After assessing a range of sources about health and safety conditions globally, University of Vermont leadership will permit Spring 2022 semester study abroad to many, but not to all, destinations. Programs were approved throughout the world, at least one on every continent. Students with active GoAbroad records for the Spring 2022 term have been notified of this decision via email and advised accordingly on available options/next steps.

(This page solely addresses questions related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and study abroad. For information unrelated to study abroad, please see UVM’s website on COVID-19.  If you have questions related to international students and visiting scholars, please contact our students and scholar services teams as appropriate.)

 

 

Below FAQs updated: 8:00am EDT October 15, 2021

I APPLIED TO STUDY ABROAD IN SPRING 2022

UVM leadership is allowing some semester study abroad activities to proceed with certain conditions for Spring 2022. Some study abroad is being canceled outright. Specific information about programs which are being considered for approval or cancelation was sent to students on Friday, October 15, 2021. Academic advisors should expect to be contacted for typical predeparture study abroad academic approval as approved students complete their post-acceptance GoAbroad checklist.

1. I am being considered for approval, what do I need to do to be approved to study abroad this Spring?

  • All students who are still eligible for approval will need to complete the following tasks on the following timeline:
    • New requirements and deadlines:
      • Attend with a parent/emergency contact a Microsoft Teams meeting the week of October 18 with the Director of the UVM Office of International Education.
        • By 8 a.m. Monday, October 18, register for a meeting day/time.
        • Refer to the email you were sent on October 15th for meeting times and sign up links.
        • Only *you* should register after coordinating with your emergency contact on their availability; the meeting link will be provided to your emergency contacts based on your registration.
      • By 8 a.m. Monday, October 18, complete the Emergency Contact Information checklist requirement in GoAbroad.
      • By 8 a.m. Monday, November 1, complete in GoAbroad the COVID questionnaire which will address travel and logistics involved for your individual program, host community and host country. This form will be made available to you after meetings with the Director of OIE are completed.
      • By 8 a.m. Monday, November 1, complete in GoAbroad an assumption of risk document, which outlines the many things which cannot be predicted and the risks we want to make sure you and your families are comfortable taking given the inability to predict the unfolding situation.
      • By 8 a.m. Monday, November 1, complete in Go Abroad a list of commitments you will make to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your host community.
    • Continuing requirements:

​2. UVM is considering my approval for study abroad Spring 2022. How do I register for the mandatory student meeting?​​

  • All students being considered for approval must attend a mandatory meeting between Tuesday 10/19 and Monday 10/25. In order to make session sizes more manageable, we have capped attendance for each meeting time (though there are enough time slots over the whole week for all students to attend one). You can register using the link provided in your October 15 notification email from studyabroad@uvm.edu
    • Students’ emergency contacts should attend, but emergency contacts should not register. The meeting link will be provided by email to emergency contacts based on student registration.

3. Could my program still get canceled?

  • Yes, your program could get canceled if your host university or program provider cancels it. We recommend that if you are studying abroad with a third-party program provider, you contact them to find out more about how they have made/will make these cancellation decisions, and on what timeline.
  • UVM could also rescind approval if health and safety conditions in your destination worsen, or if border closures impede your ability to enter the country. We will communicate with you about any such decisions.

4. The border to my destination country is closed, and/or my country is not issuing visas. What should I do? How long can I wait before I know whether I will be approved to study abroad?

  • There are certain countries for which the borders will not open in time for program start dates, or the host country government has explicitly stated it will not issue visas. (For example, it is clear New Zealand will not be viable for Spring 2022.)
  • If your program would otherwise be approved but there is a reasonable chance the borders will open and visas issued in time for booking travel, you are advised to do the following if you are committed to your destination country/program:
    • 1. Register for Spring 2022 courses on the UVM campus, and ensure you retain a local housing option.
    • 2. Complete GoAbroad requirements as if the border will open by December 1.
    • 3. If by December 1 there is no clarity on the border situation, withdraw from study abroad and proceed with your Spring 2022 courses at UVM.
    • If you are open to an alternative location and do not wish to wait until December 1, contact a study abroad advisor the week of October 18 at studyabroad@uvm.edu to learn about options.

5. UVM canceled study abroad programs to my destination country. What do I do next?

  • In some cases, it may be possible to switch to a different program so that you can still go abroad this Spring, just to a different location. If you are interested in this possibility, please contact your study abroad advisor as soon as possible at studyabroad@uvm.edu, as this option is time sensitive.
  • If changing location is not possible or preferred, we would recommend you consider postponing your study abroad experience to a different term. Study abroad advisors in OIE are available to help you navigate this decision and process.

