CGIS and the University of Michigan continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation as it develops worldwide. Changes to the situation abroad can happen at any time and CGIS staff will communicate any and all updates directly to students as they become available. Parents and other concerned parties who would like to receive this information should ask their students to share the updates with them. Students planning to participate in CGIS programs worldwide are advised to continue to closely monitor the latest developments, and to adhere to any national and international public health directives issued by their host country or institution. For the latest CGIS updates on COVID and other health and safety related info, please click here!

Update Date: August 13, 2021

Note: Some of the below language has been borrowed from the Global Michigan Student FAQ.

UM & CGIS Policies for Resumption of Travel

1. How is the University of Michigan monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation worldwide?

  • The Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) works closely with U-M’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC), which monitors guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization (WHO) and a number of other national and international public health organizations.

  • For more information about U-M’s stance on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Global Michigan webpage and the FAQ specifically dedicated to international travel.

2. Whom will CGIS contact with updates relating to future study abroad programs?

  • CGIS will contact students who have opened or submitted an application to a CGIS program if and when updates are available. Parents and other concerned parties who would like to receive this information should ask their students to share the updates with them.

3. How will U-M / CGIS decide if upcoming programs will run?

  • Whether or not the University will allow U-M students to participate on a study abroad program depends on two conditions:    

1.  Removal of the host country from U-M’s Restricted and COVID-19 High Risk Destinations list. Undergraduate students are not permitted to travel to restricted/COVID high countries.

2. Approval of each individual program from the University’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC). CGIS will submit this petition on behalf of each program.

  • It is important to understand that even if a country is removed from the Travel Restriction and/or COVID-19 High Risk list, the situation could change enough to merit returning it to the lists at any time. Students should be informed about financial and academic implications should the program be cancelled (or altered) prior to departure, or during the program itself.

  • Students are strongly encouraged to carefully review the partner's program cancellation and withdrawal policies before moving forward with any type of commitment, as CGIS has no control over our partners’ policies and cannot intervene should you be held financially responsible after committing to non-refundable costs.

  • Students are also strongly encouraged to have access to a contingency fund in the event of unanticipated costs such as flight change fees, repeated COVID 19 tests, quarantine requirements, and/or interruptions to travel plans caused by positive COVID-19 test results.

4. How are U-M Travel Warning and U-M Travel Restriction destinations and COVID-19 Medium Risk/High Risk countries determined?

  • Any updates to U-M Travel Warning & Restrictions and U-M COVID-19 High Risk/Medium Risk locations will be posted on the Global Michigan website.
  • NOTE: Countries designated as U-M Travel Warning and COVID-19 Medium Risk destinations only take into account health and safety conditions, not entry requirements. Travelers must verify their ability to enter a country before planning travel.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

5. Do I need to have received the COVID vaccine to study on a CGIS program?

  • Yes. Students traveling internationally on a U-M managed program are required to have an authorized COVID-19 vaccination and complete the “Student COVID-19 Vaccination Self-Report Form” in Wolverine Access before traveling abroad unless they have an approved exemption. 

  • When you begin an application in M-Compass, you will also be prompted to review and sign the Terms & Conditions of COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement document and complete the  Confirm Reporting COVID-19 Vaccine / Request Medical or Religious Exemption form. The “Terms & Conditions of COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement” document provides information on how to report your COVID-19 vaccination and complete the “Student COVID-19 Vaccination Self-Report Form” in Wolverine Access as instructed on the Campus Maize and BLUEprint website. This Vaccine Requirement Flowchart can help with navigating the process.

  • Students who are not yet fully vaccinated must be fully vaccinated and report their COVID-19 vaccination before traveling abroad. Necessary University officials, such as Global Engagement Team members within the Office of the Provost, may validate that students have completed the requirement, and the U-M unit sponsoring the program may request validation. 

6. What vaccines are recognized as acceptable to meet this requirement?

  • Please visit Campus Maize and BLUEprint website for an updated list of acceptable vaccines. For the purpose of meeting Michigan International Travel requirements, the University recognizes vaccines that are authorized for use in the United States by the U.S. FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO) as meeting COVID-19 policies and requirements. The list of recognized vaccines may change; you can view the current WHO list

7. Where do I go if I have additional questions about the vaccine requirement or would like to request a medical or religious exemption?

  • The Global Michigan website provides a full list of FAQs on the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, requesting an exemption, and special situations. All questions about exemptions should go to the Global Michigan team as they handle the exemption process.

  • Students applying for vaccine exemptions should be aware that an U-M granted vaccine exemption only applies to U-M’s vaccine policy. On-site partners and host countries may have their own vaccine mandates. Students are responsible for researching and understanding entry requirements for their destination country. 

Exit from and Entry into the U.S.

