COVID-19 Information

COVID-19  

March 18, 2020 Update

The following email was sent to students who have completed an advising appointment and received paperwork from the Office of Study Abroad and plan on traveling in Summer 2020 or Fall 2020: 

This morning’s email from President Bendapudi has cleared up the initial confusion we’ve experienced the last week.

Effective immediately, all international travel through June 30th is cancelled and prohibited.

If your program begins on or before June 30th:

  1. Please contact your program provider to determine alternative options.
    1. I have already emailed all providers informing them of UofL’s decision to prohibit all travel through June 30th. I’ve asked them to work with students in selecting academically appropriate, later summer sessions.
    2. If your program begins late June, your provider may be able to adjust the start date to July 1st to accommodate the new UofL policy.
  2. If you cannot find a different option, your program provider should refund any money you have already paid to them. If they do not offer this, let me know immediately and I will reach out on your behalf.
    1. Note that refunds may take between 10 – 12 weeks to get to you.
  3. Whether you decide to change programs / locations, or cancel your summer study abroad plans entirely, please let me know.
    1. I will send you updated paperwork and budget if you opt to change.

If your program begins July 1st or later:

  1. Your travel is still okay. But please be aware that program providers may choose to cancel later summer programs as well as the situation rapidly evolves. We will keep you updated with any news we receive as we receive it. Our goal is to provide complete transparency.

You’re most likely feeling upset and let down due to these sudden policy changes. That is absolutely normal. Please reach out to the UofL Counseling Center to schedule a tele-health appointment to talk through your frustrations and stress. Also, take time to do something that brings you joy. FaceTime with friends, play with a pet, binge Netflix guilt free, or embark on a new hobby (knitting, anyone?). 

Fun Fact: The Louisville Free Public Library offers access to eBooks, eMagazines, downloadable audiobooks, streaming music and movies online, and online courses – all free with a library card! Get a library card online here.

We will be available for video conferencing or direct messaging via Microsoft Teams. This software is available to all students free of charge using your UofL credentials. Download Teams for your desktop, laptop, iOS, or Android phone here. Enter your email for the UserID in the format: userid@louisville.edu. Please be aware that unless you are connected to a WiFi network, using the Teams mobile app will use your phone’s data plan.

To schedule a Microsoft Teams appointment, follow these steps:

  1. Email the advisor you have already met with.
    1. Kimber Guinn, Kimber.guinn@louisville.edu
    2. Melissa Lee, melissa.moore@louisville.edu
  2. Include in your email:
    1. Your (new) Program Provider Name
    2. Location City and Country
    3. Dates of Program
    4. Two possible dates and times you are available to ‘meet’ (ex: 3/19 at 2 pm)  
  3. Your advisor will respond with the confirmed date and time.
  4. Your advisor will schedule an appointment using MS Teams. You will receive an email to your UofL email address with a link to join the meeting.
  5. Day of the Meeting: Your advisor will begin the meeting ~5 minutes before the pre-determined time to allow wiggle room for you to adjust settings, ensure your microphone and/or webcam work, etc.
    1. If you do not want to use a webcam, that’s fine! You do not have to. But you should at least have microphone capabilities on whatever device you use.

Please refer to the attachment included in this morning’s email for great resources related to continuing your classes online.

Need internet?

Spectrum is offering free broadband and WiFi access for 60 days to households that do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived.

As always, let us know how we can further assist you and if you have any questions,

Kimber, Virginia, Melissa and Rebecca

March 16, 2020 Update

The following email was sent to students who have completed an advising appointment and received paperwork from the Office of Study Abroad and plan on traveling in Summer 2020 or Fall 2020: 

Good afternoon,

Without a doubt, this has been a chaotic week. Spring Break has been extended by two days (hoorah!) and all classes will be moved online beginning Wednesday, March 18th, 2020. I understand your frustrations and confusion. Thank you for being resilient in the face of uncertainty.

Many of you have reached out regarding your upcoming Summer or Fall 2020 travel. We ask for your continued patience as everyone in the International Education field navigates the murky terrain COVID-19 has created.

Our office is currently assisting all UofL international travelers who are abroad right now. Ensuring their safety and return home is our highest priority. Please bear with us as we work to best help them.

We are also awaiting additional clarification and guidance on President Bendapudi’s March 11th, 2020 email stating, ‘no future international trips are permitted to be booked through June 30th.’ 

Currently, the only program provider that has cancelled all of their Summer 2020 programs is KIIS. They are offering a full refund to participants, please see the email they sent you last week. If you were previously going abroad with KIIS and would like to discuss other options, we can absolutely do so.

Please note that other program providers may cancel their Summer 2020 programs as this is an extremely fluid and unconventional time. Prepare to be flexible and adjust accordingly.

As of tomorrow, March 17th, 2020 – all Office of Study Abroad staff members will be working remotely. We will be checking email regularly and feel free to call us at the numbers below: 

Dr. Virginia Hosono, Director: 502-791-6360

Kimber Guinn: 502-791-6388

Melissa Lee: 502-294-9139

Rebecca Dixon: 502-536-9259

We will be available for video conferencing or direct messaging via Microsoft Teams. This software is available to all students free of charge using your UofL credentials. Download Teams for your desktop, laptop, iOS, or Android phone here. Enter your email for the UserID in the format: userid@louisville.edu. Please be aware that unless you are connected to a WiFi network, using the Teams mobile app will use your phone’s data plan.

