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Coronavirus and Study Abroad Updates

Coronavirus and Study Abroad Updates

As of March 14, 2020, ALL spring semester 2020 study abroad programs have been suspended. This includes programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America (Central and South), the Middle East, New Zealand, as well as those programs that involve multiple countries. This does NOT apply to international exchange students studying at the University of Maryland campus in College Park. Please read below for more details.

As of March 11, 2020, spring semester programs have been suspended for all countries in Europe, as well as Japan, China and South Korea. Please read below for more details.

As of March 3, 2020, the University of Maryland has cancelled all Education Abroad programs for spring break 2020 and for summer session 2020.

March 14, 2020: All UMD Spring 2020 Study Abroad Programs Suspended (Provost)

March 14, 2020

Dear University of Maryland Study Abroad Students:

With the announcement of further travel restrictions and university closings in UMD study abroad locations around the world, I am today suspending all UMD Education Abroad programs for spring 2020 in all locations immediately and requiring all students to return to their home of record as soon as possible.

Students will be receiving additional guidance immediately from the Education Abroad Office regarding travel and other assistance. UMD’s travel agencies are also available to help book return flights and deal with travel restrictions. You can email travel@umd.edu or call either of the following agencies’ 24/7 emergency assistance lines:

  • Omega World Travel: 1-800-285-6342
  • Globetrotter: 1-800-639-9278

Please note that travelers returning to the U.S. from abroad are asked to both “self-monitor” and “self-isolate” for 14 days upon return. Please seek medical help should you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, which you may review at https://umd.edu/virusinfo.

I want to emphasize that we have reached the decision to suspend all study abroad programs out of deep and growing concern for the health and safety of our students. We require you to act immediately and cooperate with the Education Abroad staff to come home as soon as possible to avoid additional health risks, further unanticipated travel restrictions, and other serious problems.

We ask that you notify Education Abroad once you have booked your ticket home, as we want to account for every student.

If you are concerned about traveling home due to health concerns, please contact our study abroad insurance provider at CISI via AXA Assistance at (01-312) 935-1703 or medassist-usa@axa-assistance.us. Collect calls are accepted. Your UMD CISI policy number is GLMN 04965887.

Please follow the precautions issued by the CDC and the advice of their program providers regarding health and safety measures. We continue to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice measures to prevent infection. For the latest information and updates from the university, visit: umd.edu/virusinfo.

I am copying this letter to the parents and guardians whom you have identified as your emergency contacts.

Sincerely yours,

Mary Ann Rankin

Senior Vice President and Provost

March 11, 2020: Spring 2020 Europe Programs Suspended (Provost)

March 11, 2020

Dear University of Maryland Study Abroad Students:

As you may know, the World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a global pandemic, meaning that it is very widely disseminated and cases are spreading rapidly through communities around the world. Today the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared all of Europe to be at Warning Level 3 [1] for COVID-19. This evening President Trump announced significant new restrictions on travel to the US from Europe beginning Friday, March 13 at 11:59 pm.

In light of these disturbing developments the University is suspending all Education Abroad programs in Europe for spring 2020 immediately and requiring all students to return to their home of record as soon as possible.

We are working with study abroad providers to develop alternative education pathways to enable completion of your interrupted coursework wherever possible and will be in touch with you as soon as we can with further details regarding these options.

Students in all study abroad programs in Europe will be receiving additional guidance immediately from the Education Abroad office regarding travel and other assistance.  UMD’s travel agencies are also available to help book return flights and deal with the new travel restrictions. If you are not a U.S. citizen, we especially urge you to make flight arrangements immediately. You can email travel@umd.edu or call any of the following agencies’ 24/7 emergency assistance lines:

  • Omega World Travel: 1-800-285-6342
  • Globetrotter: 1-800-639-9278

Because COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic and these locations have been designated CDC Warning Level 3, all travelers returning to the US from European destinations will be required to both “self-monitor” and “self-isolate” for 14 days upon return. Please seek medical help should you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, which you may review at https://umd.edu/virusinfo.

Please know that we have reached the decision to suspend European study abroad programs out of concern for your health and safety.  We urge you to act with all dispatch to avoid additional health risks, further unanticipated travel restrictions, or other problems.