8. How can I determine entry requirements for my host country?

  • Entry requirements in countries around the world have changed throughout the pandemic. These changes may look like:

    • Restrictions on who can enter the country based on nationality/citizenship, vaccine status, country departing from, and the kind of travel being undertaken (personal, study, business, etc.)

    • New/altered entry forms required by the country

    • Mandatory COVID-19 testing before and/or after arrival in the country

    • Mandatory quarantine periods upon arrival

  • Travelers who do not follow entry requirements may not be allowed to enter the country and are subject to the host country laws, rules, and regulations. 

  • Resources on this topic:

                    US Embassy COVID-19 Specific Information

                    United Nations World Food Programme Travel Restrictions Map

                    IATA Travel Regulations Map

9. How do I get tested before departure to my host country?

10. What are the travel requirements for re-entry to the U.S.?

  • As of January 2021, the United States requires all travellers regardless of citizenship to provide a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of departure. At present, vaccine status does not impact this requirement.

  • CGIS has included cost estimates for these tests in each program’s budget sheet. Please note that this cost is not covered by insurance and will need to be paid out of pocket.

  • The CDC recommends also getting another Covid test in the 3-5 days after arrival in the U.S. and to quarantine for 7 days. If you are arriving back to campus, please refer to the Campus Maize & Blueprint for U-M specific requirements.

  • Due to rapidly changing entry requirements, non-US citizens should create a backup plan in case that you cannot return to the U.S. as planned. This includes maintaining a significant contingency fund to pay for expenses that would come with a delayed return to the US (airline change fees, additional housing, meals, etc.).

11. Is there emergency funding available in the case of unanticipated travel disruptions?

  • U-M Office of Financial Aid and the Dean of Students Office have limited to no emergency funds at this time. 

  • Students must ensure that they have emergency funds while traveling during the pandemic, whether personal funds or verified emergency funds from a student’s U-M department that can be used for unexpected costs.

  • Potential emergency funding situations to be aware of:

    • Pre-departure flight cancellations in the event the COVID-19 situation in the destination country deteriorates.

    • Early departure from the destination country in the event the COVID-19 situation in the destination country deteriorates. Please note that last minute flights or repatriation flights are expensive and can cost in excess of 3000 USD.

    • Living costs associated with being in-country longer than intended in the event of border / airport closures or not meeting exit requirements, such as testing positive for COVID-19 before departure.

    • COVID-19 related costs, including quarantine costs, testing, etc.

GeoBlue International Insurance

12. Will the GeoBlue international insurance cover or U-M / CGIS cover a return flight if my program ends early due to Covid?

  • Because COVID-19 pandemic is a well documented event and is considered a “known risk” by the insurance underwriters, GeoBlue does not cover the cost of a return flight because of a COVID-19 outbreak. Similarly, U-M will not cover the cost of flight change fees or new return flights for travelers who choose to go abroad during COVID-19.  Faculty, staff, and students willing to travel during COVID-19 must ensure that they are able to cover the costs of travel if they need to return to their home country earlier than expected. Faculty, staff, and students who are not able, or not comfortable with, covering potential travel expenses due to COVID-19 should not travel. These possible expenses include return flights and costs associated with having to stay in-country for an indefinite period of time because of border closures.

  • GeoBlue benefits will cover most medical issues, including medically necessary COVID-19 testing  and treatment, visiting a hospital or clinic because of illness, and many other medical issues. GeoBlue also covers evacuations for certain political crises and natural disasters. GeoBlue does not cover COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic individuals, quarantine costs (housing, food, etc), or other costs unless listed under the GeoBlue coverage benefits that students receive after purchasing GeoBlue. Details are on the GeoBlue COVID-19 updates page and the UHS Travel Abroad Health Insurance page.

13. I am traveling abroad for personal reasons.  Do I need to register my travel with U-M? Can I purchase international health insurance coverage?

  • Students wishing to travel internationally for personal reasons that are not UMRT should consider the wide range of risks, including health risks, financial risks, academic risks, visa and entry restrictions, and the possibility of being stuck in-country for an indefinite period of time because of airport closures or entry/exit restrictions.

  • Students who do choose to travel must follow any guidelines for returning to campus, such as practicing enhanced socially distancing before engaging in in-person activities on campus, if required. See Campus Maize & Blueprint for updated guidance.

  • We recommend registering your travel with U-M on MCompass

  • While not required, we strongly encourage all students traveling internationally to register their travel in M-Compass. International Travel Insurance (GeoBlue) can be purchased for $1.35/day, even for personal travel.

General Inquiries

14. Who can I contact about study abroad and the coronavirus situation?

  • Students should email CGIS Health & Safety Advisor, Rachel Reuter, at cgis-healthsafety@umich.edu. Members of the media should contact U-M Office of Public Affairs.

