Frequently Asked Questions
Applications are currently open for Fall '22, and some Spring '23 exchange programs.
What is the current status of study abroad?
Most study abroad programs have resumed and are actively running, although conditions in individual countries may cause program cancellations or changes to program itineraries.
How does COVID-19 impact study abroad programs?
Your safety and the safety of those around you are our top priority. To reduce the spread of COVID-19 there are preventative strategies in place that are similar to what you experience on a day-to-day basis at the University of Oregon. In some cases, more stringent preventative measures may be in place, depending on your host country’s regulations.
On a weekly basis, we monitor and assess conditions in all countries where students may travel. COVID-19 transmission (or case) rates, vaccination rates, and hospital occupancy rates are considered, as well as many other factors.
Do I need to have had a COVID-19 vaccination to study abroad?
Yes. You are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have received a booster shot if eligible prior to departing on your Global Education Oregon (GEO) study abroad experience.
The GEO COVID-19 vaccination requirement requires a student to be fully vaccinated according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Students are considered fully vaccinated:
- 14 days after receiving a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
- 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
- Vaccinations administered outside of the US must be “EOI accepted” by the World Health Association and have a fully completed series according to the manufacturer of the vaccine.
Students must also receive a booster shot within 30 days of being eligible to receive one. To be eligible for a booster shot, you must be 18 years old and one of the following is true:
- At least 5 months since the second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or
- At least 2 months since you were vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Note that CDC booster requirements may change and that booster guidelines and requirements may be different in your destination country. GEO will provide up-to-date booster information about your host country as necessary.
GEO policy aligns with the University of Oregon’s vaccine and booster shot requirement. If you have a vaccine or booster exemption through the University of Oregon, you are required to discuss your exemption status with your GEO coordinator before you complete your study abroad application. Non-UO students must present exemption verification from their home university to their GEO coordinator.
You may need to present evidence of having been vaccinated or having received a booster shot while traveling or when in your host country. Your CDC vaccination card will provide proof of this, so you must travel with your CDC vaccination card. It is strongly recommended that you carry a copy of the front and back of your card on your phone, and to make a photocopy of the front and back of your card and carry a hard copy with you when traveling.
Needing to be vaccinated or having a booster shot is a practical consideration, since many countries where GEO sends students have or plan to implement policies favoring those who have been vaccinated or received a booster shot. This includes entry to museums and riding on some types of public transportation. Vaccine and booster shot mandates have also been issued for all university students in some countries, including American college students. Regular life activities such as going to restaurants and cafes, staying in hotels and hostels, or going to night clubs may also require proof of vaccination or a booster shot.
Location-specific regulations and entry requirements may make participation in some GEO programs impossible for unvaccinated participants or those who have not received a booster shot when eligible. In other cases, participation may be possible only if unvaccinated participants or who have not received a booster shot are subject to additional restrictions that stem from COVID mitigation measures, and additional expenses may accompany these restrictions. Examples may include regular testing, wearing of masks, single occupancy lodging, and limited access to required program activities.
Students who have not disclosed their exemption status with GEO before being accepted to their program may be subject to cancellation fees or lose their program deposit if they later choose or are required to withdraw from participation.
I’m already fully vaccinated. Will I need a booster shot before studying abroad?
The CDC recommends that you receive a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine if you are over 18 and it has been
- At least 6 months since the second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or
- At least 2 months since the initial dose of a Johnson and Johnson/Janssen vaccine.
It is possible that your host country may require booster shots for travelers who were fully vaccinated more than six months before entering the country. GEO will provide this information to you if this is the case. Host country requirements may also mean that you need to receive a booster shot while abroad.
Do I need to quarantine before and/or after a future study abroad program?
Students participating in GEO are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to study abroad, so quarantine prior to departure is not required unless the student tests positive for COVID-19 or develops symptoms. However, some countries may require quarantine upon arrival, even with the vaccine. Your study abroad advisor can provide the requirements for your specific program location.
The United States currently does not require or recommend that vaccinated travelers to the US from abroad quarantine upon arrival.
