Program Budget Planning

Many arrangements must be made well in advance of the program, and prior to any program advertising, in order to establish the program budget and finalize the program cost.

Program budgets generally include the following expenses. Accurate estimates or quotes from vendors are required to create a final budget.

  • student housing
  • group meals
  • rental of classroom space
  • excursions related to course
  • cultural events (tickets to events, museums, etc.)
  • on-site transportation (i.e. bus rental, bus or train passes)
  • gifts for on-site coordinator, if relevant¹

It is the Faculty Director’s responsibility to make these arrangements to ensure that they are in line with the goals established for the program. The Study Abroad Office (SAO) may be able to recommend a vendor or third party provider in a particular location to assist with some of these logistics. Faculty should use the SAO’s budget set-up template when proposing a new program, to ensure that all potential program expenses are considered.

Program budgets also generally include the program director’s expenses:

  • salary (see Faculty Director Compensation)
  • round-trip airfare from Raleigh, NC to program site
  • per diem for length of stay
  • lodging²
  • funds for cell phone
  • international health insurance

Some programs also include one or more program assistants. The assistance of another person on-site is recommended, but faculty directors should consider the impact of additional staff on the program budget while in the planning stages.

Once on-site arrangements have been made, prices have been negotiated, and invoices for pre-program payments received, faculty directors should turn over the process to the SAO for payment and/or contracts.

¹ Gifts
The SAO allows for gifting to on-site program coordinators, which is customary in many countries, up to $100 per program. However, please be conscious of cultural norms, both in the US and the country to which the program is traveling. Gifts that are of an excessively personal nature may open all of the program’s receipts to increased scrutiny from Travel Accounting. Generally, North Carolina or NC State memorabilia are appropriate and welcomed gifts. The SAO staff would be glad to discuss other gifting options. Gifts should not be purchased prior to confirming that the program budget is secure and the program will run.

² Faculty Lodging
If lodging for the program faculty director or program assistants will not be in a hotel, this third-party lodging must be approved by the Office of State Budget Management (OSBM) prior to vendor payment or program travel. Please see the Controller’s Office policy pertaining to non-hotel/non-commercial lodging for more details.

Please notify the Programs Budget Specialist ( as soon as possible if a short-term lease for an apartment or other non-hotel lodging arrangements must be made.


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