SPRING/SUMMER 2022

1. What is the current status of CGIS Spring / Summer 2022 study abroad programs?

  • Applications for spring/summer programs will open on October 1, 2021. Students should understand that there is still a significant possibility that U-M / CGIS will have to cancel some of these programs due to public health concerns. This decision will be made in the coming months and the specific decision date will vary based on the program. Advisors will communicate directly with applicants if changes to their programs occur. Please also see the Health & Safety Alerts page for updates related to the Spring / Summer term as they become available.

2. How will U-M / CGIS decide if my program will run this year?

  • Whether or not the University will allow U-M students to participate on a study abroad program depends on two conditions:
  1. Removal of the host country from U-M’s Restricted Destinations and/or COVID-19 High Risk Travel lists. Undergraduate students are not permitted to travel to restricted or COVID high risk countries
  2. Approval of each individual program from the University’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC). CGIS will submit this petition on behalf of each program.
  • It is important to understand that even if a country is removed from the Travel Restriction/COVID-19 High Risk Travel list, the situation could change enough to merit returning it to the lists at any time. Students should be informed about financial and academic implications should the program be cancelled (or altered) prior to departure, or during the program itself.  

  • Students are strongly encouraged to carefully review the partner's program cancellation and withdrawal policies before moving forward with any type of commitment, as CGIS has no control over our partners’ policies and cannot intervene should you be held financially responsible after committing to non-refundable costs. 

  • Students are also strongly encouraged to have access to a contingency fund in the event of unanticipated costs such as flight change fees, repeated COVID 19 tests, quarantine requirements, and/or interruptions to travel plans caused by positive COVID-19 test results. 

3. If U-M decides not to run my program but it is still being offered via a 3rd party provider in Spring/Summer 2022, can I participate in this program by enrolling directly via the provider?

  • Though CGIS strongly recommends against doing so, students who wish to take on the risk and responsibility of ensuring their program is appropriately vetted for academic, financial and safety concerns may do so. However, UM will not approve or endorse any undergraduate study abroad programs while a U-M travel restriction/COVID high risk designation is in place.

  • Students pursuing independent study abroad programs (not U-M Related Travel) may obtain verification of enrollment from the Registrar’s Office: https://ro.umich.edu/records-registration/enrollment-verification, offer this as documentation to external study abroad program providers, and explain that U-M advisors cannot sign approval forms while a U-M travel restriction/COVID high risk designation is in place.

  • For additional details please visit the Global Michigan FAQ on COVID-19 and International Travel

WINTER 2022

1. What is the current status of CGIS Winter 2022 study abroad programs?

  • Applications are currently closed for Winter 2022 programs and student selection is in progress. However, students should understand that there is still a significant possibility that U-M / CGIS will have to cancel programs due to public health concerns. This decision will be made in the coming months and the specific decision date will vary based on the program. Advisors will communicate directly with applicants if changes to their programs occur. Please stay tuned to the Health & Safety Alerts page for updates as well. 

2. How will U-M / CGIS decide if my program will run this year?

  • Whether or not the University will allow U-M students to participate on a study abroad program depends on two conditions:

    1. Removal of the host country from U-M’s Restricted Destinations and/or COVID-19 High Risk Travel lists. Undergraduate students are not permitted to travel to restricted or COVID high risk countries

    2. Approval of each individual program from the University’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC). CGIS will submit this petition on behalf of each program.

  • It is important to understand that even if a country is removed from the Travel Restriction/COVID-19 High Risk Travel list, the situation could change enough to merit returning it to the lists at any time. Students should be informed about financial and academic implications should the program be cancelled (or altered) prior to departure, or during the program itself.  

  • Students are strongly encouraged to carefully review the partner's program cancellation and withdrawal policies before moving forward with any type of commitment, as CGIS has no control over our partners’ policies and cannot intervene should you be held financially responsible after committing to non-refundable costs. 

  • Students are also strongly encouraged to have access to a contingency fund in the event of unanticipated costs such as flight change fees, repeated COVID 19 tests, quarantine requirements, and/or interruptions to travel plans caused by positive COVID-19 test results. 

3. If U-M decides not to run my program but it is still being offered via a 3rd party provider in Winter 2022, can I participate in this program by enrolling directly via the provider?

  •  Though CGIS strongly recommends against doing so, students who wish to take on the risk and responsibility of ensuring their program is appropriately vetted for academic, financial and safety concerns may do so. However, UM will not approve or endorse any undergraduate study abroad programs while a U-M travel restriction/COVID high risk designation is in place.
  • Students pursuing independent study abroad programs (not U-M Related Travel) may obtain verification of enrollment from the Registrar’s Office: https://ro.umich.edu/records-registration/enrollment-verification, offer this as documentation to external study abroad program providers, and explain that U-M advisors cannot sign approval forms while a U-M travel restriction/COVID high risk designation is in place.

