Study abroad programs for future terms are tentatively permitted. Your program and destination must meet a number of requirements, see "planning travel" FAQs.
Where can I learn more about UofL’s response to COVID-19?
What is the current status of UofL travel?
Can I defer my semester abroad to a future term?
Yes! You can choose to defer your study abroad plans to a future semester. Let both your program provider and our office know of your decision. If you've already submitted paperwork, we will keep it on file for you.
My program is offering courses online in a 'virtual study abroad' format. Can I take these courses instead of enrolling in coursework at UofL?
No, UofL does not support virtual study abroad programs at this time. Any courses you complete in a virtual format will not be transferred as UofL credit.
Can I participate in an in-person study abroad program on my own?
Students are strongly advised against this option. If a student chooses to participate on an in-person study abroad program on their own, without approval, they will not be able to transfer credit to UofL and will not be eligible to use UofL financial aid, scholarships and grants.
When is the appeal deadline?
The appeal deadline is one week before the paperwork deadline.
Exact dates are:
For study abroad during a Summer or Fall term: April 3rd
For study abroad during Spring or Winter break term: November 14th.
Appeals turned in after this time are not guaranteed to be approved in time for you to participate in your program.
Are there requirements I have to meet to study abroad?
Yes. The following conditions apply:
- The program must be one that is pre-approved: an exchange, through an approved program provider, or on a UofL faculty-led trip. Read more about the types of study abroad programs here.
- The destination must allow US citizens to enter (check US Embassy COVID-19 site)
- If DOS and/or CDC travel advisories are above a level 2, you must appeal for permission to travel.
- Student Travel is not permitted to countries that are a DOS Level 4 for a reason other than COVID.
- Travelers must be able to follow all COVID-19 entry requirements and restrictions in destination.
What is the appeal process?
Study Abroad Appeal Process
1. Student must write a letter detailing how the student will mitigate risk while abroad. To be included in the letter: in-country emergency contact information, steps on what to do in case of emergency, COVID-19 policies and procedures, whether in-country quarantine is required, when and where are masks required/recommended be worn, where can a COVID-19 test be administered in-country, what fees (if any) are involved with quarantine or testing, and any other relevant COVID-19 information. Student can easily obtain this information from their third-party program provider contact.
2. Student must obtain a letter of support from a faculty member who can speak to the academic viability of the student's intended study abroad program. The letter should address the academic need of the class(es) taken abroad. Faculty member should include whether the class(es) is (are) required for the student to graduate in a timely manner, needed to complete a minor, or another vital requirement for the student's academic success. Faculty should also indicate the necessity of the coursework being completed in Summer 2021 versus a future semester.
3. Submit the student letter and faculty letter by emailing both to email@example.com
4. The documents will be forwarded to the Travel Warning Committee who will determine whether approval to travel is given. Please allow 5-10 business days for a decision from the Committee.
All appeals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
How do CDC and State Department advisory levels affect travel?
Since travel advisories are nuanced, we made a video series on this topic. Please note that the government advisory levels are not the only factors considered when UofL supports travel.
Here is a summary:
Each country has a risk level between 1-4. Travel typically permitted for locations at a Level 1 or 2.
Most countries have a COVID level on top of their normal level. Read the entire advisory to determine what your destination's normal risk level is.
Some countries are multi-level destinations (e.g. Mexico has a different level for each state). Read the entire advisory to determine your destination's risk level.
The CDC currently has 2 ranking systems. The first is their pre-COVID system where any country with a health concern is ranked at a Level 1-3, depending on the severity of the concern. Travel is allowed as long as a destination is not a Level 3.
In November of 2020, the CDC added a COVID risk level for every country between 1 and 4. Currently, no travel is allowed. When travel is allowed, the destination will need to have a COVID risk level of 1 or 2.
How do I find out if a country is allowing US citizens to enter?
The US Embassy COVID-19 site has country-specific information. This includes not only if US citizens are allowed to enter, but also information on current entry requirements and COVID restrictions.
Does my program require vaccination?
Please note that many countries require proof of vaccination to enter the country. In addition, as the CDC recommends against unvaccinated international travel to Level 3 or 4 locations, if you are required to appeal, you will be asked to disclose your COVID vaccination status. Lastly, please be aware that vaccination exemptions will be subject to local law.
