Study abroad programs offered by colleges and universities across the globe can be incredible experiences for students and can provide educators with considerable career development opportunities. In fact, more students are taking part in study abroad than ever before – with a 10 percent increase seen annually, the number of international students is on track to reach 8 million by 2025.
When it comes to studying abroad, one of the first considerations to make is the cost. Whether students are awarded financial assistance or teachers support their travel with fundraising, it's important to track and organize expenses incurred during the trip. Here are a few key benefits that an expense reporting solution can bring for students as well as professional educators:
1) Maintaining a Budget
When students travel abroad, it's incredibly important to establish a spending budget and stick with it. For many students, this means not only accounting for things like food, lodging, and spending on events or supplies, but also calculating according to the local exchange rate. Any mistakes in these calculations can be disastrous for someone traveling outside of the country – imagine running out of currency in a far-away location with few resources at your fingertips.
An expense reporting solution can be incredibly helpful here. Many universities, like Yale, recommend that students keep track of their spending and save their receipts to make sure they are staying on budget. This process can be complicated with paper transaction records and messy spreadsheets, though. Instead, traveling students and educators can use a mobile-friendly reporting solution to organize their expenses and make sure nothing is unaccounted for. Such technology frees travelers from having to hang on to paper receipts and provides more visibility and automatic organization than a simple spreadsheet.
2) Potential Tax Deductions
Financial firm Sapling noted that certain travel expenses – including those related to study abroad or professional travel for continued education – can be tax deductible.
"Unfortunately, students traveling abroad for educational purposes can't typically deduct the cost of travel," Sapling noted. "However, the students can still deduct other costs – like tuition, fees, books and supplies – incurred in a study abroad educational program."
In addition, travel by educators for the purpose of continuing their education or maintaining job status can be deducted as well, if the employer does not reimburse these costs. In this way, whether someone is a student studying outside of the U.S. or an educator attending classes or professional certifications away from their employer, it's important to track spending for tax purposes. This makes an expense reporting solution incredibly important for student and professional travelers, providing them with a simple solution to record and organize spending. Best of all, at tax time, all of the necessary information is easily accessible.
3) Demonstrating Use of Funding
Sometimes tracking spending isn't about reimbursement or tax deductions, but simply about showing where and how money was used. This is true for students who receive financial assistance through family members, scholarships or other programs, as well as for educators who fundraise to support their travel.
An expense reporting solution offers a streamlined way for students and teachers to demonstrate how they used their funding and prove that the money raised or provided was put to good use.
To find out more about how an expense reporting solution can benefit students and educators traveling abroad, contact Nexonia today.