Previous FAQ’s regarding cancelation of U-M study abroad programs

January 2021 FAQ Update

  • 1. How is the University of Michigan monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation worldwide?

    • The Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) works closely with U-M’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC), which monitors guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization (WHO) and a number of other national and international public health organizations.

    • For more information about U-M’s stance on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Global Michigan webpage and the FAQ specifically dedicated to international travel.

  • 2. How will CGIS determine if a program will run this year?

    • Whether a program runs is contingent on two major factors: 

      • The removal of the host country from U-M’s Restricted Destinations list. Undergraduate students are not permitted to travel to restricted countries.

      • Each program must receive approval from the International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC). CGIS will petition for approval on behalf of the program and ITOC will make the final decision.

  • 3. How will the COVID-19 vaccine impact forthcoming international travel?

    • The vaccine is still in an early phase of distribution, but CGIS is optimistic that it will help us return to traveling internationally soon. Once widely available, CGIS strongly encourages our students to get the vaccine for their protection. In keeping with our mission of ethical travel, we believe it is imperative to do all we can to prevent spread of the pandemic. In addition, students should anticipate that some countries will require foreigners to be vaccinated to enter the country.

    • More information on the vaccine will be shared here as the situation develops. 

  • 4. How will the pandemic impact my experience if I choose to study abroad?

    • For more information on how travel and study abroad is being impacted by the pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 Health & Safety page.

  • 5. I am traveling abroad for personal reasons.  Do I need to register my travel with U-M? Can I purchase international health insurance coverage?

    • While not required, we strongly encourage all students traveling internationally to register their travel in M-Compass. International Travel Insurance (GeoBlue) can be purchased for $1.35/day, even for personal travel.

  • 6. Whom will CGIS contact with updates relating to future study abroad programs?

    • CGIS will contact students who have opened or submitted an application to a CGIS program if and when updates are available. Parents and other concerned parties who would like to receive this information should ask their students to share the updates with them.

  • 7. Who can I contact about study abroad and the coronavirus situation?

    • Students should email CGIS Health & Safety Advisor, Rachel Reuter, at reuterra@umich.edu. Members of the media should contact U-M Office of Public Affairs

SPRING/SUMMER 2021

  • 1. Will my spring or summer 2021 program still run? 

    • At this time, we are hopeful that the remainder of spring and summer 2021 programs will run. This is, however, subject to change due to the evolving situation. Please pay close attention to communications from CGIS and to University-wide emails regarding international travel. More information will be shared to impacted students as it becomes available.

  • 2. With COVID-19 still escalating, should I even apply to a Sp/Su 2021 CGIS program?

    • While ultimately this decision must be made by each individual student, we encourage students to start an application to a CGIS program if interested.  Students should stay informed of the current situation in their potential host country and keep their options open, including arranging for a back-up plan for spring/summer 2021 if study abroad is not an option. We also strongly discourage students from purchasing plane tickets or incurring any significant financial commitments related to travel until more information is known.

FALL/ACADEMIC YEAR 2021

  • 1. Will my fall or academic year 2021 program still run? 

    • At this time, we are hopeful that the remainder of fall and academic year 2021 programs will run. This is, however, subject to change due to the evolving situation. Please pay close attention to communications from CGIS and to University-wide emails regarding international travel. More information will be shared to impacted students as it becomes available.

November 2020 FAQ Update

  • 1. How is the University of Michigan monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation worldwide?
    • The Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) works closely with U-M’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC), which monitors guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization (WHO) and a number of other national and international public health organizations.

    • For more information about U-M’s stance on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Global Michigan webpage and the FAQ specifically dedicated to international travel.

  • 2. Whom will CGIS contact with updates relating to future study abroad programs?
    • CGIS will contact students who have opened or submitted an application to a CGIS program if and when updates are available. Parents and other concerned parties who would like to receive this information should ask their students to share the updates with them.

  • 3. I am traveling abroad for personal reasons.  Do I need to register my travel with U-M? Can I purchase international health insurance coverage?
    • While not required, we strongly encourage all students traveling internationally to register their travel in M-Compass. International Travel Insurance (GeoBlue) can be purchased for $1.23/day, even for personal travel.

