Health & Safety Considerations for Fall & Academic Year 2022

The health and safety of students is NC State's highest priority. The Study Abroad Office is offering program opportunities where our exchange partners and/or partner providers are welcoming visiting students. Prospective participants should review the following information in detail and cautiously assess the situation based on their personal comfort level, their personal risk tolerance, and with financial considerations in mind.

Health Precautions, Expectations, and Requirements

The Study Abroad Office adheres to the following health and safety practices, including that all study abroad students are covered by GeoBlue International Health Insurance.

Following CDC guidance, NC State strongly advises all NC State students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to obtain a booster, if possible, prior to departure.

  • Some host countries and institutions may require that participants be fully vaccinated. Some are also requiring a COVID booster.
  • COVID-19 travel restrictions that could disrupt your participation in a program include:
    • negative test results required for entry,
    • possible mandatory quarantines, and
    • regular negative test results or proof of vaccination for entry to many public buildings or restaurants (participants are financially responsible for testing and will need to complete testing during free time; testing is not an excuse for program activity absence).
  • Foreign governments may implement restrictions with little notice, even in destinations that were previously low risk (U.S. Dept. of State).
  • The COVID-19 vaccine with a booster is the single most important action travelers can do to protect themselves, protect the host community, as well as protect the NC State community upon your return from traveling internationally.

Schedule a COVID-19 Vaccine

  • The Study Abroad Participant Agreement signed at the time of application indicates that students are:
  • Program participants are expected to follow CDC recommendations.

Before you travel, learn more about your host location and which travel activities are lower risk to protect yourself and others. Keep in mind that getting from one place to another is just one piece of the travel risk. Your activities and who you interact with before, during, and after travel may increase your risk.

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 1 calendar day before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States. Airlines must deny boarding to passengers who do not meet these requirements.

Assessing Health and Safety

It is important that study abroad participants are knowledgeable about the host country. Visiting locations where there are fewer cases of COVID-19 may be less risky for getting COVID-19 than visiting locations where there are more cases of COVID-19.

NC State regularly assesses the health and safety risks of all study abroad locations utilizing data from a number of reputable resources, including, but not limited to the

The Study Abroad Emergency Response Team (SAERT), composed of senior administrators from across the university enforces the Restricted Travel Policy and oversees the student petition process for studying in “restricted travel areas.” Regarding the health risks associated with COVID-19, the committee assesses risk based on a number of specific metrics, including, but not limited to: percentage of the population that is vaccinated, case counts and percentage increase/decrease over a two-week period, level of community transmission, and the healthcare infrastructure in countries.

Restricted Travel Policy

In accordance with the Study Abroad Restricted Travel Policy, international travel to many locations remains restricted due to COVID-19 and has been changing.

Applicants to programs located in restricted travel areas should anticipate having to complete and submit a petition for final review by NC State’s Study Abroad Emergency Response Team (SAERT) before receiving ultimate approval to study abroad. Each applicant will receive more details in the required individual advising appointment. The petition requirements will be made available to students after acceptance. Students should complete the petition carefully utilizing risk management and emergency response details from the host institution.

NC State Group Programs have made programmatic adaptations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and increase the safety of participants. The Study Abroad Office will carefully assess Group Program viability based on established criteria approximately three months prior to departure. If travel is restricted, the program director, with support from the Study Abroad Office, may request to continue with the program by submitting a petition to the Study Abroad Emergency Response Team (SAERT) for consideration.

Applicants to programs located in restricted travel areas should anticipate having to complete and submit a petition for final review by NC State’s Study Abroad Emergency Response Team (SAERT) before receiving ultimate approval to study abroad. Details about the petition process, requirements, and deadline will be made available to students during the application process. Students should complete the petition carefully and connect with the study abroad program provider for more risk management and emergency response details. Petition decisions will be made approximately three months prior to departure.

Students will be notified of whether or not a restricted travel policy petition is required on the “Go/No-Go” date based on their anticipated program start date. All petition notifications and subsequent SAERT decisions will be sent to students’ NC State Gmail accounts.

Program Start DateGo/No-Go DatePetition Due DateNotification Date
June 16 - July 13February 23March 6March 25
July 14 - August 17March 23April 3April 22
August 18 - September 15April 20May 8May 20
September 16 - October 15May 25June 5June 24

Financial Considerations

With increased uncertainties during the pandemic, there are also increased financial risks.

  • Students are strongly encouraged to obtain Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) Insurance and Trip Interruption Coverage, such as CISI or Gallagher, to help mitigate financial risks.
  • Students will want to wait until any necessary petitions are approved before making further financial commitments.
  • Students are individually responsible for any flight change fees or other individually arranged expenses.
  • If participants are required to quarantine or self-isolate, participants will be individually responsible for any associated additional expenses, such as additional housing (if a single room is needed) and meal delivery.
  • NC State Study Abroad can not provide refunds for any monies paid to outside entities.
  • All students are held to the NC State Study Abroad Withdrawal and Refund Policy and the Program Cancellation Policy.
  • Students participating on non-NC State programs should inquire about financial considerations for non-NC State programs with the host institution.