Global Education & COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on: April 22, 2021

Decision Making

Will ASU students be able to participate in Global Education programs in 2021?

Will ASU students be able to participate in Global Education programs in 2021?

Yes, in some cases. ASU and our partner institutions and Global Education program provider organizations have cancelled a number of spring 2021 Global Education programs, including all spring break 2021 Global Intensive Experience programs. All affected students have been contacted through ASU email. However, ASU is currently moving forward with a number of other spring, summer and fall 2021 Global Education programs in destinations where student mobility from the United States remains possible. Students who wish to engage in an international activity, but who are unable to travel, may wish to consider our new Global Innovation Summer Programs.

Has ASU cancelled any Global Education programs due to COVID-19?

Has ASU cancelled any Global Education programs due to COVID-19?

ASU previously cancelled all Spring and Summer 2020 Global Education programs. Programs starting Fall 2020 and beyond are being reviewed on a case-by-case basis. All affected students have been contacted through ASU email.

How does ASU make decisions about its Global Education programs?

How does ASU make decisions about its Global Education programs?

ASU takes guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of State and our international security intelligence providers. When making decisions about specific programs, we also consider local conditions as well as input from peer institutions and our overseas partners. Prior to cancelling any Global Education program, we first explore all viable alternatives, including relocating the program to another destination.

Program Cancellation/ Withdrawal

What would happen if my Faculty Directed or Global Intensive Experience Global Education program is cancelled?

What would happen if my Faculty Directed or Global Intensive Experience Global Education program is cancelled?

If the Faculty Directed or Global Intensive Experience program is cancelled before the program’s official start date, students will receive a full refund of all Global Education Office (GEO) fees. Per the Payment and Withdrawal Policies, students will be responsible for any non-recoverable costs paid or committed by the GEO on the student's behalf prior to program cancellation. If your program is cancelled for any reason after it starts, it is highly unlikely any refunds will be available. While ASU will do its best to provide refunds as feasible, ASU will not be responsible for any personal expenses or losses incurred as a result of program cancellation (including, but not limited to, airfare, passport and visa fees). In addition, we will provide as much support as we can to ensure the students’ ability to expeditiously depart the host country.

The GEO will work with all students who received a GEO Travel Grant, Global Education Diversity Scholarship, or Sun Devils at Work scholarship for a program that has been cancelled. Students should work with their International Coordinator for more specific details.

Learn about Trip Cancellation/Cancel for Any Reason Insurance.

What would happen if my Partnership or Exchange program is cancelled?

What would happen if my Partnership or Exchange program is cancelled?

Partnership and Exchange program participants are permitted to proceed with their plans to study abroad with the understanding that they do so at their own risk. Any financial loss incurred because of program cancellation, travel or health issues related to COVID-19 will not be reimbursed by the Global Education Office (GEO). Students are strongly encouraged to review the Traveler Health and Safety Resources, Payment and Withdrawal Policies, and the COVID-19 Disclosure within their online application before making any decision to proceed.

The following is a list of important considerations for students interested in participating in Partnership or Exchange programs:

  • Travelers may not be able to enter the destination country based on current travel restrictions

  • A 14-day self-isolation/quarantine period is likely upon arrival in the destination country

  • Programs may be abruptly ended by the provider or host institution if conditions worsen

  • Travel restrictions may change while abroad, prohibiting students from returning to the U.S.

  • There may be a need to self-isolate upon return to the U.S.

The GEO will work with all students who received a GEO Travel Grant, Global Education Diversity Scholarship, or Sun Devils at Work scholarship for a program that has been cancelled. Students should work with their International Coordinator for more specific details.

How will I know if my program is cancelled?

How will I know if my program is cancelled?

The Global Education Office (GEO) will directly contact students with updates via email. The GEO reaches out to students’ designated emergency contacts only in very specific situations, such as when a student has been incapacitated or when we cannot reach the student. All members of the ASU community can find updates related to COVID-19 on this page, and at https://eoss.asu.edu/health/announcements/coronavirus.

What would happen if I choose to withdraw from a Global Education Office program that has not been cancelled?

What would happen if I choose to withdraw from a Global Education Office program that has not been cancelled?

ASU understands that personal tolerance for risk may vary, and that final decisions will be made between a student and his/her/their family. Global Education participants will be subject to the terms of the Payment and Withdrawal Policies that they signed within their online application. Whether the decision is made before or after the program begins, students should contact the Global Education Office (GEO) for coordination assistance as soon as a decision has been made, and should notify their academic advisor of their choice as well. If a student chooses to leave a program already in progress and return home, we respect that decision. The GEO will work with our partners to try to support the student’s completion of their work with that program, but awarding of academic credit will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed.

Learn about Trip Cancellation/Cancel for Any Reason Insurance.

What happens if my program is canceled and my degree requires that I participate in a Global Education program?

What happens if my program is canceled and my degree requires that I participate in a Global Education program?

