Education Abroad: Business Practices

The Office of Business and Financial Services works closely with the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of the Provost in formulating and implementing appropriate business practices governing the university’s education abroad programs and practices. As this is an expanding portion of the university’s activities it is expected that practices and policies within OBFS will evolve. Please note that, within these guidelines, colleges may develop their own management policies and procedures. They may also collaborate with Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange (IAGE) in the management of programs abroad. In such cases, IAGE will co-sponsor a program with a college or department and can become the management unit. Please access OBFS website for the most recent guidelines. IAGE may also be contacted for reference to its understanding of pertinent business practices. It is assumed that the university’s normal business practices apply to study abroad unless otherwise noted.

Specific items the Provost would like to call to the attention of units across the campus include the following. The managing unit will:

  • Properly execute and monitor contracts with vendors abroad and exchange partners for all programs.
  • Ensure agreements outlining program fees and policies are signed by all students.
  • Follow guidelines and responsibilities in sections entitled University Guidelines and Fiduciary Role in OBFS Policies and Procedures Section 13.9 – Study Abroad Programs and Other Unique, Instruction-Related Activities.
  • Reconcile university foreign bank accounts to supporting receipts and documents monthly and provide completed bank reconciliations to OBFS – University Accounting and Financial Reporting (UAFR).
  • Report program-based financial assistance to students to the Office of Student Financial Aid.
  • Ensure administrative fee rates, charged to students as part of program costs, have appropriate supporting documentation, are periodically reviewed, and are formally approved by management.
  • Funds held on behalf of students should be accounted for in an agency fund.
  • Properly report for tax purposes funds paid to faculty participating in study abroad programs in lieu of salary.
  • Create review process to be certain that all outside parties’ student insurance fulfill the provisions of the university’s required Il-CISI insurance. This process must be approved by University Risk Management.
  • Accurately report to UAFR on the fiscal year-end closing Fact Sheet all deferred program fee revenue and outstanding accounts payables at fiscal year end.
  • Report annually at fiscal year-end to UAFR the net balances between the numbers of students exchanged to/from other institutions under reciprocal study abroad exchange programs.


The University Ethics Office should be consulted prior to accepting any payment for expenses to attend conferences or site visits from third party providers.