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Health & Safety Alerts

The Center for Global and Intercultural Study (CGIS) is dedicated to ensuring the wellbeing of all of our students abroad. This page is meant to update you as certain situations arise in a particular city or country where we currently have students participating in a CGIS program.

CGIS has a dedicated Health and Safety Advisor who is available to answer any questions and address any concerns that you may have. Contact Rachel Reuter, CGIS Health and Safety Advisor, at 734.764.4311 or by email at reuterra@umich.edu.

To learn more about CGIS & the work we're doing behind the scenes, please read A Letter from the Director Regarding Programing During a Pandemic.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021 — Update on Fall/AY and Winter

As of July 20, 2021, CGIS is planning to run five programs for the fall 2021 and 2021-2022 academic year terms. We are looking forward to a slow, but cautious return to international travel at U-M. 

Applications for Winter 2022 are open and accepting applications. Students who are interested in studying abroad in the winter term can browse available programs on MCompass and start an application. While we are cautiously optimistic about the winter term, it should be noted that there is still a strong possibility that some programs will be cancelled by U-M / CGIS due to public health concerns and or host country entry restrictions. Students with open applications will be contacted directly as updates are available and information will also be posted on each program's brochure page. 

Effective July 1, 2021, all Students traveling internationally on a U-M managed program (this includes all CGIS programs) 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. For more information, please visit Global Michigan.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are extreme delays in application processing times to obtain or renew US passports. As a result, CGIS recommends that students who need a US passport (either new or renewed) apply immediately and to request that the process be expedited. At this time, the US Passport Agency is estimating expedited passport processing is to take at least 12 weeks (3 months) and up to 18 weeks. Since many also need a student visa to travel, it is important to get a passport as early as possible to be able to apply for a student visa when necessary.

For Winter 2022 applicants who already possess a passport, make sure to check the expiration date and ensure the passport is valid at least six months after the end of the Winter study abroad program (i.e. if a program ends on May 30, 2022 -- students’ passports must be valid until at least December 2022). Potential Spring/Summer 2022 applicants should also check if their passports will be valid for six months past the length of their desired program(s). Many countries require this to enter the country.

For non-US-passport holders (including green card holders): These students should check if their passport is expired/expiring soon and refer to their local consulate if a new one is necessary for travel, as they may be experiencing similar delays.

Beyond these reminders, unfortunately CGIS cannot provide official passport and visa recommendations. Instead, we recommend students connect with their local consulate or passport agency with any passport/visa questions.

Previous COVID-19 Updates

Tuesday February 2, 2021 -- Spring/Summer Update

SPRING/SUMMER 2021

  • While at this point we are moving forward with processing applications, students should understand that there is still a significant possibility that U-M / CGIS will have to cancel the program for the Spring / Summer term 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. Students who submitted applications for Sp/Su study abroad programs have received an email from their CGIS advisor with detailed information and next steps. 

  • We strongly recommend that students DO NOT make any non-refundable financial commitments prior to that date including purchasing flights or paying any program related costs (fees, tuition, etc.). Program refunds are determined entirely by the study abroad provider for each specific program, and CGIS will not be able to intervene on student’s behalf. 

  • We will continue to send updates as we receive any new information. All 2021 applicants should keep an eye out for emails from CGIS. In the meantime, you are always welcome to reach out to your advisor with any questions or concerns.

This page will be updated, and an email will be sent to all students with open applications as more information becomes available.

Friday, January 15, 2021 — CGIS Programs Update

Spring / Summer Programs

  • We remain hopeful many of our spring/summer programs will move forward as planned; those opportunities are currently open and accepting applications on MCompass. A decision regarding the feasibility of these programs will be made by the end of February.

  • It is essential that all Spring/Summer 2021 applicants develop an on-campus contingency plan in case you are unable to study abroad for the Spring/Summer 2021 term.

Fall / Academic Year Programs

  • To allow for more time to evaluate the rapidly changing situation, CGIS has made the decision to move back the Fall/Academic Year CGIS acceptance timeline for many programs to March 15, 2021, however, some deadlines are still as early as February 1st, so please check individual program brochure pages to confirm the application date for the specific programs in which you are interested. Please note partners might have later application deadlines on their websites but CGIS needs time to review student materials and forward any necessary materials to our partners so please be sure to submit everything in Mcompass by the CGIS deadline.

  • Fall/Academic Year students should register for classes at U-M as usual in the case that their program is cancelled. 

General Info on CGIS Programs

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

    1. The removal of the host country from U-M’s Restricted Destinations list

    2. 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. 

  • We advise all students to wait to make any travel plans or incur any significant financial commitments at this time.

  • We will continue to send updates as we receive any new information. All 2021 applicants should keep an eye out for emails from CGIS. In the meantime, you are always welcome to reach out to your advisor with any questions or concerns.

This page will be updated, and an email will be sent to all students with open applications as more information becomes available.