  • 4. Who can I contact about study abroad and the coronavirus situation?
    • Students should email CGIS Health & Safety Advisor, Rachel Reuter, at reuterra@umich.edu. Members of the media should contact U-M Office of Public Affairs

SPRING/SUMMER 2021

  • 1. Has my CGIS program been cancelled? 
    • CGIS recently made the decision to cancel spring/summer faculty-led programs for 2021. The programs that are affected are listed below:
      • Advanced Spanish in Alicante
      • Advanced Spanish in Santiago de Compostela
      • Arts in Paris
      • Black Paris
      • French 230 in Grenoble
      • Intermediate French in Grenoble
      • French 232 in Aix and Nantes
      • Italian 230 in Siena
      • Race, Culture, and Community in London
      • Roots, Culture, and Rhythms in Havana
      • Spanish 230 in Buenos AIres, Granada, and San Jose
      • Spanish 232 in Alicante
    • If your program was affected by this decision, you would have received an email from your advisor. If you did not receive an email, then your program is still moving forward at this time.
  • 2. Will my (non-faculty led) spring or summer 2021 program still run? 
    • At this time, we are hopeful that the remainder of spring and summer 2021 programs will run. This is, however, subject to change due to the evolving situation. Please pay close attention to communications from CGIS and to University-wide emails regarding international travel. More information will be shared to impacted students as it becomes available.

  • 3. With COVID-19 still escalating, should I even apply to a Sp/Su 2021 CGIS program?
    • While ultimately this decision must be made by each individual student, we encourage students to start an application to a CGIS program if interested.  Students should stay informed of the current situation in their potential host country and keep their options open, including arranging for a back-up plan for spring/summer 2021 if study abroad is not an option. We also strongly discourage students from purchasing plane tickets or incurring financial obligations related to travel until more information is known.

    • CGIS will also be monitoring the situation throughout the fall and early winter semester and will send updates to students with started applications as more information becomes available. In the meantime, we encourage students to attend the virtual CGIS Study Abroad Fair (Thursday, October 8th - please see CGIS website for details) or to contact a CGIS Programs Advisor for more information on potential Sp/Su 2021 programs. 

WINTER 2021

  • 1. What is the current status of Winter 2021 study abroad programs?
    • All CGIS programs for the Winter 2021 semester have been cancelled due to the ongoing public health situation around the world, including in the United States.

  • 2. If the public health situation improves in my host country before the start of the Winter 2021 semester, will CGIS reconsider the decision to cancel my program?
    • No. There are a number of variables that have gone into this decision including both governmental and UM travel restrictions, availability of international flights, financial risk and obligations, and the need for students to have a plan in place well before the semester begins. As a result, the decision to cancel Winter 2021 programs is final and will not be reversed.

  • 3. The program I applied to is still planning on running in winter 2021 through a 3rd party provider. Can I participate in this program by enrolling directly via the provider?
    • Though CGIS strongly recommends against doing so, students who wish to take on the risk and responsibility of ensuring their program is appropriately vetted for academic, financial and safety concerns may do so. However, UM will not approve or endorse any undergraduate study abroad programs while a U-M travel restriction is in place. Students pursuing independent study abroad programs (not UMRT) may obtain verification of enrollment from the Registrar’s Office: https://ro.umich.edu/records-registration/enrollment-verification, offer this as documentation to external study abroad program providers, and explain that U-M advisors cannot sign approval forms while a U-M travel restriction is in place. For additional details please visit the Global Michigan FAQ on COVID-19 and International Travel.  

August 2020 FAQ Update

FAQ’s regarding cancelation of U-M study abroad programs

1. How is the University of Michigan monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation worldwide?

  • The Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) works closely with U-M’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC), which monitors guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization (WHO) and a number of other national and international public health organizations.

  • For more information about U-M’s stance on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Global Michigan webpage and the FAQ specifically dedicated to international travel.

2. Whom will CGIS contact with updates relating to future study abroad programs?

  • CGIS will contact students who have opened or submitted an application to a CGIS program if and when updates are available. Parents and other concerned parties who would like to receive this information should ask their students to share the updates with them.

3. I am traveling abroad for personal reasons.  Do I need to register my travel with U-M? Can I purchase international health insurance coverage?

  • While not required, we strongly encourage all students traveling internationally to register their travel in M-Compass. International Travel Insurance (GeoBlue) can be purchased for $1.23/day, even for personal travel. Click here to register.

4. Who can I contact about study abroad and the coronavirus situation?

  • Students should email CGIS Health & Safety Advisor, Rachel Reuter, at reuterra@umich.edu. Members of the media should contact U-M Office of Public Affairs

WINTER 2021 

1. What is the current status of Winter 2021 study abroad programs?

  • All CGIS programs for the Winter 2021 semester have been cancelled due to the ongoing public health situation around the world, including in the United States.

2. If the public health situation improves in my host country before the start of the Winter 2021 semester, will CGIS reconsider the decision to cancel my program?

  • No. There are a number of variables that have gone into this decision including both governmental and UM travel restrictions, availability of international flights, financial risk and obligations, and the need for students to have a plan in place well before the semester begins. As a result, the decision to cancel Winter 2021 programs is final and will not be reversed.

3. The program I applied to is still planning on running in winter 2021 through a 3rd party provider. Can I participate in this program by enrolling directly via the provider?