What will CISI cover in regards to COVID-19?
What about "cancel for any reason" insurance?
CISI offers "cancel for any reason" (CFAR) insurance through one of their partners. Enrollment in this plan is highly recommended, but ultimately the choice is left up to the traveler. CFAR must be purchased within 21 days after your first payment/deposit. It will cover non-refundable fees up to 75%.
What if my program is cancelled?
Before submitting any payment, check your Program Provider's refund deadlines and cancellation policies. We recommend tentatively enrolling in UofL courses for the term you will be studying abroad as a back-up plan.
Where can I look up cancellation policies from study abroad program providers?
We've compiled cancellation plans from providers here. This spreadsheet is accurate as of February 15, 2021. We will update the spreadsheet as information changes, but students should also verify details with their provider.
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:
- World Health Organization webpage.
- Read the U.S. Department of State’s country information page of your destination
- Read the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for the prevention of
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on
- If you have not completed your enrollment in the STEP program, complete it now! The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) will provide you with the most up-to-date alerts from your location. Don’t forget to register your weekend and holiday trips as well! This will make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review your PEAP (Personal Emergency Action Plan) and prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Does the US have any entry requirements?
All travelers entering the US must show a recent negative COVID-19 test or proof of recent recovery to enter the country. See more on the CDC order here. If you are not a US citizen, you may also be asked to show proof of vaccination.
link upcoming This will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please continue to monitor your UofL email while abroad. As long as the advisory is still for COVID only, we will reach out asking you state in writing that you understand the increased risk of staying in-country. We will also reach out to your Dean for them to reconfirm their support of your trip. Woo! Things got better. Our office will not require anything. link upcoming A general overview is that CISI will cover any medical expenses and food, lodging, and transportation related to a medically necessary quarantine. Please note that while CISI can cover medical expenses/when the traveler is billed, the food, lodging, and transportation is covered as a reimbursable expense (This mean you will have to pay up front). For more information, see CISI COVID-19 FAQ
How should I keep myself safe while abroad?
What happens if my country's advisory levels increase while I'm abroad?
What happens if my country's advisory levels decrease while I'm abroad?
What do I do if I test positive for COVID while I'm abroad?
What will CISI cover if I get COVID abroad?
This will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please continue to monitor your UofL email while abroad. As long as the advisory is still for COVID only, we will reach out asking you state in writing that you understand the increased risk of staying in-country. We will also reach out to your Dean for them to reconfirm their support of your trip.
Woo! Things got better. Our office will not require anything.
A general overview is that CISI will cover any medical expenses and food, lodging, and transportation related to a medically necessary quarantine. Please note that while CISI can cover medical expenses/when the traveler is billed, the food, lodging, and transportation is covered as a reimbursable expense (This mean you will have to pay up front).
For more information, see CISI COVID-19 FAQ
Does the US have any entry requirements?
All travelers entering the US must show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours or proof of recent recovery to enter the country. See more on the CDC order here. If you are not a US citizen, you may also be asked to show proof of vaccination.
Are there any recommendations or requirements after I enter the US?
The CDC recommends getting tested with a CDC viral test 3-5 days after travel.
How do I get in touch with the Study Abroad Team?
1. Via Microsoft Teams: 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be aware that unless you are connected to a WiFi network, using the Teams mobile app will use your phone’s data plan.
2. Via email
3. Via phone:
Dr. Virginia Hosono, Director: 502-791-6360
Elizabeth Liebshutz, PhD: 502-852-9393
Kimber Guinn: 502-791-6388
Melissa Lee: 502-294-9139
Rebecca Dixon: 502-536-9259
How do I schedule a Microsoft Teams appointment?
- Email the advisor you have already met with.
- Include in your email:
- Your (new) Program Provider Name
- Location City and Country
- Dates of Program
- Two possible dates and times you are available to meet (ex: 3/19 at 2 pm)
- Your advisor will respond with the confirmed date and time.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Who do I contact if I have an emergency abroad outside of Eastern Standard Time office hours?
Dr. Virginia Hosono is our 24/7/365 emergency contact. She can help coordinate with CISI insurance if necessary.