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COVID-19 Information on Education Abroad

UPDATED: 9/10/2021

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.

Campus COVID-19 Info
Get all the latest updates on campus efforts regarding COVID-19

Decision Making

Using the assessment criteria laid out in the COVID-19 Conditions Criteria for Education Abroad, in addition to established health and safety protocols, Education Abroad (EA) has received campus approval to run Education Abroad programs beginning in Spring 2021 and through Summer 2022. Education Abroad will continue to work closely with the campus to evaluate future Education Abroad programs. See the criteria above for more details.
Education Abroad is currently running programs in two-thirds of the countries that we typically offer programs. Education Abroad continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on programs and in all locations that we are operating. In 2021, Education Abroad and/or our partners have successfully facilitated programs in the following countries: Austria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Panama, Portugal, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turks and Caicos, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. 
Education Abroad is hopeful that we will be able to successfully facilitate programs in almost all the countries that we typically offer programs for the Spring 2022 semester and into the future. Based on the success of the 2021 year, we are optimistic that programs in the above-mentioned countries will continue to be offered moving forward.  

For countries to which we have not sent students since the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a higher level of uncertainty around whether these programs will be able to run as planned. We are still evaluating the COVID-19 conditions in each of these locations as many currently do not meet our required criteria. We are accepting applications for spring 2022 programs in the below locationshowever, students should be aware of the current COVID-19-related concerns for their respective destination and have an alternative program location in mind.  
  • Programs that haven't run in 2021 but currently meet all of EA's Conditions Criteria: Botswana

  • Borders remain closed to U.S. citizens (including students): Argentina, Chile, Bhutan, Japan, Madagascar, Samoa, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam

  • Concerns about current COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the local healthcare system: Brazil, India, Nepal, Peru 

  • Other:
    • Cambodia: Mandatory quarantine period has been cost & time prohibitive 
    • Tanzania: Unreliable COVID data to accurately assess conditions 
Education Abroad will continue to monitor health, safety, and security conditions in all locations closely and will make programming changes as necessary. 

Travel Preparations

The timeline for students to pay any program or housing deposits (including independent housing leases), visa fees, flights, etc. will differ based on the student's program and host country. Students should review the information provided by their study abroad program and/or Education Abroad program manager regarding visa timelines and purchasing airfare. Many study abroad programs are recommending student wait to book flights until 30 days before the start the program. 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.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has information related to COVID-19 testing for individuals traveling during the pandemic. Education Abroad advises all students to follow the CDC recommendations regarding COVID-19 testing and recommends that students (especially those who are not fully vaccinated) to limit their risk of exposure in the weeks leading up to their departure.

Additionally, a student's program, host country, and/or airline may require a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination status. Many countries have implemented additional entry requirements to reduce the risk of travelers entering the country with COVID-19. This often includes requiring travelers to provide a negative PCR test upon arrival to the host country. Education Abroad and students' programs will provide further information related to entry and testing requirements to students via email prior to the program start date, but this information is subject to change. The best places to find information on COVID-19 testing requirements in a specific country include: the host country's Ministry of Health and government websites, U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas, CDC Travel Health Notices, and the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories.

Consult your local public health website for a list of COVID-19 test sites near you. For testing in Boulder County, review the Boulder County COVID-19 Testing webpage. Pay attention to the type of test required by your host country, as applicable (many countries require a PCR test for entry). 


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 financial commitments and give you a little more flexibility in your personal decision timeline. One example of this policy is through Travel Insured.

Students participating on international Global Seminar programs will receive further information related to their program and trip cancellation insurance.

Student Experience

Education Abroad is committed to preparing students for a safe and successful program abroad, and it is especially important that students are aware of the additional logistics, policies, and risks related to studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Accepted Student Guide provides specific information related to the student experience and expectation setting for studying abroad during the pandemic. Students will receive further information from their program related to  COVID-19 preparations for their experience in the months leading up to their departure.

Additionally, Education Abroad requires all students studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic to read and sign an Acknowledgement of COVID-19 Risk document. This document is included in student's MyCUAbroad portal after acceptance to their program.

Lastly, Education Abroad students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the start of their program (see below for more details).


