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Travel Advance

Travel Advance & Expenses

The Travel and External Study Office & the Business Office will work with you to prepare the paperwork required to request your travel advance and review policies and procedures for managing the advance in more detail. Some common issues related to advances are outlined below.

What is a Travel Advance?

  • It is a temporary source of CASH- up to 75% of your out of pocket expenses used to support your travel course or program. At the end of the course or program, all spent funds are reconciled and posted to the program budget. Unspent funds are returned to Otis College.


  • To pay for day-to-day expenses of your program while in the field
  • To be used ONLY in the field for program-related business when Otis is unable to process payments on your behalf via check, or credit card

Common usage of Field Advance

  • Taxi rides, bus tickets, tips, entrance fees, phone cards, and group meals.
  • Per diem (for you or your supporting staff)
  • Meal or Activity Stipend for students

General Rules and Criteria

  • The person requesting the advance must be a permanent Otis employee (program leader or support staff)
  • Keep all field advance cash funds physically separate from any other cash-on-hand, such as personal funds
  • All remaining balances must be returned to Otis within 45 days from the program end date

Procedure Overview


  1. Research which establishment(s) YOU will need to pay at the point of sale/service. In most cases all of your expenses can be covered by using a program provider.
  2. Finalize your program budget with the Travel and External Study Office by Sept 15
  3. 30 days before departure:  Meet with the Travel and External Study Office to finalize your Travel Advance amount. We will request a travel advance on your behalf prior to your departure.

During: Managing Your Advance

  1. Retain all your receipts (minus food per diem) and bank statements
  2. Maintain expenditure spreadsheet
  3. Update request for reimbursements (if any) while travelling to have ready upon return

Return: Reconciling Travel Advance

  1. Complete and submit Travel and Expense form to the Travel and External Study Office within two weeks of your program return date.