Study Abroad COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates | Study Abroad | Yale University
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Study Abroad COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

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Student health and safety abroad is our top priority, and we aim to partner with you to make well-informed decisions about studying abroad. We are closely monitoring the ongoing Coronavirus situation and have compiled the latest information, policies, recommendations, and resources below.

We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available, so check back regularly. Should you have any questions after reviewing this page, please contact us at studyabroad@yale.edu.

Study abroad advisers continue to be available to hold virtual appointments with students via Zoom. To schedule a meeting, please use our online appointment system

If you do not have a passport, and are thinking of applying for one, the processing times have increased to 18 weeks. If you do have a passport, make sure it is valid for 6 months after your date of return to the US. Check the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website for more details.

This page was last updated on September 17, 2021 (3:30 p.m.)

Note: Sponsored outbound international travel for Yale College students will be governed by the Yale University Travel Policy for Yale College Students (“Travel Policy”). The Travel Policy evaluates international travel restrictions on a country-specific basis and includes travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State, CDC, and International SOS.

TOC:

Spring 2022

FAQ: Will applications open for spring 2022 programs?

Yale Study Abroad will open the Year or Term Abroad credit application and petition application. In order to ultimately attend, you must be approved by Yale Study Abroad, your intended location must be eligible under the Travel Policy on December 1, 2021, and your courses must be offered in person. Proof of vaccination does not override the Travel Policy.

FAQ: What is the Year or Term Abroad application timeline and approval process?

  • September 1:  The Year or Term Abroad application opens.
  • October 15: Year or Term Abroad application deadline.
  • October 18 – Early November: All applications will be reviewed for conditional approval, with the condition that travel is not restricted by the Travel Policy on December 1.

If travel is restricted for your intended country/ies on December 1, 2021:

  • You will be notified by the end of the day that your study abroad program location(s) is not eligible under the Travel Policy and your application will be withdrawn.
  • This travel restriction decision will be final even if the travel restriction is lifted after December 1 and before the program start date.

If travel is permitted for your intended country/ies on December 1, 2021:

  • You will be notified by the end of the day that your study abroad program location(s) is eligible under the Travel Policy. The Travel Policy remains in effect until the date of departure.
  • You will need to complete your pre-departure forms by December 8.
  • More details about pre-departure requirements will follow.

Please be aware that proof of vaccination does not override the Travel Policy.

FAQ: How should I plan for spring 2022 if I'm interested in study abroad?

  • Check your eligibility.
  • Apply for or renew your passport now, if needed. Processing times for U.S. passports can take up to 18 weeks!
  • Review the Travel Policy.
  • Refer to your intended destination country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and/or Embassy website for detailed entry requirements. In some cases, even if the Travel Policy allows for travel to a particular location, the destination country itself may limit entry based on the traveler’s citizenship and where the traveler has been, including transit countries.
  • Review the CDC travel recommendations for your intended country and local news sources.
  • Learn about how the country has responded to COVID-19 (e.g. testing availability, social distancing, mandatory face masks, quarantines, the availability to purchase PPE, lockdowns, positivity rate, the treatment facilities, and the capacity to respond to an increased outbreak).
  • Explore program options. Check directly with your intended institution/program to confirm that they will be accepting applications for study abroad in the summer. If so, ask them how they are preparing to host study abroad students and what may look different (e.g. housing changes, travel restrictions, hybrid in-person/online courses). Programs must meet in person.
  • Meet with a study abroad adviser if you wish to discuss your plans and receive support for choosing a program that matches your goals and interests.
  • Discuss your plans with your family.
  • Do not make non-recoverable payments until you have received further guidance from Yale Study Abroad. Check with your program about their refund policy.
  • Mark all study abroad deadlines on your calendar!

FAQ: U.S. Passport Processing Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, routine passport processing times have greatly increased. At the time of this web update, routine passport processing can take up to 18 weeks (includes up to 12 weeks processing and 6 weeks mailing). Also, if you currently have a passport, make sure it is valid for 6 months after the date of return to the US. You will need to renew your passport if it will expire within 6 months of the spring semester end date. Please visit the U.S. Department of State webpage for the latest information.

FAQ: What is the First-Semester Senior Exception?

As a special exception due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, students who will have a status of first-semester senior during the following terms are eligible to apply to study abroad: Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023. Please note that second-semester seniors are not permitted to study abroad in their final term unless attending the Yale in London program. 

Students with a status of second-semester sophomore, first-semester junior, or second-semester junior remain eligible for study abroad as usual.

FAQ: I submitted a Year or Term Abroad application previously but did not go abroad. Do I need to submit a new application if I want to study abroad during the spring 2022?

You will need to complete a new credit application or petition application for the term(s) you'd like to go abroad and be approved for that term(s).

FAQ: If I am not approved by Yale Study Abroad due to travel restrictions, can I still travel independently?

Yale does not determine restrictions for independent travel, but you are still advised to follow institutional travel guidance. All students are expected to review the Travel Policy and should become familiar with the International SOS Global Travel Assistance services, ISOS COVID-19 resources, and CDC Travel During COVID-19 guidance.

Additionally, it is critical that you make informed travel decisions that prioritize the health and safety not only of yourself but also the communities in which you will engage. To help weigh the risks that your visit may add, even unintentionally, to the challenges that communities might be facing with Covid-19 and potentially other difficulties, be sure to research in-country operations, restrictions, and guidance on social behavior (including, but not limited to, countrywide lockdowns and resource limitations). Such restrictions and guidance may mean curtailing the activities and behaviors that you might have otherwise intended or choosing to defer travel altogether.

If, after considering all of these health and safety factors, you still choose to travel independently, you would be doing so at your own risk, and without the ability to earn a full semester's worth of credit transfer, receive funding, or have any institutional endorsement. You should also speak with your Residential College Dean about taking a Leave of Absence from Yale. Be sure to register your travel with Yale so that you can be reached in the event of a major emergency.

Summer 2020

FAQ: Will applications open for Summer 2022 study abroad?

We cannot guarantee that summer study abroad will be possible, but we remain hopeful that more opportunities will become available over the coming months. At this time, we are planning to open summer study abroad applications on December 15, 2021. Opening of these applications remains subject to the Yale Travel Policy and changes in the public health situation. We will provide an update on the application process by the start of December 2021.

FAQ: Will YSS Programs Abroad be running in Summer 2022?

We are currently conducting reviews to determine the feasibility of running YSS Programs Abroad. A tentative list of Summer 2022 YSS Abroad Programs will be available by the start of December 2021.

FAQ: What can I do now to plan for Summer 2022 study abroad?

  • Do your research and stay informed.
    • Review the Yale Travel Policy and pay special attention to the CDC travel recommendations, the entry requirements, and the local news sources of your intended country.
    • Learn about how the country has responded to COVID-19 (e.g. testing availability, social distancing, mandatory face masks, quarantines), the treatment facilities, and the capacity to respond to an increased outbreak.
    • See the Resources included at the bottom of this page for useful links.
  • Review application deadlines.
  • Apply for or renew your passport, if needed. At the time of this web update, routine U.S. passport processing can take up to 18 weeks. Visit the U.S. Department of State webpage for the latest information.
  • Meet with a study abroad adviser to discuss your plans, ask questions, and receive support for choosing a program that matches your goals and interests.

Resources

Yale University

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

International SOS (ISOS), Yale’s Travel Assistance Provider

U.S. Department of State

The World Health Organization (WHO)