  • Though CGIS strongly recommends against doing so, students who wish to take on the risk and responsibility of ensuring their program is appropriately vetted for academic, financial and safety concerns may do so. However, UM will not approve or endorse any undergraduate study abroad programs while a U-M travel restriction is in place. Students pursuing independent study abroad programs (not UMRT) may obtain verification of enrollment from the Registrar’s Office: https://ro.umich.edu/records-registration/enrollment-verification, offer this as documentation to external study abroad program providers, and explain that U-M advisors cannot sign approval forms while a U-M travel restriction is in place. For additional details please visit the Global Michigan FAQ on COVID-19 and International Travel.  

SPRING/SUMMER 2021 

1. Will my spring or summer 2021 program still run? 

  • At this time, we are hopeful that spring and summer 2021 programs will run. This is, however, subject to change due to the evolving situation. Please pay close attention to communications from CGIS and to University-wide emails regarding international travel. More information will be shared to impacted students as it becomes available.

2. With COVID-19 still escalating, should I even apply to a Sp/Su 2021 CGIS program?

  • While ultimately this decision must be made by each individual student, we encourage students to start an application to a CGIS program if interested.  Students should stay informed of the current situation in their potential host country and keep their options open, including arranging for a back-up plan for spring/summer 2021 if study abroad is not an option. We also strongly discourage students from purchasing plane tickets or incurring financial obligations related to travel until more information is known.

  • CGIS will also be monitoring the situation throughout the fall and early winter semester and will send updates to students with started applications as more information becomes available. In the meantime, we encourage students to attend the CGIS Study Abroad Virtual Fair (Thursday, October 8th  from 12-4pm ) or to contact a CGIS Programs Advisor for more information on potential Sp/Su 2021 programs. To get information about the CGIS Study Abroad Virtual Fair, please subscirbe to the CGIS newsletter

August 2020 FAQ Update

Thursday, August 27, 2020 Update

FAQ’s regarding cancelation of UM study abroad programs

  • 1. How is the University of Michigan monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation worldwide?
    • The Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) works closely with U-M’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC), which monitors guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State, the World Health Organization (WHO) and a number of other national and international public health organizations. 

    • For more information about U-M’s continued response to COVID-19, please visit the U-M Coronavirus website and the FAQ specifically dedicated to international travel.
  • 2. What is the current status of Fall 2020 study abroad programs?
    • Currently all countries outside of the United States are under a U-M Travel Restriction until further notice. U-M Travel Restrictions prohibit undergraduate travel on U-M related business, and thus all fall 2020 study abroad programs have been cancelled. 
  • 3. What is the current status of Winter 2021 study abroad programs
    • While Winter 2021 applications are currently open, there is a strong possibility that some or all CGIS programs will be cancelled in the coming months due to Covid-19. We continue to monitor the situation in all of our program locations to assess the feasibility for our programs to run within the necessary parameters of health, safety, student support and academic quality that we require. 

    • UM/LSA leadership have determined that we will decide by October 1, 2020, on whether or not CGIS programs will run for the winter term. Note that even if programs/travel are allowed to run at that point, they may be cancelled at a later date if the situation worsens.

    • Due to this, CGIS highly recommends applicants consider back-up options for Winter 2021 classes at U-M. We also strongly discourage students from purchasing plane tickets or incurring financial obligations related to travel until more information is known.
  • 4. Will my spring or summer 2021 program still run? 
    • At this time, we anticipate that spring and summer 2021 programs will run. This is, however, subject to change due to the evolving situation. Please pay close attention to communications from CGIS and to University-wide emails regarding international travel. More information will be shared to impacted students as it becomes available.
  • 5. How will my experience be different because of Covid-19? What onsite changes have been made because of the pandemic?
    • We advise you to think about how the program may be adjusting to the demands of life during the coronavirus pandemic. Some programmatic aspects that may have been adapted include housing options, local excursions, regional and international travel associated with the program, teaching modalities (in person, remote and/or hybrid), and limitations placed on personal travel during free time. We encourage you to discuss any questions you have with a representative from your host organization.
  • 6. With COVID-19 still escalating, should I even apply to a Winter or Sp/Su 2021 CGIS program?
    • While this decision ultimately must be made by each individual student, we encourage all students to apply since program commitments are not due until September (Winter 2021) or January (Sp/Su 2021). 

    • U-M will continue to monitor the safety of our programs and the locations in which they take place worldwide. UM/LSA leadership have determined that we will decide by October 1, 2020, whether winter term abroad programs will run.

    • For this reason we strongly encourage students to have a back-up plan for winter or spring/summer 2021 if study abroad is not an option.
  • 7. Whom will CGIS contact with updates relating to future study abroad programs?
    • CGIS will contact students who have opened or submitted an application to a CGIS program if and when updates are available. Parents and other concerned parties who would like to receive this information should ask their students to share the updates with them.
       
