Spring 2021, COVID-19

Returning From Abroad

U.S. Re-Entry Requirements

Effective January 26, 2021, all airline passengers (including U.S. citizens) to the United States must provide either:

  • a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel, or
  • a positive test result and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”
    • A letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that clears you to end isolation, e.g., to return to work or school, can be used to show you are cleared to travel, even if travel isn’t specifically mentioned in the letter.

Passengers must also attest, under penalty of law, to having received a negative qualifying test result or to recovery from COVID-19 and medical clearance to travel.
Airlines must deny boarding to passengers who do not meet these requirements.
See the CDC Proof of Negative Test Result page to view the order, complete the attestation, and to see FAQs.

Upon Your Return

  • Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home to self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home to self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
    • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.​​
  • ​If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home to self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.​
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Always ​follow state and local recommendations or requirements as well as NC State’s Community Standards.

Going Abroad

Petitions for Restricted Travel Areas

Over the past weeks the Study Abroad Office has continued processing student applications with the hope that we would see improvements and a decline in CDC Travel Health Notice levels and the DOS Travel Advisory levels, which would allow for programs to continue. Unfortunately, most countries in the world remain at a level 3 or above by both the CDC and DOS and as such are defined as a “Restricted Travel Area” in accordance with the NC State Restricted Travel Policy.

As of November 4, there has not been a decrease in notice or advisory levels; therefore; all Spring 2021 programs have been cancelled, except those offered at National Taiwan University.

At this time, and in accordance with the Restricted Travel Policy, the only way for students to potentially be allowed to continue on a study abroad program is by submitting a formal petition. Petitions for Restricted Travel Areas are accepted or denied by Study Abroad, in consultation with the Study Abroad Emergency Response Team and Provost.
Students seeking consideration, must submit a complete petition no later than 11:59pm EST Sunday, November 15.

Financial Commitments

If students proceed with an on-site deposit or related program purchases, Study Abroad strongly encourages them to consider purchasing Cancel for Any Reason and Trip Interruption insurance, such as CISI Cancel for Any Reason Insurance or Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk coverage to insure their airfare, housing deposits, and other required financial commitments (standard travel insurance is not sufficient as it no longer covers cancellations/interruptions due to COVID-19).

Please note that any of expenses paid to entities outside of the NC State Study Abroad Office are not refunded by the NC State Study Abroad Office.

Admin Fees, Refunds and Transfers

Study Abroad will begin processing admin fee refunds starting Monday, November 16.

If your admin fee was paid through the application payment gateway and the credit card you used is still valid, you will receive a refund to the same card within approximately 5-7 business days of making the request. If the card is no longer valid or you paid by check, refunds are requested through the NC State Controller’s Office. Once requested you will receive a refund within approximately 3-4 weeks.

Virtual Global Learning Opportunities

There are many ways to engage globally this spring through on-campus or virtual global opportunities, such as the Cultural Exchange Network or working towards the Global Perspectives Certificate. To enhance your spring NC State studies, apply for either of the following new global experiences by January 4.


September 29: NC State decision date

September 30: Next Steps Webinar/Q&A 

October 13: Student Commitment Deadline

November 4: Final call made for Spring programs

November 15: Petitions for Restricted Travel Deadline

November 20: Scholarship notifications

December 1: Mandatory Predeparture Conference Webinar, COVID-19: Mitigating Risks

Refund Policy

The Study Abroad Office has adopted a COVID-19 Admin Fee Refund Policy to offer students the most flexibility during these uncertain times, due to the global pandemic.

Students who applied to study abroad for Spring 2021 are eligible to withdraw their application prior to program start for any reason due to concerns related to COVID-19 and will receive a full refund on the admin fee.

The Study Abroad Withdrawal and Refund Policy applies to all other and future terms (including if you choose to defer your application to a future term).