You will need to consult with your academic advisor, department, or program director to see what alternatives may be available to fulfill the requirements of your major.

What happens if my program is canceled while it is in progress, forcing me to return early?

What happens if my program is canceled while it is in progress, forcing me to return early?

The Global Education Office will work with University leadership, our insurance provider(s), host universities, and program providers to facilitate faculty, staff, and students' return to the United States as quickly as possible. The Global Education Office will communicate with emergency contacts in the event of an abrupt, unexpected departure, as appropriate. Every effort will be made to ensure that you can maintain progress towards your degree and complete your academic work. The Global Education Office, however, cannot guarantee that ANY portion of your program fee will be refunded in this scenario.

Travel Logistics

Can students even apply for a U.S. passport at this time?

Can students even apply for a U.S. passport at this time?

You can still apply for a new or renewed U.S. passport, but processing times are about 10 - 12 weeks. U.S. Passport operations were significantly reduced in March 2020, temporarily suspending expedited passport processing and restricting service to cases involving life-or-death emergencies. As global conditions evolve and U.S. states begin to reopen, they are resuming operations in phases. Due to anticipated delays, if you are planning on participating in a Global Education program during Spring or Summer 2021, you are strongly encouraged to apply for a passport as soon as possible.

Refer to the U.S. State Department Update on U.S. Passport Operations for the most current information, and visit their Passport Agency and Center page to check on the status of passport agencies and centers. To see the current wait times to receive your passport and the return of your citizenship documents (such as previous passports and birth/naturalization certificates), please see the U.S. State Department’s Processing Times page.

Should I purchase refundable airfare?

Should I purchase refundable airfare?

The Global Education Office (GEO) strongly recommends that students purchase fully refundable airline tickets to safeguard against losses or penalties associated with withdrawal or program cancellation. The GEO assumes no responsibility for such losses or penalties.

Will I need to be tested for COVID-19 before I travel?

Will I need to be tested for COVID-19 before I travel?

This will depend on your program, and the country you are visiting. ASU will require all participants in Faculty Directed and Global Intensive Experience programs to provide a negative PCR test result (taken within 72 hours of the program start) prior to the program. Whether or not Partnership or Exchange program participants must take a test will depend on the host country’s entry requirements, airline requirements, or program provider/host institution protocols. The best places to find information on COVID-19 testing requirements in a specific country include: host country's Ministry of Health and government websites, U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notices, and the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories.

Will ASU pay for my COVID-19 test to enter my host country?

Will ASU pay for my COVID-19 test to enter my host country?

No. The ASU Global Education Office will not pay for any COVID-19 test required for you to enter your host country. ASU on-campus students can schedule a COVID-19 (PCR saliva-based) test through https://biodesign.asu.edu/research/clinical-testing/testing.

Will students need to take any specific action after returning from a Global Education Office program?

Will students need to take any specific action after returning from a Global Education Office program?

Students returning from any ASU Global Education Office program must follow the most current ASU travel guidance, which may include getting a PCR test after travel and staying home and self-quarantining for a number of days. Refer to the CDC’s guidelines for travel during COVID-19 – as well as the CDC's Travel Health Notices – for the latest guidance. Click here for state-by-state COVID-19 travel restrictions, guidelines and resources.

Student Experience

Will I be required to sign an additional waiver related specifically to COVID-19?

Will I be required to sign an additional waiver related specifically to COVID-19?

No. However, all participants will be provided a COVID-19 Disclosure within their online program application.

What should students expect when participating in Global Education programs during the coronavirus pandemic?

What should students expect when participating in Global Education programs during the coronavirus pandemic?

Students should anticipate that their experience abroad could be different than they may have originally imagined. Keep in mind the following as you set expectations for a term abroad:

  • Independent Travel: Independent travel outside of the city and/ or country your Global Education program is in may be limited. Country borders may be closed, quarantine measures may remain in place, and there may be sudden changes to countries entry and exit requirements. Do not make plans for travel outside of your host country.

  • Quarantine: Your semester abroad may include a 2-week quarantine in the event that you or another student (or faculty or staff member) are exposed to the coronavirus.

  • Academic Experience: Many programs and universities are implementing a hybrid online/in-person format for the upcoming semester. Be familiar and comfortable with both formats. There may be sudden changes to the academic format of your program and additional rules / restrictions may be put in place within the classroom spaces.

  • Social Experience: You may find that you are one of few Global Education participants on your program. In some cases, you may be the only participant on your program. You may have limited opportunities for in-person interactions with others.

Program Excursions and Activities: If your program typically offers excursions or other extra-curricular activities, these may be more limited than in previous years. Excursions may be altered or canceled while you’re on-site to adjust to current health and government recommendations.

What are the COVID-19 protocols in my host country?

What are the COVID-19 protocols in my host country?

The best places to find information on COVID-19 in a specific country include: host country's Ministry of Health and government websites, U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notices, and the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories. Global Education Office program participants will also receive relevant updates via AlertTraveler.

