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Study Abroad & COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: March 25, 2020

Has ASU cancelled any study abroad programs due to COVID-19?

ASU has cancelled all spring 2020 study abroad programs in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Per the Level 4 Global Health Advisory issued by U.S. Department of State on March 19, ASU has also urged all students who remain abroad to return home at the earliest opportunity. On March 13, ASU announced that the university is now prohibiting all university-related travel (within the U.S. and internationally). Consistent with this guidance, ASU has made the difficult decision to cancel all summer 2020 study abroad and domestic global learning experiences coordinated by the Study Abroad Office. All affected students have been contacted through ASU email.

Are students able to return to campus immediately after arriving home from a program cancelled due to COVID-19?

Following CDC and Maricopa County Department of Public Health guidance, ASU announced on March 13 that all travelers returning from a CDC Level 3 country must complete a 14-day self-isolation period before returning to campus. These travelers should self-isolate at their home or an off-campus residence for 14 days and monitor their symptoms. The university will assist students who may have difficulty adhering to this guideline, financially or otherwise. All other returning travelers are required to self-monitor, but should self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider if they develop any symptoms.

ASU students returning from programs cancelled due to the CDC guidance on COVID-19 have been contacted by the Study Abroad Office, but anyone impacted by this should contact ASU Health Services directly at 480-965-3349 to receive additional information and instructions from ASU health officials.

How is ASU monitoring the COVID-19 situation worldwide?

A team of university officials, including ASU’s Emerging Infectious Disease Committee and Emergency Preparedness Committee, 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, reports from security intelligence providers, professional health and security organizations and more. University updates can be found here.

How does ASU make decisions about its study abroad programs?

ASU takes guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of State and our international security intelligence providers. When making decisions about specific programs, we also consider local conditions as well as input from peer institutions and our overseas partners. Prior to cancelling any study abroad program, we first explore all viable alternatives, including relocating the program to another destination.

What would happen if an ASU study abroad program was cancelled?

If the program is cancelled before the program’s official start date, students will receive a full refund of all Study Abroad Office fees. If the Study Abroad Office cancels the program after its official start date, refunds will vary depending on a number of variables. While ASU will do its best to provide refunds as feasible, ASU will not be responsible for any personal expenses or losses incurred as a result of program cancellation (including, but not limited to, airfare, passport and visa fees).  In addition, we will provide as much support as we can to ensure the students’ ability to expeditiously depart the host country.

The Study Abroad Office will work with all students who received a Study Abroad Office Travel Grant, Study Abroad Diversity Scholarship, or Sun Devils at Work scholarship for a program that has been cancelled. Students unable to use their awards will have up to one year to use their previously awarded scholarships on an approved ASU study abroad program.  Students should work with their International Coordinator for more specific details.

What would happen if a student chooses to leave a study abroad program that has not been cancelled?

ASU understands that personal tolerance for risk may vary, and that final decisions will be made between a student and his/her family. If a student chooses to leave a program and return home, we respect that decision. In such cases, the student will be subject to the terms of the applicable Study Abroad Withdrawal Policy. Students should contact the Study Abroad Office for coordination assistance as soon as a decision has been made, and should notify their academic advisor of their choice as well. We will work with our partners to try to support the student’s completion of their work with that program, but awarding of academic credit will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed.

What would happen if a student withdraws from a future study abroad program out of concern for COVID-19?

ASU understands that personal tolerance for risk may vary, and that final decisions will be made between a student and his/her family. If a student chooses to withdraw from a future study abroad program, the student will be subject to the terms of the applicable Study Abroad Withdrawal Policy. Should the Study Abroad Office ultimately cancel that program (even after the student has withdrawn), the student will receive a full refund of all Study Abroad Office fees.

Should ASU students purchase trip cancellation insurance and/or refundable airfare?

The Study Abroad Office strongly recommends that students purchase fully refundable airline tickets and/or trip cancellation insurance to safeguard against losses or penalties associated with withdrawal or program cancellation. The Study Abroad Office assumes no responsibility for such losses or penalties.

How will I know if my program is cancelled?

ASU will directly contact students with updates via email. ASU reaches out to students’ designated emergency contacts only in very specific situations, such as when a student has been incapacitated or when we cannot reach the student. All members of the ASU community can find updates related to COVID-19 on this page, and at https://eoss.asu.edu/health/announcements/coronavirus.

Who can I contact about study abroad and the coronavirus situation?

For questions related to a specific study abroad program or student, contact the ASU Study Abroad Office.  Media inquiries should be directed to mediarelations@asu.edu

What resources does ASU recommend for reliable updates regarding COVID-19?

  1. ASU Health Services 
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  3. World Health Organization
  4. U.S. Department of State - Travel Advisories
  5. Travelers' Health (CDC)