Budgeting Instructions & Policies
Developing a program budget is an important first step in planning a faculty-led program. Establishing a reasonable per student fee will assist with the recruitment and marketing. Please use the Otis Travel Study Budget Template to begin planning. This excel worksheet provides both general topics and specific line items that walk you through the budget planning process. This budget template MUST be used for all travel study programs. Travel Study Budget Template
Student Numbers and Exchange Rates
Your planning budget should be written for a set number of students. This should be a number that the program can both feasibly recruit and support abroad. The program budget must zero-out (all costs must be covered) using this number of students.
Expenses and Program Fee
When using a Program Provider, the ratio and price breakdown can vary. Remember, the Program Provider is your in-country support staff.
The preferred faculty to student ratio:
- 6-15 students: 1 administering faculty
- 16-20 students: 1-2 administering faculty
If your course is not working in collaboration with a Program Provider, the preferred student to faculty ratio is adjusted accordingly:
- 6-9 students: 1-2 administering faculty
- 10-20 students: 2-3 administering faculty
Additional faculty may at times participate but, at the Department's expense, and approval by the International Education Steering Committee.
The budget template is only a guide. You do not have to use or limit yourself to the items you see there - they are merely some typical program expenses. Be as specific as possible when listing additional expenses.
The program fee charged to each student participating on your program is based on the total number of expenses. To determine this, continue developing your budget by filling in all the expense items and prices in the "Expenses" section.
List all items the Program Provider will be responsible for providing, along with the total programmatic cost.
Once all of your costs are included, there will be a total at the bottom of the "Expenses" section, as well as a balance. The next step is to enter a program cost at the top under "Revenues" and adjust it so that it makes the balance at the bottom as close as possible to zero (make sure it is positive number). Round up your program fee to a multiple of $50. This figure will be the program fee!
Protecting Your Budget
It is not always easy to get reliable numbers in advance for faraway costs that you will incur in the future. It is advisable to budget a bit more than you expect to pay for some items, or to expect a worsening exchange rate.
Keep Costs Down
All costs associated with faculty-led programs are generated by student program fees, and hence are ultimately borne by students. Otis aspires to keep costs down to make these programs as affordable and accessible as possible to students. Less expensive choices are often more culturally appropriate. Getting a head start on your price research also helps. While this can require a bit more effort on your part, it will mean a lot to your students, many of whom have to take out loans to make these programs possible.
Notes On Line Items
Communication & Phones
You MUST have a working international cell phone for the duration of your program. You can obtain this by renting or borrowing one through your Program Provider or purchasing a phone abroad. Make sure you budget adequately for this.
Once you have drafted a preliminary budget, it is often a good idea to set up a meeting with CIE and your Department Chair to go over specific line items.