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

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Students’ health and safety abroad is our top priority, and we aim to partner with students 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 do not hesitate to write to us at studyabroad@yale.edu.

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

This page was last updated on May 21, 2020 (10:30 a.m.)

TOC:

Fall or Full Year Study Abroad Conditionally Approved Students (Fall 2020 or AY 2020-2021)

FAQ: I received a conditional approval to study abroad in the fall.  What does this mean?

On March 19, 2020, the  U.S. Department of State issued a Global Health Advisory at a Level  4: Do Not Travel due to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This advisory, which informs the Yale College Travel Policy, is in line with Yale University’s current prohibition of all university-sponsored international travel for undergraduate students through August 15.

For you to be able to study abroad this fall for Yale credit transfer or funding, Yale must first lift these travel restrictions. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will provide you with an official decision about Fall 2020 study abroad no later than July 15.

As a reminder, we strongly recommend that you not commit to a program, put down a non-refundable deposit, or purchase non-refundable airfare until after you have received the forthcoming Yale Study Abroad COVID-19 update. Please check directly with your study abroad program to get complete information about their withdrawal timeline and refund policy.

FAQ: By when will Yale make a decision about fall 2020 study abroad? Which factors will inform the decision?

As noted above, you will receive an official decision about Fall 2020 study abroad no later than July 15.

All of the following conditions must be met for study abroad to be permitted:

  • Yale University’s Announcement for Fall 2020 (expected in early July): University-sponsored travel restrictions must be lifted 
  • U.S. Department of State: The Global Health Advisory Level 4: Do Not Travel must be removed and, if so, your host country’s advisory level must be at a 3 or lower.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The Global Warning Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel must be removed and, if so, your host country’s advisory level must be at a 2 or lower
  • International SOS (ISOS): The ISOS Risk Rating level for your host country must be below “High.”

FAQ: What are my options if Yale decides to prohibit study abroad in the fall? Would the decision be final?

Your options would be:

  • Enroll in Yale classes
  • Request a leave of absence from Yale for the fall
    • If you are in academic good standing and have not used up your leaves of absence, you are eligible for a leave of absence and can request one up until the 15th day of the fall term. 

If Yale prohibits study abroad in the fall, the decision will be final and travel restrictions will be in place for the entire fall term.  A change in travel circumstances after the July 15 decision would not impact these restrictions. 

FAQ: What steps should I take now to prepare for a possible Fall 2020 abroad?

If Yale does allow travel in the fall, we will be in touch with more detailed information. We will also hold a mandatory pre-departure webinar to discuss your health and safety preparation, finances, and credit transfer. In the meantime, we recommend the following:

  • Do not make any non-refundable payments or commitments until after you have received the forthcoming Yale Study Abroad COVID-19 update (by July 15).
  • Check directly with your study abroad program to get complete information about their operations, withdrawal timeline, and refund policy (including tuition, program fees, room, board, etc.).  Questions to ask include:
    • What is their timeline for running, altering, or cancelling the program?
    • Will I need a visa and, if so, when to apply?
    • Is the host country imposing additional entry requirements to limit the spread of COVID-19 (such as recent proof of a negative COVID test or mandatory self-quarantine upon arrival)?
    • How will the fall semester abroad be different from a typical semester on the program? For instance, will there be limited travel options, new program dates, online classes, different housing options, changes to excursions, or other differences?
    • How will the program implement appropriate health and safety measures (such as social distancing arrangements) related to COVID-19? If circumstances change in my host-country, how will the program handle a worsening outbreak?
    • Will the program provide me with health insurance and, if so, what does it cover?
    • If I commit now, what is the refund policy if I do not participate or the program does not run? 
  • Disclose any pre-existing physical or mental health conditions to your program.
  • Put together a budget and plan for an emergency fund.
  • Review the Prepare & Go section of our study abroad website.
  • Regularly review the websites for the U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and International SOS.
  • Be in touch with your study abroad adviser to discuss any questions or concerns.