Monday, November 16, 2020 — CGIS Programs Update

SPRING/SUMMER 2021

CGIS has made the difficult decision to cancel a portion of our programs for SpSu 2021. These programs are all led by U-M faculty and include: 

  • 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

Due to the logistics of faculty-led study abroad programs, these opportunities require UM to make financial commitments earlier than is the case for other types of CGIS programs. Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot confidently enter into these binding contracts given the current global public health situation. 

Additional Information is available below:

  • We remain hopeful that the remainder of our spring/summer programs will move forward as planned; those opportunities are currently open and accepting applications on MCompass. A decision regarding the feasibility of these programs will be made during the winter semester. As soon as a decision date has been determined, we will update this page with more information. 

  • It is essential that all Spring/Summer 2021 applicants develop a contingency plan in case you are unable to study abroad for the Spring/Summer 2021 term.

  • We advise students to wait to make any travel plans or significant financial commitments at this time.

  • We will continue to send updates as we receive any new information. All 2021 applicants should keep an eye out for emails from CGIS. In the meantime, you are always welcome to reach out to your advisor with any questions or concerns.

This page will be updated, and an email will be sent to all students with open applications as more information becomes available.

Monday, September 28, 2020 — CGIS Programs Update

WINTER 2021

  • CGIS has made the difficult decision to cancel our study abroad programs for the Winter 2021 semester. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough evidence to suggest that the public health situation around the world, including here in the US, will have stabilized enough for us to confidently offer our winter programs.
  • We are making this decision now, with the support of LSA leadership and in concert with other UM schools and colleges, in order to give students sufficient time to make alternative plans for the winter term.

SPRING/SUMMER 2021

  • Applications for the Spring/Summer programs will open on October 1st. While we are hopeful that these programs will run as planned, this will depend greatly on how the COVID-19 situation evolves over the next several months.

  • A decision will be made regarding the feasibility of spring/summer programs at some point during the winter semester. As soon as a solidified date has been determined, we will update this page with more information.

  • It is essential that Spring/Summer 2021 applicants develop a contingency plan in case you are unable to study abroad for the Spring/Summer 2021 term.

  • We advise students to wait to make any travel plans or significant financial commitments at this time.

  • We will continue to send updates as we receive any new information. All 2021 applicants should keep an eye out for emails from CGIS. In the meantime, you are always welcome to reach out to your advisor with any questions or concerns.

  • This page will be updated, and an email will be sent to all students with open applications as more information becomes available.

Monday, August 24, 2020 — COVID-19 & CGIS 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. 
  • CGIS and UM/LSA leadership have determined that we will decide by October 1, 2020, whether or not to cancel all CGIS programs for the winter term. Note that even if programs are allowed to run at that point, they may be cancelled at a later date if the situation worsens.
  • It is essential that winter 2021 applicants develop a contingency plan in case you are unable to study abroad for the Winter 2021 term.
  • We advise students to wait to make any travel plans or significant financial commitments at this time.
  • We will continue to send updates was we receive any new information. All 2021 applicants should keep an eye out for emails from CGIS. In the meantime, you are always welcome to reach out to your advisor with any questions or concerns.
  • At this time, we anticipate that programs for spring and summer 2021 programs will run as planned. This is, however, subject to change due to the evolving COVID-19 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.

This page will be updated and an email will be sent to all students with open applications as more information becomes available.

Thursday, March 12, 2020 — COVID-19 & CGIS Programs

As of Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the University of Michigan has decided to suspend all education abroad programs due to the escalation of COVID-19 cases around the world. In compliance with this decision, CGIS is canceling all Winter & Spring 2020, and is in the process of contacting the students with more information regarding next steps regarding returning to the U.S., distance learning options, and more.

CGIS will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation as it develops and determine the best course of action for Summer 2020 programs. Students are still encouraged to visit the CGIS COVID-19 FAQ page as well as the University's FAQ pagefor more information. 

U-M President Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D. wrote the following statement:

"All U-M education abroad programs will be altered or suspended. COVID-19 is becoming frequent in many places, and we want to be sure our students can get medical care that meets their needs, as more countries’ health care systems are facing greater pressure. Students in each education abroad program will have unique needs and considerations as we make plans to bring them home. We are working through those, including safety, location, ability to travel, and disruption to academic progress. We will work with the students to assist them with arrangements and academic accommodations, including credit for their coursework. 

We are also canceling U-M education abroad programs scheduled for the spring semester, and will decide about programs that start July 1 or thereafter in the coming weeks when we have better information." 

Visit the University of Michigan Announcements page to read more of President Schlissel's statement and for more updates.

​Tuesday, March 10, 2020 — COVID-19 and Programs in Spain

In light of the recent escalation in COVID-19 cases in Spain, and the subsequent closing of public schools in Madrid, the University of Michigan is recalling students in UM-managed programs (including CGIS programs in Barcelona, Granada and Madrid) back to the United States, effective immediately. We did not make this decision lightly; we realize that this may be extremely disappointing, but we are committed first and foremost to the health and safety of our students. We have contacted the students with more information regarding next steps including distance learning options in order to ensure educational continuity.

​CGIS will provide an update regarding Spring / Summer programs by the end of the week. 

