International Studies & Programs

Post-program follow-up

Financial Reconciliation

Within 30 days of your return, your reconciled travel voucher must be submitted to the MSU Travel Office. Contact the Office for Education Abroad business office within five days of your return to schedule an appointment to reconcile your advance. Prior to your appointment, you must complete the expense worksheet and email it to the person in the business office with whom you will meet. You must account (with the required receipts) for the entire amount of the advance. Should there be funds unaccounted for, you will be asked to write a check for the difference to the university. If allowable program expenses were higher than the amount advanced, you will receive a check for the difference.
Failure to clear a Travel Advance within 30 days of return can result in the amount of the advance being deducted from your paycheck and you may not be allowed to receive any future travel advances. If you anticipate that you will be turning in your travel reconciliation later than within 30 days of return, you must consult with the Office for Education Abroad business office.

Summary of required receipts

For audit purposes, the following receipts are required in order to account for money advanced to you for your personal travel, lodging, and program-related activities. Note that receipts are not required for M & IE expenses (meals and incidental expenses):

  • Airline passenger receipt, boarding passes and paid invoice, showing times of arrival and departure
  • Rail receipts
  • Any other transportation receipts, including travel to and from East Lansing except by personal car. If you are flying out of Detroit, you will be expected to use the Michigan Flyer for transportation. Due to the cost, this is preferred over personal car or limo service.
  • Original lodging receipts
  • Program Activities Funds - If you received Program Activities funds as a part of your travel advance, you must account for the expenses with actual receipts. This includes speaker fees, honoraria, group transportation, entrance fees, meals, housing, etc. Receipts for group dinners must be itemized and list the number of students and names and affiliations of guests. You must provide verification, ideally by way of itemized receipts, that no Office for Education Abroad funds were used to purchase alcohol. Additionally, if you disburse cash to students, create one sheet indicating the amount, date, and purpose of the payment, and ask each student to sign it, indicating they received those funds. If the Office for Education Abroad pre-paid for services you did not receive (e.g., meals with accommodations), seek a refund.

Course Completion

Grades are submitted electronically, as they are for on-campus courses. They will be due 72 hours after the end date you indicated when you ordered your study abroad course sections. Once the grades are submitted through the department, they will be reflected on the students' records.

Program Report

The information you provide is important not only in terms of maintaining and improving program quality, but also for helping to inform and prepare colleagues who are now, or will be, involved in your program. Your report is due within 60 days after the end of your program so that your insights, suggestions and comments can influence the planning for the following year's program. For each of the listed topics, please describe:

  • what you did this year
  • what worked/didn't work
  • what suggestions you have for next year's program
  1. Recruitment and publicity procedures
  2. Program preparations: pre-departure orientation, student arrival and orientation, on-site preparations etc.
  3. Academic program: courses offered, number of credits, collaboration with host institutions and faculty/presenters, field trips, etc. Please include a statement about the integration of the study abroad program into the departmental/college curriculum and/or life of the unit.
  4. Assessment of on-site logistics and support: student housing, classroom space and equipment, housing staff, meals, transportation, excursions, special events, etc.
  5. Health and safety issues: What, if any, preventive safety measures do you recommend? Were there any health-related incidents such as accidents, serious illnesses, or mental health issues? Were any crimes committed against program leaders or students? Were health care facilities satisfactory? What, if any, steps need to be taken to make program sites safer? What political, social, cultural, or environmental developments on site warrant special attention for next year's program?
  6. Student issues: Could satisfactory solutions be found to most student problems? How could such problems be avoided/minimized in the future? What could be done in the future to enhance the cross-cultural learning component of the program? Which aspects of the culture did students react to negatively/positively? Were issues of cultural adjustment and re-adjustment discussed with students? Was there a special event marking the end of the program? Could a student with a disability have easily participated in the program? If not, what changes would you make for the future?
  7. Program benefits: How has being involved in this program enhanced your professional development; for instance, through research and teaching collaboration with host institution faculty? How does the program enhance participating students' academic/intellectual, personal, professional, and cross-cultural learning?
  8. Program enhancements: Was research or community engagement a part of your program? If so, how could these aspects be improved? If not, how could they be incorporated in the future?
  9. Finances/budget: What, if any, adjustments need to be made to the budget to improve the program and/or to reflect cost realities in the host country/countries?

Please submit copies of the report to your college's education abroad advisory council member, to your department chairperson, and to the Executive Director of the Office for Education Abroad.

Helping Students Reflect on their International Learning Experience

Students report deeper learning when they are given opportunities to engage in guided reflection on their learning abroad.

  • Consider offering your students a post-program meeting to collectively "unpack" their education abroad experience. What new skills did they gain? What was unexpected, and why? In what ways have they changed as persons, citizens, and scholars? How do they plan to incorporate their learning abroad into their academic and professional careers?
  • MSU's annual Learning Abroad Conference provides students a forum through which to share their international learning with the MSU community.
  • Encourage your students to enter the Office for Education Abroad essay, video and photo contests
  • Invite students to help you recruit at the fall Education Abroad Expo.
  • Encourage your students to attend the "International Coffee Hour," sponsored by the Office for International Students and Scholars every Friday during the semester.
  • Over the course of the 2016/17 academic year, the Office for Education Abroad will be working on developing "on-going" orientation for students that will begin pre-departure, continue on through the education abroad onsite experience and conclude with a post-return portion. Stay tuned!
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