forms to ensure that students are able to participate in study abroad. If students are not medically cleared to participate in the study abroad program, they will not be allowed to do so.
The faculty director and the OEA will establish program payment dates in Panthersoft for students to pay their program fees through Panthersoft. If the student is accepted to participate in the program, the student will then be responsible for the full program fees.
Students who do not pay the program fee on time will be cancelled from the program. A $100 late fee is imposed by FIU when students do not pay program fees by the deadline.
Student Cancellations or Suspensions
Given that all programs run on different dates and with different vendors and host institutions abroad, the cancellation policies will vary from program to program.
- When a student decides to withdraw from traveling (cancel), the student must notify the faculty director for the program in writing. The faculty director must then forward the notification to the OEA and provide instructions to the OEA on whether program cancellation policies require that the student be issued a refund.
- When a student is suspended from a program, the faculty director must notify the OEA immediately in writing and provide instructions to the OEA on whether program cancellation policies require that the student be issued a refund.
- **Unless otherwise noted, after a program has started, no program refunds will be made to students who either cancel or are suspended from the program.
The OEA will compile and submit a list of students for each program to the Office of Financial Aid along with program fees, estimated costs of airfare, food and living expenses. All students must be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours in order to be eligible for financial aid in the summer. Students are responsible for following up on their financial aid package for their study abroad programs. For Winter Session programs, only unused aid from Fall term may be used.
Tuition waivers are not applicable to study abroad. Students need to make alternative arrangements to pay for study abroad and discuss with FIU Student Financials the waiver continuation upon returning from the trip before committing to going on their trip.
Current scholarships that students are receiving as part of their tuition are applicable to study abroad courses. To find alternative scholarships/funding for study abroad, students can visit the “Funding” section of the OEA Website. Faculty Directors are also encouraged to explore opportunities for additional funding for their travel using external sources.
All program participants must be enrolled for academic credit through the course(s) offered on the program.
The Office of Education Abroad will enroll your students in their courses as per the students’ Course Registration Forms for FIU Study Abroad Programs. These forms are available to students on the Education Abroad application portal.
Please keep in mind that students on study abroad programs are subject to FIU enrollment, add/drop, and payment deadlines. Students who are registered or reinstated AFTER the registration deadline may incur late registration fees. Students who do not adhere to the FIU payment schedule may be dropped from their courses and will be assessed a $100 late payment fee plus a $100 late registration fee for reinstatement.
If a student should cancel after your final list has been submitted to the OEA, you must notify the office so that we may drop the student’s courses immediately. Notification of cancellation must be received by the OEA prior to the university deadline for add/drop. Failure to notify the OEA prior to this deadline will result in the student being held liable for course fees. The Faculty Directors are responsible for advising the student on the courses he/she will be registered for.
The OEA will enroll each accepted student in a mandatory medical and emergency assistance insurance plan that includes repatriation and emergency evacuation prior to departure. If you have questions about the insurance or requirements, please contact the OEA.
If any of your students are international students, direct them to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) prior to departure. Please contact ISSS at (305) 348-2421.
Remember that all students must have a valid passport. Some students may be required to obtain a visa to enter the host country for your program. Please make sure that the students verify entry requirements with the respective consulate.
Disruptive Behavior and/or Academic Misconduct
Students are required to follow all guidelines provided by the faculty director prior to and while on the program. Sometimes students engage in behavior that may prevent other students from achieving their educational goals on the program. This might involve noisy behavior late at night in the place of lodging or problems related to alcohol abuse. The faculty director should consider how such a problem would be handled in a class on the home campus in attempting to prevent a recurrence. The faculty director can call the OEA staff for assistance or for additional intervention in the matter. The OEA can, upon the faculty director’s request, communicate with the student directly and propose a warning or dismissal, depending on the gravity of the situation. The Release and Assumption of Risk and the Participant contract provide for students to be sent home from their programs in cases of extreme disruption.
All student participants are required to follow the FIU Student Code of Conduct for both academic and conduct-related matters. Students who are found to be in violation of this code may be dismissed from the study abroad program and sent back to the US at their own expense.
