COVID-19 Guidance for students planning to study abroad in the near future
The Center for International Education Abroad is accepting applications to enroll in ISEP semester and academic year programs!
CIEA has opened-up to over 100 programs options across the globe. While the world is open for study, the Truman Travel Advisory Policy remains in effect which prohibits travel to locations with DOS Level 4 or CDC Level 3 travel warnings – however, CIEA is waiving this restriction for countries whose travel warnings are due exclusively to the presence of COVID-19 and allowing students to apply for an appeal.
What if the program or country I am interested in is not among approved offerings?
If the program or country is not approved by Truman, you will not be able to participate as a Truman student. There are many, many variables we consider in adding programs to our approved list and are constantly considering changes to the portfolio. Going on a non-approved program you would be doing so independently, not as a Truman student. This means, you will not be able to access financial aid, are not guaranteed transfer of credits back, and will not receive support from the CIEA.
If I apply to a program, could it still be canceled?
Yes. Unfortunately, there are factors beyond the control of CIEA that could lead to a program cancellation. Programs may still be canceled by the host university or ISEP. Truman State has granted a general waiver to our State Department Travel Warning policy that allows programs to run in countries that are listed as level 3 or 4 if the reason for the warning is due only to Covid-19 levels in the country. However, if a country on the approved list has its Travel Warning elevated due to other non-Covid-19-related factors, Truman may have to consider canceling programs to that location. Students who have applied or shown interest will be notified by email if programs are canceled and the decision will be posted on the study abroad website. Any recoverable fees will be refunded to the student.
Will there be any significant changes to study abroad programs due to Covid-19?
There may be changes in program dates and costs due to necessary health and safety reasons. Students will also be required to follow any necessary precautions required by the host country or institution and should carefully read the guidance provided by their host country’s embassy regarding entry requirements.
What are the study abroad office’s Covid-19 health and safety protocols?
ISEP requires all of its students to enroll in a comprehensive international health insurance and CIEA requires all faculty-led program participants to enroll in a comprehensive international health insurance with CISI. All students are also required to register with the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). CIEA also continues to closely monitor the CDC and Department of State travel advisories as well as guidance from our international partners and public health officials in host countries. Students have the support of professional staff who will ensure that students receive the necessary information, assistance, and guidance.
Even with programs opening, we continue to recommend the following precautionary steps in planning:
Housing: If needed, we encourage you to work with Residential Life to secure a flexible housing lease should your travel plans need to be postponed or canceled due to COVID-19. To learn more about your housing options for fall 2022, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 660-785-4227.
Finances: Become familiar with your program’s cancellation policies and decision dates. If possible, do not commit to any non-recoverable financial requirements until the status of your fall, spring or academic year program becomes more certain.
Student visas: Check with the consulate general or embassy of the country where you plan to travel to determine whether they are processing requests for student visas to enter that country.
International Travel: Check whether your destination country has restricted travel from the United States. Per the Truman Travel Advisory Policy, Truman State University has the ability to restrict travel to a country with a Level 3 U.S Department of State Travel Advisory and does not permit travel to a country under a U.S Department of State Travel Advisory Level 4 or CDC Travel Notice Level 3. For summer and fall of 2022, CIEA is waiving this restriction for countries whose Level 3 or Level 4 travel warnings are due exclusively to the presence of Covid-19. To obtain latest travel information on your country of destination, please visit the webpage of the U.S. embassy/consulate for your country of destination or check the travel advisory levels at travel.state.gov and at cdc.gov.
Flights: Wait to buy plane tickets until there is more certainty about your term’s travel guidance. If you decide to buy a ticket early, purchase flights that offer refunds or maximum flexibility should you need to cancel or change tickets.
Health Insurance: When traveling internationally, be sure to bring your health insurance card with you. You are required to enroll in an international health insurance. All ISEP students will be required to enroll in ISEP’s insurance. Students traveling on a faculty-led study abroad program will be required to purchase CISI insurance.
Travel Insurance: Purchase a travel insurance policy that allows you to cancel for any reason.
The health and safety of Truman students remain our top priority and decisions regarding study abroad are made with that in mind. While our decision to reopen study abroad applications reflect our belief that students will once again be able to successfully complete study abroad programs in the coming terms, we also know that the success of these programs hinges on many factors outside of our control.
While we are optimistic that study abroad and international travel is once again possible, we are also realistic about the continued challenges of traveling abroad during a global pandemic. In addition to the questions and considerations above, the following must also remain true for study abroad to be possible at Truman:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Health Notice Level 2 or lower (non-Covid factors)
- U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 2 or lower (non-Covid factors)
- U.S. citizens can enter the country
- Host university/organization is accepting students from the U.S
- ISEP/CISI insurance will provide coverage
- Visa is obtainable
- Approval by the Truman executive administration