I remind students studying abroad in countries outside of Europe to be alert to notices from the study abroad office and prepared to return to the U.S. should the alert level for that country increase to level 3. Please follow the precautions issued by the CDC and the advice of their program providers regarding health and safety measures. We also urge students studying abroad to limit additional travel as much as possible.

It is important to restate that the university is ready and willing to work individually with any student studying abroad who wishes to return home, particularly anyone with a chronic health condition or who is immunocompromised. We continue to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice measures to prevent infection. For the latest information and updates from the university, visit: uumd.edu/virusinfo.

I am copying this letter to the parents and guardians whom you have identified as your emergency contacts.

Sincerely yours,

Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost

[1] The CDC categorizes travel advisories into three categories: Warning Level 3 (avoid nonessential travel); Alert Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions) those with chronic medical conditions and older adults should consider postponing travel; and Watch Level 1 (practice usual precautions).

March 3, 2020: Latest Travel Guidance on Coronavirus (Provost)

March 3, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

The University continues to actively monitor the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak and provide regular updates to our community. In addition, university administrators are aware and taking into account the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019, which was updated yesterday. Currently there continues to be no confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection at UMD or in the State of Maryland.

In the last communication on February 28, 2020, we notified our students studying abroad in Italy that the CDC alert level for that country had upgraded to Warning Level 3 and that we were therefore suspending our study abroad programs in Italy. Students were asked to return home, rather than to the UMD campus, and to “self-monitor” and “self-isolate” for two weeks to reduce the risk of spread of infection upon return to the U.S.

New Guidance on Self-Isolation

The University System of Maryland has also issued a statement on self-isolation of students, faculty and staff returning from international study and personal travel due to COVID-19. The CDC defines self-monitoring and self-isolation on its website.

I must emphasize the importance of not returning to campus and refraining from non-essential contact with others during the two-week self-isolation period. Members of the campus community may want to visit friends on campus, but we insist that travelers from Level 3 countries avoid doing so for 14 days. We all need to work together to limit the possible spread of this infection.

New Announcements on Education Abroad

The CDC issued new travel guidance in light of the continued spread of COVID-19. It says that institutions of higher education “should consider asking current program participants to return to their home country.” We continue to closely monitor the situation and are taking seriously the CDC’s guidance. Indeed, the University strongly suggests that any student abroad who has a chronic health condition or who is immunocompromised return home. Our Education Abroad staff stands ready and willing to assist. We are working with our education partners abroad to develop online learning solutions wherever possible should students wish to depart a program early.

As stated in the last communication, we will take further action to close programs if warranted by an elevation of a country’s travel warning status to Level 3. We rely on information provided by the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. State Department, state and local health departments, and on-campus public health experts to guide decisions concerning locations around the world where our students are studying abroad. The University’s Incident Response Team is actively involved in decision making.

I remind students studying abroad in countries with an Alert Level 2 (currently our students in Japan) that they should check daily for notices from the UMD Education Abroad office, and they should be prepared to return to the U.S. should the alert level for that country increase to Warning Level 3.

We have decided to cancel all Education Abroad programs for spring break 2020 and for summer session 2020. You may contact the UMD Education Abroad Office for more details. The University is currently looking into other student-led international trips over spring break that are not organized through the Education Abroad office.

Limiting International Travel

We ask that all members of the University community limit non-essential international travel. The University is suspending authorization for travel using institutional funds to or from any country with a CDC Warning Level 3 status for COVID-19. Any exceptions must be approved by the Office of the Provost.

We Need The Cooperation of Every Member of Our Community

  • We ask any UMD faculty member, staff member or student returning from a country currently at Warning Level 3 status to stay away from campus, self-monitor and self-isolate for two weeks post return.
  • We continue to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice prevention behaviors and hold each other accountable in following safe and healthy practices. If you know of a fellow student, colleague or coworker who has traveled to a Warning Level 3 country, please discourage them from coming to campus.
  • For the latest updates, visit umd.edu/virusinfo.