What happens if my Global Education Office program classes move online?

What happens if my Global Education Office program classes move online?

This answer will depend on the program model, how far into the program this change occurs, and the contingency plans of program providers and host universities. The ASU Global Education Office will coordinate with academic departments to determine the best course of action in each specific case and will communicate information to students.

Do I have to return early if my Global Education Office program converts to remote learning?

Do I have to return early if my Global Education Office program converts to remote learning?

If a program converts to remote learning due to COVID-19, it is important to follow the guidance issued by the ASU Global Education Office and your host university or program provider.

Health and Safety Matters

Can you guarantee my safety on my Global Education Office program?

Can you guarantee my safety on my Global Education Office program?

No. While no one can guarantee the safety of students, faculty, or staff in any location (on campus, in the United States, or abroad), or eliminate all risks from traveling and participating in a Global Education program, ASU is committed to taking reasonable steps to minimize students’ exposure to risk while participating in a Global Education program. As long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the ASU Global Education Office will: 

  • Communicate the risk of travel abroad to students, faculty, and staff before departure; 

  • Ensure that all ASU students, faculty, and staff participating in a Global Education Office program are enrolled in an international medical insurance policy

  • Provide 24/7 emergency assistance for ASU students, faculty, and staff abroad; 

  • Provide COVID-19 related training and information to students, faculty, and staff; 

  • Encourage all students, faculty, and staff to register with the U.S. Department of State through the STEP program; 

  • Regularly review and assess host country requirements or restrictions related to COVID-19 and communicate updates to faculty, staff, and students; and

  • Provide students, faculty, and staff with details on locating resources and assistance in their host country.

What additional measures is the Global Education Office putting in place due to COVID-19?

What additional measures is the Global Education Office putting in place due to COVID-19?

ASU offers a wide variety of programs in many countries, and the impact of COVID-19 on each program and destination continues to evolve. As a result, the additional measures taken will vary by program and may need to be adjusted multiple times before departure or while abroad. Examples of such additional measures include: 

  • Limiting capacity in student accommodations; 

  • Limiting capacity on program transportation;

  • Requiring students, faculty, and staff participating in ASU Faculty Directed and Global Intensive Experience programs to submit a negative PCR test prior to participating in the program (taken within 72 hours of the program start date); and

  • Limiting program and independent student travel outside the primary host country.

What happens if I become ill with COVID-19 and need to quarantine while abroad?

What happens if I become ill with COVID-19 and need to quarantine while abroad?

It depends on your program and your insurance coverage. The CISI international insurance policy provided by ASU (to all Faculty Directed, Global Intensive Experience, Exchange and most Partnership program participants) can reimburse up to $4,500 for lodging, meals and incidentals should you need to quarantine for up to 14 days. If you are on a Partnership program that provides a different insurance policy, be sure to consult with your Partnership program provider for details.

Insurance Matters

Does the international insurance provided by ASU include medical care if I get infected by COVID?

Does the international insurance provided by ASU include medical care if I get infected by COVID?

The CISI international insurance policy provided by ASU (to all Faculty Directed, Global Intensive Experience, Exchange and most Partnership program participants) covers testing and treatment for students diagnosed with COVID-19 or symptomatic students directed by a medical provider to receive a test and/or undergo treatment. 


View ASU’s CISI policy details or read more info on CISI's policy related to COVID-19

Does the international insurance provided by ASU include evacuation coverage due to COVID-19?

Does the international insurance provided by ASU include evacuation coverage due to COVID-19?

If you become ill with COVID-19 and a medical evacuation is necessary, that evacuation will be covered by the CISI policy provided by ASU (to all Faculty Directed, Global Intensive Experience, Exchange and most Partnership program participants). 


View CISI’s policy related to COVID-19 or view ASU’s CISI policy details

Should I purchase Trip Cancellation or Cancel for Any Reason insurance and/or refundable airfare?

Should I purchase Trip Cancellation or Cancel for Any Reason insurance and/or refundable airfare?

ASU will not require you to purchase additional insurance. However, all students are strongly encouraged to purchase additional travel insurance in the event that the student’s program is canceled or if the student is recalled to the U.S. because of COVID-19 (since these events will not be covered by most international insurance policies). 

Participants in Faculty Directed and Global Intensive Experience programs will be given an opportunity to opt-in to a Trip Cancellation/Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) insurance policy that ASU has negotiated for these programs. 

Partnership and Exchange program participants may wish to secure similar coverage for these and other risks not covered by ASU’s current international insurance policy by independently purchasing a Trip Cancellation/Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) policy.

Learn about Trip Cancellation/Cancel for Any Reason Insurance.

Additional Information

Who can I contact about Global Education programs and COVID-19?

For questions related to a specific study abroad program or student, contact the ASU Global Education Office. Media inquiries should be directed to mediarelations@asu.edu.