  • 8. I am traveling abroad for personal reasons.  Do I need to register my travel with U-M? Can I purchase international health insurance coverage?
    • While not required, we strongly encouraged all students traveling internationally to register their travel in M-Compass. International Travel Insurance (GeoBlue) can be purchased for $1.23/day, even for personal travel.
       
  • 9. Who can I contact about study abroad and the coronavirus situation?

April 2020 FAQ Update

We realize that these circumstances are stressful and present a number of uncertainties. Please know that LSA and CGIS are committed to supporting you through the steps ahead. 

Which countries have CGIS programs that have been officially cancelled and placed under the U-M Travel Restriction?

Winter 2020

  • All programs

Spring Summer 2020

  • All Programs

Winter 2020 Programs

My U-M study abroad program was canceled during the Winter 2020 term. Will I get a tuition refund?

Per University of Michigan Office of the Registrar: Similar to on-campus residential courses, the university is making every effort to help you complete your winter study abroad courses through alternative modes of instruction. In most cases, you will be able earn full credit for the semester and stay on track for graduation, so no tuition refunds will be offered.

We understand that there may be programs where some (or all) courses cannot be completed remotely. In these situations, you may be eligible for a prorated tuition refund based on the number of credits that were available remotely. The U-M’s ability to provide refunds will depend on whether your program charged U-M tuition or paid tuition to a host institution or provider organization. For programs that charged U-M tuition, refunds will be issued to your student account. Refunds for programs that were run through an external organization will follow that organization’s refund policies. While we cannot guarantee any particular outcome or result, U-M may be able to assist you in requesting refunds from external organizations. Please contact your U-M study abroad office for more details about your particular program.

I incurred unanticipated expenses related to my U-M study abroad program cancellation. Can I be reimbursed for these expenses?

Per University of Michigan Office of the Registrar: Reimbursements for unanticipated expenses (e.g. flight change fees) will be based on financial need and the availability of U-M funds. Students currently receiving financial aid should work with their U-M education abroad office and OFA to determine what funding may be available. Students who are not currently receiving financial aid, but face significant financial hardship due to their program cancelation and associated travel home should also contact their U-M education abroad office. In these situations, the university will determine if emergency funds can be provided on a case-by-case basis.

Students who rented living accommodations abroad are encouraged to communicate directly with their property owners/landlords to inquire about possible refunds for study abroad housing, with the understanding that refunds may not be allowable under the terms of their respective rental/leasing agreements or arrangements.

CGIS refunded the U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance (GeoBlue) in full. 

When is the last day I can request to drop a course from my official UM transcript?

Students can now drop a course up until the last day of their host institution’s class. They can do this by filling out the CGIS Winter 2020 Course Withdrawal Form. Please note that students may be asked to submit updated syllabus and/or communication from the host institution confirming the last day of that specific class.

How does the grading process work, taking into consideration the UM Winter 2020 grading policy AND my study abroad institution’s grading policy?

UM Winter 2020 Policy: Students will receive either "Pass (P)," or "No Record Covid (NRC)" on their official transcripts in lieu of letter grades. Students can request the grading basis be changed back to letter grades on their official transcripts. Requests must be made no later than July 1, 2020.
Courses that have a special grading basis like mandatory Credit/No Credit, mandatory Pass/Fail, or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory will not use the “P” or “NRC” grades. They will continue to use the originally specified grading basis.

CGIS Winter 2020 Policy: CGIS will honor the “P/NRC” University grading policy. Considering the transcript processing time for study abroad programs, CGIS is working with the Registrar to determine a mechanism and date to make letter grade reveal requests and will send an email update accordingly. 

Processing host institution transcripts: If the transcript reports Pass/Fail, CGIS records that. If the transcript reports Credit/No-credit, CGIS records that. If the transcript reports a letter grade, CGIS will refer to UM's Pass/No Record Covid for this semester.

NOTE: Many partner institutions abroad have changed to a Pass/Fail or Credit/No-Credit system. Therefore, students who prefer to reveal their letter grades but did not receive letter grades on their study abroad transcript may need to speak to their program abroad and request an updated transcript.

Will students be given the opportunity to go abroad in the future under this same application and what accommodations can be made by CGIS?

Winter 2020 students are welcome to go abroad again. Please email a CGIS advisor directly or cgis@umich.edu to express your interest. In some cases MCompass application materials and requirements may be reused. If a student wants to go abroad on the same program, CGIS and the student will need to work with the partner abroad about reusing the same application materials. Repeating a program will depend on the course availability of the program and academic goals of the student. 

Winter 2021 applications are now open on MCompass. If students want to go abroad again, they’re encouraged to start an application. Students should email their CGIS advisor about reusing MCompass application materials. Winter 2020 students who were confirmed on their programs will be exempt from attending the CGIS General Orientation, but will still be required to attend the program-specific orientation.

Will we be part of promoting the CGIS program we participated in when classes resume on campus?