Our thoughts are with everyone in the UMD community who has been directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost

Feb 28, 2020: Coronavirus and Update on Italy (Provost)

February 28, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

The University continues to actively monitor the novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak. At this time, there are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus at the University of Maryland or in the State of Maryland.

Since our last communication, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new travel guidance for Italy. The CDC categorizes travel advisories into three categories: Warning Level 3 (avoid nonessential travel—widespread community transmission); Alert Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions—those with chronic medical conditions and older adults should consider postponing travel); and Watch Level 1 (practice usual precautions).

This evening the CDC moved Italy from Alert Level 2 to Warning Level 3. In light of this change the university is hereby suspending Education Abroad programs in Italy for spring 2020. Students in these programs will be receiving guidance immediately, directly from the Education Abroad office, regarding return to the U.S. and possible online study options. As most students will be completing their work online, we are requesting that they return to their homes away from campus and follow CDC guidelines to self-quarantine for 14 days and seek medical support and advice as needed.

We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation world-wide, and will take further action if warranted. We rely on information provided by the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. State Department, state and local health departments, and on-campus public health experts to guide decisions concerning where we operate study abroad programs in the world.

I remind students studying abroad in countries with an Alert Level 2 (currently our students in Japan) that they need to be alert to notices from the Education Abroad office and prepared to return to the U.S. should the alert level for that country increase to Warning Level 3. Decisions to suspend a program and instructions on next steps will be communicated directly to students, and their emergency contacts, in the appropriate program immediately should the change in CDC warning status occur. Future updates on changes to education abroad programs will also be posted to umd.edu/virusinfo.

I am reminding our students abroad to follow the precautions issued by the CDC and the advice of their program providers regarding health and safety measures. We also urge students studying abroad to limit additional travel as much as possible.

It is important to restate that the university is ready and willing to work individually with any student studying in a country with a current Alert Level 2 advisory who is concerned about continuing study abroad; or any student abroad with a chronic health condition or who is immunocompromised. We continue to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice measures to prevent infection. For the latest information and updates from the university, visit: umd.edu/virusinfo.

Our thoughts are with our students and everyone in the UMD community who has been directly or indirectly affected by this virus.

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost

Feb 26, 2020: Coronavirus and Study Abroad Updates (Provost)

February 26, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

The University continues to actively monitor the novel Coronavirus ("COVID-19") outbreak. We are staying up to date on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and being proactive in implementing measures to keep our community safe. The University's Incident Response Team, International Risk Management Committee, Campus Infectious Disease Management Committee, Student Affairs leadership and Council of Deans are meeting regularly to evaluate the current situation and make decisions to safeguard the health of our community. At this time, there are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus at the University of Maryland or in the State of Maryland.

Since our last communication, the CDC has issued new travel guidance. The CDC identifies three levels of travel advisories: Warning Level 3 (avoid nonessential travel); Alert Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions---those with chronic medical conditions and older adults should consider postponing travel); and Watch Level 1 (practice usual precautions).

There are currently two countries with Warning Level 3 advisories for COVID-19: China and South Korea. The university previously announced that it is not authorizing travel to China, and has suspended Education Abroad programming in China for spring 2020. In light of the CDC's change to Level 3 for South Korea, the University has suspended Education Abroad programs in South Korea for spring 2020. Students in these programs have received direct communication and additional guidance from the UMD Education Abroad office. We are closely monitoring the situation in Italy and Japan (both Level 2), and other parts of the globe affected by COVID-19. The University is also notifying individuals of cancellations of some spring break and summer programs.

The University will immediately suspend Education Abroad programming for any country that is upgraded to a Warning Level 3 advisory by the CDC. Students studying abroad in countries with an Alert Level 2, currently UMD programs in Italy and Japan, should be prepared to return to the U.S. should a CDC designation change occur or other circumstances change. Decisions to suspend a program and instructions on next steps will be communicated directly to students and their parents in the affected program.

We rely on information provided by the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. State Department, state and local health departments, and on-campus public health experts to guide decisions concerning where we operate study abroad programs in the world.

We encourage students abroad to follow the precautions issued by the CDC and the advice of their program providers regarding health and safety measures. We also urge students studying abroad to limit additional travel as much as possible.

