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Santa Clara University

Study Abroad COVID 19 FAQs

For information on SCU’s response to COVID-19, see the main University webpage.

Last Updated: 05/17/2021

COVID 19 & Study Abroad

I have committed to participate in study abroad, can my program be cancelled?

To mitigate risk for students and families the University and/or the program provider/host institution may cancel or alter global programs at any time.

What happens if my program is canceled during the SCU application process, prior to student Confirmation of Participation on February 12, 2021?

Study Abroad will work with students to identify a second choice program. After Confirmation of Participation on February 12, 2021, students will have the option to: defer their participation in their nominated program to Spring 2022, apply to a virtual program offering, or withdraw their participation.  

How can I better inform myself about travel recommendations?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring COVID-19 risk in each destination and making travel recommendations. To prepare for your travel, you must regard CDC’s travel recommendation for my country up until the date of my departure and throughout my travel. I have accessed and read the link, COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.

Where can I find travel information for my destination?

The Department of State Safety and Security Alerts provide Travel Advisories for all destinations. 

I have a chronic illness and/or health concerns, is it recommended to travel during the pandemic?

The CDC recommends that travelers who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 avoid all nonessential air travel at this time. If students need to take extra precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), students should consult with their treating physician. 

What does SCU’s foreign travel and accident policy cover?

SCU’s foreign travel and accident policy covers pandemic-type incidents if the covered person contracts a virus. It does not cover evacuation based upon the threat of contracting the virus.  

What kind of complications should I anticipate when pursuing a study abroad opportunity during a pandemic? 

Pandemic complications such as travel bans, border closures, quarantine restrictions, and visa suspensions may impact students' ability to successfully and safely participate in global programs. 

If there are subsequent COVID-19 outbreaks, the country or area in which my university-sponsored program is taking place may unexpectedly close borders, return to strict social distancing, require quarantine, and restrict travel, which could prevent my return to the US for an indefinite time.

What should I consider when booking flights?

If a student’s global program requires them to purchase airfare, Santa Clara University strongly urges students to purchase fully refundable airfare, and/or consider travel insurance, which will reduce their financial losses if their program is canceled or interrupted.

If I commit to study abroad, what am I financially responsible for?

Any charges due to the pandemic, including, but not limited to, costs for country entry requirements such as quarantine, COVID-19 testing; re-entry requirements if students choose to travel outside their host country, costs incurred to comply with a host country regulation related to COVID-19 not listed herein or known beforehand.

What happens if I withdraw from my program after confirming my participation? 

Student accounts will be charged for the US dollar amount paid by SCU to third-party providers, organizations, or universities for any direct or indirect expenses resulting from their participation in an SCU-sponsored global program and for which the third-party organization was obligated to pay on the student’s behalf. See study abroad withdrawal policy and fees for complete information: https://www.scu.edu/globalengagement/study-abroad/policies--procedures/#Withdrawals 

Can there be changes to how my study abroad program is delivered due to COVID-19?

In response to the local environment or situation, the mode of instruction on a program may change before or during a students program, i.e., some or all of their program may need to shift to virtual or hybrid classes; date changes may take place; students may be required to depart the program site and move to another designated location to complete the program; students may be required to return to the US to complete the program remotely. Santa Clara University will communicate these changes to impacted students.

What happens if the instruction for all, or part of my program is delivered remotely?

Tuition and/or mandatory program fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the global program.

My Fall program hasn’t been cancelled yet but I’m concerned that it might be. Can I enroll in SCU courses just in case?

Students who are enrolled in an SCU Study Abroad program for Fall 2021 will be permitted to provisionally enroll in Fall courses at SCU, in case your study abroad program does not proceed as planned. 

In order to enroll in Fall courses, students are expected to participate in Mandatory May Advising. Please plan to meet with your faculty advisor to make a plan for Fall enrollment at Santa Clara. Once you have met with your advisor, your registration hold will be lifted so that you will be able to provisionally register for Fall classes during your assigned registration time. 

How long can I stay in my provisional SCU courses for Fall? 

Students can remain in their provisional enrollment for Fall through July 15. At that time, if a student’s study abroad program has not been cancelled, they will need to decide to confirm their Fall SCU courses or to continue with Fall study abroad as planned. If a student is continuing with Fall study abroad after July 15, the Registrar will replace their Fall SCU courses with the study abroad course, UNIV 199.  

What happens if my study abroad program is cancelled after July 15 and I’ve been dropped from my SCU Fall courses? 

SCU Study Abroad and the Registrar will do their best to assist students with late enrollment into available courses. However, we cannot guarantee that students will be able to enroll in their original course choices. Enrollment will be subject to availability.