Safety and Emergency Plan
The Program Leader will submit to the OEA a detailed safety and emergency plan in case of emergencies, and information on hotels and sites where he/she can be reached. This plan should anticipate how to proceed in case of a travel, medical, or personal emergency abroad.
Should an incident occur during the program, the faculty director is required to report the incident to the OEA immediately thereafter.
Please see the OEA Emergency Procedure Manual for additional information and instructions.
***This will be provided to you during your required Emergency Procedure Workshop.
As a general safety guideline, all students must:
- Inform their faculty directors of any independent travel that they are planning to conduct during program days in which the program is not convening. The student must provide details on destination, departure and arrival dates, and local on-site contact information for emergency purposes.
- Be advised to travel in groups and/or with a program buddy, as it is the safest way to travel while abroad.
- Be provided with 24-hour emergency contact information for the faculty director, should the student need to reach the faculty director at any given point during the program.
Students should be informed about the State Department Travel site (http://travel.state.gov/ ). This contains relevant “headlines” and information about the countries to be visited on the program. The site provides details of any travel warnings and a Consular Information Sheet which has information on visa requirements, safety and crime, health facilities, appropriate clothing and the location of the U.S. Embassy.
Students should be informed about the Center for Disease Control site (http://www.cdc.gov/). The Spotlights on the site contain articles of interest. Below this link there is a further link labeled Travelers. Students should be told to follow this link if they have any questions. There is also a link called Traveler’s Health. Students should click on this link and enter the region of the world where they are traveling.
Students should be reminded to review the Schedule of Benefits and Description of Coverage provided by the insurance provider. This insurance is required by the OSA and provides evacuation and repatriation insurance and an emergency worldwide toll-free number.
Students should be informed of procedures for making telephone calls when overseas. They can be informed about available cell phone services in country or other mechanisms (e.g. Skype) that enable them to stay in touch with the program leader and with family members while abroad.
The faculty director should carry a cellular phone on the trip, and this number as well as any other local emergency contact number, should also be provided at the Pre-departure Orientation. In some cases, there will be an additional on-site assistant whom the students can contact if they cannot reach the faculty director while on the trip. The Faculty Director is responsible for the group and should be on call for the students at all times. Starting in the 2020-2021 academic year, cell phone expenses may be reimbursable according to FIU Travel guidelines. The faculty director must provide the OSA with the overseas contact number within 24 hours of arrival.
Faculty Directors also serve as the official FIU representatives in any issues involving legal or medical emergencies. This may include in loco parentis responsibilities, such as taking a student to the hospital in the middle of the night.
Alcohol Consumption and Study Abroad:
No doubt excessive drinking is a primary cause of a vast number of problems with students studying abroad. It can result in STDs, brawls, rape, theft, injury, arrest, etc. Excessive drinking can also be associated with depression, and other mental problems that could affect the student and group as a whole. Moderate alcohol is allowed if you as the faculty director wish to permit it as long as it does not interfere with program activities. If for any reason you do not want them to drink, inform them. In general, you should be clear about the consequences of misusing alcohol. Because of the location of the program (it may be culturally insensitive, or illegal), some faculty directors do not permit any alcohol and will send students home if they are found drinking. Other faculty would like to impose a probationary caution after the first incident. If a student’s drinking or other behavior has the potential to disrupt or cause harm to themselves, the group, the relationship with the host school or another individual, you can send them home.
As a representative of FIU and as the group’s faculty director and lead contact, you will serve as a model to the students and an ambassador to FIU while abroad. As such, unless under circumstances such as the one listed above—a special pre-arranged dinner or reception where alcohol is moderately served—alcohol consumption in the presence of students or socializing with students in places where alcohol is commonly served (i.e., bars, clubs, discos, etc.) is strictly prohibited.
If you have an emergency abroad, you MUST notify the OEA as soon as possible. Please also notify OEA if there is a significant change to your itinerary. We will be available to disseminate the information to the student's emergency contacts.
