CISABROAD BLOG · August 27, 2020 · 5 Min Read
Can I Study Abroad in 2021?

Yes, you can! Just like you, we’re experiencing serious wanderlust these days. 2020 has been a bit of a bust, but we’re working diligently to ensure our study abroad programs are available for students to safely participate in 2021.

We’re not in denial about the elephant in the (Zoom) room: this is a very difficult and uncertain time to be planning an international experience. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the way we operate our programs abroad, but rest assured, your health and safety is always our number one priority. If you decide to move forward with a Spring 2021 study abroad program CIS Abroad has your back, but be ready to be flexible, communicative, and respectful of changing international responses and guidelines – all skills you’d gain abroad even without a pandemic!

All that sound good? Follow theses four steps if you plan to study abroad in Spring 2021:


Step 1: Identify the best open program for you

We’ve narrowed down our portfolio of January and Spring 2021 options to offer you a list of programs that we feel have the highest potential for success. We’ve adjusted our portfolio to be able to provide students with quality advising and as many details as possible in the locations that we believe will meet our Guidelines for Restarting International Travel and be safe to visit in 2021. 

Study Abroad programs currently open for Spring 2021

The “Program Details” section of each program webpage has several tabs with detailed information about courses, housing, excursions and more. We’ve recently added a “COVID-19 Plan” tab which gives an overview of what to expect on the program as it relates to managing the spread of COVID-19. The information in this tab includes details on the possibility of virtual coursework, quarantine information, and other changes to our regular onsite experience.

Is your preferred program not on the list? We hope to resume offering our full portfolio starting in summer, 2021. In the meantime, we hope you will consider the programs above or browse our virtual options. 

Step 2: Confirm approval with your US university

You’ll always want to check in with your home US university when planning any study or intern abroad experience. They will likely have an additional application or approval process for you to complete that confirms how credits from abroad will transfer back and how you can apply your financial aid and/or scholarships toward our programs. Some universities have deadlines for you to complete these processes that are much earlier than our deadlines! Be sure to contact your US university study abroad office about this as soon as possible.

Additionally, your university may have policies in place that restrict travel due to COVID-19. Some universities have restricted travel for only certain terms, certain locations, or certain types of programs. We advise asking about travel restrictions as soon as possible – and note that your university may not have decided their policies for Spring yet! Your university’s policies will likely dictate your ability to travel; even if our programs are open for students. If your university restricts your travel at any time, and you are not able to participate in one of our programs, you will be refunded according to our refund policy.

Step 3: Have a back-up plan.

You know the saying…the only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. If you are moving forward with Spring 2021 have a backup plan, just in case. 

  • Register for Spring 2021 classes at your US university as a back-up. If you are able to travel, you can drop the courses before you’re charged tuition. Or, if you are unable to travel for any reason, you won’t have to worry about registering late for Spring classes in the US.
  • Don’t buy any flights until instructed by your Program Enrollment Coordinator after you get accepted.
  • Research virtual or domestic alternatives. Check out our Virtual Internships or Semester in Hawai’i

Step 4: Apply, submit your materials, and await acceptance.

After you consider all the steps above, be sure to apply to your program of choice for Spring by our application deadline.  When you apply, you’ll pay a $90 deposit that gives you access to your full application portal. Your portal is the place where you will submit all your application materials including your transcript, personal statement, course selection and more. Once you submit all your materials, our team will confirm you meet the eligibility requirements, process the application, and you’ll get your acceptance – yay! 


Check out our “How It Works” full video series that guides you through the entire study abroad process with CIS Abroad.

On the CIS Abroad blog, we share student-written content and information for students, advisors, other study abroad professionals, and families of students studying abroad. Check out our Facebook and Instagram for more from us and our students!