The university is ready and willing to work individually with any student abroad with a chronic health condition, who is immunocompromised, or who is otherwise concerned about continuing their studies abroad. We are working with our education partners to evaluate online learning solutions should students have to depart a program early.

Lastly, we continue to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. For the latest information and updates from the university, visit umd.edu/virusinfo. If you have questions specific to coronavirus, please contact healthconcerns@umd.edu.

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost

For the latest information and updates from the university, visit umd.edu/virusinfo. If you have any further questions not answered here or on the university website, please direct them to healthconcerns@umd.edu. The Education Abroad office is working closely with the university to answer questions through this email address. 


Frequently Asked Questions: Education Abroad and COVID-19

What is the University of Maryland doing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak?

The university continues to actively monitor the novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak. We are staying up to date on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and being proactive in implementing measures to keep our community safe. The university’s Incident Response Team, International Risk Management Committee, Campus Infectious Disease Management Committee, Student Affairs leadership and Council of Deans are meeting regularly to evaluate the current situation and make decisions to safeguard the health of our community. 

On March 10, the university announced it will be cancelling classes on campus the week after spring break, March 23-29, and transitioning to an online environment starting March 30 through at least April 10. For the full details of this announcement, please visit umd.edu/virusinfo.

On March 9, the University of Maryland suspended authorization for international and non-essential, out-of-state domestic travel using institutional funds, effective for 60 days. 

The University System of Maryland has issued a statement on self-isolation of students, faculty and staff returning from international study and personal travel due to COVID-19. The CDC defines self-monitoring and self-isolation on its website. The University of Maryland asks that any faculty member, staff member or student returning from a country currently at Warning Level 3 status to stay away from campus, self-monitor and self-isolate for two weeks post-return.

The university continues to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs. For the latest information and updates from the University, visit umd.edu/virusinfo. If you have questions specific to coronavirus, including study abroad questions, please contact healthconcerns@umd.edu.

What is the UMD Education Abroad Office doing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak?

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic, meaning that it is very widely disseminated and cases are spreading rapidly through communities around the world.

President Trump has announced significant new restrictions on travel for foreign nationals to the U.S. from Schengen Area countries beginning Friday, March 13 at 11:59 p.m. EDT and expanding the restrictions to passengers from the U.K. and Ireland beginning Monday, March 16 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. The U.S. government’s travel restrictions for Europe do not apply to U.S. citizens, legal permanent U.S. residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other categories of individuals further identified in the proclamation. Please be sure to review the proclamation, especially Section 2, to determine whether the travel restrictions apply to you or your student(s).

In light of these disturbing developments, the university is suspending ALL Education Abroad programs for spring 2020 immediately and requiring all students to return to their home of record no later than March 24.

If you are not a U.S. Citizen or U.S. permanent resident, we urge you to make flight arrangements immediately. If you are having difficulty making travel arrangements due to financial reasons, please email healthconcerns@umd.edu before and no later than March 24.

All travelers returning to the U.S. from locations designated CDC Alert Level 3 will be required to both “self-monitor” and “self-isolate” for 14 days upon return.

Students and families impacted by this decision have received direct communication regarding this decision and will continue to receive guidance about next steps. Please direct additional questions to healthconcerns@umd.edu so we can work to get you a reply as quickly as possible.

For the latest information and updates from the university, visit umd.edu/virusinfo.

For students returning from abroad, what guidelines have been established?

These are extraordinary circumstances and students’ health is our number one priority, followed closely by continued academic progress. Updated on March 12, 2020, the following guidelines are in place:

Students are required to leave their study abroad location and return to their home country as soon as possible and no later than March 24, 2020.

Consistent with the CDC, the UMD Health Center is advising self-monitoring while remaining strictly at home for 14 days after returning to your home country. Students returning to the U.S. may not return to the College Park campus at this time. You need to pay special attention to your health for 14 days after arriving home.

STEP 1 - Email health@umd.edu and tell us your name, UID and exactly where you will spend the next 14 days.

