COVID-19 FAQs

Study abroad programs for Fall 2021 are tentatively permitted. Your program and destination must meet a number of requirements, see "planning travel" FAQs. 


General Information

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

Find more information and additional resources here.

What is the current status of UofL travel?

UofL Travel Warning Policy

COVID-19 General Travel Information page

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. 

Is the paperwork deadline still April 10?

Nope! The deadline for students studying abroad in the fall was extended to June 15th. 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.

  • We will accept course equivalencies via email. Forward your advisor 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.
  • Now that I'm returning to UofL, what are my options for housing?

    Find more information and apply to live on-campus here.

    Planning Travel

    What requirements must be met for me to be able to study abroad?

    The following conditions must be met before travel will be permitted:

    • 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)
    • DOS and CDC travel advisories must be at a level 2 or below
    • Travelers must be able to follow all COVID-19 entry requirements and restrictions in destination

    Are there any destinations that meet these requirements?

    Currently, the only countries that meet all requirements are:

  • South Korea
  • Ghana
  • Belize
  • Rwanda

    Find programs in these locations

  • Can I travel to a country that's not listed above?

    All students traveling to Level 3+ Department of State or CDC countries must appeal to receive approval to study abroad this summer. Note that while you may appeal and receive permission from the Travel Warning Committee to study abroad, the global COVID-19 situation is fluid and approval can be revoked at any given time up to and including the student's departure date.

    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 edabroad@louisville.edu

    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:

    State Department:

    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.

    CDC:

    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.


    What will CISI cover in regards to COVID-19?

    CISI COVID-19 FAQ

    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.

    I’ve already purchased my flight and my program was cancelled. What should I do?
    1. At this point, do not purchase "Cancel for any reason" (CFAR) travel insurance. While the recommended CFAR coverage through CISI does cover pandemic concerns, it must be purchased within 21 days of your program deposit. Other insurance policies will not cover pandemics.
    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 months from now.
    4. Below are links to airline responses regarding COVID-19 (accurate as of June 17th, 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. IcelandAir
      14. JetBlue Airways
      15. KLM
      16. LATAM Airlines
      17. Lufthansa Group
      18. Southwest Airlines
      19. TAP Air Portugal
      20. Turkish Airlines
      21. United Airlines
      22. Virgin Atlantic

    What basic steps can travelers take to help protect themselves?

    UofL Travel Health & Safety

    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:

    Does the US have any entry requirements? Yes, beginning January 26, 2021 the US will require a recent negative COVID-19 test or proof of recent recovery to enter the country. See more on the CDC order here.

    What factors does UofL look at to suspend programs?

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

    • An elevation in the CDC alert level to a 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

    Other Resources

    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: 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.

    2. Via

    3. Via phone:

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

    Kimber Guinn: 502-791-6388

    Melissa Lee: 502-294-9139

    Rebecca Dixon: 502-536-9259

    How do I  schedule a Microsoft Teams appointment?
    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.

    What if I 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.

    What are my resources if I'm feeling bummed out by the 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 FactThe 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.