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 in could be limited. Country borders could close, quarantine measures could be in place, and there may be sudden changes to countries' entry and exit requirements. Consult your program's guidance before making any plans for travel outside your host country.
  • Quarantine: your program abroad may include a quarantine of up to 2-weeks 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 have implemented hybrid online/in-person course formats. 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 based on local conditions.
  • Program Excursions and Activities: if your program typically offers excursions or activities, know that these could be altered or canceled while you are on-site to adjust to current health and government recommendations.

Further information related to what students can expect during their program abroad can be found in the Accepted Student Guide and in materials provided directly by their program.


Students should review all safety and security information provided by Education Abroad, their program provider and/or host institution. Provider COVID-19 resources, including health and safety guidelines and protocols, term specific information, and more, can be found on the COVID-19 Information by Study Abroad Program Provider page. Note that this information and guidance may change and students should consult these resources often.

Students should also familiarize themselves with the information found in the Accepted Student Guide.

Health and Safety Matters

Education Abroad requires students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of their program. This policy follows the decision by the University of Colorado to require students, faculty, and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The CDC considers people to be fully vaccinated: 

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
For students pursuing an exemption to the vaccine requirement per CU’s guidelines, please note that this exemption may not be accommodated on their program. This would be the case in situations where host university, program, and/or country entry requirements vary from CU’s guidelines. Students will be required to abide by any vaccine requirements and associated exemptions that are imposed through their program and/or entry requirements. Failure to comply with program policies could result in dismissal.

COVID-19 vaccination is increasingly required globally to participate in everyday activities such as dining indoors; going to the movies, nightclubs, or gyms; attending concerts, the theater, or sporting events; or utilizing public transportation. Education Abroad anticipates that as the vaccine becomes more widely available, many airlines, countries, and programs/universities will increasingly require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Students should monitor the information provided by their program carefully as details related to vaccine requirements may change between now and the start of students' program. 
The benefits of getting a vaccine extend beyond their established health benefits: 
  • Local governments may decide travelers must be vaccinated in order to enter the country (often with little warning)
  • Certain countries are exempting vaccinated individuals from mandatory quarantines
  • Vaccination may be required by local governments to engage in social activities such as going to the movies, the theater, museums, restaurants, nightclubs, concerts, sporting events, or gyms
  • Host institutions may decide, as many U.S. universities are doing, to require that all students be vaccinated to attend and they may have fewer exemptions than those set by CU
  • Airline travel requirements may shift and require proof of vaccination to travel
  • Vaccinated individual will likely have increased ability for independent travel both during and after their program 
  • More lenient guidelines from the CDC upon return from international travel 
As a result, not being vaccinated against COVID-19 could:
  • Impact your ability to enter your host country, 
  • Impact your ability to engage in social/daily activities
  • Result in additional quarantine or testing requirements, with the cost of quarantine and additional testing being at the student's expense
Students should make a digital and second physical copy of their vaccination card and keep a copy with them at all times.

This will depend on your program, current location, and host country requirements. Isolate, continue to monitor your health, follow local country (or state and county) COVID-19 protocols, and inform your program and Education Abroad.  


The CDC currently requires all air passengers, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested for COVID-19 infection no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. The CDC also recommends that all persons arriving to the US get tested 3-5 days after travel. Unvaccinated people are also recommended to stay home for a full 7 days even if they tested negative (10 days if they don't get tested) after travel. It is important to also follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.

If you have symptoms or are concerned that you were exposed to COVID-19, contact your medical provider.

Program Cancellation/Withdrawal

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
  2. Switch their application to another available program that fits their academic and personal interests
  3. 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 promotes academic, personal, and professional growth in a safe environment, whether it is for their initially intended term or a future term.

Education Abroad will refund recoverable costs paid directly to CU Boulder should a program be suspended. 


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 their Education Abroad program, the student will be subject to the terms of the applicable Education Abroad Withdrawal Policy as outlined on the program cost pages. Students are responsible for the Withdrawal Policy upon signing the Participant Contract in their MyCUAbroad account post-acceptance.


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. Members of the CU Boulder community can also find campus updates at CU’s COVID-19 Updates & Resources.


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.

Additional Information

Yes! Education Abroad offers virtual program options that provide a global curriculum and an opportunity to internationalize students experience. Students have the option of enrolling in these programs independently or in addition to a CU Boulder course load.


Education Abroad is open for both in person and virtual advising! See our Contact Us page for information on how to connect with an advisor.  For questions related to a specific study abroad program or student situation, contact the respective Education Abroad Program Manager.


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.