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CU Boulder Education Abroad Coronavirus FAQs

UPDATED: 4/7/2020

All Spring 2020 Education Abroad programs have been suspended, in response to the CDC issuance of Warning Level 3, Avoid Non-essential  and the U.S. Department of State issuance of a Global Health Advisory Level 4:  Do Not Travel.
Summer 2020 with start dates before July 6 have been suspended in anticipation of continued health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 and travel restrictions.  Decisions on summer programs with start dates after July 6 will be made in late April.

Fall 2020/ Spring 2021: All Fall 2020 programs are being offered as planned. Students wishing to apply to study abroad in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 should apply as normal. Once accepted into a fall program, we also recommend that students register for Boulder campus fall classes as a backup.  CU Boulder is continuing to evaluate all future programs and will notify impacted students should COVID-19 remain a threat, causing fall programs to be suspended. 

Preguntas y Repuestas Sobre el Impacto del Coronavirus en los Estudios al Extranjero.
How is CU Boulder monitoring the coronavirus situation worldwide? 
A team of university officials is monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness COVID-19 worldwide. To assess risks related to study abroad travel, the university uses a number of resources, including governmental agencies (U.S. Department of State, Center for Disease Control), the World Health Organization, the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), CU’s international security provider, professional health and security organizations, assessments by university partners abroad, U.S. Embassy country COVID-19 information, news outlets, and more. University updates can be found on this web page: CU’s Coronavirus Updates and Resources
How does CU Boulder make decisions about its education abroad programs? 
In making decisions about the impact of COVID-19 on education abroad programs, CU Boulder takes guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization, and all of the COVID-19 resources and expert information sources mentioned above. The policy on the suspension of programs abroad can be found here
What decisions has CU Boulder made to suspend programs in response to the novel coronavirus?   
CU Boulder has suspended all Education Abroad programs for spring 2020, due to the CDC issuance of Global Warning Level 3, Avoid Non-essential travel, and the U.S. Department of State issuance of a Global Health Advisory Level 4:  Do Not Travel.

Summer 2020 with start dates before July 6 have been suspended in anticipation of continued health and safety concerns related to COVID-19 and travel restrictions.  Decisions on summer programs with start dates after July 6 will be made in late April. Impacted students have been notified of these decisions.
What happens if a CU Boulder education abroad program is suspended? 
Student health and safety is our top priority. Once CU Boulder informs students and their emergency contacts that a program has been suspended, students are advised to depart immediately from their program and to return home. We will provide as much support as we can to ensure the students’ ability to expeditiously depart from their program and return home.

CU Boulder is committed to supporting students’ academic success. CU Boulder works closely with our academic partners who provide education abroad programs with the goal of mitigating potential impacts on students’ academic progress.  Note that in some instances when students are directly enrolled in a host institution abroad, or if students are taking lab or studio courses, the option to continue coursework remotely might not be possible.  Education Abroad will work with students whose programs were suspended mid-semester on a case by case basis to explore all possible solutions. For more information, please see the CU Boulder Education Abroad Academic FAQs.

Program Fee Adjustments:
If the program is suspended before the program’s official start date, students will receive a credit adjustment of the deposit and program fees that have been paid.  If a program is suspended after its official start date, credit adjustments vary, based on a number of factors.  Decisions on credit adjustments for spring 2020 will be made by the end of the spring semester.
What would happen if a student withdraws from a future Education Abroad program out of concern for COVID-19?
CU Boulder understands that personal tolerance for risk may vary, and that final decisions will be made between a student and their family. If a student chooses to withdraw from a future Education Abroad program, the student will be subject to the terms of the applicable Education Abroad Withdrawal Policy as outlined on program cost pages.
What happens to my financial aid if my program is suspended and I choose to withdraw? 
In order to minimize academic disruption and any negative impacts to your financial aid, you are expected to continue your coursework through your program. If you’re considering withdrawing from your program, your financial aid may be reduced or cancelled, so it is vital that you are speaking with a financial aid counselor before making that decision.
Should Education Abroad students purchase trip cancellation insurance and/or refundable airfare?
Education Abroad recommends that students consider purchasing “Any Reason” trip cancellation insurance to safeguard against losses or penalties associated with withdrawal or program cancellation. It is important to read the fine print of these policies to see what exclusions might apply.  Many policies, for instance do not include coverage for pandemics or global health threats.  Education Abroad assumes no responsibility for such losses or penalties.
Who will Education Abroad contact with updates? 
CU Boulder Education Abroad contacts students directly with updates, and also informs the student's designated emergency contacts when a decision is made to suspend a program should the student already be abroad.  We ask students to share all updates with their emergency contacts. Education Abroad updates this website on a regular basis. All members of the CU Boulder community can also find updates at CU’s Coronavirus Updates and Resources.
How will I know if my program is suspended?
Education Abroad will directly contact students with updates via email. Ed Abroad reaches out to students’ designated emergency contacts only in very specific situations. All members of the CU Boulder community can find updates related to COVID-19 on this page, and on the CU Coronavirus website.
What precautions should students take upon returning to the US from their program abroad? 
Per the CDC Guidelines, travelers returning from high-risk countries (including Europe, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, as well as others) should stay home for 14 days from the time they left an area with widespread, ongoing community spread and practice social distancing. If you are not returning from a high-risk country, the CDC is recommending that all travelers returning from travel should monitor their health and practice social distancing for 14 days after returning from travel. Please note that several states, counties, and towns have implemented stricter restrictions on residents. Contact your local public health office for further information and guidance.

Due to the continued fluidity of this situation and global response to COVID-19, we recommend continuing to consult the CDC website and contact your local medical provider and public health office for further information and recommendations. Review the additional advice for travelers related to the coronavirus on the CDC’s FAQs. If you have symptoms and/or are concerned that you have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your medical provider.
Who can I contact about study abroad and the coronavirus situation?
For questions related to a specific study abroad program or student, contact Education Abroad. For questions related to the campus response to the coronavirus, please see the CU Coronavirus website, which includes a link to submit questions.