CGIS Alumnx are welcomed and encouraged to participate in a variety of ways. Since the Fall 2020 semester may look different on campus, the promotional activities may look different compared to previous years. If you are interested in promoting your program, please reach out to your CGIS advisor or cgis@umich.edu with the subject line, “CGIS Alumnx Opportunities.” 

Do I still have to complete my LSA Study Abroad Scholarship Requirement? 

Students who received the LSA Study Abroad Scholarship for the Winter 2020 term have met all their award requirements and have no further obligations.

SPRING/SUMMER 2020

I’m a spring/summer student who’s paid a program deposit directly to the on-site partner. Can I get it back?

  • Many of our partners are refunding program deposits for students whose universities have issued a travel restriction. Contact the on-site partner directly, and if you are having difficulty, contact your CGIS advisor.

Changing or cancelling my flight has put me in a financially difficult situation. What should I do?

  • If you receive financial aid, contact finaid.abroad@umich.edu to determine if they can provide additional support.
  • Otherwise please contact Rachel Reuter (covid-financial@umich.edu), who is coordinating a list of students that have incurred unforeseen expenses and will be working with the College of LSA to provide emergency funds.

I wanted to use this program towards core academic requirements. What should I do?

  • Please be in close contact with your academic advisor regarding alternatives (spring/summer courses on campus, transferring credit from a community college, going abroad in a future year, etc). CGIS will keep you updated regarding any unique solutions the University proposes.

Will my application be given preference if I apply again next year?

  • We’re asking that students reapply if they’d like to go abroad next year. Applications for spring/summer should open in October. Once they open, you can reach out to the advisor in question to see if you can reuse any materials in next year’s application, but we can’t guarantee preference at this time. We strongly encourage students to reapply.

What happens to my already funded scholarship?

  • Students may be required to pay back any financial aid and scholarships received for the program. However, students should work closely with the Office of Financial Aid and the LSA Scholarships Office to determine whether any expenses they have already incurred can still be covered (flights, housing deposits, etc). The offices may ask for an itemization of expenses, and will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

What if I already booked my ticket?

  • You should work with your airline to determine if a refund is possible due to the special circumstances. If your ticket was booked within the past 24 hours, you should be able to cancel online. If some of the expense is non-recoverable, aid recipients should work with the Office of Financial Aid to determine if coverage is still possible.

March 2020 FAQ Update

CGIS Recommendations as of March 2, 2020:

  1. Begin to research your airline’s policies on flight changes in light of the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19. Are they waiving change fees? Have flight schedules been reduced?

  2. Connect with your program’s on-site staff to discuss contingency plans for the following situations:

    • If classes were to be cancelled temporarily

    • If the program were to be cancelled for the remainder of the term

    • Any other potential or foreseen impacts of COVID-19 in your current local context (e.g. under what circumstances can you remain in program housing? have any programmed excursions been canceled or changed? are there any restrictions on non-program travel?)

  3. Consider cancelling or postponing extracurricular travel outside of your host city and/or country, as countries’ reactions to the outbreak are changing rapidly and could result in you being denied entry, forced to undergo observation, or be quarantined (if you show symptoms of illness, for example)

To reiterate our advice from last week’s email:

  1. Register with the U.S. State Department STEP program. This tells the local embassy/consulate that you're in-country and you'll receive relevant updates via email. 

  2. Check the CGIS website for the latest health and safety alerts

  3. Carefully monitor local and national news when planning personal travel. If you have recently traveled to the Lombardy or Venetia regions in Italy, please follow your host institution guidelines for monitoring your health and report it to me.

  4. Follow the guidelines from the World Health Organization to protect yourself and others.

Cancelation of programs:

CGIS and the University of Michigan continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation. At this time, CGIS has cancelled all of its winter programs in China, South Korea, and Italy. This continues to be a rapidly evolving situation, however, and further cancelations may be announced. 

CGIS staff will communicate all updates directly to students; parents and other concerned parties who would like to receive this information should ask their students to share the updates with them.

For programs that are cancelled or interrupted, CGIS and academic advisors at U-M will work with students on a case by case basis to determine if options might be available to complete their coursework remotely or otherwise earn academic credit for the winter term.

Answers to frequently asked questions:​

  • Please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.

  • In general, program cancelations and required return to the US occur when the US State Department or CDC issues a Level 3 travel warning at the country or region level, recommending that non-essential travel to a specific destination be avoided.

  • Whether you choose to come home voluntarily OR are required by CGIS, UM, or your program to return, the possibility of earning credit depends on your host institution and whether or not they have the capacity to let students finish the semester remotely.

We will continue to monitor the situation and be in touch as new information becomes available.  We understand that the unpredictability around this situation is stressful. If you would like to connect with a mental health professional, CGIS can help you access appropriate resources.