Study Abroad Program Updates and Resources Related to COVID-19

Advising:  We look forward to helping you. Email us with questions or register for Zoom drop-in advising Mondays–Fridays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Coronavirus:  For questions about COVID-19, please see updates and resources.
Summer Sessions:  
New this summer, and in collaboration with UC Davis Summer Sessions, the Global Learning Hub is offering two one-unit seminars: Becoming a Global Professional and Becoming a Global Collaborator.

The safety and well-being of students is our first priority. UC Davis Study Abroad continues to monitor situations related to Coronavirus or COVID-19 on campus and around the world, with special attention to how local circumstances and responses abroad may impact our ability to effectively operate programs and ensure the safety of students

Study Abroad and COVID-19 – Decision Timelines

UC Davis Study Abroad will not be running the following programs in 2021: UC Davis Quarter Abroad (Spring), UC Davis Summer Abroad, and UC Davis Summer Abroad Internships.

Enrollment for 2021 UC Davis Virtual Summer Internships and Quarter Abroad Fall programs will proceed as usual, with students being able to start their enrollment in early December 2020 and submit their enrollment starting on January 6, 2021. Decisions on UC Davis’s fall programs are expected to be made on June 1, 2021.

Study Abroad and COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will any UC Davis faculty-led study abroad programs be offered for 2021?
  • Yes, we are currently planning to offer Quarter Abroad programs in the fall. You can start the enrollment steps for any of these programs in early December of 2020 and submit your enrollment beginning on January 6, 2021. We will continue to monitor circumstances that could impact the programs. See above for the decision-making process and timeline.
  • How about UCEAP?
  • Yes, UCEAP is also currently planning to offer programs in 2021, beginning with some programs in the spring. Please visit their website for the most up-to-date information on program offerings and timelines: COVID-19 and UCEAP 2021 Programs.
  • Will I be liable for any fees if my UC Davis faculty-led program ends up being cancelled due to COVID-19?
  • No, you will not be liable for fees, and all fees already paid, including the $300 deposit, which is usually non-refundable, will be refunded. You will also be carefully advised on when and how to purchase flights, to help you avoid incurring non-recoverable personal expenses.
  • When will the final decision be made on whether to run UC Davis faculty-led abroad programs for 2021?
  • Decisions on UC Davis' fall quarter abroad programs are expected to be made on June 1, 2021. Virtual Summer Internships are not included in these timelines.
  • How will the decision be made?
  • Decisions to cancel programs are based on travel directives and guidance from the University of California system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. State Department, the World Health Organization (WHO), and assessments from campus leadership, workgroups, and subject matter experts.
  • Will decisions be made on a program-by-program basis?
  • Assuming there are no large-scale travel restrictions in place, the decisions could be made on a program-by-program basis, in light of location-specific advisories, restrictions and risks. These decisions will include consideration of risks associated with travel to the location, local travel, accommodations, classroom spaces, site visits, access to COVID-19 testing and treatment, onsite quarantine options, etc.
  • Will students participating in study abroad programs be given special priority for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?
  • No, study abroad students will not be given special priority for receiving a vaccine.
  • Will I have to be tested for COVID-19 before and/or during the program?
  • Depending on policies and local circumstances, you may have to be tested immediately before you leave for the program, once you arrive, and on a regular basis while you are in country. Program-specific requirements will be communicated to participants as needed, and you can research current country-specific COVID-19 travel requirements via the State Department’s website, but keep in mind that requirements change and that other policies, including UC Davis mandates, may apply.
  • What will happen if I am infected with COVID-19 while I am abroad, or exposed to someone who has tested positive?
  • Treatment and isolation requirements/recommendations can vary by country, and they may or may not be similar to those in the US. All students participating in UC Davis Study Abroad programs are automatically covered by a travel health insurance that includes treatment for COVID-19 and access to a network of English-speaking physicians and specialists. Students should expect to be treated and/or isolated on site, as travel restrictions typically would not allow otherwise. In extreme circumstances a student may be transported to another location, if health professionals judge it is necessary and restrictions allow it. Family of students who are infected should not expect to be able to visit students on site, as restrictions may not allow it. Especially for programs that travel to remote areas, travel times to medical facilities may be long, and you should consult the “Program Specific Risk Advisories” (found on the “On Site” page for each program), to assess if the level of risk is within your tolerance.
  • Will independent travel to other locations be allowed during the program?
  • If the circumstances warrant it, independent travel to other locations, especially to other countries, may be restricted during the program to reduce the risk of infection to students who want to engage in independent travel, to avoid last-minute changes in travel restrictions that could strand students in other locations, and to limit the risks of transmission to other students, program instructors and staff, and the local community. We may also be asking students to restrict their travel before programs begin. As always, students will be free to travel independently after the program has ended.
  • What will happen if I was counting on using a course offered in a cancelled program to make progress on completing my degree?
  • In addition to scheduling program cancellation decisions far enough in advance so that students have time to make alternative plans, we advise students, whenever possible, to register for on-campus courses as if they will not be studying abroad, in case their abroad program is cancelled. If a program is cancelled, study abroad staff will work with campus partners in departments, the Financial Aid Office and other offices to help with any challenges that may accompany the cancellation. We also recommend that you talk beforehand with your academic or major advisor about your academic plans and study abroad, to consider options if it turns out that your study abroad program must be cancelled.
  • Is it taking longer these days to get or renew a US passport?
  • Yes, currently the processing time for obtaining new passports and renewing existing passports is significantly longer than usual, and you should plan accordingly. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State passport information for processing times.

