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Education Abroad Office

Study Abroad COVID-19 FAQ and Communications

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Learn about how the university is changing to mitigate the effects of the novel coronavirus and what you can do to help.

 

Frequently Asked Questions: Education Abroad and COVID-19

1. Will UofSC support Spring 2021 semester-long education abroad programming?

The University of South Carolina plans to support students to participate in Spring 2021 education abroad programs in countries that are under a U.S. Department of State (DoS) Travel Advisory of Level 3 or lower. 

However, students should be aware that the DoS and the U.S. Center for Diseases Control and Prevention continue to urge against most non-essential international travel.  Because of the wide-reaching and unpredictable effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, international travel can carry significant risk this upcoming spring.  As a result, students must approach their education abroad experiences with significant thought, preparation, and flexibility.  

2. What can I expect when going abroad in Spring 2021?

While it is difficult to predict the future, it is clear that your education abroad experience will look quite different than those of past students. 

It is likely that as you begin your education abroad experience, you will need to quarantine for the time period specified by your destination country's government.  You might also have to show proof of a negative COVID test to gain entry into the country.  

You should monitor local media in our destination country to gain a better understanding of what daily life will look like.  Based on reports from our international partners, regardless of your destination, you may complete your coursework with a mix of in-person and online class meetings.  Indoor dining may be restricted in your host city, so you might find more outdoor social activities.  It is likely that large gatherings will be limited.  You will likely be expected to wear a mask in public, including on public transportation.  Additionally, you might find that regulations and recommendations change over the course of your semester abroad based on case trends in your area.  You should be prepared to adapt to these new recommendations.

We do not recommend traveling outside of your destination country on weekends or school breaks, as you might face challenges in re-entering your host country or be required to quarantine again for a period of time.

3. What happens if my destination country moves to a Department of State Level 4 Travel Advisory?

The Department of State (“DoS”) Travel Advisory levels are the primary indicator that UofSC uses to determine where it will support study abroad students.  If your destination country becomes subject to a DoS Level 4 advisory at any time prior to your departure, UofSC will not be able to support your travel.  If your destination country moves to a Level 4 while you are there, UofSC would likely either recommend or require that you return to the United States and complete your coursework virtually.  

Please note that UofSC reserves the right to revoke approval based on other factors as well, aside from the DoS advisories.  UofSC monitors the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DoS, South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, and our international security provider.  When making decisions about specific programs, we consider local conditions as well as input from peer institutions and our overseas partners.

 4. My destination country has a Center for Diseases Control and Prevention Level 4 COVID-19 Travel Health Notice.  What does this mean?

The Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently implemented a new travel rating system.  The long-standing CDC Travel Health Notice system with three tiers (Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3) remains the same.  That said, CDC Travel Health Notices no longer include COVID-19 related health risks.  Every country has a new COVID-19 Travel Health Notice which indicates a level 1 through 4 warning specifically related to COVID-19 risk (i.e., "very high," "high," "moderate," and "low").  An overview of the thresholds for the different levels is available here.  Level 4 is triggered when a country has reported more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people over the previous 28-day period.   

While UofSC considers the CDC travel notice levels as one factor in its risk assessment, a CDC Level 4 does not automatically prompt UofSC to revoke support for travel as a DoS Level 4 does.  As we have stressed previously though, it is important to be aware that the U.S. government continues to recommend against most international non-essential travel while the pandemic is ongoing. 

5. What happens if my country bans U.S. citizens from entering the country?

If your destination country bans U.S. citizens and/or U.S. students from entering, we recommend going to your back-up plan, which might be a virtual education abroad program for the Spring 2021 term.  In any case, please complete the Spring 2021 Education Abroad Program Update Form so we can update your record with our office.

6. What should I do if I’m on the fence about my Spring 2021 education abroad?

Please refer to Question #2 if you're wondering what your experience might look like.  While we believe a Spring 2021 student can succeed abroad and have a valuable experience with the appropriate on-site support and willingness to follow COVID-19 precautions, it is important to go into the experience with an understanding that circumstances related to the pandemic can change quickly and will require a significant amount of flexibility.   

