Study Abroad: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated November 12, 2021

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  • How will UR decide on whether a program will run in the fall/academic year?

    We have seen that global mobility has continued to normalize over the course of the fall 2021 semester, and the goal is to help our students become global citizens who know how to travel in COVID times. Hundreds of UR students are currently studying abroad. International Education staff continue to track conditions and travel-related policies in the countries to which we send students. Our sources include the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control, host country resources, our colleagues abroad and many others. We will communicate with students directly if any programs need to be altered or canceled.

    The application deadline for most Fall 2022 and AY2022-23 programs is January 31, 2022. Please refer to this page for programs with earlier application deadlines.

  • Is a COVID vaccination required to study abroad?

    UR’s international travel policies are crafted to align with the current campus COVID vaccine requirement.

    Even if a student has received an official UR exemption from the vaccine requirement, a destination for travel outside the U.S. may nevertheless require proof of vaccination.

    For international travel, therefore, it is important for unvaccinated students to keep in mind the following:

    1. Some countries, regions, cities, and many other public venues (restaurants, theaters, museums, etc.) may not allow entry to unvaccinated visitors. Some forms of transportation may require proof of vaccination for access.
    2. If entry to a country or region is allowed, unvaccinated visitors may be subject to quarantine, frequent testing, separate housing, or additional costs.

    For semester study abroad students: Your program abroad may have a vaccination requirement without exemptions. Please make sure to check the policy of your provider or program abroad. Our study abroad team will also try to make students aware of the current vaccination policies as they are known.

    For short-term and summer UR abroad programs, students will be made aware of the vaccination requirements, possible consequences or complications, and potential financial costs of participation as an unvaccinated traveler.

    For individual international travel, students should carefully check the vaccine requirements of the location(s) to which they plan to travel.

    University of Richmond travel insurance will cover expenses related to illness while on University-sponsored travel, but will not cover required or cautionary quarantine in advance of the program start or COVID testing before, during or after the program.

  • 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, the CDC Travel Recommendations, and the IATA Travel Centre.

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

    If a 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 to students in this situation.

  • How does UR’s health and travel insurance work?

    UR’s health and travel insurance covers study abroad participants worldwide except 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 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.

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

    No, this is the responsibility of each student.