COVID-19 Impacts to Study Abroad

Spring 2021 Study Abroad

Updated October 16, 2020

Puget Sound has made the difficult decision to withdraw approval for all spring 2021 study abroad.

At this time, we are unable to confidently support study abroad due to current health and safety concerns, as well as uncertainty around the effects of the COVID-19 virus on travel in the coming months.

Puget Sound remains committed to the value of study abroad as a high impact learning experience and the university will support our students if they’d like to defer their study abroad experience to the fall 2021 semester. Additionally, OIP will continue to accept study abroad applications for the 2021-22 academic year. 

Updated Sept 18, 2020

The University of Puget Sound has not yet made a final decision about spring 2021 study abroad. We are reviewing many factors before making a final decision, including:

  • Entry Restrictions in study abroad destination
  • Flight Availability
  • US Department of State Travel Advisories
  • Centers for Disease Control Travel Advisories
  • Required Quarantine
  • Internal restrictions on movement
  • Viability of housing on-site that can accommodate potential student needs due to COVID

Puget Sound’s Travel Policy does not allow students to study abroad in countries with a US State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4 or a CDC Travel Warning Level 3

Following is Puget Sound’s Travel Policy:

The University of Puget Sound does not support travel to countries that have Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) and Level 4 (Do Not Travel) advisories issued by the U.S. State Department. In addition, the university does not support travel to regions classified as ‘Reconsider Travel/Avoid Travel/Do Not Travel’ within countries that have an overall travel advisory of Level 1 (Exercise Normal Precaution) or 2 (Exercise Increased Caution), unless an exception is explicitly stated in the text of the travel advisory for a specific city or zone within an area classified as ‘Reconsider Travel/Avoid Travel/Do Not Travel’ area. The university also does not support travel to countries listed on Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel health notices. Puget Sound reserves the right to consider any other U.S. Department of State or Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel or Health Related Advisories to amend its policy regarding university supported/related travel.

The Office of International Programs will be in touch with students registered to study abroad in spring 2021 as soon as we have additional information.

Fall 2020 Study Abroad

Updated Aug 27, 2020

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, Puget Sound has withdrawn approval to study abroad during the fall 2020 semester. The Office of International Programs (OIP) is still hopeful study abroad will run during the spring 2021 semester.

OIP will continue to accept study abroad applications for the 2021-22 academic year. 

For updated information concerning spring 2021 study abroad or any other questions, please contact OIP.

Puget Sound has withdrawn study abroad approval for all fall 2020 study abroad students.

Puget Sound will support students if they would like to defer their study abroad plan to the spring 2021 semester or a future semester.

It became increasingly clear that conditions with the COVID-19 pandemic had not improved enough to ease travel uncertainties or safety concerns for Puget Sound to be confident that our students would have a quality study abroad experience this fall. Therefore, Puget Sound has withdrawn study abroad approval for all fall 2020 study abroad students.

Recommended Next Steps for Students

  1. Enroll for fall Puget Sound courses, if they have not already done so
  2. Work with their faculty advisor to review their academic plan to determine when it would be best for them to study abroad during a future semester
  3. Contact  internationalprograms@pugetsound.edu and let us know if they would like to:
    • Defer their study abroad experience to the spring 2021
    • Defer their study abroad experience to the fall 2021 or a future semester
    • Withdraw from study abroad
  4. Contact their program provider directly and let them know their plans
  5. Contact Residence Life to arrange campus housing

Summer 2020 Study Abroad 

All Puget Sound summer 2020 approved study abroad programs have been cancelled and will not run during the summer 2020.

Spring 2020 Study Abroad and CARES Act Funding

Spring 2020 Study Abroad students who had unreimbursed flight cancellation fees, change fees, or other airfare/transportation costs related to travel earlier than planned home from your study abroad program, may be eligible for CARES Act funding.

Learn more and complete an application for CARES Act funding.

Spring 2020 Study Abroad Prorated Adjustments for Room and Board

Puget Sound will provide a prorated room and board adjustment to spring 2020 study abroad students regardless of whether their program provided a refund to the University on their behalf.  Students will receive a 45% adjustment of their original room and board charges as billed to them by Puget Sound, or the amount refunded to Puget Sound by their program provider, whichever is greater. 

Prorated adjustments for room and board will be provided to study abroad students as follows: 

  • Adjustments for room charges will be provided to students if they were billed for room by Puget Sound as part of their study abroad program. The adjustment corresponds to room fees for the period from March 25 to May 15, consistent with the adjustment period for on-campus students
  • Adjustments for board charges will be provided to students if they were billed for board by Puget Sound as part of their study abroad program.  The adjustment corresponds to board fees for the period March 25 to May 15, consistent with the adjustment period for on-campus students
  • Adjustments will be applied to each student’s account by Student Financial Services. These adjustments will first be applied to any outstanding account balance. Any remaining credit balance will be handled as follows: 
    • For students not graduating this spring, this credit will be applied to charges for the next term of enrollment.
    • For students graduating spring 2020, a refund of the credit balance will be issued.
      Student Financial Services will share more details with students via their pugetsound.edu email addresses in the coming weeks. We anticipate that credits will be posted during the week of April 20 and that refunds to seniors will be issued by May 24.