You quarantine when you might have been exposed to the virus and may or may not have been infected.
You isolate when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms.
Please note: Some programs include the quarantine period within the program dates (e.g., the first portion of your program will be held remotely), but other programs may require you to arrive before the program start date, quarantine for a period of time, and then begin your program in-person. Speak with your advisor to plan accordingly. Additionally, vaccinated travelers do not need to quarantine upon returning to the United States. Check the CDC website for the latest guidance on what you should do when returning from international travel.
Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before and/or after a future study abroad program?
This depends on the host country. Some countries require that COVID-19 testing be done right before traveling, upon arrival, or within a designated time after arrival. COVID-19 testing may also apply to vaccinated travelers. Speak to an advisor to learn more.
All travelers entering the United States from abroad must present a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival. The test must have been taken within 24 hours of departure from your host country. The CDC website has more information.
The CDC recommends that vaccinated international travelers also test for COVID-19 three to five days after entering the United States.
What healthcare options are available to me during my future study abroad program? What if I have emergency medical needs while abroad?
International health insurance is included in the study abroad fee. This insurance can help cover costs related to illness, including prescriptions, hospital stays, and, in serious cases, travel back to the student’s home country if medically advised. Testing for COVID-19 is covered only when determined to be medically necessary by a qualified healthcare provider, and not when required for travel or as a precaution when having been exposed to someone with COVID-19. This insurance is considered secondary insurance, and GEO strongly recommends that students keep their primary health insurance in the U.S. while they study abroad. You also have 24/7 telephone access to GEO staff in the case of an emergency.
Do I need to wear a mask/face covering during a study abroad program?
Policies vary on a country-by-country basis. Masks or face coverings are required to be worn on public transportation and indoor public spaces at the very minimum in most countries. You will receive more information about face coverings and other local guidance during your program orientation.
Do I need to budget extra money for testing, housing, and supplies for COVID-19?
Routine testing, such as after exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is in most cases done at the student’s expense. Students must pay for travel-related testing (e.g., before departure or upon arrival and prior to returning to the United States). Unvaccinated students with an exemption may also be responsible for routine testing necessary to fulfill host country entry requirements
If required, costs for housing and other expenses during any isolation or quarantine period, prior to the program start date, are also the responsibility of the student. If isolation or quarantine is required during your program dates, the cost of housing is included in the program costs paid by GEO.
Please note: If required to stay in a quarantine hotel that is provided by the state or government upon arrival, this may incur additional costs—speak to an advisor to learn more about specific location requirements.
Will I receive a refund if my program is canceled?
GEO will refund all program and application fees in full if we cancel your study abroad program or GlobalWorks Internship for any reason at any time. This includes any program cancellations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the program deadline has passed and GEO has notified you that the program will run, the cancellation policies for each specific program will apply. You can find all cancellation policies included in the program budget document on each program webpage.
Note: Please wait to purchase airline tickets or incur other personal travel-related costs (e.g., entry/student visa) until you have been told in writing by GEO to do so. Personal travel expenses are typically not reimbursable unless authorized by GEO in advance.
We recommend that students purchase optional Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance and plane tickets that can be refunded or deferred for future travel or both.
What if the country I am in restricts travel to my home while I am abroad?
Citizens have generally been permitted to travel back to their home countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. A slight risk of flight cancellations does exist. In those instances, students may experience travel delays or may need to travel home via a third country. In extreme cases, GEO would work with the U.S. Department of State (if you are a U.S. citizen) or your home country officials (if you are not a U.S. citizen), to help get you to your home country.
Can I travel to other countries on my free time during my study abroad program?
We strongly recommend against making plans to travel to other countries during breaks in your study abroad program. Not only does travel through crowded airports and on planes increase the possibility of becoming infected with COVID-19, but rapid changes in conditions between countries may result in border closures or reimplementation of quarantine requirements when returning to your host country. COVID-19 continues to make travel unpredictable due to potential border closures or the application of new preventative measures.
Are there application fees for study abroad?
Not anymore. Beginning with programs that will take place in summer 2022 and beyond, there will no longer be a $50 application fee.