Non-Students/Spouses/Children and Study Abroad
Non-students, spouses, domestic partners, and/or children are NOT allowed to join the faculty director and/or the travel group for the study abroad program.
Non-Student: Any person not acting as a faculty or program leader or trip assistant who participates on a faculty-led program without registering for academic credit or auditing the associated course.
Domestic Partner: A person of same or opposite sex with whom you live, to whom you are emotionally committed, with whom you share a primary residence, and with whom you share joint responsibilities for common welfare and financial obligations.
Children: The program director’s children or legal dependents.
The faculty director is responsible for all aspects of the study abroad program including the academic program and safety of all involved. As a result, it is important that the faculty director and any FIU employees providing support for the study abroad program to give their full attention to the program. Given this, non-students, spouses, domestic partners, and/or children are not allowed to join the faculty director and/or the travel group for the study abroad program.
- Academic Guidelines
Faculty Director and Instructor of Record
The proposing faculty member normally serves as the faculty director and as the instructor of record in the course(s) under which the proposed program is to be offered.
If the education abroad course that you are offering is taught be a non-FIU faculty member from a host institution abroad, as faculty director for the program, the faculty director is responsible for following university guidelines on credentialing that instructor and working with the department Chair, college Dean, and Academic Affairs on extending a courtesy appointment to the instructor. This process must be started approximately 9 months prior to the start of the education abroad program.
The lead faculty director is responsible for developing all coursework and program curriculum materials, as well as monitoring course activities, guest lectures, and local visits or excursions, to ensure the academic quality of the program both on and off campus.
Education Abroad Courses
The education abroad program must be linked to one or more education abroad courses, which will be taught abroad for a period of time by an FIU faculty director. The study abroad courses and programs are designed primarily for FIU degree-seeking students and may be designed to incorporating undergraduate or graduate students. In some instances, the programs are able to bring in degree-seeking students from other US institutions.
Course credits and offerings must be directly tied to the length of the program. Education Abroad programs may range from one week to an entire semester, and can take place during the winter session, academic year, spring break, and all summer sessions. Faculty may also arrange for a short study abroad component of one week that is integrated into a full semester course that is being taught for the rest of the term on campus.
The course(s) offered on the education abroad program are proposed by the faculty director and approved by the Department Chair and the College Dean. The faculty director must be credentialed to teach the courses offered on the study abroad program.
Wherever possible, the faculty should build into the course academic service learning, research or other enriching educational opportunities and academic collaborative experiences that require reflective thinking and/or writing. Faculty directors should remember that a one-credit course requires 15 instructional contact hours.
Courses may also provide for online sessions before and/or after the period spent abroad to ensure that the program requirements are met and that contact hours for the course are fulfilled.
All education abroad courses must maintain the same number of contact hours as are required of regular on campus courses and must correspond with the course’s credit hours. As per SACS guidelines:
“A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates:
- Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, or
- At least an equivalent amount of work as required outlined in item 1 above for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.
For additional information on SACS contact hour requirements, please go to: https://sacscoc.org/app/uploads/2019/08/Credit-Hours.pdf
A course syllabus must be submitted for every course that is to be offered; the course syllabus must reflect all course activities that confirm that contact hours are being met. The course syllabus should integrate the overseas travel with structured academic activities designed to enhance student learning
If the course does not already exist in the catalog, the faculty director must submit the appropriate documentation to the University Curriculum Committee. Documents and instructions on submitting a new course proposal can be found at: https://facultysenate.fiu.edu/docs-forms/curriculum-forms-information/curriculum-forms/
Student Academic Requirements
All students must meet with the faculty directors prior to being accepted into the programs in order to discuss program requirements, costs, faculty expectations, and course content and activities.
All students must be registered for the course(s) linked to the education abroad program and must pay applicable course fees to FIU for the courses taken in order to participate in the program.
Under exceptional circumstances, students may be allowed to audit the study abroad course(s) but will still be required to pay full tuition for said course(s), as well as all other required program fees. In order to request that a student audit a course on your program under exceptional circumstances, the Office of Education Abroad must approve this in writing.
