openSUSE:Travel Support Program
tagline: From openSUSE
openSUSE Travel Support Program
The openSUSE Travel Support Program aims to support contributors representing openSUSE at events, conferences and hack-fests with their travel and hotel costs. The program pays up to 80% of the travel and/or hotel costs for contributors who could not afford going to these events otherwise. In turn the contributors make a worthy contribution at the event and report back to the openSUSE community about what they did.
The Travel Committee is responsible for gathering all the requests and ideas from the community and working with them to decide what the most valuable conferences and events are and deciding on who to support and how much.
The Travel Committee also decides on travel support for openSUSE events like openSUSE Conference and openSUSE Summit.
* Kostas Koudaras (advocate event planning)
* Izabel Valverde (finance & planning)
The openSUSE Travel support Program supports community members with the goal of spreading the word of openSUSE and build up local communities.
Any openSUSE Advocate or Member requiring travel assistance to attend an event to represent openSUSE can request travel sponsorship.
The Travel Committee reimburses up to 80% of travel costs (plane ticket, train ticket, bus ticket) and/or lodging costs (hotel, hostel). We won't reimburse food, taxes, extra charges for credit cards, visas, etc. These are not reimbursed and up to the person that requested any kind of sponsorship. Once a request is approved, the community member can go and attend the event. Afterwards, send the receipts within 2 weeks after returning from the event to receive reimbursement.
The Travel Committee might look for more economical options and use it as a reference when decide on a sponsorship. Look for the cheapest option and help to save money for someone else to be sponsored or you in the future as well.
The Travel Committee might sponsor more than one person for an event if needed, in case there will be a booth or any other need but this depends from the form of the event, the expected guests on the event and variety of other similar reasons. Priority will be given for speakers presenting openSUSE topics, persons staffing and organizing exhibits or other openSUSE promoting activities.
Evidence of active participation in the openSUSE community is required prior to being considered for the travel support program. The Travel Committee expect you to continue to be active in the openSUSE project in your area before reimbursing you again.
The Travel Committee usually will not sponsor the same person twice in the same quarter or in less than 30 days. Our goal is to give as many people a chance to attend events as possible. Exceptions can be made where it makes sense and planned in advance.
If you receive sponsorship you have to...
- Write a report about the conference. The talks that you attended, activities you participated, people that you met, etcetera. Preferably publish this as a blog.
- Be available to educate or mentor other people who want to get involved with openSUSE, help with any openSUSE activities, e.g. booth duty.
- If you have problems and can't attend the event inform the Travel Committee soon as possible. Remember you won't have your expenses reimbursed.
The Travel Committee may occasionally sponsor people who are not active openSUSE contributors. For example, Google Summer of Code or locals needing to cover openSUSE attendance in major conferences or needed events.
How to apply for Travel sponsorship
* First, make sure the conference or event is relevant for openSUSE
* Requests must be submitted 6 weeks prior to the event.
If a number of people goes to an event, please coordinate - let one of you send in the overview for the full conference. That way, if we can't fund all of you, you can discuss among yourselves who should go instead of letting us decide that. Be sure to communicate with us with everyone on CC so you all know what is going on!
* Send the request through https://connect.opensuse.org/travel-support/
* Wait patiently to get questions or suggestions about your request
* Any extra information can be required, please provide it asap
* Expect a confirmation of your approval, or if it's taking too long, feel free to ping any member of the committee
* The answer about sponsorship will be sent on reply from the request. Information in the reply will outline the maximum amount that will be approved. The actual reimbursement amount will be based upon the submitted receipts and will not exceed the approved reimbursement amount.
* Receipts submitted for reimbursement must contain the itemized expenses
* After got a positive confirmation buy your tickets and/or make your reservation
* After the event, you have 2 weeks to send the appropriate receipts for tickets and lodging. if they are not in English or the receipt has a lot of information, please clearly mark the total and the purpose. Receipts sent after this date will not be reimbursed.
* Allow us some time for the reimbursement, sending money around the world can take some time. We strive to reimburse everybody within 40 days after receiving the receipts. Reimbursement methods (check, bank or wire transfer) may vary from country to country.
* If you don't get a positive answer, this may be due to one or several reasons, for example no money left, not enough information given, relevance of the event to openSUSE, other openSUSE people planning to attend the same event/conference, ...
Important to know...
- Be patient
- If it's taking too long and you see prices go up a lot - or something similar - please ping a member of the committee.
- DO NOT BUY ANYTHING UNTIL YOU GET A VERY CLEAR CONFIRMATION, applying does not mean you are approved, and silence does not mean approval.
- Try to get the best fares for tickets and lodging, look at various airlines and routes. Remember you still have to pay at least 20% yourself and the committee might verify the amount requested looking for the best offers on public website (E.g. KAYAK, Decolar, Expedia, e-Dreams,...)
- Please find a roommate to save on lodging costs where possible.
- Ask for only what you need. If you can afford to pay for some of your ticket or lodging, we would really appreciate it as that means we can help more people.
- Be responsible, the money you save is the money we will use to fund someone else or even yourself again.
- We do not book tickets or hotel for you, you have to take care of that yourself. If that is really a very big issue you can contact us, it is sometimes possible to make an exception.
* This is not a full-service - we help with travel and accommodation costs but will not cover other expense like food, insurances, visa.
- If your ticket or travel gets more expensive after an amount has been confirmed, the excess will not be reimbursed
- If you do not go to the event, no reimbursement will take place
- If you can not present receipts, no reimbursement can take place
- In case travel and/or hotel has been pre-paid by the committee and you don’t show up, you will receive an invoice!
- We expect you to behave and dress properly, both in accordance to the Guiding Principles of openSUSE as well as local law and regulations.
- If problems arise, due to your (in)actions or due to external circumstances, the responsibility is yours. We do not guarantee, cover or insure anything!
- If you don’t write a public report shortly after the event, no reimbursement can take place
- If you don't keep contributing to openSUSE after be sponsored no other sponsorship will be appoved in the future.
Notice: As said before, in exceptional cases instead of reimbursement, we can pay your travel or hotel in advance or directly. If this is the case, the Travel Committee will make this very clear. Note that this puts the same responsibility on you as if you would pay it yourself: You are responsible for the attendance, showing up and checking-in on time etc. For example problems related to missed flights, hotel room damage are entirely the responsibility of the sponsored person.
Any extra costs related to bad behaviour or broken rules by the reimbursed person is his/her own responsibility. These extra costs, incl. no show costs, will be charged to you.
Quick Checklist Travel Sponsorship
Before the event...
- Apply for the sponsorship via https://connect.opensuse.org/travel-support/ and tell the team: costs and what you ask for, about the event and how it relates to openSUSE and the openSUSE related activities in which you will participate or lead
- Once you get confirmation from sponsorship team, go ahead and book
- Ask for DVDs and other marketing materials via http://software.opensuse.org/promodvd
After the event...
- Send in your reimbursements directly (at most 2 weeks after the event)
- Write a public report about the event
- Depending on your country, your local banking system and the method of payment better for both parts, we will try to get you the reimbursement money as soon as possible. Usually this takes from few days to few weeks.
“Those rules can be changed by the Travel committee at any time if needed”