Health & Safety Considerations for Summer 2022

The health and safety of students is NC State's highest priority. The Study Abroad Office is offering a reduced portfolio of NC State Group Programs with adaptations meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and increase the safety of participants. Students should also cautiously assess the situation based on their personal comfort level, personal risk tolerance, and financial considerations in mind.

Health Precautions

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
    • negative test results or proof of vaccination (and sometimes a booster) for entry to many public buildings or restaurants.
  • 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.

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.

The Study Abroad Office is offering a reduced portfolio of tentative NC State Group Programs with 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 in March for summer 2022. 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 for consideration.

Applicants to non-NC State 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 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.

Financial Considerations

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

  • 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 during the international portion of the program, participants will be individually responsible for any associated additional expenses, such as meals.
  • If quarantine or self-isolation extends beyond the length of a scheduled NC State program, students will also be responsible for additional fees such as student support fees and accommodation costs.
  • 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.