If you are on the fence, we recommend that you think about your own tolerance for uncertainty and change.  It is normal to feel some mixture of nerves and excitement as your departure date nears, but if you are feeling a high amount of stress when you think about your experience abroad this spring, there is no shame in cancelling or deferring your education abroad application to a future term.     

7. What should I do if I have decided to cancel my study abroad intent?

We completely understand that you may feel it is best to cancel or defer your education abroad experience to a future term when the pandemic has stabilized and international travel is more predictable.  If you want to cancel your education abroad program, please email Rachel Mills at rachelnh@email.sc.edu AND complete our Spring 2021 Education Abroad Program Update Form.  We will cancel your application when we reopen.  

8. What do I need to know about insurance?  Do I need trip cancellation insurance?

UofSC education abroad students are required to be enrolled in UofSC's international emergency health insurance plan.  Our office enrolls you in this plan.  However, it is important to note that this insurance policy is for emergency medical and mental health expenses incurred while studying abroad.  It will cover medical treatment for COVID-19, but it is not a trip cancellation policy.

The Education Abroad Office recommends considering a “Interrupt for Any Reason” insurance plan or a “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance plan.  Here are some options from our insurance company, CISI.  Not all plans will cover all costs associated with a program – please contact CISI or your chosen insurance provider directly for confirmation of what expenses would be covered.

For more information about what UofSC's international emergency health insurance plan covers, please refer to our insurance provider's COVID-19 FAQ page.

9. Will I need a negative test result to gain entry into my destination country? What about when I return to the United States?

It is likely that you will need to show proof of a negative result when you enter your destination country. You must stay up-to-date on the requirements surrounding negative test proof, as each country as its own regulations about how recently you must have taken your test and what type of test is needed. 

In January 2021, the CDC implemented a requirement that all international travelers returning to the United States must show proof of a negative test result no more than 3 days prior to your flight's departure. You may also show specific proof of recovery. Please review the CDC page here to learn more about this requirement. You should also be prepared to remain in your destination country if you do not test negative and are thus not able to return to the United States on your scheduled return date. Each U.S. Embassy webpage has a "Health Alert" with detailed information about the impact of COVID-19 in that country. These Health Alerts now include information on testing availability in each country. As an example, here is the Health Alert here for U.S. Embassy Paris.  You can conduct an online search for the COVID-19 Health Alert page for the U.S. Embassy in your destination country.

1. What types of programs does UofSC plan to support in the Maymester/Summer 2021 term?

Upon careful review and discussion, the Student International Travel Oversight Committee made the decision to cancel short-term Global Classroom Maymester programs scheduled to depart before May 28, 2021.  Additionally, UofSC will not be able to support other short-term programming this summer.  In reaching this decision, SITOC considered the following challenges related to participating in a short-term program this year:

  • Maintaining social distance during travel-based programs that move often around city or from city to city
  • Entry and re-entry challenges
    • 10-14 day quarantine requirement in many countries
    • U.S. citizens required to qualify for an exception category to gain entry to many countries -- short-term students would not qualify for an exception category since they would not have a student visa
    • Testing required for entry to most countries and re-entry into United States
  • Lack of capacity and funding to support if a student contracts COVID-19 while abroad or needs to be isolated and cannot return home as scheduled

2. What summer programs could I participate in this year?

If you are interested in applying to a Global Partner or Global Direct program, it must be a longer-term program (e.g. ~5-6 weeks or longer) that is more likely to run.  Please remember that it is still highly possible that quarantine requirements will be in effect for the summer term, so factor a 7-14 day quarantine into your program time.

UofSC would only support student travel to destinations with a U.S. Department of State (DoS) Travel Advisory of Level 3 or lower.  

