The University of Louisville International Travel policy states students cannot travel to CDC levels 3 or higher locations for any reason. However, on June 7, 2021, the CDC updated the verbiage in their COVID advisory levels. Prior to June 7, a COVID level three stated, “avoid nonessential travel,” and it was updated to, “make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel.” With this updated guidance in mind, programs that begin in the Fall 2021 semester, fully vaccinated students may appeal to travel to CDC COVID Level 3 destinations, if they meet the following criteria:
Regardless of the CDC or State Department level, the destination must be allowing US citizens to travel to the country.
- The borders to the destination must be fully open, not temporary openings.
- If the location is also a State Department Level 3 for COVID, fully vaccinated travelers may appeal to travel.
- Students appealing to travel to these locations continue to be required to travel with a pre-existing UofL program (through a third-party provider, faculty-led, co-op partner, exchange institution, etc.).
- Students should have a compelling reason: why this location, why now?
- Approved travel is subject is reevaluation. If the CDC or State Departments’ level for a country changes prior to departure, permission to travel may be withdrawn. It is highly recommended that the traveler purchase cancel for any reason insurance, details can be found on the Study Abroad and International Travel’s travel insurance page. http://louisville.edu/studyabroad/resources/travel-insurance.
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 Fall 2021 versus a future semester. This letter must also be endorsed by the Department Chair of the student’s major and the Dean of the school or college.
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.