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Education Abroad and Covid-19

Ed-Ab and Covid

While Education Abroad programming is a critical part of the Drexel student experience, the return to international travel must also be pursued with Drexel’s priority of the safety and security of students and shared responsibility to public health in all communities. 

In line with the University's COVID-19 Essential Travel Guidance, all programs are reviewed by the Essential Travel Review committee which considered the following criteria in its assessment: 

  • Required vaccination of travelers
  • Strong local support available from partner institutions or provider organizations 
  • Resources in place to support travelers such as US Embassy staffing, flight availability and appropriate medical care and capacity 
  • Consistently dropping COVID-19 infection rates in country and rising vaccination rates
  • In-country safety and security risks besides COVID-19

To prepare Drexel students for studying abroad in the COVID-19 environment, the Education Abroad Team will be providing several supports to students including: 

  • COVID-19 General Information Sessions
  • Pre-Departure Orientations
  • Check-ins during the experience abroad

Listed below are Frequently Asked Questions to address student concerns regarding Covid-19 and outbound international programming: 

1. What changes has Drexel made to its international programming in light of the coronavirus? 

Currently, Drexel is carefully reviewing all requests for international travel, taking into account the vaccination status of travelers, support available in the destination, current COVID-19 case and vaccination rates and safety and security concerns.

2.  Is Drexel requiring students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to participate in study abroad?

Yes, effective May 13, 2021 the University will require all travelers for university-affiliated activities to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to their travel. Drexel is facilitating vaccination for all students on-campus, and you can apply for an appointment at this link.

3. When will international travel resume? 

In adherence with University policies for Travel, international travel is resuming. As the global case and vaccination rates for COVID-19 improve, Drexel expects that there will be fewer restrictions for international travel. 

4. Will I need to get tested or quarantine upon arrival for study abroad?

Every country has different requirements for COVID-19 testing and quarantine. Education Abroad advisors generally receive updated information from partners abroad about requirements and will share that information with students as we get closer to departure dates. Currently the US embassies are posting entry and quarantine information on their websites which may also be a helpful resource. 

5. When should I book my flight for study abroad?

You may move forward with your travel plans, but it is recommended that you book refundable or changeable tickets and consider getting travel insurance as dates or specific situations may change. If possible, we recommend booking a non-stop flight. 

6. What happens if Drexel needs to suspend a location abroad for international activities for students? 

If Drexel makes the decision to suspend international activities in a location, the Office of Global Engagement will provide assistance to travelers managing their departures and will work with students to complete academic requirements for the program. This may include online coursework, independent studies or other options as proposed by the partner institution abroad. 

7. My study abroad program has been cancelled, can I transfer my acceptance to another term? What about refunds? 

While acceptance is not automatically transferable, the Office of Global Engagement will be in touch with students regarding future study abroad options including the possibility of transferring some or all of their application. Due to the unique nature of COVID-19 and as detailed in the required Addendum for Study Abroad participants, refunds may not be provided to participants. The Addendum supersedes the OGE Refund Policy for Drexel-sponsored study abroad programs.

8. I am an international student. Am I allowed to go home even though Drexel has a review process for international travel in place?

Drexel understands and supports international students to make the decision to return home at this time. Students should check in with their academic advisor and International Student and Scholars Services prior to departure if possible. Drexel hopes that the global pandemic will be more and more contained in the coming months and that travel restrictions will be removed, but we must remain flexible. There is a possibility that students may face challenges in returning to Philadelphia due to travel restrictions. For more information, visit the Drexel Response to Coronavirus website

9. With the international travel ban in place at Drexel, is international co-op being allowed? 

Any international student that is interested in completing a co-op in their home country should reach out to their co-op advisor for more information on the required steps to complete an international co-op for the upcoming cycle. Students may submit a request to complete an international co-op in a country besides their home country with the approval of Steinbright. For more information visit Steinbright COVID-19 Response or speak with your co-op advisor. 

10. If a student elects to leave a Drexel-affiliated program that has not been suspended by the University, how might that affect a student's academic credit for the program?

Drexel understands that everyone has a different tolerance for risk. If a student decides to discontinue a program due to personal concerns about their safety, the Office of Global Engagement will assist the student with departure and will work with the appropriate units to help the student to complete academic requirements for the term if that is possible. 

11. How is Drexel monitoring the coronavirus outbreak? 

A team of University officials that includes members of the University Travel Task Force and Drexel's Senior Director for International Health, Safety and Security is actively monitoring the effects of COVID-19, worldwide and in particular locations where members of the Drexel community frequently travel. This team uses several sources including the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of State, On Call International, a network of safety and security specialists and open source news to assess the containment of COVID-19 and its potential impact on Drexel travelers. Emergency updates are regularly posted indicating areas of concern being monitored by the University. 

12. How do I know if a place where I traveled has a high infection rate for Coronavirus? 

The Centers for Disease Control provides advisory levels for countries about current health issues that impact travelers' health. Any country with a current Level 3 Advisory, Avoid Nonessential Travel is considered high risk for non-vaccinated travelers and returned travelers should get tested 3-5 days after their return. 

For more information on University Travel policies, please visit the COVID-19 Essential Travel Guidance Website.