STEP 2 - Take your temperature twice a day. Should you feel sick with fever or cough or have difficulty breathing, seek medical advice immediately. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

STEP 3 - If you have no symptoms of illness:

  • Take your temperature twice daily, and report your health status by email to health@umd.edu once daily.
  • Avoid contact with others.  Do not have friends or relatives visit.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing and discard the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

  • Avoid sharing personal household items such as dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

  • Clean “high touch” surfaces daily. High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

  • Students from out-of-state should discuss any additional questions with your state or local health department or healthcare provider.

If you left a country designated CDC Alert Level 2 at the time of departure, you should monitor your health and seek medical attention immediately if you feel sick with fever or cough or have difficulty breathing. For additional information, please refer to cdc.gov. Further university-wide information is available at umd.edu/virusinfo, and please send any campus-specific questions to healthconcerns@umd.edu

What support can the university provide for booking new travel?

Per President Trump’s Proclamation, those traveling from the Schengen Area countries, which includes 26 countries in Europe, will have additional travel restrictions. Any U.S. citizen or lawful U.S. permanent resident returning to the United States who has traveled to one of the Schengen Area countries within the previous 14 days must enter the United States through an approved airport: 

  • Atlanta (ATL) 

  • Boston (BOS)

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) 

  • Detroit (DTW) 

  • Newark (EWR) 

  • Honolulu (HNL) 

  • Miami (MIA)

  • New York-JFK (JFK) 

  • Los Angeles (LAX) 

  • Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) 

  • Seattle (SEA) 

  • San Francisco (SFO) 

  • Washington-Dulles (IAD)

**Please confirm that your return flight is booked into an approved airport for your point of entry to the U.S.**

Students finding and booking flights out of their host country have multiple services available to them 24/7:

  • CISI’s travel and medical assistance provider (AXA):

    • Phone number: 01-312-935-1703

    • Your CISI policy number is GLMN 04965887

  • ​​UMD's travel agencies:

    • Omega World Travel: 1-800-285-6342

    • Globetrotter: 1-800-639-9278

Please note: Travel agencies are unable to make changes to existing airline tickets they did not book. They can assist with booking new one-way flights and in providing guidance on canceling a ticket should that be required. They can also step you through the ticket change process should you need assistance. 

UMD will be able to offer students up to $500 in financial assistance, which will be credited to their student account. This is to support travel expenses and will not impact financial aid. Students will be informed of this process. 

We will work to support individual exceptions for low-income students and those with special health considerations. Should you choose to cancel any other travel you had booked, neither UMD nor CISI insurance covers these costs.

What impact will program suspensions have on my academics?

Education Abroad is committed to delivering on commitments to provide a full-time spring 2020 academic course load for all students affected by the COVID-19 program suspensions. We are actively working with each UMD academic college and school to identify possible alternative arrangements for you for this term. Students will receive additional information about academic options and next steps to coordinate your spring 2020 coursework. 

How can I get my questions answered about the refund policy?

Our first priority is students' health and safety. We are still addressing concerns related to students' health and logistical questions as the last few students depart from their study abroad program locations.

Our next priority is supporting students' continued enrollment in spring 2020 coursework, which requires working both with our overseas partners to assess what their capabilities are for allowing students to complete coursework remotely as well as working with UMD academic departments on a student-by-student basis to determine how we can supplement any coursework that cannot be continued by our academic partners. The university is exploring avenues to ensure that all students who have had to come home, as well as students who were enrolled to study abroad during spring break and summer 2020, can receive full academic credit for those programs. 

Refunding funds for current study abroad students who have had to return home is challenging because of contractual obligations, but we are working on answers to these inquiries. In the meantime, we invite you to review the contract, including applicable terms and conditions, that all study abroad students sign prior to enrollment in their program.

UMD is currently providing each returning student with $500 in financial assistance, which will be applied to their student account. This is to support travel expenses and will not impact financial aid.

If students pursue the withdrawal option for suspended study abroad programs, what costs are refundable?

UMD and partners in program locations are offering students the option to continue their coursework remotely and complete the semester from home, or withdraw fully from the term and forego credits. For both options, there are no refunds for housing under these circumstances.

