Exploring U-M’s Opportunities Around the World

 

COVID-19 & Travel

This page addresses frequently asked questions and provides resources for U-M travelers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Access the FAQs through the categories below or through the COVID-19 & Travel FAQs PDF version.

Visit Warnings & Restrictions to determine current travel policies/guidelines. 

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQS for Students


CAN STUDENTS TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY FOR UNIVERSITY-RELATED PURPOSES?

All countries outside the U.S. are currently under a U-M Travel Warning or Travel Restriction. See the Global Michigan Travel Warning & Restriction page for country details and  travel requirements for undergraduate and graduate students.

HOW CAN I DETERMINE IF MY TRIP IS CONSIDERED U-M RELATED TRAVEL (UMRT)?

Students should review this document to determine if a trip University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT)

Non-UMRT travel is considered personal travel. See the International Travel Policy, SPG.601.31 for details. 

Note about taking classes remotely or from one’s home country:

In general, working remotely and taking classes remotely from outside the United States are not considered University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT). For example, a student living in their home country and taking U-M courses remotely is not considered to be on UMRT.

If students travel to a country outside the United States (including to U.S. Territories) for the primary purpose of engaging in location-specific U-M related work, internship, research, or study, then that travel is considered to be UMRT – even if it is in their home country. In these cases, the travel is an essential component of completing their U-M activity and they are subject to SPG 601.31 for international travel.

 

CAN STUDENTS TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY FOR PERSONAL TRAVEL (NOT UMRT)?

Please note that there are restrictions in place for traveling abroad for University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT). The University of Michigan does not prohibit personal travel, though any travel during COVID-19 should be carefully considered. 

Students wishing to travel internationally for personal reasons that are not UMRT should consider the wide range of risks, including health risks, financial risks, academic risks, visa and entry restrictions, and the possibility of being stuck in-country for an indefinite period of time because of airport closures or entry/exit restrictions.

Students who do choose to travel must follow any guidelines for returning to campus, such as practicing enhanced socially distancing before engaging in in-person activities on campus, if required. See Campus Maize & Blueprint for updated guidance.

Students choosing to travel for personal reasons may still purchase U-M’s Travel Abroad Health Insurance and may register in the U-M Travel Registry, so U-M can contact you in the event of an emergency. 

CAN STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS TRAVEL AT THIS TIME?

Sponsored Student Organizations, and any student traveling on University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT), must follow U-M travel policies. Details for international travel are available on the Global Michigan Travel Warning & Restriction page. For U.S. Off-Campus Engaged Learning Guidance for U-M Students during COVID-19, see Engaged Michigan for updates.

Sponsored Student Organizations are encouraged to connect with the Center for Campus Involvement before conducting any activities during COVID-19 to determine if there are additional requirements.

HOW ARE U-M TRAVEL WARNING AND U-M TRAVEL RESTRICTION DESTINATIONS DETERMINED?

The International Travel Oversight Committee reviews U-M Travel Warning and Restriction destinations on an iterative basis using a variety of sources, including: US Department of State Travel Advisories, CDC Travel Notices, CDC COVID-19 risk levels, other non-U.S. government advisories, and U-M’s assistance provider’s risk ratings.  As countries move from U-M Travel Restriction status to U-M Travel Warning status, more student travel opportunities may become available. 

Any updates to U-M Travel Warning & Restrictions will be posted on this Global Michigan page. 

Countries designated as U-M Travel Warning destinations only take into account health and safety conditions, not entry requirements. Travelers must verify their ability to enter a country before planning travel. 

HOW DOES U-M DETERMINE IF U-M STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS WILL PROCEED?

Programs may open study abroad applications in hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic will improve. Please note that each U-M School/College considers a number of factors when deciding whether or not a study abroad program will proceed:  

  • U-M Requirements: All U-M managed study abroad programs are subject to the U-M International Travel Policy (SPG 601.31).  U-M requirements include: 
    • The program must be reviewed by the International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) before students financially commit to the program. Please note that each program has specific financial commitment dates. 
    • If the destination is under U-M Travel Restriction by the time financial commitments must be made, the program will not run. 
    • Travel warning/restriction details and student travel requirements are available on Global Michigan.
  • Planning: Significant planning goes into each study abroad program. Students often plan at least a year ahead to prepare their applications, map out their courses, make financial arrangements, and select housing that takes their time abroad into account. Similar planning is needed for Schools and Colleges, as they design the learning experiences, reserve sites, hire instructors, secure accommodations, etc. Contracts are signed and students make deposits several months in advance of departure. If there is significant uncertainty about conditions at the host location (including COVID-19), Schools and Colleges may cancel a program in time for students to avoid financial commitments and make alternate plans for the upcoming semester.
  • U-M Schools and Colleges may determine that certain providers or partner institutions do not have the capacity to meet certain COVID-19 health and safety measures for U-M students and/or the host community. There may also be cases where the provider or partner institution makes the decision not to run programs.
  • U-M Schools and Colleges may decide to run a smaller number of programs (or no programs) during COVID-19 due to academic concerns, the financial viability of a particular program, or other unit-specific reasons. 

For additional details, please contact the U-M office sponsoring your program.