All students participating in FIU education abroad programs must be in good academic and conduct standing with the university. All undergraduate students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 at the time of application and participation in the program, and graduate students must have at least a 3.0 G.P.A.
In some instances, faculty directors may indicate other requirements for admission into their education abroad programs (i.e., higher GPA requirement, course pre-requisite, major or minor requirement, junior/senior academic standing only, etc.). These are acceptable as long as 1) the faculty director discusses the requirements with the Office of Education Abroad prior to recruiting students into the program, and 2) the faculty director’s requirements are higher the minimum PA requirements set forth by the OEA.
Non-FIU students, non-degree students, or adult learners are subject to admission by the faculty director and/or the Office of Education Abroad, on a space available basis, and if admitted, will be required to meet all standards and requirements that FIU students are required to meet for the education abroad programs.
The Office of Education Abroad will register all students in their study abroad courses after the students have been accepted into the program and once registration has opened for that particular term in which the students will be studying abroad.
All program participants must be enrolled in the minimum number of credits for the program. Friends and/or relatives may not participate in program-related travel or activities unless they have applied to the program, been accepted, and are enrolled in the program course(s).
The faculty member decides on the course(s) grades for students who are enrolled. For many programs, participants are required to submit written work such as a project paper. The grading scale for the course must be published in the course syllabus and provided to students on the first day of class. Students must have at least one calendar week of reflection and analysis for each contact-hour of credit. In other words, final assignments cannot be due in less than three weeks for a three-credit course.
An electronic education abroad program evaluation survey will be sent directly to the students at the completion of the program. Surveys are anonymous and survey results will be shared with the faculty director once the term has ended and after grades have been submitted.
Student- Faculty Relationships on Study Abroad ProgramsAt all times, faculty directors are encouraged to follow and exercise the same guidelines that are provided to them for on-campus courses. The FIU Faculty Handbook serves as a great guide for these matters: http://academic.fiu.edu/
- Financial Management Guidelines
The OEA will work with new faculty directors leading new study abroad programs and the Office of Auxiliary Services to set up an auxiliary account for all new programs. The faculty director may be asked to provide all contact information for the home department’s area budget manager for account transactions and approvals, as the OEA does not make payments to vendors or manage the program accounts.
Departmental budget managers/coordinators will be responsible for managing the program’s auxiliary account according to auxiliary guidelines and for processing program payments and expenses according to FIU travel guidelines. This also includes entering the program budget in PantherSoft during budget forecasting and reconciling the account when the fiscal year closes. The OEA will offer a workshop for budget managers new to education abroad processes each year.
All faculty directors and departmental budget managers/coordinators are required to comply with the university’s policies and procedures as they relate to managing auxiliary accounts. Some important items to note include but are not limited to the following:
- Funds paid into the auxiliary accounts must be used solely for program-specific expenses. This includes payments made to vendors for arranging program logistics on site for the students and faculty, purchasing materials to help promote the program, or providing faculty salaries for summer programs. Program funds for a specific program cannot be used towards student scholarships or the development of programs in other sites around the world.
- All faculty directors and budget managers/coordinators are encouraged to visit the Auxiliary Expenditure Guide for additional details on expenses that may or may not be paid for from the study abroad program account: http://finance.fiu.edu/purchasing/
Faculty Program/Travel Expenses
These expenses (e.g. airfare, lodging, reasonable food) are normally covered by spreading the cost over the program participants. As education abroad program costs rise, it is essential we be mindful of the need to keep costs down so that students can afford to participate. It will be more difficult for faculty to recruit students to participate in programs with high costs.
All financial arrangements must be made in consultation with the faculty directors’ home department, which will be overseeing all program-related expenses, including travel.
The Office of Education Abroad provides common guidelines below for allowable costs in order to keep program costs as low as possible and maintain the fiscal integrity of programs.
Faculty can decide to organize group flights if they feel they can get a competitive ticket price, or they can instruct students to fly independently to the program site by a mandatory start date. Tickets should not be purchased until the program has been confirmed having enrolled a sufficient number of students.
