Travel: International Travel

Traveling Internationally for the University

International travel has complexities not found with travel in the US.  While domestic and international travel are similar in most respects, additional information is required for international travel.  First, an approved travel request is required for all international travel.  Second, international travel requires several additional approvals.   All employees who either travel or prepare travel for others must be familiar with university fiscal policy FI0705 - Travel.

The University’s Travel Card Program was established to provide an option to reduce the out-of-pocket burden for employees, guests, and students who travel on behalf of the university.  It is recommended that all employees have their own travel card.  The travel card makes building an expense report more streamlined.  It automatically uploads the card charges with their associated information for adding to an expense report.  Some receipts are also automatically uploaded.  The traveler can use the Concur app to take pictures of their receipts, which will be automatically uploaded to Concur, and the traveler does not have to keep the receipts. 

UT travel cards come with a limit of $5,000 per month.  For international trips, travelers might need a higher limit on their card. If this is the case, a credit limit increase can be requested using the Concur request.

Preparing for International Travel

For international travel an approved travel request is required. Each campus has an international office with which the traveler must coordinate in advance of the request. There can be additional requirements and processes required for international travel.  It is important to have the request approved well in advance of the trip since there are additional requirements and approvals.    

All requests are routed first to the Cost Object Approver. In addition, all international trips require approval from the Campus International Office and the Campus Business Officer. If one of the destinations is an export-controlled country, the Campus Export Control office approval is also required.

Travel Request Workflow

On the request, comments should be included to provide the who, what, when, where, and why for the trip.  If the traveler is adding personal travel before or after the trip, this information can be indicated on the request.  The traveler should check with their department to see if estimated expenses are required for the trip.  If so, they can be added to the request.  If not, there must be at least one expense to drive workflow, but this expense can be for zero dollars.

The destination listed in the request header should be the country that is the furthest away or the one with the most restrictions.  For example, if an export control country is part of the trip, that country should be identified in the header.  If the trip includes more than one destination, this can be indicated in the comments section of the header.  A more precise method of indicating the destinations can be reflected by using the lodging and air ticket expense types.  This will give information as to exactly which destinations are being visited. 

While the travel card will cover most expenses, there are times when the traveler will also need cash on hand. In some countries, credit cards are not universally accepted.   Some travelers take a group of people or students on their international trips and need cash to cover some of their expenses.  A cash advance is one way to cover expenses where a credit card is not accepted.  The cash advance is handled through the Concur travel request.  All estimated expenses to be used as the basis for the cash advance should be entered on the request. After the estimates are entered, select Request Details > Add Cash Advance.

Request Details > Cash Advance

The cash advance can be up to 100% of the total estimated expenses. The cash advance amount can be decreased if less if needed, but it cannot be increased above 100%.

Request Header with Cash Advance

When booking travel, it is strongly recommended to use either Concur or World Travel directly.  If airfare is booked using one of these options, World Travel provides 24-hour support to the individual while they are traveling.   If using a UT travel card to pay for the bookings, the traveler is required to book through one of these methods.  If airfare is booked on a personal card using one of these methods, the airfare can be reimbursed in advance of the trip.  If an outside booking service is used, the traveler will not be reimbursed until after the trip occurs. 

After Returning from International Travel

When the traveler returns from the trip, the expense report can be created/completed.  The expense report can be created directly from the request which automatically links the request and expense.  This will copy the basic request information to the expense report so that it does not have to be re-entered.  To create the expense report, open the approved travel request and click Create Expense Report. 

Create expense report from request

Concur can process receipts in multiple currencies, and it displays the conversion rate used.  Concur does the automatic conversion from the foreign currency to US dollars.  This makes it seamless for the traveler or travel assistant as they no longer have to do manual conversions.

Per fiscal policy, receipts for travel expenses are required for all travel expenses over $75 if on the travel card or $50 if out of pocket, with the exception of International Transaction Fees, Negative Adjustment to Total, Tolls, Car Mileage, Meals – Per Diem, and Cash Advance Returns. Credit card statements or slips are accepted for ground transportation, tolls, baggage fees and parking. Receipts are always required for airfare, hotels, and car rentals. If these are missing, the vendor can be contacted and a replacement receipt obtained.  Receipts are always required for fuel, regardless of the amount.

Some countries do not issue receipts, or the receipt might be lost. One way to lessen the likelihood of a lost receipt is to use the Concur mobile app.  The app can be used to capture a picture of the receipt and upload it directly into Concur.  The traveler can then throw away the receipt.  If there is no receipt, Concur handles this with the Missing Receipts Declaration feature.

NOTE: The traveler must create the Missing Receipt Declaration, a delegate cannot access this feature for the traveler.

Missing Receipt Declaration

Expenses that require a receipt will be displayed on the Create Receipt Declaration screen.  If an expense already has a receipt or if the expense does not require a receipt, it will not be displayed on the screen.   If the expense has an attachment that is not a receipt, that attachment must be deleted before the expense appears on the Create Receipt Declaration.  After the Missing Receipt Declaration for that expense has been added, any additional attachments can be added. 

Create Receipt Declaration


International SOS (ISOS)

As part of University of Tennessee’s commitment to international travelers, a service is available to provide global medical, security and emotional support assistance through International SOS (ISOS). Travelers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this complimentary service by printing and carrying the International SOS Membership Card with you at all times when traveling abroad, as well as downloading the Assistance App.  All UT faculty, staff, and students traveling abroad on university-approved trips are automatically covered by a blanket international travel insurance policy underwritten by Chubb Insurance with 24/7 travel assistance services provided by International SOS. This Chubb Insurance policy covers sponsored trips, study abroad programs, research, independent study, and internship.

Visit the new UT Risk Management International Travel Insurance and Assistance page for more details.

If you have questions or need additional assistance utilizing the University’s travel system, please contact