UMD: A Globally Connected University

Coronavirus and Study Abroad Updates

Coronavirus and Study Abroad Updates

UMD is gradually resuming study abroad programming during the 2021-2022 academic year with a limited portfolio of Maryland-administered, affiliated and other approved programs. See current offerings here.

As of October 13, 2021, the University of Maryland will consider study abroad related travel “essential travel.” Consistent with UMD’s existing travel policy and in alignment with CDC guidelines, Education Abroad is authorized to operate approved programs in locations designated as Level 4 by the CDC and Department of State (DoS).  Participation in these programs is permitted under the following conditions:

  • Students must comply with UMD’s vaccination requirement. Those exempt from the vaccination requirement should determine if the host countries or partner institutions require vaccination for entry or enrollment.  
  • Students will be required to sign a waiver accepting full responsibility for the associated health, safety, and financial risks.

We are making every effort to support experiences for students that are both safe and rewarding. UMD continues to monitor the global risk environment and will follow guidance from such authorities as the U.S. State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other public health and security experts. Health care infrastructure in individual countries, public health indicators, availability of citizen services at U.S. embassies and consulates, and border entrance requirements also inform our decisions. UMD may cancel programs when it deems global or local risk conditions warrant action. Students scheduled to participate in programs will be notified directly of any status change.

Study Abroad Program Status Updates

Program locations will be regularly monitored. As decisions are made about the operating status of study abroad programs, including program cancellations, announcements will be posted here as well as distributed through UMD channels. Please continue to check back for the latest updates.

  • Winter 2022 & Spring 2022 - UMD is planning for in-person study abroad and incoming exchange for Winter and Spring 2022.
  • Fall 2021 - UMD resumed a limited portfolio of in-person study abroad programs and incoming exchange in the Fall 2021 semester. 
  • Spring Break 2020 through Summer 2021 - All in-person study abroad programs were canceled for Spring Break 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Spring Break 2021, and Summer 2021. All incoming exchange programs were canceled for the 2020-21 Academic Year.
  • Spring 2020 - On March 14, 2020, ALL spring semester 2020 study abroad programs were 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.

Frequently Asked Questions: Education Abroad and COVID-19

When and how does UMD make the decision to resume in-person programs, and what resources are informing these decisions?

Several factors, including the increasing accessibility to COVID-19 vaccines for UMD students, make this possible. The university continues to monitor the global risk environment and will follow guidance from such authorities as the U.S. State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other public health and security experts. In addition, factors such as the health care infrastructure in individual countries, public health indicators, availability of citizen services at U.S. embassies and consulates, and border entrance requirements also inform our decisions.

While abroad, students should continue to practice the 4 Maryland healthy behaviors, follow the safety regulations of local public health and legal authorities, and adhere to the policies outlined by their program providers. 

How do the U.S. State Department and CDC Travel Advisories affect the status of study abroad programs? 

UMD continuously monitors the global risk environment and makes decisions about study abroad programs based on guidance from the U.S. State Department (DoS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our in-country partners and other public health and security experts. UMD considers study abroad related travel “essential travel.” Consistent with UMD’s existing travel policy and in alignment with CDC guidelines, Education Abroad is authorized to operate approved programs in locations designated as Level 4 by the CDC and Department of State (DoS).

Once programs have successfully launched, we continue to monitor the health and security environment in each location so our students can safely study and live in their host countries. Decisions about the operating status of programs, including possible cancellations at any time (before or during program dates), will be informed by these assessments on an ongoing basis.

What programs will Education Abroad offer during the 2021-2022 academic year?

Education Abroad is offering a select portfolio of programs for terms in 2021-2022 in locations that meet UMD's health and safety standards. Program offerings are subject to change and will continue to be evaluated based on our criteria for reopening. 

 

Education Abroad advisors are here to support students in selecting a program that meets their academic, financial, and personal needs. Make an appointment today. 

What health and safety resources are available to students who study abroad?

All students who travel abroad for either credit earning or university-sponsored, non-credit programs are automatically enrolled in our risk management program. This program includes comprehensive international health insurance, access to Alert Traveler, tracking dates and location of travel in case of emergency, and more. 