More Resources 

We encourage students to monitor and assess the Coronavirus situation at the following resources:

We realize that decisions around study abroad may come during an already challenging and stressful time for students and we encourage students to reach out to important resources, such as Student Health and Counseling Services.

Global Affairs and the Global Learning Hub remain committed to providing high-quality and impactful global learning opportunities for all students. We are here to support you during these uncertain times.

Sidebar Image - Health & Accident InsuranceHealth and Accident Insurance

Health and accident insurance resources: GeoBlue Global Health Insurance, UC Traveler Insurance Coverage, Extended Overseas Travel Coverage, Gap Coverage for Domestic Insurance, and Trip Cancellation Coverage.


Sidebar Image - Health TipsHealth Tips

Staying healthy while abroad requires following many of the same good habits needed for staying healthy at home—with additional precautions depending on your location.


Sidebar Image - VaccinationsVaccinations

Some countries have specific vaccination/immunization requirements that need to be fulfilled before departure. There may also be vaccinations that are recommended rather than required—sometimes based on the areas in the country you will be visiting.


Sidebar Image - Sexual Health AbroadSexual Health Abroad

If you are sexually active while abroad, please be aware that laws, cultural norms and risks related to sexual activity may vary widely, and it is important, to consider the context of your individual situation and assume a greater degree of caution.


Sidebar Image - Health and Safety - DrugsAlcohol and Drugs

Alcohol abuse and intoxication are a leading cause of injury and disruption on study abroad programs. The abuse of alcohol is often tied to becoming a victim of a violent crime or accident.


Sidebar Image - Health and Safety - Safety TipsSafety Tips

Before you travel, research safety issues in the specific locations you will be visiting by consulting U.S. State Department reports on those locations, and register your trip with the State Department so that they can better assist you in the case of emergencies.


Sidebar Image - Health and Safety - Culture ShockCulture Shock

Living in a new culture can be exhilarating, rewarding, and stimulating. It can also be disorienting, frustrating and depressing. Such distress or “culture shock” is due to the twofold challenge of being in a new environment with unfamiliar customs, language, etc., and being away from home.


Sidebar Image - Health and Safety - RiskAdvisory of Student Risk

Travel to any part of the world, including within the United States, includes risk of natural disaster, terrorism, severe weather, criminal activity, disease, accident and injury.