COVID-19 Information

Please see the resources below and corresponding drop-down sections for important information about COVID-19 as it pertains to study abroad, study away, and international students.

travel.state.gov – Information from the US Department of State, includes travel advisories for specific countries as well as regionally specific information

Centers for Disease Control (Coronavirus page) – Information about COVID-19; including FAQs and travel advice

World Health Organization (Coronavirus page)– Coordinating daily reports on outbreaks and global tracking of COVID-19; as well providing advice on a global level for how to respond and prevent new cases of transmission.

Study Abroad/Away & COVID-19 

We will continue monitoring analyses and risk assessments from various agencies to make decisions as swiftly and responsibly as possible. Currently, we are planning a limited number of programs for fall 2021. Students should check Hornet Passport for updates.

We encourage all Study Abroad/Away applicants to stay in touch with CIP staff and to let us know if you have questions or concerns by emailing cip@kzoo.edu

FAQs for ALL aspiring applicants:

Is it safe to study abroad? 

All of our partners have initiated and follow COVID-19 protocols, including requiring social distancing and mask-wearing, as well as providing sanitizing stations and access to COVID-19 tests. Where appropriate, programs have also made adjustments in housing. We trust our partners and know they take the safety of Kalamazoo College students very seriously. There are inherent risks in study abroad, just as they are on our own campus. We encourage you to research your study abroad destination, follow the local public health guidelines while abroad, and be honest about your comfort level about traveling in the post-COVID era.

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting future programs and possibilities in 2021, 2022, and beyond? When will you make the final decision about programs running?

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect the world and our field of international education for the foreseeable future. As always, we will be in regular conversation with our partners about the impact of the pandemic on the local community and in the country, as well as the impact that hosting Kalamazoo students would have on the local community. We will continue to review travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State, the United Kingdom, and CDC travel advisories in the U.S. as well as local public health departments in cities and countries where we send students.

For fall 2021 programs, our goal will be to use this information to make a final decision regarding a program by July 1st, 2021.

My friend just received an email from the CIP indicating their program may be cancelled or delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What does this mean for my program?

We anticipate being able to run most, but not all, study abroad programs in the 2021-2022 academic year. We review reports from our partner institutions and organizations. Regions and health systems around the world have experienced disparate impacts due to the legacy of colonization and global inequality. It is possible your friend has applied to a program that is in a region in the world that will either continue to close borders to travel or will take longer to recuperate from the pandemic. As soon as we know we cannot run a program, we will notify students and if possible, offer an alternative.

Will I have an in-person experience or be on-line for my study abroad program?

Most Kalamazoo partner programs are developing and plan to offer in-person classroom instruction, as well as revising practices around housing and local activities to adhere to local COVID-19 requirements. As with any program or experience in the COVID-19 era, local infection rates or an increase in local hospitalizations may prompt new public health guidelines. This may mean students will need to pivot to an on-line learning environment hosted by the local institution to complete the academic program. In some instances, on-line classes may be for a specific time (like two weeks) and students would be expected to remain in-country.

What is travel like in the COVID-19 era?

Students should be prepared to present the airline with the results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in 24-72 hours prior to takeoff in order to board the airplane. In order to have a negative test, students must be mindful of behavior and social gatherings for the week leading up to the test and travel. It is likely that you will need to undergo another COVID-19 test upon arrival in-country and, depending on the entry requirements, may have to reside in a quarantine location, even if your test results are negative. The CIP will provide students support and guidance in this new travel era, including helping to arrange and cover the cost of in-country quarantine housing, if required by your program country’s health department.

For travelers returning to the U.S. or their home country upon the completion of their study abroad program, you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. [Source]

Will I have a financial or academic penalty if I decide not to go or am not allowed to go?

We are working with campus colleagues to make sure we can mitigate the financial and academic consequences for students. One way to do this is to advise students who are planning to study abroad in fall 2021 to register for Kalamazoo-based courses as a back up to study abroad plans. We will also make sure to make decisions regarding programs early enough to avoid any financial penalty for students who cannot participate due to cancellation (by the CIP, K, or the provider). If we do not cancel the program, and a student decides to withdraw on their own after committing, there may be some unrecoverable costs involved.

Will I be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine before traveling for study abroad?

Given the pace of the vaccination rollout in the U.S., it’s possible you won’t have access to a vaccine prior to fall 2021 travel. This is one of the great unknown variables of the moment. No country has announced a requirement to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to entry. However, the CIP will continue to monitor the situation and keep students informed on this front.

What about health insurance and COVID-19?

Students will need to provide proof that your insurance covers you outside the U.S. and covers you for a COVID-19 diagnosis, should you require treatment. If you are not sure about your plan, the CIP can enroll you in an insurance plan that we know covers COVID-19 for our students. It costs approximately $45.00 per month and we bill this cost directly to your student account.

FAQs for Current Juniors:

How do I know if I can study off campus fall quarter?

Please reach out to your department during winter quarter to ask what flexibility the department is offering seniors who wish to study abroad. Many departments have already communicated to seniors directly how SIP or senior seminar requirements may be managed if students elect to be off-campus during the fall. Discuss this with your advisor when you register for classes for spring quarter.

How much does the special fall quarter cost for seniors?

Seniors who study abroad in the fall will be eligible to earn the equivalent of 3 K-units and will be charged the Fall 2021 study abroad comprehensive fee for 3 K-units. (For planning purposes, the 20-21 comprehensive fee is $ 20,843. The fall 2021 fee will be announced in March). This will be billed around the first of August and your financial aid package will apply as it would any other quarter. 

What are the dates for the fall special program for seniors?

Most programs will begin around the end of August or the first week of September and will end early December. We will be able to confirm the dates by the end of spring quarter.

Can I do my SIP abroad?

Currently, Kalamazoo students cannot simultaneously be working on a SIP while in classes abroad. There are some exceptions to this and we will be working with students and departments to make sure this doesn’t become the only barrier to prevent seniors from studying abroad.

Which programs are available?

Students should have already received an email from the CIP regarding the options you would have. If you have additional questions or did not receive the email, please write cip@kzoo.edu

What is the deadline for juniors?

We will notify students when the fall quarter applications are available. We are asking students to have the application completed by Tuesday, March 9th. Students should be ready to commit to the program by the end of week 1 of spring quarter.

International Students & COVID-19

Please see our COVID-19 page specifically for International Students here.