We are closely monitoring Coronavirus. Updates here.

Global Alerts

CIS ABROAD CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES

RISK MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW

Our Response

We are working closely with our partners around the world to ensure that communication is flowing between our staff, their staff, and our participants. Our goal is to ensure that students are taking measures to protect themselves, and that the academic program continues as smoothly as possible. 

Our Team

Our Risk Management Team is meeting twice a day and has more than 50 years of combined experience in this area. We are continuously monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and staying current on all U.S. State Department and CDC news. Our International Operations Management Team is in constant touch with our current and future participants, emergency contacts, and home institutions.

Our international university partners are closely monitoring local situations closely and taking all necessary measures to ensure campus communities are as protected as possible.

Our Approach

We want our students to stay safe and also to be able to have the rich cultural and academic experience that they have worked so hard to have. If the U.S. or country governments do not recommend the cancellation of programming, we will not either. We also understand that universities, families and students have their own risk thresholds and may make other decisions. In these instances, we will work with each individual case to see how we can best accommodate these needs. 

For Student Academic Resources click here.

For all alternative and available summer and fall 2020 programs click here.

Resources

CIS Abroad is closely monitoring the recommendations of the U.S. State Department, the CDC, and equivalent international organizations.  

Q: How should students best protect themselves against getting sick?

A: You can protect yourself from getting sick by following the health precautions of the World Health Organization. Most people who become infected with the coronavirus experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. The greatest threat to the public is spreading the infection to others who may have weaker immune systems. To keep things in perspective, there are usually 1 billion cases of the flu worldwide each year. As of March 4, 2020 there are only 92, 818 cases of COVID-19 worldwide. 

Q. What programs are available for going abroad in Summer or Fall 2020?

So much time, planning, and hard work goes into preparing to study or intern abroad. During this unprecedented time, we understand that knowing your options is important, and we’re working double-time to keep impacts to our programs as low as possible. 

We’ve extended deadlines for summer programs wherever possible, and we’ve developed this list of options if students are interested in other locations, or if students are in the unfortunate situation of needing to substitute for a cancelled program. Right now all our summer programs are open. Students can also reach out to our advisors for personal support via text or phone at 877-617-9090.

Q. When would CIS Abroad cancel or suspend a program?

CIS Abroad aims to maintain standard operations, while always keeping the health and safety of participants at the forefront. At this point all summer and fall programs are scheduled to run as planned. CIS Abroad may cancel or suspend a program before the end date for the following reasons:

  • The U.S. State Department advisory level for the country is elevated to Level 4, “Do not travel”.
  • The CDC elevates the alert level to a Level 3,  “Avoid all non-essential travel”.
  • The U.S. or other country governments recommend immediate departure or evacuation of all U.S. citizens.

US Universities have their own policies around international travel and programming. Please check with your university’s study abroad office.

Q: What is the refund policy if CIS Abroad suspends or cancels a program that's already begun?

A: If CIS Abroad cancels or suspends a program while students are onsite, there is no guaranteed refund. CIS Abroad commits monies upfront for study and intern abroad experiences. However, we would work closely with our on-site partners to recover as many costs as possible such as tuition and fees, housing, and excursions.  There’s also the possibility that your university may recall you home from abroad. In this case, our standard refund policy applies.

Q: What is the refund policy if students voluntarily choose to withdraw from a program because of concerns about the Coronavirus?

A: A student who chooses to withdraw from a program that is not cancelled will follow CIS Abroad’s standard refund policy.

We are currently working to extend our Application and Final Payment Deadlines for Summer and Fall programs so students have as much time as possible to decide if they want to fully commit to a program. You can expect updates from Program Enrollment Coordinators on these deadlines and we’ve updated specific programs on the website in which we are able to extend the deadline.

Q. My program has been cancelled and the CIS Abroad refund policy says that I will be reimbursed "recoverable funds". What funds are recoverable?

Costs are incurred throughout the lifecycle of a study abroad experience – pre-departure, while onsite and upon program completion.  Additionally many of our overseas partners require payments up-front.  While we work to create the most flexible terms we possibly can, each partner has their own refund policies.  If the costs for your program upon withdrawal/cancellation have already been realized on resources that cannot be recovered, or if a partner’s refund policy does not allow for the return of the full pre-paid fee, we will be limited in our ability in what we can recover.  Only fees that can be recovered and have not already been consumed can be refunded.

Q: What is the refund policy for faculty-led programs?

A: Should one of our university partners cancel their faculty led program specifically due to concerns and/or government requirements about COVID-19, the CIS Abroad cancellation and refund policy will apply, as stated in each individual program contract. Because of the unprecedented nature of this situation, every effort will be made to recover and refund as much of the program cost as possible.

Q. Where can I reroute my faculty-led program?

We are eager to talk to you about deferral options to later in the year or next year.

Q. Does CIS Abroad have recommendations for rebooking a flight?

Here are our tips for rebooking a flight:

  • Check the information provided below to see if your airline is offering an updated flight change policy due to the Coronavirus. If you do not see your airline listed here, contact your airline directly.  Many airlines are cancelling extra fees and charges for flight changes.
  • Make changes directly on your Airline website, or call them directly, rather than changing your flight on a third party website such as Expedia.
  • If calling your airline directly, be polite and honest and they might be able to help you at least reduce fees if not completely eliminate them. Ask to speak with a supervisor if the person you are speaking with can’t waive your fees. 
  • Change your flight rather than cancelling it. This can possibly avoid fees. 
  • Consider that buying a one-way fare may be the least expensive option. 
  • General Safety Tips while traveling – wash your hands, stay away from people who are sick, etc. And cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze! Use your elbow or a tissue. 

*Note: CIS Abroad cannot be held responsible if students are unable to obtain a fee waiver or refund for their airfare. 

These articles are updated regularly with the most accurate policy information for each US airline:

Q. What are CIS Abroad’s recommended travel considerations?

A: We’ve urged all students onsite to make sure they are up to date on all information before traveling around their country or to others. As the situation continues to evolve, students will want to know if there are concerns around cancelled transportation, quarantine, or other governmental responses. Our Site Directors are aware of student’s mobility especially during this spring break period and are advising them of the current restrictions and the possibility for trip disruption.

Q: Do you recommend purchasing travel insurance?

A: Purchasing travel insurance is completely optional and recommended for those who want to be able to withdraw from their program up to the week, or sometimes even days, before the program start date without penalty. There are certain types of insurance available, however, there are usually many restrictions around date of purchase and coverages, so we recommend that you look carefully at the policies and ensure that any policies you purchase would cover this specific situation.

Q. I have returned from my program- how do I complete my courses remotely?

Please see our Student Academic Resources page for information about completing your semester remotely.

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