However, students should be aware that the DoS and the U.S. Center for Diseases Control and Prevention continue to urge against most non-essential international travel.  Because of the wide-reaching and unpredictable effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, international travel can carry significant risk at this time.  As a result, students must approach their education abroad experiences with significant thought, preparation, and flexibility.  

3. What happens if my destination country moves to a Department of State Level 4 Travel Advisory?

The Department of State (“DoS”) Travel Advisory levels are the primary indicator that UofSC uses to determine where it will support study abroad students.  If your destination country becomes subject to a DoS Level 4 advisory at any time prior to your departure, UofSC will not be able to support your travel.  If your destination country has moved to a Level 4, we recommend either enrolling in UofSC classes or a virtual education abroad program for the Summer 2021 term, if you need summer credits.  If you would like to enroll in UofSC classes, you can drop yourself from the INTL study abroad placeholder course (if already enrolled) and enroll in your UofSC classes as usual.  If your program has offered a virtual education abroad option and you would like to enroll in your program virtually, please move forward with the virtual option.  In either case, please complete the 2021 Education Abroad Program Update Form so we can update your record with our office.

Please note that UofSC reserves the right to revoke approval based on other factors as well, aside from the DoS advisories.  UofSC monitors the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DoS, South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, and our international security provider.  When making decisions about specific programs, we consider local conditions as well as input from peer institutions and our overseas partners.

4. How do I apply for a longer-term summer program?

The application requirements are outlined here.  Please note your application requirements include completing a COVID-19 Travel Safety Plan for review.  Your plan must receive approval in order for you to be approved for an education abroad experience.

5. What should I be mindful about as I think about applying for an education abroad program?

You should stay up-to-date on the COVID-19 situation in your country continuously -- you can find resources for staying up-to-date on this page.  You should also pay close attention to your program's payment schedule and refund policies.  Please remember that UofSC cannot refund you for any fees you pay to your program.

6. Can I go to any country right now?

No. Beyond UofSC's inability to support students in countries rated by the State Department as Level 4, there are many countries not currently admitting U.S. residents. While some have been allowing exceptions for students, this is not a guarantee and entry restrictions can change at any time.  You must stay up-to-date with entry restrictions for your destination country up until your departure date.

7. My destination country has a Center for Diseases Control and Prevention Level 4 COVID-19 Travel Health Notice.  What does this mean?

The Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently implemented a new travel rating system.  The long-standing CDC Travel Health Notice system with three tiers (Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3) remains the same.  That said, CDC Travel Health Notices no longer include COVID-19 related health risks.  Every country has a new COVID-19 Travel Health Notice which indicates a level 1 through 4 warning specifically related to COVID-19 risk (i.e., "very high," "high," "moderate," and "low").  An overview of the thresholds for the different levels is available here.  Level 4 is triggered when a country has reported more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people over the previous 28-day period.   

While UofSC considers the CDC travel notice levels as one factor in its risk assessment, a CDC Level 4 does not automatically prompt UofSC to revoke support for travel as a DoS Level 4 does.  As we have stressed previously though, it is important to be aware that the U.S. government continues to recommend against most international non-essential travel while the pandemic is ongoing. 

8. What can I expect during my Summer 2021 education abroad program?

While it is difficult to predict the future, it is clear that a Summer 2021 education abroad experience will look quite different than in past years.  You mind find that as you begin your education abroad experience, you will need to quarantine for the time period specified by your destination country's government.  You might also have to show proof of a negative COVID test to gain entry into the country.   

Based on reports from our international partners, regardless of your destination, you may complete your coursework with a mix of in-person and online class meetings.  Indoor dining and other social activities may be restricted in your host city.  It is likely that large gatherings will be limited.  You will likely be expected to wear a mask in public, including on public transportation.  Additionally, you might find that regulations and recommendations change over the course of your semester abroad based on case trends in your area.  We do not recommend traveling outside of your destination country on weekends or school breaks, as you might face challenges in re-entering your host country or be required to quarantine again for a period of time.  You should be prepared to adapt to these new recommendations. 

