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Office of International Programs

Study Abroad COVID-19 Updates

For more information about Brown University's continued preparedness, action and response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please visit the University's Healthy Brown Community Response to COVID-19.

Brown’s highest priority is the health and safety of our students. In terms of study abroad programming and international travel, the University’s International Travel and Risk Assessment Committee (ITRAC) will continue to monitor public health and travel advisory guidance from local public health officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Department of State, and International SOS. This page will be updated as new information is available.

The Office of International Programs currently is working remotely. Please reach out to us at [email protected] or contact a member of the OIP staff directly for assistance. 

This page was last updated on January 19, 2021.

Summer 2021 Study Abroad

Am I allowed to study abroad during Summer 2021?

We realize this is a challenging time to be considering study abroad, but we encourage you to move ahead with planning as usual. Your program should keep you informed of any changes in program status, including program modifications, suspensions, or cancellations. Should Brown ultimately decide it is necessary to extend its current restriction on international travel for health and/or safety reasons for Summer 2021, OIP staff will work with students whose plans are affected.

Will Brown be offering Brown-sponsored  programs this summer?

Brown-sponsored summer programs will not be offered for Summer 2021. We encourage students to explore other program options, including those offered through the study abroad programs and universities the OIP partners with during the academic year.

If I am accepted into a program for Summer 2021, should I pay a deposit? What are my financial obligations should the program be canceled or if I decide not to go? 

Contact your program directly for complete information about the program refund policy, including program deposits, in the event the program is cancelled, if Brown continues its restrictions on undergraduate travel, or if you choose to withdraw. In most cases, due to the uncertainty with COVID-19, organizations are offering greater flexibility with program deposits and other financial commitments, however, each provider will vary and students should inquire directly. The Brown OIP staff is available to assist you in contacting your study abroad provider. 

What about booking my flight?

We recommend waiting until six weeks before your program start date or until Brown issues additional guidance on international travel before booking your flight. If you decide to investigate flight arrangements, we recommend that you confirm the airline’s policies on cancellation and change fees. If you are considering trip cancellation insurance, look into “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage when you book your flight, if it is available. Most general trip cancellation travel policies will not apply to cancelling due to the pandemic or coronavirus concerns. 

When will Brown announce a decision  about Summer 2021 study abroad?

As previously announced, all university-sponsored undergraduate international travel is currently suspended. The decision to resume international programming will be made in consultation with Brown’s Global Travel Risk Assessment Committee and will take into consideration a number of factors, especially student health and safety, evolving travel restrictions, student visas issuances, changes in entry requirements, and impacts on academic calendars around the world.

Brown will announce its decision about Summer 2021 study abroad with sufficient notice to ensure that all students who have applied to participate in a study abroad program have ample time to adjust their plans, likely in early April.

Spring 2021 Study Abroad

Will I be able to study abroad in the Spring 2021 semester?

Given the continued impact of COVID-19 on global public health, Brown University has made the difficult decision to extend the suspension of all University-sponsored undergraduate study abroad for Spring 2021. This program suspension includes all Brown and Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA) programs, as well as all approved partner programs and others for which students had successfully petitioned.

This decision was made in consultation with Brown’s Global Travel Risk and Assessment Committee in consideration of a number of factors, including student health and safety, country and site-specific health infrastructure restrictions, reduced flight availability, cessation of visa issuances, and restrictive entry requirements. In addition to Brown’s GTRAC recommendation, the University’s decision was informed by guidance from a number of national and international agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and International SOS, along with local country-specific government policies and public health mandates. 

We are announcing this decision now (October 2020) to ensure that all students have ample time to adjust their plans for the upcoming semester. While no Brown undergraduates will be permitted to participate in any study abroad programming this spring, the University is fully committed to assisting students who had applied in revising spring plans and considering study abroad options for the semesters ahead.

Will I be able to study abroad during a future semester? 

We encourage all students who are able to consider studying abroad during a future semester. Please contact your OIP study abroad advisor and — if you plan to participate in an approved partner program or one for which you’ve successfully petitioned — your program provider. 

Visiting students who planned to study through a Brown or CASA program should consult with their OIP program manager and with the study abroad office at their home institution.

Will study abroad proceed in Fall  2021?

Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for health and safety and for travel, Brown will continue to monitor the situation before making any determinations about study abroad for Fall 2021. We remain optimistic about the ability to offer study abroad programs next fall and encourage students to continue exploring study abroad options during that semester. In the event that study abroad for Fall 2021 is restricted, we will convey any decisions with as much advance notice as possible.  

Now that I am not able to study abroad this spring, what are my academic options with Brown? 

We encourage you to consult the Academic section of the Healthy Brown website and the Undergraduate FAQ site, which contain details on the 2020-2021 academic year calendar. The University will be announcing more information about Spring 2021 later this fall; if public health circumstances do not allow Brown to invite all students back to campus in the Spring, you would have the ability to enroll remotely for Spring 2021. 

How do I pre-register for spring semester courses at Brown?

 If you previously submitted a study abroad leave form to OIP, we have cancelled on your behalf your Study Abroad Leave for Spring 2021 with the Office of the Registrar. No further action is needed at this time. Your registration status will allow you to participate in Brown’s standard pre-registration process.

I receive financial aid and have already submitted my Study Abroad Budget Form. What should I do now that my plans have changed?

We have informed the Office of Financial Aid that no Brown students will be studying abroad in Spring 2021, and no further action is required from you at this time. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

I was planning to study abroad with an approved program provider. What do I need to do to withdraw my application or defer to another semester? Can I receive a refund if I submitted a deposit?

We have notified all approved and petition program providers (including direct enrollment programs) of Brown’s cancellation of study abroad for Spring 2021. In addition, all students who were planning to study on an approved or petition program must contact their program provider or host university directly to officially withdraw their application or to defer it to a later semester. If you have submitted a deposit or other fees, please ask the provider directly if you can receive a refund or apply it to another semester. Please reach out to your Brown study abroad advisor if you need assistance with this process.

If you have questions, please contact your OIP advisor directly or email us at [email protected].

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