Columbia University

Global Travel

Planning Financial Needs

Faculty and Employees

Plan your budget and if applicable, prepare to bring funds that could be required in-country for program start-up costs (see the Finance Gateway Global Support Cash Management section for additional details.)

In addition, thoroughly review relevant sections of the Finance Gateway Travel and Business Expense Information from Procurement Services, well in advance of travel so that all the required administrative procesess can be completed in time for your trip.

Use of Per Diems for Meals

The use of a per diem should be rare. Per diems may only be used for instances of international travel to destinations where local custom or culture makes it difficult to obtain receipts. Travelers must request and receive prior approval to use per diems from their Dean, VP, Associate Dean or Senior Financial Officer.

If a per diem is to be claimed, the traveler must select per diems for the duration of the trip (i.e. cannot alternate between per diem and actual receipts.) The per diem must be claimed in accordance with the government’s published per diem rates, which are available through the U.S. Department of State Foreign Per Diem Rates by Location page.

The amount claimed can not exceed the maximum that is established by the U.S. Department of State for a particular location but University Departments still have the prerogative to designate lower limits for travelers based on project's budget constraints. Refer to your Department to determine if there are specific guidelines on use of per diems.

For additional information on how the use of per diems should be documented, please refer to the Prepare Your TBER section.

If you have any questions, please email us at