While we believe a Summer 2021 student can succeed abroad and have a valuable experience with the appropriate on-site support and willingness to follow COVID-19 precautions, it is important to go into the experience with an understanding that circumstances related to the pandemic can change quickly and will require a significant amount of flexibility.   

If you are on the fence, we recommend that you think about your own tolerance for uncertainty and change.  It is normal to feel some mixture of nerves and excitement as your departure date nears, but if you are feeling a high amount of stress when you think about your experience abroad this summer, there is no shame in cancelling or deferring your education abroad application to a future term.    

9. What do I need to know about insurance?  Do I need trip cancellation insurance?

UofSC education abroad students are required to be enrolled in UofSC's international emergency health insurance plan.  Our office enrolls you in this plan.  However, it is important to note that this insurance policy is for emergency medical and mental health expenses incurred while studying abroad.  It will cover medical treatment for COVID-19, but it is not a trip cancellation policy.

The Education Abroad Office recommends considering a “Interrupt for Any Reason” insurance plan or a “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance plan.  Here are some options from our insurance company, CISI.  Not all plans will cover all costs associated with a program – please contact CISI or your chosen insurance provider directly for confirmation of what expenses would be covered.

For more information about what UofSC's international emergency health insurance plan covers, please refer to our insurance provider's COVID-19 FAQ page.

10. Will I need a negative test result to gain entry into my destination country? What about when I return to the United States?

It is likely that you will need to show proof of a negative result when you enter your destination country. You must stay up-to-date on the requirements surrounding negative test proof, as each country as its own regulations about how recently you must have taken your test and what type of test is needed. 

In January 2021, the CDC implemented a requirement that all international travelers returning to the United States must show proof of a negative test result no more than 3 days prior to your flight's departure. You may also show specific proof of recovery. Please review the CDC page here to learn more about this requirement. You should also be prepared to remain in your destination country if you do not test negative and are thus not able to return to the United States on your scheduled return date.  Each U.S. Embassy webpage has a "Health Alert" with detailed information about the impact of COVID-19 in that country. These Health Alerts now include information on testing availability in each country. As an example, here is the Health Alert here for U.S. Embassy Paris.  You can conduct an online search for the COVID-19 Health Alert page for the U.S. Embassy in your destination country.

1. Will UofSC support Fall 2021/Academic Year 2021-2022 semester-long education abroad programming?

The University of South Carolina plans to support students to participate in Fall 2021/AY 2021-2022 semester-long education abroad programs in countries that are under a U.S. Department of State (DoS) Travel Advisory of Level 3 or lower.  Please note Fall Break 2021 and Winter Break 2021-2022 programs will be decided upon at a later date.

However, students should be aware that the DoS and the U.S. Center for Diseases Control and Prevention continue to urge against most non-essential international travel.  Because of the wide-reaching and unpredictable effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, international travel can carry significant risk at this time.  As a result, students must approach their education abroad experiences with significant thought, preparation, and flexibility.  

2. How do I apply for a Fall 2021/Academic Year 2021-2022 semester-long education abroad program?

The application requirements are outlined here.  Please note your application requirements include completing a COVID-19 Travel Safety Plan for review.  Your plan must receive approval in order for you to be approved for an education abroad experience.

3. What happens if my destination country moves to a Department of State Level 4 Travel Advisory?

The Department of State (“DoS”) Travel Advisory levels are the primary indicator that UofSC uses to determine where it will support study abroad students.  If your destination country becomes subject to a DoS Level 4 advisory at any time prior to your departure, UofSC will not be able to support your travel.  If your destination country has moved to a Level 4, we recommend either enrolling in UofSC classes or a virtual education abroad program for the Fall 2021 term.  If you would like to enroll in UofSC classes, you can drop yourself from the INTL study abroad placeholder course (if already enrolled) nd enroll in your UofSC classes as usual.  If your program has offered a virtual education abroad option and you would like to enroll in your program virtually, please move forward with the virtual option.  In either case, please complete the 2021 Education Abroad Program Update Form so we can update your record with our office.

