Guidelines for International Travel

Consistent with its mission statement and strategic goals, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences confirms its commitment to international education in general and individual international scholarship in particular. This commitment rests on the proposition that higher education must play a major role in preparing students, faculty and staff, clientele, and others to participate in a global society.

CAES faculty have a distinguished record of involvement and achievement in international activities. Yet, budgetary support and recognition of international work as a form of intellectual scholarship has generally not been well defined or appreciated. In addition, the rules of participation have not been guided by clearly defined UGA policies and guidelines. The creation of the Office of International Agricultural Programs is aimed to further reflect the commitment of the CAES to international programs in the college.


While committed to internationalization, the CAES must take caution in budgeting international activities involving travel. While no restrictions exist on budgeting sponsored funds to support international travel, use of state and federal funds for travel involving certain educational activities may be restricted to the borders of the United States. The nature of international travel and educational activities permitted by various funding sources in the CAES appear below.


The policy and guidelines set forth herein are applicable to all CAES departmental faculty and staff without regard to campus location.

Faculty or nondepartmental personnel employed by the CAES but budgeted to engage specific contractual international work such as USAID Collaborative Research Support Programs may not be subject to all provisions of this policy statement.


Since all faculty in the CAES are home-based in an academic unit, the unit head shall monitor and approve faculty requests for international travel. No faculty member shall be denied the opportunity to pursue international scholarship based solely upon budgeted appointment. International travel as in domestic travel is a faculty privilege and not a right. Expenditures on international travel must be justified and add material value to the academy either through advances in intellectual instruction, research, or outreach.

When international travel requires funding beyond resources available to the department, the unit head shall coordinate with the appropriate associate dean to determine the feasibility of securing supplemental funding to support the faculty request.

All requests for international travel will be forwarded through channels to the Office of the Dean and Director for approval.

To ensure coordination and timely monitoring of CAES’s involvement in international activities, a copy of each approved faculty request shall be forwarded by the Office of the Dean and Director to the Office of International Programs.


Volunteers for Overseas Cooperative Assistance (VOCA)

Faculty may participate in VOCA activities. CAES faculty participating in VOCA assignments shall take annual and/or consulting leave and will receive no state, federal, or sponsored fund support. Requests to participate in VOCA sponsored activities require departmental approval and processing as any other international request.

International Scientific Meetings

Faculty are encouraged to participate in international scientific meetings, but State, Smith-Lever, and Hatch funds may be used only to defray expenses incurred to the port of embarkation and return. Sponsored funds may be used to pay for international travel in connection with scientific meetings. National meetings held in Mexico and Canada will not be considered foreign travel.

Research, Instruction and Extension Activities

International travel to conduct research, develop faculty or student exchange programs, engage in extension program activities, or to develop international grants relevant to the mission of the college may use State, Smith Lever, and Hatch funds to support such travel.


Where justification warrants, international travel to conduct workshops, review programs, and to conduct training programs may be authorized and approved. Travel in support of these activities shall be approved on case-by-case basis by the department head and by the Dean and Director.


Each request should be formulated and submitted with a travel authorization form through the unit head and through the appropriate associate dean and with approval by Associate Provost for International Affairs to the dean and director at least three weeks prior to departure. As a minimum, a letter should accompany each request providing the following information:

  • Country to be visited
  • Length of travel
  • Sponsor of the activity or source of the invitation
  • Funding source
  • A clear and concise statement regarding how the college/department or faculty member will benefit from the travel

The office of the dean and director shall process the request and return a copy of the basic correspondence to the unit head. No travel request shall be deemed official until signed by the dean and director.