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Spring 2022 Study Abroad: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

UPDATED September 24, 2021. UR is proceeding with a limited number of countries and programs abroad for the Spring 2022 semester; click here for deadlines. For further details or if you have questions, please contact a member of the study abroad team or consult these FAQs.

How will UR decide which programs will run in the spring?

We anticipate that global mobility will continue to normalize for the spring 2022 semester. International Education staff are tracking conditions and policies in the countries where we hope to send students.

If conditions worsen or if students are not permitted to enter certain countries, it may be necessary to cancel programs.

We suggest students not make any payments related to study abroad (flights, program housing, etc.) or other financial or logistical commitments until it is confirmed that their semester program abroad will move forward as planned. Questions regarding requirements of the abroad program, including the withdrawal and refund policy, should be directed to the UR study abroad advisor that the student is working with, and/or the program abroad.

Has the Delta variant changed things?

In accordance with the CDC international travel advice, we recommend travel only for students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Some programs or universities abroad may require students to be fully vaccinated in order to participate, and countries can change entry restrictions at any time.

How do the US Dept of State (DOS) Travel Advisories impact study abroad?

UR continues to monitor conditions wherever we have programs or travelers using many resources available to professionals in International Education, including the DOS Travel Advisories. We will communicate with students directly if we determine that any programs need to be altered or canceled.

What are the COVID-19 rules for countries abroad?

Every country has different COVID-related entry requirements. It is important for students to understand and to plan carefully for any testing and quarantine requirements prior to boarding flights as well as upon entry to the host country abroad.

We expect that pandemic conditions will continue to change as they have throughout the past year, and entry requirements will change, too. International Education will monitor these changes and keep students informed.

For more information on travel and health guidelines, please consult the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories and the IATA Travel Centre.

What is the UR refund and withdrawal policy for semester study abroad?

Please refer to the UR Withdrawal Policy for study abroad. Students should also refer to the program/university abroad policies since these will vary. Study abroad advisors will also work with students to make sure they are aware of these policy details.

We strongly encourage students and their families to consider purchasing tuition protection insurance offered through Student Accounts. It is important to read the information carefully to understand what is covered and what is excluded.

Will I be able to participate in the UR fall 2022 housing lottery while abroad?

All students interested in campus housing must pay their housing deposit and complete their housing application by the deadline. If you have questions, please visit residencelife.richmond.edu or contact Taylor Walsh at 804-289-8930.

If I commit to studying abroad for the spring 2022 semester abroad and then later withdraw from studying abroad, will I be able to keep my current room on campus?

No, upon committing to studying abroad for the spring 2022 semester, you will be withdrawn from spring on-campus housing. For further details please refer to the information on the Residence Life website.

If I commit to my program abroad for spring 2022, can I register for spring 2022 classes at UR?

Students who commit to studying abroad in the spring 2022 cannot register for spring 2022 classes at Richmond. If a student withdraws after the UR semester abroad commitment date, they will be able to register in the extended registration period which begins November 8 and runs through January 9, 2022.

If a program is canceled, will students need to take a leave of absence?

If this decision or cancelation happens prior to the start of UR classes, students will be eligible to enroll in classes. If a withdrawal or cancelation occurs during the first week of classes at Richmond, and possibly during the second week of classes depending on the courses a student hopes to take, it may be possible to take UR classes with appropriate approval. After the second week of the UR semester, students may need to take a leave of absence. International Education staff will work with each student, the host university/program abroad, the Registrar, the Office of Student Accounts, and Financial Aid at UR, as applicable, to minimize financial and credit loss to the student, when possible.

Note that on-campus housing may be unavailable.

How does UR's health and travel insurance work?

UR's health and travel insurance covers study abroad participants worldwide except in their home country. The insurance will cover illnesses and medical treatment related to COVID-19 as it does for any other unforeseen sickness. The policy may cover trip cancelation and interruption if a student becomes ill with COVID-19 before or during the trip. Otherwise, the insurance will not cover trip cancelation for a canceled program due to changes in government, university or other regulations or if the student decides against going abroad due to concern about the COVID-19 pandemic. Richmond is not able to pay for or reimburse students for fees not covered by UR’s health and travel insurance abroad policy (coverage details are available here).

Students may purchase additional coverage for a policy with a “cancel for any reason” provision at their own expense. This Forbes article may prove helpful in researching such policies.

Important notes:

  • UR's health and travel insurance provides for a family member to join a student abroad if the student experiences an emergency (e.g., hospitalization for more than 24 hours) as long as the family member is allowed entry and the travel is approved by the insurance.
  • Payment for self-isolation or quarantine is not covered by UR's health and travel abroad insurance plan. The student may be liable for housing and meal fees associated with the quarantine or isolation period depending on the university/program abroad’s policies.
  • Students may not be able to travel home readily in case of an emergency due to infrequent flights or travel restrictions, and flight availability may change in such a way that travel home at the end of the program could be delayed.

Questions about insurance coverage? Contact Ms. Keesha Trim, Director of Risk Management.

Will UR's health and travel insurance cover COVID-19 vaccination?

No, it will not.

When should students apply for the student visa, if required?

The UR study abroad advisor managing the student's program will provide students with this information. It is crucial to apply in a timely fashion as the visa may take longer to process visas depending how the pandemic has affected consular operations. Most countries do not have an expedited option available to speed up this process.

When and where should I buy a plane ticket?

We recommend purchasing flights at least a month prior to departure, if possible, and if the program is confirmed.

We strongly encourage students to buy flights directly from an airline, not an online discounter, which usually allows for greater flexibility for changes, cancelations and refunds.

Will UR cover ticket change/cancelation fees if my program is canceled or shortened?

No, this is the responsibility of each student.

Are any further changes possible?

Yes, the nature of the pandemic is that things can change at any time. Staff will continue to monitor the global situation and each specific location and will update students as needed.