6. Why did UVM cancel study abroad to some countries/programs and not others?

  • UVM made its decisions about the approval or cancelation of Spring 2022 study abroad based on the following sources of information (among others):

 

I WANT TO STUDY ABROAD IN SUMMER OR FALL 2022 OR BEYOND

  1. I’m thinking about studying abroad sometime in the future but am worried about the news. Should I still be starting the process?
    • Yes! We encourage you to continue planning your study abroad experience. Students should think about multiple location options and multiple different terms for maximum flexibility as virus outbreaks still occur and some border restrictions are still in place.
  2. If I apply to study abroad and the semester is canceled, will I still have to pay the study abroad fee?
    • Students who have applied to study abroad will not be charged the study abroad fee if study abroad is canceled due to COVID-19.
  3. How can I meet with OIE staff if I am not on campus?
    • We can meet with you over the phone or in a virtual meeting through Microsoft Teams where we can share our computer screen with you and talk you through program options, application processes, and any other study abroad-related questions.
    • Please note, you should thoroughly read the Getting Started page of our website and have a destination country in mind before meeting with a study abroad advisor. 
    • Students can set up an appointment with a study abroad advisor through the Navigate app. This method is helpful for students who decide they would like to make an appointment with a study abroad advisor but it is outside business hours. This is the quickest way to set up an appointment.
    • If you need to speak with our office, you can call 802-656-4296.

GENERAL

  1. How do I keep myself and others safe?
  2. How does UVM make decisions about its study abroad programs? 
    • UVM reviews the travel recommendations by the CDC (which includes by way of comparison the current state of COVID in the U.S.) and the Department of State, which includes guidance both related to COVID-19, and conditions absent COVID-19. We also monitor International SOS (UVM’s emergency services and travel guidance provider) risk ratings, including the impact of COVID-19 on domestic operations (ease of movement, accessibility of businesses, availability of urgent medical care resources, and the overall security environment); the travel/security risk in that country regardless of COVID-19; and the quality of the medical system absent COVID-19. We review COVID vaccination rates in Our World in Data. We also benchmark with other U.S. institutions, through national professional associations, and we participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council Academic Working Group. In addition to consulting these resources, we also rely on our partners abroad to apprise us, our students, and their families of circumstances which will jeopardize student health and safety.
  3. What changes has UVM made to its study abroad programs in light of the COVID-19 outbreak?  
    • UVM recalled study abroad students in Spring 2020 and canceled study abroad for Summer 2020 and 2021, Fall 2020 and 2021, and Spring 2021. Please see the communications below.
  4. Why hasn’t UVM sent more communications to my student?
    • Generally speaking, our students have been getting frequent communications from their program providers and/or their host universities. It is important to UVM that students follow guidance from the people closest to the situation.  We have therefore been judicial in the frequency of UVM communications, relaying only new and critical information. 
  5. I’m traveling internationally for personal reasons. Should I cancel my plans?
    • This is a personal decision. UVM advises people to follow CDC guidelines. Should you choose to travel, you may face delays at airports for screening, and other unknowns which could include travel restrictions, exposure to COVID-19, or quarantine measures. These could have financial and academic implications. Presently there may be no indication that such travel restrictions or quarantine measures are planned for your destination, but is impossible to predict how different national, regional or local governments may choose to respond – sometimes without notice -- as the situation shifts. Please consult your state or local health department for instructions on what to do if you return from an affected area.
  6. What if I have booked my flight for international travel and my program is canceled?
    • Consult your airline directly regarding refunds or rebooking.
  7. Can the US State Department help me?
    • A nearby embassy or consulate in your host country may be able to provide you with limited assistance and advice, depending on the situation. Any US citizen or permanent resident abroad should make sure they are registered with STEP to receive updates and information from the appropriate embassy/consulate. Generally in the COVID-19 outbreak, the State Department has not been evacuating US citizens and students returning to the US will need to purchase their own travel. When an official State Department evacuation occurs, those evacuated need to pay the costs of their own evacuation. See the State Department's website describing what they can and can't do in a crisis, and also the State Department's country-specific information for the COVID-19 pandemic for more information. 
  8. How can I meet with OIE staff virtually?
    • We can meet with you over the phone or in a virtual meeting through Microsoft Teams where we can share our computer screen with you and talk you through program options, application processes, and any other study abroad-related questions.
    • Please note, you should thoroughly read the Getting Started page of our website and have a destination country in mind before meeting with a study abroad advisor. 
    • Students can set up an appointment with a study abroad advisor through the Navigate app. This method is helpful for students who decide they would like to make an appointment with a study abroad advisor but it is outside business hours. This is the quickest way to set up an appointment.
    • If you need to speak with our office, you can call 802-656-4296.