Please note that UofSC reserves the right to revoke approval based on other factors as well, aside from the DoS advisories.  UofSC monitors the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DoS, South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, and our international security provider.  When making decisions about specific programs, we consider local conditions as well as input from peer institutions and our overseas partners.

4. What should I be mindful about as I think about applying for an education abroad program?

You should stay up-to-date on the COVID-19 situation in your country continuously -- you can find resources for staying up-to-date on this page.  You should also pay close attention to your program's payment schedule and refund policies.  Please remember that UofSC cannot refund you for any fees you pay to your program.

5. Can I go to any country right now?

No. Beyond UofSC's inability to support students in countries rated by the State Department as Level 4, there are many countries not currently admitting U.S. residents. While some have been allowing exceptions for students, this is not a guarantee and entry restrictions can change at any time.  You must stay up-to-date with entry restrictions for your destination country up until your departure date.

6. My destination country has a Center for Diseases Control and Prevention Level 4 COVID-19 Travel Health Notice.  What does this mean?

The Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently implemented a new travel rating system.  The long-standing CDC Travel Health Notice system with three tiers (Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3) remains the same.  That said, CDC Travel Health Notices no longer include COVID-19 related health risks.  Every country has a new COVID-19 Travel Health Notice which indicates a level 1 through 4 warning specifically related to COVID-19 risk (i.e., "very high," "high," "moderate," and "low").  An overview of the thresholds for the different levels is available here.  Level 4 is triggered when a country has reported more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people over the previous 28-day period.   

While UofSC considers the CDC travel notice levels as one factor in its risk assessment, a CDC Level 4 does not automatically prompt UofSC to revoke support for travel as a DoS Level 4 does.  As we have stressed previously though, it is important to be aware that the U.S. government continues to recommend against most international non-essential travel while the pandemic is ongoing. 

7. What do I need to know about insurance?  Do I need trip cancellation insurance?

UofSC education abroad students are required to be enrolled in UofSC's international emergency health insurance plan.  Our office enrolls you in this plan.  However, it is important to note that this insurance policy is for emergency medical and mental health expenses incurred while studying abroad.  It will cover medical treatment for COVID-19, but it is not a trip cancellation policy.

The Education Abroad Office recommends considering a “Interrupt for Any Reason” insurance plan or a “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance plan.  Here are some options from our insurance company, CISI.  Not all plans will cover all costs associated with a program – please contact CISI or your chosen insurance provider directly for confirmation of what expenses would be covered.

For more information about what UofSC's international emergency health insurance plan covers, please refer to our insurance provider's COVID-19 FAQ page.

8. Will I need a negative test result to gain entry into my destination country? What about when I return to the United States?

It is likely that you will need to show proof of a negative result when you enter your destination country. You must stay up-to-date on the requirements surrounding negative test proof, as each country as its own regulations about how recently you must have taken your test and what type of test is needed. 

In January 2021, the CDC implemented a requirement that all international travelers returning to the United States must show proof of a negative test result no more than 3 days prior to your flight's departure. You may also show specific proof of recovery. Please review the CDC page here to learn more about this requirement. You should also be prepared to remain in your destination country if you do not test negative and are thus not able to return to the United States on your scheduled return date.  Each U.S. Embassy webpage has a "Health Alert" with detailed information about the impact of COVID-19 in that country. These Health Alerts now include information on testing availability in each country. As an example, here is the Health Alert here for U.S. Embassy Paris.  You can conduct an online search for the COVID-19 Health Alert page for the U.S. Embassy in your destination country.


Archived Emails to Education Abroad Students/Applicants

The following message was sent to Spring 2021 education abroad students.

Dear Spring 2021 Global Gamecocks,

I hope this finds you well and, if you’re already abroad for the spring semester, that you’re enjoying your time in some beautiful places.  Back here at UofSC, our campus was just officially activated as a vaccine distribution site, so that is exciting to start seeing them roll out!

