CIS Abroad Response to COVID-19. Updates here.

CIS Abroad Return to Travel Plan: February 2021 Update

Dear Colleagues, 

The Center for International Studies (CIS Abroad) continues to proactively prepare for the lifting of University, state, national and international travel restrictions. We currently have students abroad in seven countries and maintaining duty of care responsibilities to our students,families, and institutional partners is of utmost importance. And students continue to contact CIS Abroad about opportunities for Summer and Fall 2021 and beyond!

We continue to adapt and update our current risk assessment framework to include a new COVID-19-specific protocol overseen by our Risk Management Team (RMT). As currently constituted, the RMT reviews all health and safety protocols, student incidents, and any travel to high-risk destinations. We follow the FORUM on Education Abroad, US Department of State, Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, Global Health Index, and US Overseas Security Advisory Council guidelines to identify and review destination risk. 

We understand the importance of mitigating three areas of risk for students, families and universities –  financial, academic, and health & safety – is the foundation for the design and delivery of our programming. 

  1. We are mitigating financial risk.

CIS Abroad has worked with international partners to create refund and withdrawal policies that limit the financial impact on students and families should COVID-19 change a student’s plan to travel.

  • 100% refund of total program costs 31 days prior to the start (arrival) date of the program*
  • 50% refund of total program costs 30-15 days prior to the start (arrival) date of the program
  • 0% refund of total program costs 14 days or less prior to the start (arrival) date of the program

*Exclusions: 

  • $90 non-refundable application fee. 
  • A $480 non-refundable confirmation deposit is due upon acceptance for the following programs:
    • Summer and Semester in Hawai’i (Hawai’i Pacific University
    • Semester in Limerick, Ireland (University of Limerick)
    • Semester in London, England (University of Westminster)
    • Semester in Tokyo, Japan (Toyo University)  
  • Quarantine upon arrival costs (example: housing in a hotel that requires advance reservations that are non-refundable) if required by our host institutions. We anticipate more information about Summer and Fall 2021 quarantine upon arrival regulations to be available in late March or early April. 

To insure yourself from additional loss, such as the loss of airfare, or any other non-recoverable loss after your program begins, we recommend purchasing trip protection insurance, aka CFAR/IFAR insurance.

  1. We are mitigating academic risk.

CIS Abroad has carefully selected programs where there is minimal to no academic risk*.

  • If a student must quarantine or miss classes due to sickness, remote academics are guaranteed. These may be synchronous or asynchronous, i.e, live or recorded.
  • If a city or country goes on lockdown due to sickness, remote academics are guaranteed. These may be synchronous or asynchronous, i.e. live or recorded.

*If a student cannot travel to their destination due to COVID-19 restrictions, remote academics are guaranteed on select programs and in certain courses. If accessing remote academics from the US are important to you, please contact our advising team to learn more about which program locations or courses are right for you.  

  1. We are mitigating health & safety risk.

CIS Abroad has developed a site-specific risk management plan for every location so that health and safety protocols are monitored, managed and communicated throughout the semester.

We have developed a COVID Care Package included in our program fee for all Summer and Fall 2021 programming to make traveling and living in a host country easier on students, especially those first few weeks on-site:

  • COVID compliant airport pick-up and transfer to housing. 
  • Access to quarantine housing upon entry, if quarantine is required when entering the country; this housing may incur additional charges*
  • Information and assistance on meal delivery, if quarantine is required when entering the country
  • COVID-safe classrooms, campus facilities, and housing as well as access to masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies according to country and location-specific standards 
  • Access to accommodation if isolation is necessary due to positive COVID test or exposure; this housing may incur additional charges.
  • Access to COVID testing; this testing may be an additional charge.
  • Medical and accident insurance that covers COVID-related illness (except for on programs operating in the USA).
  • La Vida Local cultural activities and reflection that emphasize safe, local exploration geared to the specific context of being abroad at this special time.

*if quarantine is required upon entry, we will let you know 60 days before a program starts, or as soon as the information is known to CIS Abroad. Your program coordinator will keep you updated as to any changes in dates, arrival, local restrictions and costs.  If it is required, this may entail an earlier departure date and an additional housing and meal cost. 

We recognize not every student, family, or university will allow travel this year, despite the risk mitigation outlined above.  Should students apply for 2021 programs, and then choose to defer to a future program, we would be happy to move that student’s application to a program with a later start date.  We are committed to providing our innovative virtual programs to meet your internationalization goals.

Sincerely, 

Kris Holloway & The CIS Abroad Risk Management Team