FAQ: Does Yale provide travel assistance services and health insurance during study abroad?

All Yale College students are automatically covered by International SOS (ISOS) for global travel assistance when you are more than 100 miles from your primary residence.

When studying abroad, ISOS includes coverage for up to $250,000 in out-of-country medical expenses for treatment of illness or injury that occur while participating in your program. This is not health insurance and does not cover routine care. You will not have access to the Yale Health Plan while abroad. Contact Member Services if you have any questions.

  • Discuss with your program what, if any, health care coverage they will provide.
  • If your parent/guardian has a health insurance plan in which you could be or are already added, check if the plan covers you abroad.
  • If you are seeking additional health insurance coverage, visit the Yale International Toolkit.

Yale Summer Session (YSS) Programs Abroad (Summer 2020)

FAQ: Summer 2020 Cancellation

As confirmed to applicants directly via email on April 6, Yale Summer Session (YSS) Programs Abroad for Summer 2020 are cancelled.

The following factors contributed to the decision-making process: 

  • Yale University Statement: On Friday, April 3, Scott Strobel, Provost, and Pericles Lewis, Vice President for Global Strategy, announced that all university-sponsored international travel would be suspended through summer 2020.
  • Yale Travel Policy: As of April 7, the U.S. Department of State maintains a Level 4: Do Not Travel Global Health Advisory, which places all of our YSS Programs Abroad on the restricted travel list.
  • Public Health Advice Regarding the Spread of COVID-19: We have relied on the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and International SOS to inform our decision.
  • Our On-Site Partners: YSS Programs Abroad would not be able to run successfully without the support and hands-on assistance of our dedicated partners in the host country. In many locations, the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in a restriction of movement, an inability to conduct work as usual, and a strain on local health infrastructures. In consideration of these factors, it is our obligation to weigh the impact that our operations could have on our on-site partners and host communities.

FAQ: What if I need these credits for promotion or degree completion?

Per the Yale College COVID-19 FAQ, your program cancellation is grounds for an exception approved by the Dean of Academic Affairs on behalf of the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing. Contact your Residential College Dean to begin the process for requesting this exception.

FAQ: Will my YSS Program Abroad charges be refunded?

  • All YSS Abroad charges posted to your YalePay account—the Administrative Fee and Program Deposit—will be removed. If this results in a credit balance on your account, you may choose to leave the credit to cover future Yale expenses or request a refund through YalePay. 
  • YSS is unable to reimburse unbilled expenses, including airfare.

FAQ: What happens to my International Summer Award (ISA)?

  • As YSS will refund any billed charges for cancelled programs, you will be able to use the ISA for another qualifying experience prior to graduation, but not in the summer of 2020.
  • Please check the ISA website for more details.

FAQ: Will I automatically be admitted to the YSS program again next summer?

Applications are reviewed on an individual basis each cycle. You will need to submit a new application for a summer 2021 program by the appropriate deadline. While we cannot guarantee admission to the same program next year, the circumstances surrounding this year’s cancellation will be considered as part of the review process.

FAQ: What other options do I have for the summer?

Expanded Yale Summer Session (YSS) Online Course Offerings

Many, though not all, YSS Program Abroad courses have been converted to online courses for summer 2020.

  • Course Offerings
    • To view the list of courses available virtually this summer, visit Yale Course Search.
       
  • Apply by May 1 for Priority Enrollment
    • You must submit a new application if you would like to enroll in a YSS online course(s). Start the application process here. Unfortunately, it is not possible to have your YSS Program Abroad application transferred. Please note that, whereas there is no application fee for YSS Programs Abroad, you will be responsible for a $75 YSS online application fee, payable by credit or debit card at the time of application.
    • If you had selected a YSS Program Abroad with multiple courses, you are not obligated to take all of the courses that were scheduled for that program. You may choose to enroll in a single course if you prefer.
      • Committed Students: Since you were committed to a YSS Program Abroad, you will be guaranteed a spot in the corresponding course(s) (i.e. the same courses to which you were previously admitted by Yale Study Abroad) as long as you apply by the special priority deadline of 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday, May 1. If you miss the priority deadline, you may still apply by the relevant standard deadline; however, your spot will no longer be guaranteed.
      • Waitlist Students: Since you were on the waitlist for a YSS Program Abroad, you will be given priority after committed students for a spot in the corresponding course(s) (i.e. the same courses to which you were previously admitted by Yale Study Abroad) as long as you apply by the special priority deadline of 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday, May 1. If you miss the priority deadline, you may still apply by the relevant standard deadline; however, you will no longer have priority.
         
