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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

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 October 5, 2020 (4:04 p.m.)


Spring 2021 Cancellation

FAQ: Spring 2021 Cancellation Message

On October 5, 2020, Marvin Chun, Dean of Yale College, announced that, "In accordance with the Yale University International Travel Policy for Yale College Students, College-sponsored outbound international travel from the United States, such as study abroad and international fellowships, will continue to be suspended for Yale College students for the duration of the academic year, including the fall term, the winter recess, and the spring term. A decision about summer international travel and sponsored activities will be announced before the start of the spring 2021 term."

With much regret, we are writing to inform you that university sponsorship of study abroad is suspended for the spring 2021 term. This means that you will not be able to study abroad, including remote study abroad, for Yale credit or funding during the spring term.

In recognition that this is likely not the only disappointing news you may have received amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to underscore that this difficult decision was not made lightly. Please be assured that our top priority is the health, safety, and well-being of our students and the host communities in which we all engage.

The following factors contributed to the decision-making process: 

This decision is final for the spring 2021 term and will not change even if circumstances should change in your host country.

While navigating the uncertainties and complexities of COVID-19, we have seen with regularity the fluctuating circumstances that can impact the ability to travel, sometimes at the last minute. This decision is being made now in order to bring clarity to your preparations for the spring term and to minimize disruption to your academic progress.

As a special exception to limit the spread of COVID-19 through minimizing international travel, Yale Study Abroad has been approved to allow students who reside outside of the U.S. to apply for in-person study at an institution in their home country of residence this spring. Eligible students will be contacted this week with additional information.

Alternate Options for Spring 2021
You will have the following options for the spring term. We encourage you to consult with your Residential College Dean if you have any questions.

  • Enroll in Yale courses for the spring term. You will be able to register for classes in the same modality as other Yale students.
  • Take a leave of absence. If you would prefer not to enroll in Yale courses, and if you are in academic good standing and have not reached the limit on leaves of absence, you may request a leave of absence until the deadline established for spring 2021. Please note that taking a leave of absence will delay your graduation.

We are aware that some study abroad programs may continue to operate in the spring. If you choose to attend the program while on a leave of absence, please be aware that you will not be able to use any Yale funding, transfer credit, nor have access to Yale support services. You will, however, still have access to International SOS travel assistance services, but these services will not include out-of-country medical coverage.

Looking Ahead
While we cannot guarantee when travel will be permitted again, we are committed to resuming study abroad as soon as it is responsible to do so.

  • Summer 2021: To assist with student planning and preparations for summer, we will announce a decision about summer study abroad by December 15, 2020.
  • Fall 2021: We expect to open our fall 2021 and full academic year 2021-22 study abroad applications in January 2021. Students who take a leave of absence in the spring 2021 term will maintain eligibility to study abroad in the fall as long as they apply by the deadline. Typically, eligibility for term-time study abroad requires a status of second-semester sophomore, first-semester junior, or second-semester junior at the time of enrollment abroad. As a special one-time exception, students who hold a status of first-semester senior during fall 2021 or spring 2022 will be eligible to study abroad for one semester as long as it is not the final semester of enrollment. Please note that second-semester seniors are not permitted to study abroad in their final term.

Next Steps

  • Yale Study Abroad will withdraw your application in the MyCIPE system.
  • If you have already begun an application with your intended program(s), please be sure to contact the program(s) to share Yale’s decision for spring.


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)