COVID-19 Updates


The LSA International Travel team along with the University of Michigan continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation as it develops worldwide. As this continues to evolve rapidly, we are communicating any and all updates directly to students, staff, and faculty 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. We encourage everyone 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. To help get the conversation started, please review our frequently asked questions and if you still require further information, please email us at lsatravel@umich.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding cancelation of UM-managed/funded programs

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

Which countries have LSA managed and/or funded programs have been officially canceled and placed under the U-M Travel Restriction?

Winter 2020 & Fall 2020

  • All travel

July 2020 Update

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

The LSA Travel office works closely with U-M’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC), who 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 international travel at the University of Michigan?

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 no undergraduate student may travel on U-M funding at present.

Travel is also restricted for graduate students, but they may request authorization to travel if academically necessary. Travel is deemed academically necessary “in instances where international travel is essential to the graduate student’s academic progress and where the research can only be completed at a specific location (Global Michigan).” For more information on getting authorization to travel internationally, please refer to Question 5.

3. What is the definition of U-M Related Business?

U-M Related Business/Travel (UMRT), as defined for students, encompasses five kinds of travel. Only one criteria needs to be met for a student to be considered on UMRT. A student is engaging in UMRT if they:

   1. Receive U-M in-residence credit for the experience.

   2. Travel on a program or trip that is U-M Managed or Organized.

   3. Participate in a travel abroad experience that is necessary to achieve a degree requirement. This could include experiences such as                degree milestones, dissertation field research, practica, internships, etc.

   4. Travel on a program or trip organized by a Sponsored Student Organization or a program or trip that is formally sanctioned by a U-M          unit as a Sponsored Event.

   5. Receive funding from a U-M unit or receives funds managed by the U-M for their travel. As stewards of U-M resources, we do not give          funds for purposes that are not U-M related.

4. What is the current status of international travel during the winter 2021 semester and beyond?

All international travel is restricted indefinitely. In addition, as stated by U-M President Mark Schissel in April, all non-essential international travel funding is also suspended until further notice. The situation internationally is being regularly reviewed but it is not clear at this time when normal international travel will resume. Please refer to the Global Michigan website for future updates on this situation.

5. How can I get authorization to travel internationally?

Graduate students can petition to travel through a safety plan process. As outlined in this document, students should contact their U-M Department Chair or U-M Unit Administrator. The student should provide them with an overview of their purpose / activity and request written verification that is   acceptable, academically essential, and location specific. If the department agrees with this assessment, they should send the written verification to the student and the student will paste the verification in their safety plan.

The International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) will review the completed safety plan and will approve plans as they see fit. This process takes time, and students are recommended to send in their safety plan at least 3 weeks prior to departure.

In addition, all students who fall under UMRT (addressed in Question 3) must also complete all LSA Travel requirements to receive funding and/or approval to travel. Please refer to this page of the LSATravel website for full details.

6. Whom will LSA Travel contact with updates relating to future international travel?

LSA Travel will contact students which faculty/staff have indicated to us have been selected to receive travel funding and/or are embarking on an LSA-sponsored program. LSA Travel will contact these individuals 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. I received funding from U-M for my travel but I do not meet the requirements to complete a safety plan. Can I defer my funding award until travel is allowed again? 

Please contact the department who awarded your funding to see their policies about funding deferrals. Alert the LSATravel office of your updated travel timeline once available.

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

The University of Michigan strongly discourages all personal international travel at this time. If you choose to travel, while not required, It is strongly encouraged that all students traveling internationally register their travel in M-Compass. International Travel Insurance (GeoBlue) can be purchased for $1.19/day.

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

Students should email LSA Health & Safety Advisor, Rachel Reuter, at reuterra@umich.edu

Members of the media should contact U-M Office of Public Affairs

 

March 2020 Update

Travel

  1. Can I sign a waiver to remain in my host country?

    • No. The university is not accepting any waivers at this time and all students must return to the United States.

  2. By what date do I have to return to the US?

    • All students must return to the US by March 20, 2020. Given the potential for a reduction in flights, mobility restrictions or additional entry restrictions by the US Government, we recommend leaving as soon as possible. 

  3. Do I have to return to the US or can I travel to another country and continue my online courses?

    • The University is recalling all students on enrolled programs from abroad. In order to receive credit for your winter 2020 program, you must return to the United States. Traveling to another location and completing your coursework is not an option. 

  4. Do I need to self-isolate or quarantine when I return to the US?

    • If you are leaving a CDC Level 3 location, you will need to self-isolate when you return to the United States or your home country. The CDC recommends anyone returning from countries with a CDC Level 3 Travel Warning self-isolate for 14 days from your last day in that country. Details of self isolation are listed on the U-M COVID-19 FAQ.

    • Students are encouraged to go home to self-isolate. Some students may prefer to self-isolate at their family’s home, while others may want to self-isolate elsewhere. Group living quarters, i.e. in a house or apartment with roommate(s), may not meet the criteria for an appropriate self-isolation location. Students who are self-isolating can contact the Dean of Students Office for assistance with academics and classes, work, participation in campus organizations or requirements, and to discuss other considerations. Email deanofstudents@umich.edu or call 734-764-7420. 

  5. What about my GeoBlue Health insurance?

    • Regarding GeoBlue Health, Medical and Evacuation Insurance Coverage, your program termination date is today 12 March 2020.  Since all students must return to the US by Friday, March 20, your GeoBlue insurance coverage will be cancelled on March 21st. 

Finances

  1. What will happen to my funding when I return home?

    • If you received departmental funding, please reach out to your department to inquire whether you will be required to pay back any of the funding you received.

    • If you received an LSA Study Abroad Scholarship, Katherine Weathers will reach out to you directly with further details.

  2. Changing or canceling my flight has put me in a financially difficult situation and/or I don’t have a housing option to return to.  What if I cannot afford the airfare to fly back to the US? 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.

Academics and Credits

  1. I’m in a Winter 2020 academic program and am returning to the US. Can I continue my program online to obtain my credits?

    • This varies by program; you should get in touch with your provider/institution abroad about alternatives to in-person classes.

  2. Can I enroll directly at the University of Michigan now that I am returning home?

    • You will not be able to enroll in any new courses on campus; the Add/Drop deadline has passed. Speak to your academic advisor about the possibility of spring/summer courses, transferring credit from another institution, or other contingencies.