COVID-19 Updates and Guidance > 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.

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 determine the courses they need for degree progress and, in some cases, plan for visa processing. Here is the current status of programs in upcoming terms:

  • Winter & Winter-Spring 2021: Some programs are being offered with additional consideration for health and safety planning. All students have been notified of their program status.
  • Spring Break 2021: Some programs are being offered as virtual programs, while all other programs have been canceled.
  • Summer 2021: Some programs are being offered as virtual programs, some have been canceled, while others are still being planned as we review program feasibility and health and safety considerations. Final decisions about whether programs will move forward or not will be made around the application deadline.
  • Fall 2021 & Academic Year 2021-22: We are accepting applications for most programs and will review program feasibility and health and safety considerations closer to the program start dates. See other FAQs on this page for key information.

When a program is canceled, Study Abroad will notify students in a timely manner via email. Students will not be charged any tuition or fees and will be given the option to either switch to another study abroad program (pending health and safety concerns, space, and logistics, including visa processing), consider one of our virtual programs, or enroll in courses on campus.

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.

Under the CISI policy, any treatment for COVID-19 is covered as other illnesses, including testing, doctor visits, and hospitalizations. CISI will not cover testing that has not been recommended by a health professional (e.g. for peace of mind or to reduce the mandatory quarantine period). Visit CISI's COVID-19 FAQs to understand your coverage for COVID-19 related medical expenses.

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.

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