What if I may need on-campus housing for Fall 2021? 

Students who need to secure Fall housing on campus should contact SCU Housing as soon as possible to discuss their options. Their email is housing@scu.edu.

Can I defer my participation to Winter/Spring 2022?  

Yes.  We encourage you to consider deferring your participation application to Winter/Spring 2022 if the program allows. Students should discuss their course plan, including studying abroad in a future term, with their academic advisor. We have made the process for deferring to spring simple - please complete this Winter/Spring 2022 Deferment form.

Be aware that most study abroad programs are 15 week semesters, meaning students who participate in spring programs often are abroad during SCU’s Winter and Spring quarters. Prior to deferring your participation, review the program dates carefully using the Program Database to confirm the dates will align with your schedule. 

Can I defer my participation to Fall 2022?  

No, but the Study Abroad Office is eager to work with students to identify an SCU global experience in the future. Programs and curricula change each year; while students may not defer from one academic year to the next they are welcome to reapply. If you are interested in studying abroad in Fall 2022-23, please plan to reapply in Fall 2021-22 when the 2022-23 application goes live. 

Is getting a COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for study abroad?

Yes. As stated in the President's April 27 COVID-19 Vaccine Policy Update for Students, Santa Clara University will require graduate and undergraduate students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 for Fall 2021. This requirement also applies to SCU-sponsored off-campus programs. The requirement will go into effect once at least one of the three currently available vaccines has received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the start of the fall term, whichever is later.

All study abroad and domestic off-campus study participants are required to complete the COVID-19 Vaccination Verification questionnaire in their Study Abroad Application by August 1, 2021.

Where can I get a vaccination?

For further guidance on where you can obtain the vaccine, please see the Santa Clara University FAQs website. 

Will exemptions be available for Study Abroad? 

The SCU’s COVID-19 Vaccine Policy indicates reasonable accommodations for medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination will be considered. Details about how this will be done, and how students can obtain medical exemptions, will be forthcoming.  Updates will be made available on the University’s Vaccine FAQ page on the Prepared SCU website. 

In addition to SCU’s Vaccine Policy requiring vaccine,immigration policies around COVID-19 are evolving country by country and proof of COVID-19 vaccination may be required to enter certain countries. Countries can update their requirements at any time.

I have questions and concerns about the vaccine requirement - can you help?

Yes, we are here to support you.  Please contact us at studyabroad@scu.edu if you have any concerns about fulfilling this requirement. 

What if I do not comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for study abroad?

Students who do not complete the COVID-19 Vaccination Verification in their study abroad portal by the August 1, 2021 deadline will be withdrawn from their study abroad program.

Summer 2021:
  • Argentina: Buenos Aires-Summer in Buenos Aires/CIEE
  • China: Shanghai - Business and Culture/CIEE
  • China: Shanghai - Internship/CIEE
  • Denmark: Copenhagen/DIS
  • England: London Summer/FIE
  • Global: Internships/API
  • Morocco: Rabat - Moroccan Studies/CIEE
  • Netherlands: Amsterdam - Business and Communications/CIEE
  • Northern Ireland: Belfast - Queen's University Belfast/Fulbright
  • Scotland: Edinburgh - Scottish Universities International Summer Schools/Arcadia
  • Scotland: Glasgow - Glasgow School of Art and the University of Strathclyde Summer Institute/Fulbright
  • Sweden: Stockholm/DIS
  • Wales: Aberystwyth - Aberystwyth University Summer Institute/Fulbright
Fall 2021:
  • Argentina: Cordoba/SCU
  • Australia: Brisbane/SCU
  • Australia: Brisbane/Arcadia
  • Australia: Melbourne/SCU
  • Australia: Sydney/SCU
  • Australia: Townsville - Tropical Biology/SCU
  • China: Shanghai - Business, Language & Culture/CIEE 
  • Greece: Athens/Arcadia
  • Ireland: Dublin - Parliamentary Internship/Arcadia
  • New Zealand: Auckland/Arcadia
  • New Zealand: Christchurch/Arcadia
  • New Zealand: Dunedin/Arcadia
  • South Africa: Cape Town/Arcadia
My program has been cancelled, what costs will be waived by SCU?

In the event that a students program is cancelled, SCU will waive the following costs:

  • Program deposits 
  • SCU Study Abroad Withdrawal Fee
  • SCU Study Abroad Program Fee

Students are responsible for:

  • Flight changes
  • Passport and visa charges
  • Immunization costs
  • Application fees
Can I study abroad on a non-SCU-approved program?