You’re receiving this message because you’re registered with the Education Abroad Office for spring semester travel.  I’m reaching out to make sure you’ve heard the news that the CDC has implemented a requirement that all international travelers returning to the United States must show proof of a negative test result no more than 3 days prior to your flight's departure.  You may also show specific proof of recovery.  Please review the CDC page here to learn more about this requirement.  

Each U.S. Embassy webpage has a "Health Alert" with detailed information about the impact of COVID-19 in that country. These Health Alerts now include information on testing availability in each country.  As an example, here is the Health Alert for U.S. Embassy Paris.  You can usually find your Embassy’s Health Alert linked somewhere near the top of the Embassy’s home page.  You can also do an online search for the COVID-19 Health Alert page for the U.S. Embassy in your host country.  You should also be prepared to remain in your destination country if you do not test negative within your three-day window and are thus not able to return to the United States on your scheduled return date.  

We’ll continue to post updates on our FAQ page, so please keep an eye on that over the course of your semester as well.  And always let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

The below message was sent to exchange students who will be studying in the United Kindom during the Spring 2021 term.

You are receiving this message because you are registered for travel to the United Kingdom with an exchange program this semester.  Following the announcement of a new lockdown in the UK, we reached out to our UK exchange partners to ask for updates on their semester plans.  Most of the responses we have received indicate that our partner universities will communicate an update to students soon (or have already this week), but that students do have the option to begin the semester virtually and delay travel until after the lockdown is eased.  If you have not already left for the UK and were planning to in the coming days, we do recommend that you consider delaying your departure and consider your quality of life in a strict lockdown.  Currently, UK residents are working and attending school remotely, and are only allowed to leave home for essential purposes, such as grocery shopping and exercise.  If you arrive in the UK while the lockdown is ongoing, you will be required to follow these same restrictions until they are eased. 

You can find more information about the lockdown requirements on the UK government’s website (which also contains links to the pages of the Scottish and Welsh governments).

If you would like to talk through this development, please do not hesitate to respond to this email so we can set up a video conference. 

The below message was sent to students who had applied to study abroad in Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Finland, Japan, Morocco, Uruguay, and Vietnam.  We have since learned that it does appear Costa Rica will accept U.S. students -- our Costa Rica applicants were notified of this change on 10/16/2020.

Dear Global Gamecock,

You are receiving this email because you are registered to study abroad in the Spring 2021 term in a country where the Education Abroad Office has not been able to confirm that you will be able to enter as a U.S. resident traveling for study.  While many countries are still banning U.S. residents from entry, there are some that are allowing exceptions for U.S. residents.  Unfortunately, we have not been able to confirm that your destination country will allow you entry.

At this point, if your Plan B is to study abroad in an alternative location, the Education Abroad Office recommends that you move to that alternative program now.  Should you wait to change to an alternative program, we cannot guarantee that your alternative program will still be accepting applications or that you will have time to obtain the appropriate student visa.  For these reasons, we feel that now is the time to switch so you have the best opportunity to select an alternative program. 

Please complete this survey to let us know what your Plan B is and so we may better support you in this transition.

The below message was sent to students who had applied to study abroad in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru.

Dear Global Gamecock,

You are receiving this email because you are registered for a Spring 2021 education abroad program in a country that is currently subject to a U.S. Department of State Level 4 Travel Advisory.  We know this news brings disappointment, but as discussed in the previous email from our office, the University of South Carolina will not support education abroad programs in Level 4 destinations.

At this point, the Education Abroad Office recommends that you move to your Plan B for your Spring 2021 semester.  Please complete this survey to let us know what your Plan B is and so we may better support you in this transition. 

Dear Global Gamecock,

You are receiving this email because you are registered for a Spring 2021 semester education abroad program.  The Student International Travel Oversight Committee (“SITOC”) has reached a decision about how Spring 2021 education abroad programs will be handled.  The University of South Carolina will allow students to participate in Spring 2021 education abroad programs in countries that are under a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory of Level 3 or lower. 

