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The University of Utah is actively monitoring the worldwide spread of the respiratory illness COVID-19. The University's COVID-19 webpage is being updated regularly, and we encourage you to check it frequently for important updates. University of Utah Health also has a helpful webpage with FAQs, practical tips about how to protect yourself from COVID-19, and more. If you have specific questions that are not answered by the information on those webpages, we encourage you to call the U's COVID-19 telephone hotline at 801-231-2874.

ACADEMIC YEAR 2021 - 2022

Yes, vaccines are required to participate in a Learning Abroad program, beginning in Spring 2022. Booster shots are now also STRONGLY recommended before departure. In many countries, boosters are now required to maintain a fully vaccinated status and therefore access restaurants, shops, museums, public transportation, etc.

Learning Abroad wants to ensure that you have a safe and healthy experience abroad, with as little disruption as possible due to the pandemic. The best way to prevent infection and serious illness is to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and therefore, it is required that you are fully vaccinated before participating on a University of Utah Learning Abroad Program. Vaccines are readily available on campus and in the community for no charge. You can find more information on the U of U Vaccine Information page, the Salt Lake County Health Department website, or the Utah Department of Health website.

Reasons a COVID-19 vaccine is required before participating on a U of U Learning Abroad Program include but are not limited to:

  • Students who attend the University of Utah are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • The CDCrecommends the vaccine for all international travelers.
  • At any time - and without significant notice - proof-of-vaccination criteria for inbound air travelers may be established by foreign governments as country-entry requirements.  
  • Social responsibility: vaccine rollouts and deployment efforts vary greatly across international destinations, many international governments and communities still do not have widespread access to vaccines, and many nations are still struggling to reduce community transmission, control ongoing outbreaks, and reduce positive case-counts. 
  • In-country protocols specific to un-vaccinated travelers vary widely, and continue to change without prior notice. Examples of currently in-country protocols specific to unvaccinated travelers are:
    • Unvaccinated travelers may be required to quarantine upon arrival to foreign countries for 10-14 days, at their own expense.
    • Unvaccinated travelers may be required to submit to immediate post-arrival country-specific testing protocols, in addition to ongoing required testing at recurring intervals, at their own expense.
    • Unvaccinated individuals who are identified as having been in close contact with a positive COVID-19 individual/case (through contact tracing), may be required to quarantine at their own expense, and submit to required testing. 
    • Unvaccinated individuals may be prohibited by local authorities from entering certain venues (museums, historical sites, restaurants, etc.). Students are expected to participate fully in all Learning Abroad program activities and their academic grades may be negatively impacted if they are unable to attend/participate-in certain activities solely due to their status as unvaccinated.
    • Certain countries require weekly COVID testing for unvaccinated individuals.  Expenses for such recurring tests must be paid out-of-pocket by unvaccinated individuals. In some locations, tests cost several hundred dollars each.
  • Unvaccinated students invite an increased risk of testing positive for COVID-19 before departure or during their time abroad, disrupting their ability to travel or participate in program activities. In such situations, program deposits and costs may be unrecoverable for students.

Yes, at this time the University of Utah has not restricted Learning Abroad student travel for 2022. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep students and faculty updated. Not all Learning Abroad destinations may be possible. Students are currently able to apply for Summer 2022 programs of all types. Given the uncertainty and unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that the University could decide at a later date to suspend all international travel for all students. For this reason, we recommend that Affiliate or Exchange applicants also enroll in classes on the main campus as a backup plan, or consider the Utah Asia Campus or virtual options.

Student travel to the Utah Asia Campus (UAC) remains unrestricted, and falls outside the scope of current University travel restrictions. The UAC is the only international program location where U of U students are provided direct access to an established network of University-managed health and safety support services. Strong communication links between the two campuses, alongside a portfolio of shared student resources and assistance tools, allow for the University to continue to support student mobility to the UAC.

For full details, please refer to the CISI Policy Brochure.

Quarantine:

The University of Utah CISI insurance plan now provides a quarantine benefit. However, it only covers quarantine for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 during their program and incur expenses (flight change, hotel room, meals, etc.) due to quarantine forced by a government or medical authority. The insurance does NOT cover quarantine that is required for all travelers upon arrival.

“Quarantine” is defined as the period of time during which the Insured Person is forced into medical isolation by a recognized government authority, their authorized deputies, or medical examiners due to the Insured Person either having, or being suspected of having, a contagious disease, infection or contamination while the Insured Person is traveling outside of the Insured’s Home Country.

An example of what may be covered: A student is getting ready to depart from their study abroad program to go home. They get to the airport and are forced to take a test. They test positive and are not allowed to board a plane/are transferred to a hotel. 

Testing:

Testing is only covered when medically necessary. Testing is not covered if someone is getting tested just to be tested or if it’s being required for entry into a country (or any other required situations). The only time testing is covered is if the person is symptomatic and seeks medical care and the doctor recommends they be tested OR if they come in direct contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and a doctor recommends they be tested.

COVID-19 Treatment:

COVID-19 is treated like any other illness such as the flu. So if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19, and seeks medical treatment, it would be covered up to the policy medical expense maximum. There are no exclusions for medical treatment for COVID-19.

Yes, if a Program is cancelled by the University of Utah before it departs, you will receive a full refund of all U of U billable Program costs, including the $500 initial payment. Due to the uncertainties of COVID-19, we recommend that you do not purchase flights, apply for a visa, complete your medical visit, receive vaccinations, etc., until it is certain your program will run since Learning Abroad is unable to reimburse these costs. 

Note for Affiliate Programs: Please contact your Affiliate provider to determine what costs may be refundable. Non-billable costs, such as tuition, housing, transportation, are subject to the policies of the parties to which you make the payment and the University of Utah is unable to refund any costs billed by an Affiliate. Contact the parties to which you make payments for information about withdrawal and refund policies due to COVID-19.

Note for Exchange Programs: Please contact your Learning Abroad Coordinator to determine what costs may be refundable if you have made any on-site payments. Non-billable costs such as housing are subject to the policies of the parties to which you make the payment and the University of Utah is unable to refund any costs billed by an on-site entity. Contact the parties to which you make payments for information about withdrawal and refund policies due to COVID-19.

Yes, we strongly encourage you to apply for OGE scholarships!

Summer 2022: OGE Scholarship applications for Summer 2022 are now open. Recipients will be selected after the February 15 deadline.

Fall 2022/Fall Break 2022/Academic Year 2022-2023: OGE Scholarship applications for the Fall term will open in mid-March.

The Office for Global Engagement will hold awarded funds for up to 3 terms for those impacted by program cancellations. If you cannot participate in a future program, you will be unable to use the scholarship.

Yes, if your program is canceled you may choose to receive a refund of your initial payment, or defer to a later term and transfer your initial payment to that term. Please work with your Learning Abroad Coordinator to switch your application. Please be aware that you are responsible for any other expenses you may have incurred before deferring (billable costs from an exchange university or affiliate partner, flights, program costs, visa, housing deposits, etc.).

If you no longer feel safe going abroad but your program is not canceled, deferral may be a possibility, depending on program type and timeline. Please refer to our normal withdrawal policy, and contact your Learning Abroad Coordinator to inquire about the possibility of deferring to a later term.

Please email learningabroad@utah.edu or call 801-581-5849 to schedule an appointment. We are offering phone and video advising at this time and are happy to discuss how you can learn abroad in a future term. We also encourage you to review our First Steps page on our website for further advice on how to get started planning to learn abroad.
Last Updated: 1/28/22