Students who pursue non-SCU approved study abroad programs are considered to be independent students, as they are required to take a leave of absence from Santa Clara University, and study abroad without university support. 

Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are strongly discouraged from studying abroad independently. We anticipate many programs will make the decision to cancel in-person study abroad programs and the timing of decisions may make it challenging for students to return to campus. Border closures and country-specific quarantine requirements are expected to continue for some time and may change without notice. If you choose to pursue study abroad independent of SCU please be aware that:

If a program requires a home school authorization form, please be aware that SCU Study Abroad, along with other SCU staff and faculty, cannot complete this form as student's participation in an independent program is independent of Santa Clara University. Students will need to communicate directly with their program to see if they are able to complete this requirement without Santa Clara University's authorization.

SCU Study Abroad highly encourages students to meet with a Drahmann Advisor prior to making the decision to study abroad independently to better understand how their academics will be impacted by studying abroad on a non-SCU-approved program. 

If I participate independently in my program that was previously approved by SCU, can I still receive SCU credit and grades?

If SCU makes the decision to cancel study abroad programs due to health and safety concerns, it means that University’s affiliation with the program abroad is suspended and SCU cannot support students on the program, even if the program was previously approved and the provider or university abroad is continuing. SCU cannot provide academic, financial, health, and safety support or resources to students who study abroad independently while withdrawn from the University.

SCU Study Abroad highly encourages students to meet with a Drahmann Advisor prior to making the decision to study abroad independently to better understand how their academics will be impacted by studying abroad on a non-SCU-approved program.

Students and families may make the difficult decision to withdraw from study abroad prior to departure for a variety of reasons. Students who wish to voluntarily withdraw from off-campus study after confirming participation in the program with SCU should contact the Study Abroad Office as soon as possible.

How do I withdraw from study abroad?

To formally withdraw, students need to complete the SCU Study Abroad Withdrawal Request Form.

It's important to formally withdraw from study abroad with SCU via the withdrawal request form because it allows us to:

  • remove students from our system
  • update their program provider/host institutions of their withdrawal
  • ensure they are not billed in the future for any costs they are not responsible for

Students and families can contact us anytime if they have any lingering questions about withdrawing at studyabroad@scu.edu 

If I withdraw from study abroad, will I be responsible for the $500 withdrawal fee?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SCU Study Abroad will waive the $500 withdrawal fee. 

What happens after I submit my request to withdraw?

The Study Abroad Office will notify the Registrar’s Office, Bursar’s Office and Financial Aid Office that the student has withdrawn, normally within three business days.  In addition, the Study Abroad Office will work with the program provider to determine the implications for grades, credits, and finances.

How soon will I be able to register for classes at SCU after withdrawing from study abroad?

Students will not be able to register for classes on campus during their assigned registration appointment until their withdrawal is fully recorded by the Registrar’s Office. 

Can I defer my program participation after I withdraw?

Students who withdraw may not defer their application to a subsequent term, but they may re-apply. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their intent to withdraw with a staff member in the Study Abroad Office to be certain they fully comprehend the academic and financial implications prior to making their decision.

 

Can I study abroad on a non-SCU-approved program?

Students who pursue non-SCU approved study abroad programs are considered to be independent students, as they are required to take a leave of absence from Santa Clara University, and study abroad without university support. 

Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are strongly discouraged from studying abroad independently. We anticipate many programs will make the decision to cancel in-person study abroad programs and the timing of decisions may make it challenging for students to return to campus. Border closures and country-specific quarantine requirements are expected to continue for some time and may change without notice. If you choose to pursue study abroad independent of SCU please be aware that:

If a program requires a home school authorization form, please be aware that SCU Study Abroad, along with other SCU staff and faculty, cannot complete this form as student's participation in an independent program is independent of Santa Clara University. Students will need to communicate directly with their program to see if they are able to complete this requirement without Santa Clara University's authorization.

SCU Study Abroad highly encourages students to meet with a Drahmann Advisor prior to making the decision to study abroad independently to better understand how their academics will be impacted by studying abroad on a non-SCU-approved program. 

If I participate independently in my program that was previously approved by SCU, can I still receive SCU credit and grades?

If SCU makes the decision to cancel study abroad programs due to health and safety concerns, it means that University’s affiliation with the program abroad is suspended and SCU cannot support students on the program, even if the program was previously approved and the provider or university abroad is continuing. SCU cannot provide academic, financial, health, and safety support or resources to students who study abroad independently while withdrawn from the University.

SCU Study Abroad highly encourages students to meet with a Drahmann Advisor prior to making the decision to study abroad independently to better understand how their academics will be impacted by studying abroad on a non-SCU-approved program.

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