Explore more Health & Safety Resources.

What is Alert Traveler?

UMD students, faculty, and staff participating in study abroad programs have access and are strongly encouraged to use the AlertTraveler (AT) phone app for the duration of their study abroad experience. AT is a very important part of the health and safety network of resources in place to support the wellbeing of all participants on study abroad programs. The app is available for download to iOS or Android mobile devices. Participants are eligible to download AT 60 days from your MyEA itinerary’s start date.

The Benefits of AlertTraveler:

Safety alerts. AT keeps you informed of health, safety and security issues specific to your travel locations. AT uses your MyEA itinerary to send country and city-specific safety and security alerts and intelligence straight to your phone. 

Enable location services. Enabling location services on your mobile device allows AT to send  targeted alerts based on your GPS location, down to the city level. We strongly encourage travelers to enable location services. Doing so provides you with AT’s optimal service – putting timely, location-specific health, safety and security information at your fingertips immediately.

Safety check-in. Another important feature of the app is the instant check-in option. This helps Education Abroad quickly reach out to you when emergencies arise to see if you are okay or if you need assistance. You can also proactively request help in emergencies.  

Other features. Other helpful features include info pages on security, local 911-equivalent numbers, travel logistics, political conditions, health advisories, and culture.

Read more about AlertTraveler on our Health & Safety page.

What insurance is available for students who study abroad?

All students who travel abroad for credit or for university-sponsored, non-credit programs are automatically enrolled in comprehensive international health insurance through CISI (included in each student's program fee).

 

We also encourage all students to purchase travel insurance through CISI to offset non-refundable costs in the event that a program is canceled or a student choose to voluntarily withdraw from their Fall 2021 program.

What if my program is canceled prior to departure?

While we hope that all of our study abroad program offerings will run as planned, the health, safety and travel landscape may change and programs may be canceled by UMD at any time. 

UMD continuously monitors the global risk environment and makes decisions about study abroad programs based on guidance from the U.S. State Department (DoS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our in-country partners and other public health and security experts. Once programs have successfully launched, we continue to monitor the health and security environment in each location so our students can safely study and live in their host countries. Decisions about the operating status of programs, including possible cancellations at any time (before or during program dates), will be informed by  these assessments on an ongoing basis.

To safeguard yourself academically and financially in the event of program cancellation, Education Abroad advises all students applying to a study abroad program to:

  • Purchase refundable airline tickets and travel insurance
  • Familiarize themselves with refund policies associated with program cancellation
  • Register for classes at UMD in addition to study abroad courses (for students who are planning to study abroad for a fall or spring semester)

Education Abroad will notify students directly of any changes to their program status and will support students through program cancellation procedures. Education Abroad will also coordinate with campus partners to assist transitioning students to a semester on campus, including supporting academic and financial aid advising.

Will I be refunded if I choose to voluntarily withdraw from my program?

Once you commit to a program, Education Abroad does not guarantee that any portion of the program fee will be credited to your student account should you withdraw from the program for any reason. Read more about EA's withdrawal policy on the Financial Commitment, Withdrawals & Refunds page. 

EA encourages all students to purchase travel insurance through CISI to offset non-refundable costs in the event that a student chooses to voluntarily withdraw from their program.

Will a COVID-19 vaccine be required to study abroad?

COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all students, faculty and staff returning to campus, as announced by the University System of Maryland Chancellor. This means that all students who study abroad will also be required to be vaccinated.

UMD will comply with all federal and state laws in granting appropriate exemptions for medical or religious reasons. You can request a vaccine exemption for medical or religious reasons herePlease note: students must comply with all local, regional or national policies regarding COVID-19. Many countries may not recognize exemptions and will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon entry.

Important vaccine information for students arriving from outside the United States is available from the University Health Center

How can I stay informed about the latest Education Abroad program updates?

Follow Education Abroad on social media! We post study abroad updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Sign up to receive updates on global opportunities at UMD curated to your interests at go.umd.edu/globalterps. When you indicate an interest in study abroad, you will receive program updates, application alerts, and other important information to help you navigate study abroad opportunities.