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COVID-19 Information on Education Abroad

UPDATED: 10/26/2020
The world still awaits! As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together, Education Abroad is here to support students and remains steadfast in our mission of providing CU Boulder students with access to an extensive portfolio of high impact programs abroad to promote academic, personal, and professional growth in a safe environment. We are committed to providing students, their families, and our partners with information and transparency as we continue to navigate the challenges that the pandemic has posed on international travel. We are continuing to develop innovative ways in which CU Boulder students can have an international experience and become global leaders in a culturally diverse world. This page is updated regularly to provide information related to how Education Abroad is responding to the pandemic and what students can expect in preparing for an Education Abroad experience. Students should also monitor their CU Boulder email address for important updates and guidance.  
How does CU Boulder make decisions about its Education Abroad programs? 
CU Boulder takes guidance from a number of resources including: governmental agencies (U.S. Department of State and 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, and more.  
In making decisions about the impact of COVID-19 on Education Abroad programs, countries must meet the following criteria:  
  • Department of State Country-Specific Advisory Level 3 or lower 
  • Borders open to students 
  • Visa available if required for entry        
  • US Embassy is open 
  • Insurers will cover travel to selected country   
Education Abroad is also assessing COVID-19 standards on each program, and the program's COVID-19 measures must meet or exceed CU's COVID-19 policy. This includes assessing areas such as:  
  • On-site support 
  • Student accommodations 
  • Contingency protocols 
  • Program planning around food safety, sanitation (e.g. cleaning of shared spaces) and access to PPE 
  • Available support and resources during a possible quarantine 
  • Basic services available (e.g. groceries, internet, transportation) 
  • Social distancing practices within the academic setting 
  • Impact on local community
Neither the list of country criteria nor program assessment areas is exhaustive. Education Abroad will utilize these metrics and guidance from the above-mentioned resources to make programing decisions. Education Abroad reserves the right to suspend any program as deemed necessary. The Education Abroad policy on the suspension of programs abroad can be found here. 
When will Education abroad make a decision about whether Spring 2021 programs will run? 
Education Abroad is offering a highly curated and reduced list of spring 2021 programs based on our ongoing health and safety assessment, the criteria we have developed above, and the expertise of our partners in international health and safety. In selecting programs, Education Abroad has prioritized students' health and safety, adhered to CU Boulder campus COVID-19 standards, and assessed additional criteria unique to international travel and programming. Education Abroad will continue to assess all programs that are continuing to be offered based on the above-mentioned criteria. 
Education Abroad will do all we can to facilitate study abroad opportunities for CU Boulder students this spring semester, and for these reasons we do not have a preset go/no-go’ date. We will keep evaluating our programs based on the above-mentioned criteriaand will make additional suspensions if necessary (for example, to meet visa processing deadlines if a consulate is closed), but these timelines will vary. Bookmark this page to check back here anytime, or contact us with any questions. 
What should I expect when studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic?  
Students should anticipate that their experience abroad could be different than they may have originally imagined. Students should keep in mind the following as they set expectations for a term abroad: 
  • Independent Travel: independent travel outside of the city and/or country you are studying abroad in may be limited. Country borders may be closed, quarantine measures may remain in place, and there may be sudden changes to countries' entry and exit requirements. Do not make plans for travel outside of your host country. 
  • Quarantine: your semester abroad may include a 2-week quarantine if required by your host country, or in the event that you or another student (or faculty/staff) are exposed to COVID-19. 
  • Academic Experience: many programs and universities are implementing a hybrid online/in-person format for the upcoming semester. Be familiar and comfortable with both formats. There may be sudden changes to the academic format of your program and additional rules/restrictions may be put in place within the classroom spaces. 
  • Program Excursions and Activities: if your program typically offers excursions or activities, these may be more limited than in previous years. Excursions may be altered or canceled while you are on-site to adjust to current health and government recommendations.  
Where can I find further information related to COVID-19 for my program? 
Students should review all safety and security information provided by their program provider and/or host institution. Each program page includes links to the program providers COVID-19 resources. For students on exchange programs this information can be found within their MyCUAbroad application 'Items to Read/Watch' section.

