Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

Future Programs

  • Are Fall 2020 study abroad programs cancelled?
    • Yes, Per UNC System guidance, all university-related domestic and international travel remains restricted until further notice due to COVID-19 and all study abroad activity has been suspended for fall 2020.
  • Can I defer my application to the Spring 2021 or Fall 2021 semester?
    • Yes, If you wish to defer your acceptance to spring 2021 or fall 2021, the Study Abroad Office will apply your admin fee to that future term application.
  • Is there a deadline in which I have to make a decision to defer?
    • Yes, Please confirm your intention to defer by June 1, 2020.
      Please note, the deferral option is only being offered to fall ’20/AY 2020-2021 applications due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Study Abroad Withdrawal and Refund Policy applies to all other and future terms (including if you choose to defer and transfer your admin fee to a future term).
    • Otherwise, the Study Abroad Office will withdraw your application and issue you a refund of the admin fee paid. Please note that this process may take a few months to complete as we must first process all summer refunds. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
  • Where can I find resources for housing now that I will be studying at NC State this fall?
  • Will I receive a refund for the money I spent to study abroad this fall?
    • All students who choose not to defer their application to a later term will receive a refund of the NC State Study Abroad Admin Fee. Unfortunately, any money paid to outside entities cannot be refunded by the Study Abroad Office.

  • Are summer programs canceled?
    • Yes, all NC State Study Abroad summer 2020 group programs have been canceled, this includes all regions and countries.
    • NC State will not approve participation in any summer 2020 study abroad program or student university-affiliated international travel. 
  • Will I get a refund since my summer program was cancelled?
    • Yes, if your NC State summer or short term group program was canceled you will receive a refund. 
    • For non-NC State programs, we will only refund the Study Abroad Office admin fee. Students should contact the outside institution, organization, or entity with questions regarding refund policies.

Spring 2020

  • What if I can’t reach the airline or secure a flight home? What if my return flight has been canceled?
    • We understand that at this time, there are issues with booking flights and flight cancellations. Keep trying to secure a flight. 
    • Students should make every effort to leave their host country and as soon as possible as many countries have begun to implement travel restrictions, and airlines may cancel flights or have reduced flight options with the increased demand. 
    • Remain in your current accommodations until you are able to leave your host country.
    • Register with Smart Enrollment Traveler Program (STEP).  https://step.state.gov/step/. This allows the US government to send you important security updates, and they are more able to assist you in an emergency. It will also facilitate communication if an evacuation is coordinated by the Department of State.
    • Ensure that you have installed and are utilizing the Alert Traveler app. This allows Study Abroad to push emergency messages to you, and for you to check-in if needed.
  • What if I am currently not in my host country/host institution?
    • If you are currently not in your host country your priority is to get back to the U.S. or your country of permanent residence. If that is not an option at this current moment, please return to your host country where you currently have accommodations and support from your host institution. 
  • Will I be able to maintain my GeoBlue Health Insurance?
    • Yes, GeoBlue will continue to cover students for the duration of their time abroad and enrollment in their study abroad program. 
    • GeoBlue will cover, with no cost-share to members, medically-necessary, prescribed diagnostic testing for the virus, known officially as COVID-19, consistent with U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
    • This coverage includes the cost of the COVID-19 test, physician/doctor consultation fee and associated costs related to administering the COVID-19 test.
    • GeoBlue coverage is no longer valid upon return to the U.S. Students are advised to verify their domestic health insurance is still active.
    • GeoBlue is not covering any return flights for program cancellations or DOS and CDC travel advisories, as they do not qualify as a medically-necessary evacuation.
  • How do I self quarantine?
    • Any university community member returning to the United States from an affected area (CDC Levels 2 and 3) should follow the university’s recommended procedures for self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to work or school on campus, in consultation with their health care provider. This self-quarantine should occur at the individual’s home, away from campus.
  • Can NC State provide housing for self-quarantine?
    • The University is encouraging all students to return home to self-quarantine there, if at all possible. If you have exceptional circumstances requiring assistance from University Housing, please indicate that in the Returning Study Abroad Student Details form.
  • I don’t want to come home and I feel safe here. What happens if I stay in my host country?
  • I have family abroad. May I remain abroad if I live with my family?
    • Per the University restricted travel policy, study abroad has been suspended and you are expected to return back to the U.S. or your country of permanent residence.
    • Medical facilities may become strained if or when the virus spreads. You may only have limited access to healthcare if you are in an area which is elevated to a CDC Level 2 alert or 3 warning.
    • Per the Department of State Global Level 3 Health Advisory, “Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.”  Many countries have begun to implement travel restrictions, and airlines have reduced operations or cancelled flights. Many governments have implemented travel restrictions, including closing their borders. Therefore, it is advisable that all students return to the U.S.
    • If you believe you have a strong and compelling reason to be able to remain, please read, sign, and return the COVID-19 Student Release and Acknowledgment via email (study_abroad@ncsu.edu).

