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Study Abroad and COVID-19

Study Abroad UC San Diego continues to be vigilant in monitoring the progression of COVID-19 worldwide. Rest assured, students' health and well-being are always our top priorities. Our goal is to help keep students and members of our campus community informed and safe during this pandemic.

We are also dedicated to helping students plan for their future study abroad goals by working closely with our partners across the UC system and beyond to provide the most updated information about future program operations. Our advisors are ready to help students plan for their future study abroad goals.

UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) Information

Pandemic updates for UCEAP participants are found at:

Global Seminars Information

Study Abroad UC San Diego, and campus partners and resources are here to assist you. CAPS counseling services are available for students who are experiencing stress as a result of the pandemic.

Should students have a back-up plan in case the in-person Global Seminar is canceled?

Yes, all students should meet with their college and departmental advisers to have a back-up plan just in case a study abroad program is canceled. It is essential to do this in order to stay on track for timely graduation. The Global Seminar team will communicate with students to provide any updates regarding program cancellations. In some cases, it may be possible to take a virtual version of the Global Seminar if the in-person option is canceled. However, this will not be feasible with all Global Seminars, so please consult with a Global Seminar advisor.

Is the COVID vaccination required to participate in a UC San Diego Global Seminar?

All students must comply with all UC policies regarding COVID vaccination. Study Abroad UC San Diego expects all students to be vaccinated against COVID. Even if a student has received an approved exception to the UC COVID vaccination policy, it is still likely that airlines, border entry officials, on-site accommodations and classrooms, and others will require proof of COVID vaccination. In this regard, an approved exception to the UC COVID vaccination policy will NOT override the requirements of airlines, host governments, and local requirements on-site. Lack of COVID vaccination could also limit access to many other activities while abroad. No refunds are possible if an unvaccinated student, or a student without proof of COVID vaccination, is denied program access, access to transportation (e.g. airline or ground transportation), access to housing, classroom, educational excursions, or other resources & services.

Non vaccinated students may also be required to quarantine upon arrival and/or prior to departure for two weeks at a time. This may make it impossible to participate fully in the classes and to complete the course assignments during quarantine. It may add substantial additional costs for housing, food, etc. to stay in the country past the end of the Global Seminar.

Study abroad staff are NOT able to grant exceptions to the UC Covid vaccination policy. Students must go through the standard campus process.

Are students required to provide proof of vaccination in order to participate in the Global Seminar?

Yes, all students must provide proof of vaccination through the standard campus process unless they have an approved exception according to the UC COVID vaccination policy. UC San Diego Student Health will verify students' compliance with the vaccination policy. Failure to provide this information at least three months in advance of the program start date is grounds for dismissal from the Global Seminar without a refund.

 What precautions should I take prior to departure?

We encourage you to practice CDC-approved measures (such as masking and social distancing) to avoid catching COVID-19 in the days leading up to your departure.

How can I prove that I am vaccinated when traveling from the United States to my host country?

Be sure to bring your original CDC COVID vaccination card with you while you are traveling. Also make a back-up copy and keep it separate from the original.

What COVID policies will I have to follow while abroad?

Students and faculty traveling overseas will be subject to the policies of both the host country and the on-site provider, which may be different from UC San Diego’s protocol. Find country-specific information on the State Department website.

What happens if I test positive while abroad and have to quarantine?

If you test positive while abroad, your on-site coordinator will help you arrange quarantine housing and obtain food and medical care if necessary. Your faculty leader will communicate with you about how to keep up with the course material. Your travel insurance includes coverage for extra quarantine expenses.

What COVID procedures are required to return to the United States?

In the past travelers had to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test one calendar day before their flight’s departure. However, as of June 12, 2022, the CDC rescinded that requirement.

Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP) Information

OAP students should be aware that COVID remains a global risk and should follow all regulations for the locations where they will go abroad. Each study abroad provider, host university, and country may have their own requirements and policies regarding COVID vaccinations as well as social distancing practices. Each student is responsible for knowing these policies and complying with them.

Financial Aid Information

The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office has posted a helpful resource to help address financial aid concerns during this time.


Handling a Disruption of Your Study Abroad Program

I am planning to study abroad but am concerned about my program running. What is campus doing and when will I be notified?

Study Abroad UC San Diego, along with our program partners across the U.S. and abroad, is closely monitoring the situation. Should additional program suspensions occur, students will be notified immediately by email and updates will be made to our website:

Campus is following advice and guidelines by the local and UC system-wide Offices of Risk Management, the U.S. State Department, and the National CDC. UC San Diego is fortunate to have top infectious disease specialists also providing guidance to all these entities.

If my program is cancelled before I depart, will I be charged any fees?

If your program is cancelled pre-departure, you will not be charged any fees and any fees you may have paid will be reimbursed to you.

If my program is cancelled before I depart, what happens to the study abroad scholarship I received?

We are currently working with the organizations funding scholarships to find out if scholarships can be deferred for a future study abroad program or if you will need to reapply with preferential consideration for a future scholarship. More information will be posted here as soon as it is available.

What happens if I withdraw from my program? Will I be charged fees?

Depending upon your program, you may withdraw before the withdrawal deadline and be charged minimal fees (administrative, non-refundable deposit). If you withdraw after the program withdrawal deadline, you will be subject to paying additional fees. If your program is subsequently cancelled after you withdraw, your fees will be reimbursed to you.

UCEAP withdrawal deadline: Varies by program; refer to your campus study abroad advisor, or your UCEAP Program Specialist for the most updated information about withdrawing from your program.

OAP withdrawal deadlines: Vary by program; refer to the provider website or ask your advisor for assistance.