  • Costs
    • In addition to the $75 application fee, you will also be billed for tuition and an $85 technology fee for each course.
    • All costs can be viewed on the YSS Tuition, Fees, and Policies page.
       
  • Funding for Yale Financial Aid Recipients
    • Funding is available for students who receive financial aid during the academic year.
    • For summer 2020 only, Yale College will offer an expanded Domestic Summer Award (DSA) that may be used for YSS online courses. To qualify for DSA funding, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 2 YSS credits (either two 1-credit courses or a 1.5-credit language course plus one additional 1-credit course). Visit the DSA website for more details. You will apply for the DSA on the YSS website at the time you apply for YSS courses. 
    • In addition to the expanded DSA, YSS offers YSS Financial Assistance to Yale College students who receive financial aid during the academic year. YSS Financial Assistance covers 50% of the tuition for up to two credits (a maximum award of $4,350 for summer 2020). No separate application process is required for YSS Financial Assistance; simply answer the question within the application.
    • It is possible to combine the DSA with YSS Financial Assistance.
       
  • Questions?
Outside Courses for Transfer Credit

If you would like to consider enrolling in courses not offered through YSS, the Yale College Dean’s Office has approved two exceptions for this summer.

  • In-Person Courses Taken in Your Home Country
    • Under the conditions described in the Yale College Programs of Study, it is possible to earn up to two graduation credits for courses taken at another accredited institution. If you plan to take courses in the U.S., contact your residential college dean for guidance.
      • By special exception for summer 2020, international students who are able to take classes at universities in their home country would not apply for credit through Yale Study Abroad, but instead apply for credit after completing the course of study by submitting the Request to Add Coursework Completed Outside Yale. We advise international students to email our office together with your residential college dean before enrolling for guidance on whether the international institution and the course might earn Yale credit. In addition to transferring the credit, if interested in having a course satisfy a degree requirement, visit Fulfilling Requirements While Away.
         
  • Online Courses Outside of YSS
    • Under the conditions described in the Yale College Programs of Study, it is possible to earn up to two graduation credits for courses taken online through another accredited U.S. institution provided that the course is not comparable to a course offered online through Yale Summer Session.
      • By special exception for summer 2020, Yale will allow students to take online courses offered by accredited study abroad programs or universities located outside the United States provided that the course is not comparable to a course offered online through YSS. You will apply for credit after completing the course of study by submitting the Request to Add Coursework Completed Outside Yale. We advise you to email our office together with your residential college dean before enrolling for guidance on whether the program and the course might earn Yale credit. In addition to transferring the credit, if interested in having a course satisfy a degree requirement, visit Fulfilling Requirements While Away.
         
  • Important Funding Note
    • The DSA may not be used for courses outside of YSS, and the ISA is not being offered this summer.
Domestic or Remote Internships

In lieu of taking courses, you may wish to consider a summer internship. Please contact the Office of Career Strategy for guidance on internship options. You also might find this OCS summer planning advice helpful.

Non-Yale Programs Abroad  (Summer 2020)

FAQ: Summer 2020 International Travel Restriction

On Friday, April 3, Scott Strobel, Provost, and Pericles Lewis, Vice President for Global Strategy, announced that all university-sponsored summer international travel is suspended through August 15, 2020. As confirmed to applicants directly via email on April 6, this means that study abroad for Yale credit or funding this summer is restricted.

