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Payments, grants & budget review

Expenses Prior to Program Confirmation

Study abroad programs go through various phases before they happen. Potential program directors must first gain approval from their Department Chair then they submit a proposal to UW Study Abroad, which reviews it and in turn sends approved programs to the appropriate Deans review and final approval. Once a program is approved, program directors begin taking applications from students.

Because our programs are all self-sustaining, a program must have enough in committed student funds in order to run. When the minimum number of students required to make a program sustainable is contracted, the program is confirmed. This generally happens a few months before the program is set to begin. Only at this point can UW Study Abroad begin making payments using a program’s funds.

We recognize that there are times when program expenses need to be paid before a program is confirmed. Because our office is completely dependent on student fees, our policy for pre-confirmation payments is that they must be made by the program director’s department or co-sponsoring department. If the program is later confirmed, program funds can be transferred to the department to reimburse any costs. However, if the program is NOT confirmed, UWStudy Abroad cannot reimburse these funds.

If you have questions about this policy or the likelihood of a program being confirmed, consult with the program director’s Study Abroad Program Manager.

Grant Contributions to Program Funds

Many study abroad programs are able to supplement their revenue from student fees with grant money from their department or a co-sponsoring department. Generally, the simplest way for these funds to be applied to program expenses is via an expense transfer after payments have posted to the study abroad program’s budget. UW Study Abroad is happy to work with you to coordinate an expense transfer. Please contact UW Study Abroad Finance & Administration ( or 206.685.1438) as soon as possible to notify us of available grant funds.

Global Innovation Fund (GIF) Administration

The UW Office of Global Affairs (OGA) awards a certain amount of Global Innovation Fund (GIF) grants to program directors for the planning or execution of study abroad programs. You can find more information about GIF administration on the OGA’s website.

Program Spending Plans and the Spending Plan Tool

In an effort to encourage study abroad program directors to plan the financial aspects of their programs earlier, the Study Abroad office has developed an online tool called the Spending Plan Tool (SPlaT). This tool prompts program directors to itemize their projected spending on program staff salary, transportation, lodging, etc.

We are encouraging the program directors to connect well before their programs with their departmental administrators to ensure that you have plenty of time to set up any necessary appointments or distributions. The Spending Plan Tool requires them to have the following information for all personnel being paid by the UW:

  • Home Department
  • Appointment Type
  • Distribution Start and End Dates
  • Earn Type
  • Base Salary

In order to help you work with program directors in your department, we will automatically give you view only access to their spending plans within the Spending Plan Tool. When we give you access, you will receive a notification email with a link to the Spending Plan Tool. Please contact UW Study Abroad Finance & Administration team with any questions at or 206.685.1438.