To clarify, this situation does not fall under a non-voluntary withdrawal since EA is suspending on-site programming but giving students the option to complete their coursework in progress. If students choose to stay enrolled in the program but complete their coursework remotely, no refund applies. If they choose to withdraw from the program, that is considered a voluntary withdrawal. They will forego any credit for the term and EA’s standard withdrawal and refund policy applies.

Staying enrolled full-time remotely will have no impact on your financial aid.

Will UMD allow students to return to program locations later in the semester if conditions improve?

The suspension for spring 2020 on-site coursework in all program locations is for the entire spring term. The options remain to pursue coursework remotely or to fully withdraw from the program/coursework for the semester.

What are UMD’s policies regarding visits to campus for people who have been traveling internationally?

The University System of Maryland has issued a statement on self-isolation of students, faculty and staff returning from international study and personal travel due to COVID-19. The CDC defines self-monitoring and self-isolation on its website. The University of Maryland asks that any faculty member, staff member or student returning from international travel to stay away from campus, and to self-monitor and self-isolate for two weeks post-return. Please do not return to campus and please refrain from non-essential contact with others. We all need to work together to limit the possible spread of this infection.

On March 9, the University of Maryland suspended authorization for international and non-essential, out-of-state domestic travel using institutional funds, effective for 60 days. Any exceptions must be approved by the Office of the Provost. We continue to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice prevention behaviors and to hold each other accountable in following safe and healthy practices.

Are there any special considerations for students with existing health conditions?

If students have specific health concerns and/or compromised immune systems, we ask that they open up a case through emergency assistance that is available through CISI, UMD's international insurance provider. You can call or email CISI any time with health (physical or mental) concerns, or in other kinds of emergencies. The emergency assistance provider is AXA Assistance and they can be reached at (01-312) 935-1703. AXA accepts all collect calls. E-mail address is: medassist-usa@axa-assistance.us. Your UMD CISI policy number is GLMN 04965887.

What university resources are available for Education Abroad students experiencing emotional duress during these difficult circumstances?

The Division of Student Affairs' Counseling Center is more than happy to provide consultation to students who are experiencing distress regarding the cancellation of their study abroad programs. While they cannot conduct therapy by phone, the counseling staff can provide support and suggestions to help students cope with the situation.

Students may call the Counseling Center at (301) 314-7651. They should identify themselves as study abroad students who returned home due to the suspension of their programs. If they do not reach a live person, they should also provide a callback number in leaving a voicemail. A counselor on duty will return the call as soon as possible to provide support, consultation and coping suggestions.

If the student lives near the university, the counselor on duty will inform the student that in-person counseling is available at the Counseling Center after their self-isolation is completed and they show no signs of infection. Appointments can be scheduled by phone.

Please visit counseling.umd.edu for updated hours of operation.

When and how does UMD make the decision to cancel or suspend a program, and what resources are informing these decisions?

The health and safety of our students is our primary concern as we plan and execute our academic programs abroad. When emergency situations arise, EA will make decisions that are based first and foremost on the health and safety of our students.

We rely on information provided by the CDC, WHO, the U.S. State Department, state and local health departments, on-campus public health experts, and our partners and contacts on-site to guide decisions concerning where we operate study abroad programs in the world. 

What happens if a student commits to an upcoming program that eventually gets cancelled?

EA communicates program status updates directly with affected students and provides support and guidance based on the circumstances of cancellation. Should an emergency necessitate a program cancellation, EA will work with providers and students to make alternative arrangements to allow students to complete their coursework. As much as possible, we strive to minimize interruption with coursework and work with our global partners and faculty to make accommodations to allow a student to continue with coursework in progress through alternative arrangements.

What happens if a student wants to withdraw from an upcoming program after committing?

All enrolled study abroad students retain the right to voluntarily withdraw from a study abroad program at any time. Students are held to EA’s withdrawal and refund policy as captured in the Financial Policies posted on our website, on which students sign off as part of their commitment to the program.

I’m a parent of a student abroad. How can I receive updates from Education Abroad?

Please ensure your student has listed you as their Emergency Contact in MyEA. All program updates will first be communicated directly to students, quickly followed by alerting all emergency contacts. We are also updating this Education Abroad FAQ page with information as it becomes available. For the latest information and updates from the university, visit umd.edu/virusinfo.