Study Abroad

COVID-19 and UW Study Abroad

Here at UW Study Abroad, we are passionate about connecting students to opportunities for global learning. We are hopeful that study abroad can resume in 2021. Please connect with us through our advising and events to start planning.

We’re in active consultation with experts at the UW and beyond to create future study abroad opportunities that are safe and academically rigorous. The UW Global Travel Security program and the UW International Travel Risk & Safety Committee are key partners in this work. UW Study Abroad programs always comply with local public health recommendations and UW policies. As global conditions change, we may need to adjust to program dates, schedules, classroom environments, course delivery, housing arrangements, internship placements, itineraries, or other program details.

Please review the information and next steps below as you consider study abroad. We are excited to support you along your journey!

Information and next steps for students

Make a back up plan

Please make parallel plans for academics and housing – one plan assuming you’ll be able to study abroad and then a backup plan in case your study abroad program is canceled due to the pandemic.

  • Work with your academic adviser to select and temporarily register for on-campus classes in case you’re unable to go abroad.
  • If your study abroad program runs as planned, it will be your responsibility to drop on-campus classes before the quarter starts. UW Study Abroad will remove the study abroad placeholder credits from your record if your program is cancelled.
  • Consider making a back up plan for housing as well in case you can’t study abroad as planned.

Cancellation policies

  • If your program is canceled by UW Study Abroad related to COVID-19 (or for any other reason) prior to the program start date, you will receive a full refund including application fee and deposit.
  • For cancellations due to any other reason, our normal withdrawal process and policies will apply.
  • If you are applying to a partner program, check with the program provider to confirm their cancellation policy. Most providers are being very flexible, but cancellation policies vary and all fees may not be refundable.
  • We understand that it is more challenging to make future travel plans due to the worldwide impact of COVID-19. It makes sense that you may be hesitant to confirm your place on your program at this time. UW Study Abroad is allowing more flexibility with confirmation deadlines, and you will receive additional information about confirming closer to the program start date. Connect with us if have concerns or need additional flexibility.

Using your scholarship

If you were awarded a UW Study Abroad scholarship for a program that was cancelled due to the pandemic, you will have the opportunity to use your award during a future term. Visit our scholarships page for more information.

UW travel restrictions

  • In person study abroad is currently suspended through spring quarter 2021.
  • All travel outside the U.S. by UW employees and students is restricted until further notice, effective March 20, 2020. Read more about this policy at the UW Office of Global Affairs.
  • On August 6th, 2020 the global travel advisories by the U.S. Department of State and the CDC were rescinded and both organizations are reverting to national level advisories for each country. The UW travel restriction is still in effect.
  • These restrictions do not apply to personal travel. However, we strongly encourage you to avoid travel and review applicable travel warnings.

UW COVID-19 resources