Fall 2020 > FAQs > Travel and study abroad

Travel and study abroad

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a COVID-19 Information for Travel website with the latest guidance and recommendations for countries around the world and risk levels.  With information changing so quickly worldwide, please check this site for the latest updates.

CDPH has advised that travelers returning from any country with a travel alert Level 3 should stay home and monitor their health for up to 14 days. If you are traveling or returned from any travel alert Level 3 country on or after February 28, please contact the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness at hpw@depaul.edu or 773-325-7129 as soon as possible. Absences for this purpose will be excused and alternate arrangements will be made for teleworking and online school assignments, if possible.​

DePaul's Study Abroad office is carefully and constantly monitoring the news regarding COVID-19 and how it may affect all of our study abroad locations. Some of the sources we are using include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of State, global risk management resources designed for study abroad professionals, news and media outlets, benchmarking with peer institutions, and conversations with local partner institutions and contacts in our program locations.

As situations arise, we are carefully considering each program on a case-by-case basis as we decide how to proceed. We take a variety of factors into consideration, with student safety being our top priority.  All decisions regarding program cancellations are made by the Study Abroad office and/or DePaul's COVID-19 Planning and Response Task Force.

DePaul University has canceled the following study abroad programs prior to their start, due to issues related to COVID-19:

  • All university-sponsored Fall 2020 and Academic Year 2020-21 study abroad programs, with the exception of:
  • Budapest: Studies in Commerce, Society and Culture in Eastern Europe
  • Cork: Study at University College Cork
  • France: Study at Sciences Po
  • France and Sweden: Atlantis II Dual Degree Program (virtual start this fall)
  • Madrid: Dual Degree JD/LLM in International and European Business Law
  • Non-DePaul Study Abroad Programs
  • Study Abroad Program - Ad hoc to Rome
  • Virtual International Internships
  • All university-sponsored December 2020 university-sponsored study abroad programs, with the exception of:
  • Argentina: Legal Dimensions of Doing Business in Latin America (transitioning to virtual program)
  • Canada: Ottawa International Animation Festival (transitioning to virtual program)
  • Czech Republic: Graduate Nursing Program (transitioning to virtual program)
  • Spain: An International Perspective on Work-Life Balance (transitioning to virtual program)

We will continue to monitor and assess all of our current and upcoming programs and will alert students and emergency contacts in the event of any potential changes.

At this time, most programs for Fall 2020, Academic Year 2020-21, and December 2020 have been canceled, often with the option for students to instead move their participation to an upcoming term. A small number of Fall 2020, Academic Year 2020-21, and December 2020 programs are currently moving forward, either in-person or virtually. All programs starting in Winter 2021 and beyond are currently proceeding as planned. 

See the "Which study abroad programs have been canceled?" FAQ for more details.

Despite uncertainty regarding the pandemic and the U.S. Department of State’s current alert, we are moving forward with program planning in order for participating students to select the courses they need for degree progress and, in some cases, plan for visa processing.  

If any programs must be canceled, Study Abroad will notify students in a timely manner via email with a copy to their emergency contact. Students will not be charged any tuition or fees and will be given the option to 1) switch to another study abroad program (pending health and safety concerns, space, and logistics, including visa processing) or 2) enroll in courses on campus.

Study Abroad has also modified the standard withdrawal policy. If a student commits to a program and then decides to withdraw 90+ days prior to the program start date, they will not be charged any withdrawal fees.  Students who withdraw within 90 days of the program start date, especially students with unexpected medical situations, can submit a Withdrawal Fee Appeal. Study Abroad will be as accommodating as we are able to, given the current global circumstances.

If DePaul University makes the decision to cancel an upcoming program, students will be refunded 100 percent of their program fee. If students have been registered in any associated classes and the classes have not started, they will be withdrawn from the classes and refunded 100 percent of tuition. If any associated classes have already started, students will either complete an adapted version of the class on-campus or be withdrawn from the class and refunded 100 percent of the tuition, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

DePaul University is not responsible for any additional expenses related to study abroad programs which are outside the program fee (e.g. flights not included in the program fee, housing arrangements, visa/passport fees, etc.) and all costs that students may incur related to non-program fee expenses are their responsibility.

If a program is canceled while students are on-site, DePaul will make every effort to refund recoverable costs to students.

We understand that the decision to study abroad might be particularly difficult at this time. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has changed how all of us approach our everyday lives, with new health and safety measures and a heightened degree of uncertainty surrounding much of what used to be commonplace. Everyone has their own tolerance for uncertainty and risk, and we encourage students to discuss their plans with their support network as they arrive at their decision.

If a current student abroad decides to withdraw, DePaul will work with them to either complete an adapted version of class(es) on-campus or be withdrawn from the class(es) and refunded 100% of the tuition, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Under our modified Study Abroad Withdrawal Policy, there is no withdrawal fee for students who decide to withdraw more than 90 days prior to their program start date. Students who withdraw within 90 days of the program start date, especially students with unexpected medical situations, can submit a Withdrawal Fee Appeal. We will be as accommodating as we are able to, given the current global circumstances.

If a student gets sick or students need to be evacuated from a study abroad program location due to COVID-19 or any other reason, DePaul University relies on our international travel health and accident insurance partner and its 24/7 medical and security partner to provide assistance securing flights and/or other transportation home. All students do need to adhere to any local or governmental restrictions on travel to or from areas of mandatory quarantine.

In the event that a DePaul student's travel is disrupted due to mandatory or recommended quarantine, absences from class will be excused and alternate arrangements will be made for completing assignments. If a student is required to remain in the study abroad destination after the program ends due to mandatory quarantine, DePaul will work with onsite contacts to help provide support while they wait to return home.

Study Abroad is operating a virtual office and is available by Zoom, phone, or email. Advising appointments and Study Abroad 101 sessions are being held daily.

Students with questions about study abroad programs should contact their Study Abroad advisor.  The virtual office page lists all the different types of programs available and the corresponding advisors. All advisors are available via e-mail and some have appointment scheduling via BlueStar. Phone and Zoom video advising sessions are also available—just contact a Study Abroad advisor to schedule a call.

General study abroad questions may also be directed to the DePaul Study Abroad office at abroad@depaul.edu or 312.362.6962. We will accept all documents, including Course Planners, host institution application materials, transcripts, etc. via email to abroad@depaul.edu.

All students and their emergency contacts will be contacted by Study Abroad if the status of their program changes or if there are any significant updates to share regarding their program and/or the COVID-19 outbreak. This FAQ page will also be updated with any new information related to COVID-19 and its impact on study abroad programs at DePaul.

Members of the media should contact DePaul Media Relations.

Submit a question

If you can’t find an answer that you’re looking for, submit a question to our COVID-19 response team.