In the meantime, please visit the CGIS COVID-19 FAQ (LINK) page as well as the University's FAQ page for more information. 

Monday, March 2, 2020— Updated response to COVID-19

Due to the recent spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Italy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a "Level 3" advisory, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Italy. As a result, the University of Michigan has designated Italy as a Travel Restriction destination, meaning that undergraduate students may not proceed with U-M related travel to or in Italy.

The Center for Global & Intercultural Study (CGIS) has cancelled all programs taking place in Italy and contacted the students with more information. CGIS and U-M will continue to work with the on-site staff in Italy to identify potential options in order for students to earn credit for this term.  It may take some time for our partners to coordinate this effort but we will provide an update as soon as we have more concrete details.

At this time, it is not known if CGIS spring/summer programs in Italy will be affected by the travel restrictions. Please follow the page above for updates as they occur.

Friday, February 28, 2020 — COVID-19 and Programs in Italy

CGIS has sent out an email of recommendations to students who are currently studying abroad. To read the message along with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), please click the button below. 

Students who have been accepted into any Spring/Summer program will be updated on their programs as more information becomes available. 

CGIS is continuing to monitor other countries that are being affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This is a very rapidly evolving situation and CGIS staff will communicate any and all updates directly to students as they become available. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020— Updated response to COVID-19

CGIS and the University of Michigan continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in east Asia and western Europe. At this time, all winter 2020 programs continue to operate as normal with the exception of those in China and South Korea. This is a very rapidly evolving situation, however, 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.

For students whose studies overseas are 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 or earn academic credit for the winter term.

Students on 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.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 — Updated Response to the Coronavirus

Due to the recent spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Korea, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a "Level 3" advisory, recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to South Korea. The University of Michigan in response has designated South Korea as a Travel Restriction destination, meaning that undergraduate students may not proceed with U-M related travel to or in South Korea.

As a result, the Center for Global & Intercultural Study (CGIS) has canceled all programs that will be taking place during the spring and summer terms in South Korea: 

CGIS continues to monitor the situation in northern Italy, where the CDC has issued a "Level 2" travel warning due to sustained community spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). While CGIS programs in Italy have not been canceled at this point, the situation is still developing and CGIS will update students as necessary.

The CGIS spring/summer programs in Italy are:

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 — Response to the Coronavirus

Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus in mainland China, the University of Michigan has designated China as a Travel Restriction country as of January 27, 2020, which prohibits undergraduate travel to the country. For more information, please visit the University's Public Affairs website.

At this time it is not known if UM spring/summer programs in China will be affected by the travel restriction. Please follow the page above for updates as they occur.

Alert Archive

Thursday, May 10, 2018 — GCC Israel & Palestine

Early on the morning of May 10 (local time), approximately 20 rockets were launched by Iranian forces stationed in Syria into the Golan Heights. Israel returned fire by launching air strikes against the Iranian military infrastructure in Syria. At this time, no injuries have been reported in the Golan Heights, but several have been confirmed near Damascus.

CGIS has maintained constant contact with the GCC Israel/Palestine group throughout the last 24 hours, and will continue to do so. Everyone on the CGIS program is accounted for, and is in good health. The group will leave their home base of Sakhnin on Friday morning for a weekend trip to Haifa, and during that time CGIS and the University of Michigan will continue to monitor the situation. 

CGIS will continue to provide updates on this page as warranted. Questions may be addressed to CGIS Health & Safety Advisor Rachel Reuter at reuterra@umich.edu, or (734) 764-4311.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 — GCC Israel & Palestine

On Tuesday, May 8th, the United States ended its participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (informally known as the “Iran Nuclear Deal”) and reinstituted sanctions on Iran that had previously been lifted. Shortly after the announcement, as a precautionary measure, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) put their military on high alert. 

The CGIS Israel/Palestine GCC program arrived in Sakhnin, Israel, yesterday afternoon, and met their homestay families; they have their first full day of classes today at Sakhnin College. CGIS remains in contact with the on-site program director, who is providing frequent updates/reports. 

Additionally, the Health & Safety team at CGIS is monitoring the situation in the Middle East closely, along with our colleagues from UM’s International Travel Oversight Committee and our insurance provider, Drum-Cussac. We will continue to provide updates on this page as warranted. Questions may be addressed to CGIS Health & Safety Advisor Rachel Reuter at reuterra@umich.edu, or (734) 764-4311.

Friday, June 8, 2018 — GCC Brazil

A short while ago, there was a security incident involving a shooting near the Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UniRio). The GCC Brazil group was at the University watching a play when they were asked to stay indoors for their safety out of an abundance of caution. After attending a previously scheduled theater class, the ‘all-clear’ was given and the GCC Brazil group returned to the hostel in Ipanema. All members of the GCC Brazil program are safe and sound and have debriefed the incident as a group.Professor Lucas will work with on-site contacts familiar with the city to monitor the situation while CGIS continues to do the same from Ann Arbor. Updates will be provided on this page as is warranted. Questions may be addressed to Health & Safety Advisor, Rachel Reuter, at reuterra@umich.edu or (734) 764-4311.