FAQ: What is my Non-Yale Summer Abroad program’s refund policy?

Contact your program directly for complete information about their refund policy as a result of Yale's international travel restriction.

FAQ: What happens to my International Summer Award (ISA)?

  • Use of the International Summer Award (ISA) has also been suspended this summer due to Yale’s restriction of sponsored summer international travel.
  • Please check the ISA website for more details.

FAQ: What other options do I have for the summer?

Expanded Yale Summer Session (YSS) Online Course Offerings

Many, though not all, YSS Program Abroad courses have been converted to online courses for summer 2020.

  • Course Offerings
    • To view the list of courses available virtually this summer, visit Yale Course Search.
       
  • Application Process
    • You must submit a new application if you would like to enroll in a YSS online course(s). Start the application process here. Please note that you will be responsible for a $75 YSS online application fee, payable by credit or debit card at the time of application.
       
  • Costs
    • In addition to the $75 application fee, you will also be billed for tuition and an $85 technology fee for each course.
    • All costs can be viewed on the YSS Tuition, Fees, and Policies page.
       
  • Funding for Yale Financial Aid Recipients
    • Funding is available for students who receive financial aid during the academic year.
    • For summer 2020 only, Yale College will offer an expanded Domestic Summer Award (DSA) that may be used for YSS online courses. To qualify for DSA funding, you must be enrolled in a minimum of 2 YSS credits (either two 1-credit courses or a 1.5-credit language course plus one additional 1-credit course). Visit the DSA website for more details. You will apply for the DSA on the YSS website at the time you apply for YSS courses. 
    • In addition to the expanded DSA, YSS offers YSS Financial Assistance to Yale College students who receive financial aid during the academic year. YSS Financial Assistance covers 50% of the tuition for up to two credits (a maximum award of $4,350 for summer 2020). No separate application process is required for YSS Financial Assistance; simply answer the question within the application.
    • It is possible to combine the DSA with YSS Financial Assistance.
       
  • Questions?
    • Contact YSS
Outside Courses for Transfer Credit

If you would like to consider enrolling in courses not offered through YSS, the Yale College Dean’s Office has approved two exceptions for this summer.

  • In-Person Courses Taken in Your Home Country
    • Under the conditions described in the Yale College Programs of Study, it is possible to earn up to two graduation credits for courses taken at another accredited institution. If you plan to take courses in the U.S., contact your residential college dean for guidance.
      • By special exception for summer 2020, international students who are able to take classes at universities in their home country would not apply for credit through Yale Study Abroad, but instead apply for credit after completing the course of study by submitting the Request to Add Coursework Completed Outside Yale. We advise international students to email our office together with your residential college dean before enrolling for guidance on whether the international institution and the course might earn Yale credit. In addition to transferring the credit, if interested in having a course satisfy a degree requirement, visit Fulfilling Requirements While Away.
         
  • Online Courses Outside of YSS
    • Under the conditions described in the Yale College Programs of Study, it is possible to earn up to two graduation credits for courses taken online through another accredited U.S. institution provided that the course is not comparable to a course offered online through Yale Summer Session.
      • By special exception for summer 2020, Yale will allow students to take online courses offered by accredited study abroad programs or universities located outside the United States provided that the course is not comparable to a course offered online through YSS. You will apply for credit after completing the course of study by submitting the Request to Add Coursework Completed Outside Yale. We advise you to email our office together with your residential college dean before enrolling for guidance on whether the program and the course might earn Yale credit. In addition to transferring the credit, if interested in having a course satisfy a degree requirement, visit Fulfilling Requirements While Away.
         
  • Important Funding Note
    • The DSA may not be used for courses outside of YSS, and the ISA is not being offered this summer.
Domestic or Remote Internships

In lieu of taking courses, you may wish to consider a summer internship. Please contact the Office of Career Strategy for guidance on internship options. You also might find this OCS summer planning advice helpful.

Resources

Yale University

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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

The World Health Organization (WHO)

 Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)