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COVID-19: Latest Updates for Education Abroad

For the latest university-wide information, please visit Together We Will

March 3, 2021


The Office for Education Abroad (EA) at Michigan State University (MSU) recognizes the current complexity of international travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are actively collaborating with the MSU Risk and Security Assessment Committee (RSAC) which reports to the Provost and carefully reviews the health, safety and security of our programs on a regular basis, using guidance and data from public health experts including the Harvard Global Health Institute, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of State (DOS), and local public health agencies. Decisions are made with the greatest care for the health, well-being and safety of our Spartans Abroad.

Program suspensions are generally prompted by considerations such as:

  • Quality and reliability of the local health system
  • Availability of COVID-19 testing
  • Rate of and outlook for community spread
  • Timeline and intensity of increases in numbers of cases
  • Impact on transportation networks
  • Guidance and data from public health experts
  • Entry and travel restrictions
  • Ability of local partners, host institutions, and MSU program directors to implement appropriate mitigation strategies

However, RSAC may also take into account additional factors that would affect the student experience.

Applications for summer, fall and academic year 2021 will be reviewed by the Office for Education Abroad, the Office of International Health and Safety, and, when necessary RSAC, on a regular basis with the health and safety needs of students as the top priority.

As MSU monitors and assesses the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that students remain as flexible as possible. It is strongly encouraged that students have an academic “back up” plan should changes in public health advisories, travel restrictions, or governmental regulations affect their ability to participate in a future program. It is also recommend that early financial commitments, such as airfare or housing, are not made until advised to do so by the Office for Education Abroad or the program director. 

Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their plans with their family and primary care physician or other health professionals such as International SOS to be sure that studying abroad is advisable given their personal health circumstances and personal risk tolerance. Students should also consider making an appointment with the MSU Travel Clinic or another travel health professional if you need immunizations, malaria prophylaxis, etc.

All standard Education Abroad Refund and Charge Policies apply for programs that have not been suspended by MSU.

The Education Abroad Advising Center continues to offer remote advising to students interested in participating in future programs, and is available through email, phone call, or Zoom.

Further questions can be sent to abroad(at)msu.edu

COVID-19 Pre-Travel Considerations

COVID-19 Travel Health Resources

COVID-19 Risk Levels Dashboard

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