Is the paperwork deadline still April 10th?

  1. Nope! We are extending the paperwork deadline to April 17th. Please keep in mind department contacts, your academic advisor and Mr. McMillan in Financial Aid are most likely working remotely. Give them extra time and don’t wait until the last minute to have classes and your budget approved.
  2. I will accept course equivalencies via email. Forward me the email from the appropriate department contact who approved your foreign class(es). The email MUST include the UofL equivalent class, the number of credit hours it’s worth, and the minimum grade required to pass.

If you are scheduled to depart the U.S. for a study abroad program before April 30, 2020:

  1. Per the President’s email, all planned international travel is cancelled through April 30th, 2020.
  2. If your program or requested travel takes place during the summer term, you cannot depart before May 1, 2020. Check with your program provider to see if alternative arrangements can be made.

If you are scheduled to depart the U.S. for a study abroad program before June 30, 2020:

  1. If your program begins between May 1st and June 30th, 2020; delay booking your international airfare until further communication from the President has been released.
  2. If your program begins between May 1st and June 30th, 2020; contact your Third-Party Program Provider to discuss options (i.e. defer to a later time or request a full refund should you choose to cancel). 

I’ve already purchased my flight. What should I do?

  1. Do not purchase travel insurance (even ‘Cancel for Any Reason’ insurance) as pandemics are not covered events and you will not receive any reimbursement from insurance for cancelled flights.
  2. Many airlines are waiving change fees to alter the dates of your flight. Airlines additionally may offer a flight credit in the sum of the price of your flight that can be used up to one year after being credited.
  3. Most airlines are requesting you DO NOT CALL their customer service unless your flight’s departure date is within 48 – 72 hours. Please do not overwhelm airlines further by calling about a flight that leaves mid-May (example).
  4. Below are links to airline responses regarding COVID-19 (accurate as of March 16th, 2020):
    1. Aer Lingus
    2. Air Canada
    3. Air France
    4. Air New Zealand
    5. Alaska Airlines
    6. Allegiant Airlines
    7. American Airlines
    8. British Airways
    9. Delta Air Lines
    10. Emirates
    11. Frontier Airlines
    12. Hawaiian Airlines
    13. JetBlue Airways
    14. KLM
    15. LATAM Airlines
    16. Lufthansa Group
    17. Southwest Airlines
    18. TAP Air Portugal
    19. Turkish Airlines
    20. United Airlines
    21. Virgin Atlantic

What if my travel is after June 30?

  1. As of March 11th, 2020, your travel is not cancelled if it begins after June 30, 2020. Please note, this is a very fluid situation and there are no guarantees that your program will not be cancelled or delayed. We recommend postponing the purchase of airfare as long as possible.

Where can I learn more about UofL’s response to COVID-19?

  1. Find more information and additional resources here.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will email with additional information as soon as we have it. 

Kimber, Virginia, Rebecca and Melissa

March 12, 2020 Update

Refer to UofL Campus Health Services' Self Isolation Guide, found here.

All persons who have traveled internationally during Spring Break are required to complete the 'Returning Traveler's Report' prior to returning to campus. Upon review of the travel information submitted, you will receive confirmation of permission and a timeline for your return to campus

Find the 'Returning Traveler's Report' by visiting UofL Campus Health Services and clicking the Report Travel button in the center of the page. 

March 11, 2020 Update

Dear Current and Future International Travelers,

The Office of Study Abroad and International Travel is working diligently to answer your questions and concerns regarding President Neeli Bendapudi’s email correspondence today.

We appreciate your patience as we strive to provide accurate and updated information.

You can best reach us by emailing edabroad@louisville.edu

Many thanks!
The SA Team


 

The safety of our travelers is our upmost concern.  Therefore, UofL is closely monitoring developments of COVID-19. We are partnering with our campus and third-party providers and advising students across all UofL study abroad program locations on best practices during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Currently, with the exception of Spring 2020 programs in China, South Korea, and Italy, all UofL programs are running as planned. However, should any location be elevated to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Health Notice Level 3 Warning for COVID-19, that location will also have its programs suspended as per UofL interim travel policy.

As of March 5, 2020, the CDC has issued Level 3 Warnings against non-essential travel for China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy, Level 2 Alerts for Japan, and a Level 1 Watch for Hong Kong. The CDC notes community spread for other countries in Asia that are at levels neither sustained nor widespread enough to meet the criteria for a CDC advisory.

When would UofL suspend programs?

The following events would result in the cancellation or temporary suspension of a UofL or UofL-affiliated program:

  • The elevation in the CDC alert level from a 2 to 3;
  • An elevation in the U.S. State Department advisory level for a country to a 4 (“do not travel” status);
  • The foreign government recommends immediate evacuation or departure for foreign visitors or U.S. citizens.
  • The U.S. government recommends immediate evacuation or departure for foreign visitors or U.S. citizens.

What basic steps can travelers take to help protect themselves?

We recommend you follow CDC Guidelines for prevention, including, but not limited to:

  • Frequently and consistently wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • If traveling by plane or public transit, sanitize seat, armrest and trays with disinfecting wipes.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Maintain social distancing – at least 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, if possible.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Seek medical care if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu like symptoms
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
  • Avoid contact with live wild or farm animals and meat and poultry markets

Further information can be found:

Helpful Links

CDC's Share Facts About COVID-19

CDC's Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19