Travel– Any activity in which students leave the University to attend or participate in an experience not provided by Penn State students or faculty. All travel must accomplish an organizational function and/or improve a service offered to all students by bringing materials and information back to University Park.
UPAC will consider funding travel that may be considered educational, competitive, performance, or service experiences.
- Educational: the primary purpose of travel is for students to gain knowledge or insight that will enhance the out-of-class experience such as a conference, field trip, or other cultural experience.
- Competitive: the primary purpose of travel is for students to apply knowledge or skills in a competitive manner in pursuit of recognition.
- Performance: the primary purpose of travel is for students to demonstrate skills or abilities for an audience in an informative or entertaining manner.
- Service: the primary purpose of travel is for students to volunteer assistance where the primary beneficiary is a community in need. UPAC will not fund trips in which the student organization will be providing a service to its parent organization.
Policies regarding travel funding can be found in Section 3.3 of the UPAC Requestor Handbook. Here are the steps to request funding for travel within the United States:
1. Fill out and Submit your Travel Funding Request
Start your request online within OrgCentral. You must be an organization’s president or treasurer to complete this request, so be sure that you are appropriately signed in. Click on the three lines at the top left of the screen and click on the setting gear next to your organization’s name. From the dropdown, click on the “Finance” tab. Next, click on the blue “Create Request” button in the top right of the screen and select the “UPAC Travel Funding Request” process from the options provided. On your travel funding request form, you’ll be asked to specify whether you are traveling as a student organization or an independent traveler. You will also be asked if you are travelling domestically (within the U.S.) or internationally (outside of the U.S.). Follow the instructions on the request form and be sure to click the blue “Submit” button at the very end.
For U.S. travel requests, UPAC will consider funding for transportation, lodging, and registration.
For international travel requests, UPAC will only consider funding for transportation expenses.
On your OrgCentral request, list the relevant information and price for every item you plan on requesting from UPAC. Make sure that you follow the instructions on the form, answer all questions as fully as possible, and include all necessary information in the description of each line item.
2. Receive an Allocation Decision
It typically takes about four weeks for a budget to be processed and brought up for review. After that time, you’ll receive an email from email@example.com with an RSVP request to one of our Tuesday night allocation meetings. At your meeting, you’ll discuss your travel experience and budget with a team of roughly 5 to 7 people. After your meeting, you should hear back with an email from firstname.lastname@example.org containing your allocation confirmation with the Committee’s allocation decision. OrgCentral will also be updated with this decision.
3. Submit your Travel Registration Form
At least three days before departing for your travel experience, you need to complete and submit a Travel Registration Form. Your funding will not be released to ASA until this form is approved, so it is extremely important to complete this form! If you have any questions, you can reach out to Hannah Soden at email@example.com or stop by 209 HUB.
4. Attend your Travel Experience and Seek Reimbursement
Once UPAC has verified that you’ve submitted your Travel Registration Form, a copy of your allocation letter will be sent to the Associated Student Activities (ASA) office in 240 HUB within two to three business days, when allocated funds will be placed into your restricted “10” account. From there, you can seek reimbursement for your travel experience’s expenses from the ASA office.
International Travel Safety Network Meeting
Before attending an international travel experience, you’ll need to meet with Travel Safety Network. Head to tsn.psu.edu for additional information on how to submit your travel.