Study abroad updates regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
NEW: Study abroad programs cancelled through Summer 2021
Updated: February 8, 2021
In light of VCU’s current suspension of study abroad programs and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, VCU has decided to cancel all summer 2021 education abroad programs. This applies to all education abroad program types including, but not limited to, faculty-led, exchanges, direct-enroll, third party provider, independent study, internships, service-learning, and non-credit-bearing education abroad; this includes programs facilitated by GEO as well as those administered by other units.
Exceptions will be considered for students traveling to U.S. Department of State Level 1 or 2 countries for whom education abroad is deemed essential to fulfilling academic degree requirements and/or whose participation is sponsored by nationally-competitive awards. Petitions for exceptions will be coordinated and reviewed by GEO. GEO will route the petition for exception to the student’s department chair, the dean, and the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs or the senior vice president for health sciences and CEO of VCU Health System. Students should work with GEO to petition for an exception and register their travel if approved.
VCU will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC, U.S. Department of State and Virginia Department of Health, as well as the destinations’ offices of foreign affairs and ministries of health to make recommendations regarding VCU’s programs abroad. In the meantime, students are encouraged to explore virtual global learning program options and visit the Keep on Studying Abroad website for ways they can maintain momentum in planning their study abroad experience.
Study abroad updates
Updated: January 5, 2021
Due to the dynamic and uncertain nature of the ongoing global pandemic, VCU does not have a definite time frame for when study abroad will resume. Decisions are being made on a semesterly basis. At this time, study abroad has been cancelled through May 2021. Decisions on the status of summer 2021 will be made by mid-March and decisions on fall 2021 will be made by mid-June. Stay up to date with VCU's travel guidance at One Together. In the meantime, you can schedule an appointment with an Education Abroad Adviser to begin planning for when study abroad does resume or for a virtual program.
Study abroad programs cancelled through May 2021
Updated: September 23, 2020
Due to the uncertainty of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia Commonwealth University has decided to cancel all study abroad programs through May 2021. This includes spring 2021 and spring break 2021 programs and applies to all study abroad types including, but not limited to, exchanges, direct-enroll, third party provider programs, and independent study.
This recommendation is made in light of VCU’s current suspension of study abroad programs and the recently updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which recommends that institutions of higher education consider postponing or canceling upcoming student international travel programs due to the possibility of students facing unpredictable circumstances, such as travel restrictions, challenges returning home, and challenges accessing health care while abroad.
We will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC, U.S. Department of State and Virginia Department of Health, as well as the destinations’ offices of foreign affairs and ministries of health to make recommendations regarding summer 2021 programs. In the meantime, students are encouraged to visit the Keep on Studying Abroad website for ways they can maintain momentum in planning their study abroad experience.
Cancellation of Winter Break 2021 Study Abroad Programs
Updated: Friday, July 24, 2020
Due to the continued risks associated with traveling abroad during the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, VCU has made the difficult decision to cancel all study abroad programs for Winter Break 2021. This decision was also made in light of the U.S. Department of State's current Level 4 (Do Not Travel) global health advisory level. This cancellation applies to all program types (exchange, direct enroll, provider programs) for the Winter Break 2021 term.
Keep on Studying Abroad
During this time of disruption, study abroad remains a valuable part of any student's educational experience. Even as we navigate COVID-19, there are steps that students can take to maintain momentum in planning their study abroad experience. The new Keep on Studying Abroad website offers tips for students to time their study abroad in light of COVID-19, connect virtually with a study abroad adviser, explore funding options and consider virtual internships and online classes.