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Faculty-led Program Budget Guidelines

Your best aid in developing a draft program budget is your day-to-day itinerary. Use the itinerary to identify all necessary costs, then insert them under the appropriate section header. Staff in the study abroad office are available to assist you in developing a draft program budget. After your program has been approved, the study abroad coordinator assigned to assist you with your program contact you to set up a planning meeting, as which time program details and budgeting will be discussed in more detail. It's important to develop as accurate a program budget as soon after approval as possible so that a program cost can be determined for promotional purposes. It's also important to remember, however, that exact program costs are impossible to determine until after a program has finished and all related receipts have been reconciled. In short, pre-departure budgeting should be seen as an exercise in coming up with the best guess for what a program will cost. Per UW-System policy, post-reconciliation program costs in excess of $50 per participant will be credited back to the students' accounts.

Select a link for more information. Each link corresponds with a specific section in the budget template:

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Header Information

This section of the template includes general information about your program:

Name
Name entered should be as the same as that listed on your syllabus, itinerary, and signature sheet.

Term and Year
For term, enter: Fall, UWinteriM, Spring, Spring Break, or Summer.  For year, enter calendar year program will run.

Program leader's name and assistant's name
Self explanatory

Program Dates and # of Nights
Enter the start and end dates of your program. If your program includes group airfare, count departure and return dates. If your program does not include group airfare, your start date is the date participating students should arrive in country and you end date is the final complete day of in-country instruction. Number of nights should equal the number of complete nights the group will spend in country.

Student Enrollment Based On
For budgeting purposes, CIE recommends a total based on the minimum number of students you you anticipate will enroll in the program.

  • Number of Days- The number of days in country.
  • Number of Credits- The number of credits.
  • Last Updates- Don't worry about this line, it will automatically update, so we know when budgets have last been updated. 

Last Updated
No entry needed-this line will automatically update to show when budgets have last been updated.

Exchange Rate Used
CIE will complete this field, adding an actual exchange rate in the left column and a more conservative exchange rate estimate in the right column. This field is left blank for programs for which all vendor costs are billed in U.S. dollars.

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Academic Expenses

This section includes "academic-focused" sections of the study abroad program budget. The total from this section is reported separately to students' PAWS accounts so it can be used for tax reporting.

Program Leader's Salary (Assistant Salary—if applicable)
Salaries for program leaders from the College of Letters and Science are determined using a fixed salary equation: L&S Formula Equation Form. All other program leaders' salaries shall not exceed their normal salary prorated according to the length of the program. Salaries will be reduced by the taxes and fringe benefits that are the employee's responsibility.

Salaries for assistants from the College of Letters and Science will also be determined using the L&S salary equation. All other assistants' salaries shall not exceed their normal salary prorated according to the length of the program.

Program Leader's Fringe Benefits (Assistant Benefits—if applicable)
Fringe benefits are rewards received by employees in addition to their salaries as stipulated in their employment contract. They include medical, dental, and life insurance. This line item will be automatically factored using recognized UWM percentages. The total entered is non-negotiable.

Program Reserve
All study abroad program budgets include a $25 per participant "Program Reserve" line item. This line item covers exchange rate fluctuations, wire transfer fees, and any unexpected program related expenses that may arise.

Miscellaneous Expenses
This is an optional line item. Miscellaneous academic expenses may include admissions to museums, entrance fees to historical parks, tour guide fees, guest lecturer fees, etc.-in short, anything that is be academic in nature and requires payment. This line item often ends up being included in the program leader's travel advance.

Reports, Exhibits, Supplies
This is an optional line item. Miscellaneous academic expenses may include supplies, copies, books, etc. This line item often ends up being included in the program leader's travel advance.

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Non-Academic Faculty Expenses

This section of the budget is used to list non-academic faculty and, if necessary, assistant expenses.

Airfare (Assistant Airfare—if applicable)
An estimate of expected airfare charges. Additional information about airfare for program leaders is available on the Money Issues webpage.

Program Leader's Housing (Assistant Housing—if applicable)
For security and risk management purposes, program leaders and assistants are encouraged to stay in the same housing as participants. Housing options vary widely by program, with certain types lending themselves more to certain program designs than others. Housing in hostels or hotels is most convenient for a majority of shorter programs. CIE works with a number of program provider organizations that are able to arrange or recommend lodging options. This often proves to be simpler and more economical than the faculty leader making arrangements on their own.

Program Leader's Food Per diem (Assistant Food Per diem—if applicable)
Per diem is an optional budget item. Food per diems may not exceed the daily U.S. State Department daily maximum. If including per diem as a budget item, CIE recommends taking no more than half the maximum daily allowance, so as to keep the program budget as affordable as possible.

Program Leader's CISI Health Insurance (Assistant CISI Health Insurance—if applicable)
Purchasing CISI insurance is mandated by the UW-System. It costs $34/month per person and cannot be prorated.

Ground Transportation
This line item should be a total of all program transportation costs other than international airfare.

Miscellaneous Program Leader's Expenses (Miscellaneous Assistant Expenses-if applicable)
This is an optional budget line item. Miscellaneous expenses may include internet use, phoning, supplies, foreign transaction fees, etc. This line item often ends up being included in the faculty leader's travel advance.

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Student Expenses

This section of the budget is used to list expenses that are specifically expenses related to the student participants.

Airfare
An estimate of per-student airfare charges. Additional information about program airfare is available on the Money Issues webpage.

Housing
To save costs, CIE recommends that students be housed in double- or triple-occupancy rooms.

CISI Health Insurance
As with program leader's insurance, student insurance will be budgeted at $34/month per person. Proration for shorter program is not allowed by the insurance provider.

Ground Transportation
This line item should be a total of all student program transportation costs other than international airfare.

Group Meals
Group meals are an optional program expense. It may be a nice addition to your program to have a welcome dinner at the beginning of the program or a farewell dinner at the end of the program. Deciding to include other group meals is also an option, but can be costly and may require additional in-country logistic planning. This line item is entirely up to the faculty leader's discretion.

Miscellaneous Student Expenses
This is an optional budget line item. Miscellaneous expenses may include excursions, transportation, etc. This line item often ends up being included in the faculty leader's travel advance.

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Center for International Education Expenses

This section of the budget lists administration and contingency fund fees.

Administration Fees
UWM uses program fees to fund study abroad office operations. The fees are based on annual budget projections. The program fee for short-term programs is $350 and $550 for semester-length programs. Program fees are non-negotiable.

Emergency Contingency Fund
UW-System policies require that study abroad offices "maintain a reserve/contingency fund adequate to respond to emergencies and unforeseen problems." The emergency contingency fee amount is determined by CIE and is non-negotiable. The emergency contingency fund fee is $20 per student.

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Total Cost Invoiced to Student

This is a total of estimated program costs. It is automatically generated using formulas built into the budget template. To protect programs from possible cost overruns, a surplus of approximately $350 per student is built into draft budgets. This conservative estimate allows CIE and the program leader to market programs using a cost total that is realistic but likely more than the program will end up costing. This buffer is important. It allows for the possibility of additional costs being built into the budget, without  needing to increase the price of the program after students have signed up. Study abroad program budgets are reconciled ("zeroed out") after they are completed. Following reconciliation, surpluses in excess of $50 per participant are refunded to participants.