Education Abroad will also require students to complete an online COVID-19 pre-departure orientation. This orientation will provide further COVID-19 information related to pre-departure preparations, while abroad, and returning home. Students will receive further information related to this orientation via email. 
Should I register for Spring 2021 CU Boulder classes while also preparing for my Spring 2021 program? 
Education Abroad recommends that students register for CU Boulder Spring 2021 courses as a back-up should there be changes to their Spring 2021 Education Abroad plans. Registration for CU Boulder Spring 2021 courses begins on November 9th, 2020. Students should develop a back-up plan with their academic adviser to ensure that they are staying on track with their degree requirements. 
I was accepted for a Spring 2021 Education Abroad program. When do I need to sign my participant contract to commit to the program?
For most programs, the contract is typically due within 1-2 weeks of acceptance. However, Education Abroad understands that there is additional uncertainty for the Spring 2021 semester due to the pandemic. You are welcome to wait to commit to the program until you hear from your Education Abroad program manager. Program managers will be following up with students later this fall. We encourage students to discuss any concerns and questions they have regarding their program with their Education Abroad program manager. 
Can I move forward with booking flights and making other travel plans for my Spring 2021 Education Abroad program?  
Students should not make any personal travel plans or pay any program or housing deposits (including independent housing leases), visa fees, flights, etc. until notified to do so by Education Abroad and their study abroad provider or host university When booking flights, students should carefully review the airlines cancellation and change policies. 
Per the CU Boulder Education Abroad Participant Contract, under no circumstances will CU Boulder Education Abroad be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred in preparing for the program, such as, but not limited to, advance purchase airfare, equipment, passport fees, visa fees, and medical expenses. 
What would happen if there was a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in my host community while I’m abroad? 
Program suspension due to COVID-19 once a program has started is unlikely. If a surge in COVID-19 cases does occur while students are abroad, students should be prepared to shelter in place, adopt enhanced virus mitigation measures, participate in remote coursework, and monitor their health for COVID-19 symptoms. Students will be strongly encouraged to remain in their host country to prevent the unintended spread of the virus to other communities. Further government guidance in a host country may necessitate students to stay at home and/or quarantine. Parents and families would likely not be able to visit their student(s) in the event of an outbreak. Education Abroad supports the public health guidance for traveling home which CU Boulder shared during the rise of COVID-19 cases among students this fall semester. Traveling home when students may be a virus carrier and asymptomatic, would risk spreading the virus during transit and to students’ home communities. 
Should I purchase trip cancellation insurance? 
While Education Abroad remains optimistic that your program will run, many things could change between now and your program start including local conditions, entry requirements, etc. For these reasons, we recommend you consider purchasing Cancel / Interrupt for Any Reason (CFAR/IFAR) insurance for your program. While not a requirement, CFAR/IFAR policies can add extra insurance for these financial commitments and give you a little more flexibility in your personal decision timeline. One example of this policy is through Travel Insured
What should I do about my Boulder housing for the Spring 2021 semester?   
Education Abroad recommends talking to your Education Abroad program manager if you are concerned about how uncertainty regarding the Spring 2021 semester may affect your Boulder housing plans for the Spring 2021 semester.  
Should I stay enrolled in my current health insurance policy while I am abroad?  
Education Abroad recommends that you maintain Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance at all times (even during your time out of the country). You should contact your insurance provider with any questions about your specific policy. See the Education Abroad Handbook for more information. 
Are there Education Abroad programs I can do from home? 
Yes! While deadlines for many programs this spring have passed, Education Abroad is offering virtual program options that provide a global curriculum and an opportunity to build connections through online classes or virtual internships. Students have the option of enrolling in these programs as a full course load or in addition to a CU Boulder course load.  
What are my options if my Spring 2021 program has been suspended or if I decide not to participate in the program for which I was accepted?     
Should Education Abroad make the difficult decision to suspend any program prior to departure, students will have three options:  
  1. Defer their participation to a future term, 
  1. Switch their application to another spring program that fits their academic and personal interests, 
  1. Withdraw their Ed Abroad application. 
Education Abroad is committed to providing students with study abroad opportunities and will work with each student to find a program that promote academic, personal, and professional growth in a safe environment, whether it is for the spring 2021 or a future term. 
What would happen if I withdraw from a future Education Abroad program out of concern for COVID-19? 
Education Abroad 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 spring 2021 Education Abroad program, the student will be subject to the terms of the applicable Education Abroad Withdrawal Policy as outlined on the program cost pagesStudents are responsible for program fees after signing the participant contract in their MyCUAbroad account. Students should keep in mind the following deadlines to receive a refund for our Education Abroad deposit and program cost as they consider their program options (this does not include out-of-pocket expenses).   
Programs - If only the provider is listed, all programs offered by that provider fall within the date indicated  
November 1st 
Georgia Tech Lorraine
ISA programs in:
  • Netherlands, England 
Tel Aviv University 
November 15th  
ISA programs in: 
  • Italy, Spain 
December 1st  
IAU College 
ISA programs in: 
  • Costa Rica, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, Czech Republic, Australia (Bond, Griffith* & Melbourne*)  
All exchange programs 
If a student withdraws from a program after the date indicated above, the student will be subject to the terms of the applicable Education Abroad Withdrawal Policy as outlined on the program cost pages.

*Updated since chart was originally published  
Can I plan on studying abroad for a future term (Summer 2021 and beyond)?   
Yes, absolutely! While the pandemic is unpredictable, at this time study abroad programs for Summer 2021 and beyond are proceeding as planned. We will continue to update this page should any program changes be necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
What decisions has CU Boulder made in response to COVID-19 for past terms?    
Summer, Fall, and Winter 2020 programsAll Summer, Fall and Winter 2020 on-site programs were suspended prior to students’ departure, due to health and safety concerns, border closings, travel restrictions and CU Boulder’s suspension of all university-funded travel, foreign or domestic, in March 2020.  Education Abroad administered online Summer and Fall courses in lieu of an on-site option. 
Spring 2020: Earlier this year, CU Boulder suspended all Education Abroad programs for Spring 2020 due to the CDC issuance of Global Warning Level 3 and the U.S. Department of State issuance of a Global Health Advisory Level 4. 
How can I discuss my study abroad plans with Education Abroad?  
Education Abroad is operating remotely for the fall semesterWe are eager to connect with youContact our office through email, live chat, and remote advising (Monday-Friday, from 9:00-4:30). 
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 COVID-19 Updates & Resources. 
How will I receive updates related to Education Abroad programs?  
Education Abroad will directly contact students with updates via email. Education 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’s COVID-19 Updates & Resources webpage. 
Who can I contact with further questions related to Education Abroad and COVID-19?
For questions related to a specific study abroad program or student, contact Education Abroad. For questions related to the campus response to COVID-19, please see the CU’s COVID-19 Updates & Resources webpage which includes a link to submit questions.