  • Will I be able to continue with my classes? 
    • Many host institutions are offering alternative arrangements for instruction, including online instruction to allow students to complete the remainder of their academic term remotely. We anticipate, but can not guarantee, that more institutions will make similar arrangements in the coming day(s)/week(s). 
    • We advise students to remain enrolled in their courses through their host institutions to complete their semesters and continue to make progress towards their degrees.
      • Students should not drop their courses without first consulting with the Study Abroad Office, their NC State academic advisor, and the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to understand the academic and financial implications of dropping courses.
    • NC State is prepared to assist you by creating options for you to continue your academic progress to the extent possible.
  • My program has not been canceled by my host institution. What will happen to my courses?
    • Many are offering online instruction to allow for the remainder of coursework to be completed. We anticipate, but can not guarantee, that additional institutions will make similar plans in the coming day(s)/week(s). NC State will accept transfer credits for study abroad courses completed online for Spring semester students.
    • NC State is prepared to assist you by creating options for you to continue your academic progress to the extent possible.
  • My host university hasn’t suspended in-person instruction, and has not offered online coursework. What will happen with my courses?
    • NC State is prepared to assist you by creating options for you to continue your academic progress to the extent possible. Please communicate your specific needs directly with your academic advisor.

  • If I received a spring scholarship through the Study Abroad Office, do I have to give it back?
    • If you are able to still obtain credit for the spring semester (including through distance education) you will likely be able to retain your scholarship. You will receive direct communication regarding your scholarship in the coming weeks.
  • If I received a summer scholarship through the Study Abroad Office, how will it be affected by current travel restrictions?
    • Our scholarships budget is not guaranteed beyond an academic year, so you will need to apply for scholarships again if you choose to study abroad in the future. However, we hope to grant additional consideration for students affected by COVID-19 cancellations. We will share more information in advance of future application cycles.
  • How will financial aid be impacted for spring students returning home?
    • This will depend on your individual circumstances. Students are advised to reach out directly to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for more information <studentservices@ncsu.edu>.

  • Can I get a refund for my airfare?
    • Unfortunately, NC State is unable to refund anything paid to a third party. If you are unable to purchase a flight, please indicate you need assistance in the Returning Study Abroad Student Details form. 
  • Can I get a refund for my overseas housing?
    • Unfortunately, NC State is unable to refund anything paid to a third party. The Study Abroad Office advises you to contact the leasing agency or partner institution through which you arranged housing to discuss your options. Unfortunately, it seems that in most cases housing expenses are not able to be refunded.
  • Can I get a refund for my tuition if I am not able to complete any credits for this semester?
    • This will depend on the program. Students who are offered the option to complete their coursework online by their host institution are expected to do so, and would not be able to receive a refund for tuition or program cost. If students are participating in a non-NC State program, they will need to check with their provider. 
  • Can I get a refund for my admin fee?
    • For any spring 2020 semester student receiving credit for their international experience, admin fees will not be refunded. Any spring semester students who were not able to participate in their experience abroad may request a refund at study_abroad@ncsu.edu.
    • The Study Abroad Office will process all Summer 2020 admin fee refunds. No fee reimbursements requests are necessary. Payments made online will be processed more quickly. Payments made by check or more than 30 days ago will take longer to process as we will request a check through University Accounting. The process to provide refunds for all admin fees will take a few months and will be complete prior to July 1.

  • What resources are available if I am feeling anxiety or stress about my study abroad program being cancelled due to COVID-19?
    • Feelings of distress, sadness, or anxiety related to the global COVID-19 pandemic are valid. Students’ mental and emotional health is equally as important as their physical health and safety. Since shifting to remote working, NC State’s Counseling Center has curated numerous online resources for students, and is also available for phone or video counseling appointments.
    • Every Wednesday in April (April 6, 13, 20, and 27) at 4 p.m. EST the Counseling Center will be facilitating a virtual ‘drop-in’ support space for Spring 2020 study abroad students who returned early due to COVID-19. These informal meetings will be an opportunity for students to share their experiences and feelings related to their sudden return home, as well as a space to build community and connection with other students around a shared experience. Access the Zoom meeting link here: http://go.ncsu.edu/SAdropin
    • For after-hours emergencies, please call 1-919-515-2423, and select option 2, which will bring you to the counselor on-call.

  • My flights keep getting canceled. What happens if I can’t return to the United States?
    • The student residence in Prague will remain open and available to NC State Prague students as long as needed.
  • If I end up staying in Europe longer than anticipated due to difficulties booking flights, will I still be covered with insurance?
    • Yes, GeoBlue will continue to cover students for the duration of their time abroad while enrolled in a study abroad program.
  • The Czech Republic announced that its borders will close beginning Monday, March 16th. What does that mean for me?
  • Will I be able to continue with my classes?
    • Yes! Your current NC State Prague classes, with the same instructors, will continue in an online format. This will begin the week of March 23. You will be able to earn all credits that you are currently enrolled in at NC State Prague through this online format for the remainder of the semester.
  • I have more questions about NC State Prague and the situation in the Czech Republic. Who do I contact?