Faculty need to explore a range of housing options. Many overseas universities offer access to residence halls and dormitories for reasonable rates in the summer. Hotels can also be used and should be clean, safe, and comfortable but must be moderate in price range. For those staying abroad for longer time periods, furnished apartments offer good value, since the faculty and students can cook in a kitchen and save on meals as well.
Look for options where breakfast is included in the lodging costs (especially true for Europe). Then plan for a reasonable per diem for lunch and dinner. The norm used on most programs will be $36.00/day (the same as when traveling in the USA), though some programs compromise between the international per diem allowed and the domestic rate of $36/day. Keep in mind that your costs are passed onto the students. The program budget worksheet must include the per diem rate that the faculty director is proposing and will be reviewed by the OSA for adequacy and must follow FIU travel guidelines.
Cell Phone Costs:
Updated FIU Travel Guidelines (coming soon) will include updated language for faculty cell phone reimbursements. The updated guidelines will soon be posted on the FIU Travel website.
- The cell costs to be reimbursed are program-related costs only, not for personal c alls for t he entire pro gramperiod.
- Faculty should consider ways to a) reduce cell costs and b) track program related calls separately from personal calls.
A cash advance may be provided to the Faculty Director to cover personal and student expenses while on the program in accordance with FIU travel guidelines. An expense diary is recommended to keep track of expenses. A summary of travel expenses itemized by type and supported by receipts with dates must be presented to the department to account for the cash advance. Daily international exchange rates must be used (www.oanda.com ) to help tally the costs of the program. Any surplus money must be returned with the reconciliation. Only those receipts and costs that are planned, approved and deemed appropriate for the program will be reimbursed. Personal and non-program activity costs will not be included in program reconciliations. Faculty who have any questions or are unclear about a program purchase or expense while abroad should consult the OEA from abroad or prior to departure.
Payments to Vendors
One way to make logistical and travel arrangements for your study abroad program is to be in touch with host country vendors, travel agencies, educational institutions, or program providers. This must be done in accordance with FIU travel/purchasing guidelines. These vendors will be able to arrange a number of items such as: international airfare, housing, classroom space, local speakers, meals, excursion, local transportation, access to local sites and museums.
The faculty director and their academic unit is responsible for arranging payments to vendors, including setting up new vendors in FIU’s vendor portal. The vendor payment process must be initiated by the faculty director at least 3-5 months prior to the first payment being made. FIU’s forms are available at the following website: http://finance.fiu.edu/controller/Forms.html.
If you are working with a vendor that is arranging your program and/or if you are working with an international vendor, you must have a vendor agreement for the Controller’s Office to approve the payment. Please send the following information to the Office of Education Abroad and the OEA will begin the vendor agreement process on your behalf:
- Company Name, contact person/program liaison, address, email, phone number
- Company signatory for the agreement
- Program exact Dates
- Services included in the program cost (accommodations, excursions, classroom facilities, guest speakers, transportation, etc.)
- Per student cost as well as payment deadlines for issuing payments to the company
NOTE ON CONTRACTS: All vendor agreements and contracts for services must be reviewed, approved and signed by Academic Affairs and the Office of the General Counsel. Faculty Directors and OEA staff are not authorized to sign contracts for study abroad programs on behalf of the university. Please work with the OEA on all contracts.
In addition to having the completed vendor agreement, the faculty director’s unit will need to have an invoice from the vendor and process any additional paperwork (e.g., requisitions, P.O.s, unencumbered forms, non-U.S. vendor forms, etc.) as needed in order to complete payments.
The faculty director cannot begin to pay invoices or process TA’s and other program costs without sufficient student payments in the study abroad program account. To the extent possible, invoices for services rendered abroad will be paid directly to the vendor prior to the start of the program.
Because of the unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty directors should be very clear with vendors about not making payments until there is certainty that FIU will allow travel. Faculty Directors should also get clear information from vendors about program cancelations and refunds/credits.
- Responsibilities for Faculty Directors, Departmental Budget Managers, and OEASee our Responsibility Page for more information.