As you know, the U.S. Department of State continues to urge against most international travel.  Because of the wide-reaching and unpredictable effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, international travel can carry significant risk this upcoming spring.  As a result, students must approach their education abroad experiences with significant thought, preparation, and flexibility.  

Please note that if the U.S. Department of State increases the Travel Advisory for your destination country to Level 4 at any point between now and your departure date, UofSC will not be able to support your education abroad experience.  No student will be permitted to participate in education abroad activities in a Level 4 country.

Next Steps

  1. If you have not already done so, please ensure you have acknowledged and accepted the COVID-19 Waiver in your online education abroad application with our office.
  2. To ensure that you have familiarized yourself with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your destination country, all Spring 2021 applicants are required to complete the COVID-19 Travel Safety Plan by November 1. This plan will be reviewed by the Education Abroad Office and SITOC for final approval.
  3. The Education Abroad Office also recommends considering a “Interrupt for Any Reason” insurance plan or a “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance plan. Here are some options from our insurance company, CISI.

If your destination is currently under a U.S. Department of State Level 4 Travel Advisory, you will receive another email shortly with more guidance on next steps.

It is also important to keep in mind the challenges brought on by some countries’ entry restrictions and border closures.  If you have applied to study in a country where the Education Abroad Office has not been able to confirm you will be able to enter as a U.S. resident traveling for study, you will receive another email shortly with more guidance.

Please note this email pertains to spring semester programming only – a decision about Spring Break programming has not yet been made.

You can always stay up-to-date on our office’s latest announcements related to COVID-19 on our webpage here.

Dear Global Gamecock Student, 

We hope you are off to a good semester and staying well.  You are receiving this email because you have registered with the Education Abroad Office (EAO) for a Spring 2021 program.  Please read on for instructions on two requirements to continue planning for a Spring 2021 education abroad experience and a recap of the most recent Student International Travel Oversight Committee (SITOC) meeting. 

Next Steps 

One of our main priorities is to ensure you have taken steps to familiarize yourself with the challenges of international travel at this time, as well as how your destination country has been impacted by the pandemic.  With this goal in mind, each Spring 2021 applicant will be required to complete a COVID-19 acknowledgement form and a personal travel safety plan as part of your education abroad application. 

  1. At your earliest convenience, please log back into the Mobility application system and complete the application step called “Complete the COVID-19 Waiver.”  Your application steps may look a bit odd when you first log in, but everything should look normal again once you complete this new step. 
  2. By November 1, complete the COVID-19 Travel Safety Plan.  Instructions and more information are on our website here.  

SITOC Recap 

SITOC met last week to continue planning for spring travel.  As you know, SITOC’s spring travel decisions will be announced on October 15th.  The committee is monitoring a variety of country-specific indicators including U.S. Department of State (DoS) Travel Advisories, CDC Travel Notices, Harvard Global Health Institute’s case number metrics, and test positivity rates.  SITOC is also monitoring other factors including the availability of essential and nonessential services in each country and whether U.S citizens on student visas are currently allowed entry under each country’s border regulations. 

At this point, it is expected that spring travel decisions will be made on a country-by-country basis.  Countries that are subject to DoS Level 4 advisories are not likely to be approved.  We encourage all students to have a back-up plan in mind to ensure their academic progression is not interrupted, but especially students who are currently slated to travel to any country currently under a DoS Level 4 advisory.  Please also remember that it will be especially important to remain flexible throughout a Spring 2021 international travel experience, as circumstances surrounding the pandemic can change quickly.

Please do not hesitate to respond to this email with any questions.  You can also Livechat us on our website during most business hours and "drop by" during our drop-in advising hours on Zoom from 12pm-2pm Monday-Friday (password: TRAVEL). 


To see communication sent to Spring 2020-Fall 2020 education abroad students/applicants, please contact the EAO.  This page was last updated on 2/11/2021.  


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