I AM AN UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT AND HAVE APPLIED FOR A U-M STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM, BUT MY DESTINATION COUNTRY IS STILL A U-M TRAVEL RESTRICTION. CAN I STILL PARTICIPATE IN THIS U-M PROGRAM?

If there is a U-M Travel Restriction for your specific destination by the time financial commitments must be made, your program will not run. Before a program can run, the country must have no Travel Restriction and the program must be approved by the International Travel Oversight Committee. See Global Michigan for the current listing of U-M Travel Restriction and Warning destinations.

Many study abroad applications are open in hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic will improve and that the U-M Travel Restriction for that country will be removed before students need to make financial commitments and in time to make alternate academic arrangements. As countries move from U-M Travel Restriction status to U-M Travel Warning status, more student travel opportunities may become available. 

Please do not make any financial commitments, including for housing, flights, program fees, and others while a U-M Travel Restriction remains in effect for your destination. For additional details, please contact the U-M office sponsoring your program.

WHAT WEBSITES CAN I REVIEW TO DETERMINE THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVELING TO ANOTHER COUNTRY?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, entry requirements for countries have changed regularly, including details about:

  • Who is allowed to enter the country, including requirements for travelers arriving from different countries, or requirements based on traveler’s nationality. 
  • What immigration forms or COVID-19 tests need to be completed before departing.
  • Health regulations upon arrival. Note some countries may require visitors to quarantine in their own residence or in specific hotels at the cost of the traveler and require the traveler to follow specific health procedures, such as testing, downloading public health apps, etc.  
  • Travelers who do not follow entry requirements may not be allowed to enter the country and are subject to the host country laws, rules, and regulations. 

The best way to determine entry requirements is to contact the consulate or embassy of your host country.

Additional resources include:  

HOW DO I OBTAIN THE COVID-19 TESTING NEEDED TO ENTER ANOTHER COUNTRY?

Other countries may have entry requirements that include having a specific type of COVID test taken at a specific time before departure.   Visit the University Health Services COVID-19 Testing for International Travelers for steps.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO WHEN I TRAVEL TO CAMPUS FROM ANOTHER U.S. STATE OR FROM ABROAD?

Arriving by domestic flight, bus or train

All faculty, staff and students arriving from domestic locations via plane, bus or train are expected to follow the COVID-19 prevention measures (wear face covering, social distance, limit contact with others) outlined in the Enhanced Social Distancing FAQ. These individuals also are encouraged to stay home as much as possible for a period of 14 days following their travel and should schedule COVID-19 testing within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers arriving from within the United States have no restrictions for attending class, work or going out for essentials (groceries, banking, etc.) and they may use public transportation to get to their destination.

Additional guidance for international air travelers:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States. As detailed on the CDC Testing and International Air Travel page, requirements include: 

  • Per the CDC, International air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. For additional information see the U.S. Department of State Fact Sheet for Required Negative COVID-19 Test for Travel to the US.
  • Get tested within 72 hours after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel.
    • Testing appointments are available to all members of the U-M community throughout the winter term through the Community Sampling & Tracking Program. Those arriving from international destinations are directed to get tested at the Intramural Sports Building location.
    • Individuals who do not have an Mcard will need to register for the CSTP program here in advance of coming to get tested.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
    • Please note that fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from the stay home for 7 days after travel requirement. See this FAQ for details about quarantine exemptions for fully vaccinated individuals.
    • If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days after travel.
  • Follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.
  • Follow U-M COVID-19 Enhanced Social Distancing protocols as outlined on the Campus Maize & Blueprint site
  • Delay your travel if you are waiting for test results.

See the International Center website for additional guidance for international students, scholars, and employees.

Before you travel, please participate in Enhanced Social Distancing during the 14 days prior to your travel, per U-M guidance. 

I WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN A NON-UM EDUCATION ABROAD PROGRAM. CAN U-M SIGN MY PARTICIPATION FORM FOR THIS NON-UM PROGRAM?

Undergraduate student University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT) , including study abroad, is prohibited when there is a U-M travel restriction in place. The U-M will not approve or endorse any non-U-M undergraduate study abroad programs while a U-M travel restriction is in place.

Students pursuing independent study abroad programs (not UMRT) may obtain verification of enrollment or transcripts from the Registrar’s Office: https://ro.umich.edu/records-registration/enrollment-verification. Students can offer this as documentation to external study abroad program providers, and explain that U-M advisors cannot sign approval forms while a U-M travel restriction is in place. For additional details about U-M travel policy and U-M warnings/restrictions, please see https://global.umich.edu/travel-resources/warnings-restrictions/

Please note that U-M advisors can sign study abroad participation forms for U-M managed programs, though approval will be contingent on the location moving from a U-M Travel Restriction to a U-M Travel Warning before the program begins. Undergraduate travel to a U-M Travel Restriction location remains prohibited.  

I AM TAKING REMOTE CLASSES FROM MY HOME. DO I NEED TO REGISTER ANY TRAVEL?

No. Since you are taking classes from your home (even if your home is outside of the United States) and are not traveling, you are not required to register travel. 

CAN MY U-M TRAVEL ABROAD HEALTH INSURANCE (GEOBLUE) OR THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN COVER THE COST OF A RETURN FLIGHT BECAUSE OF COVID-19?

Because COVID-19 pandemic is a well documented event and is considered a “known risk” by the insurance underwriters, GeoBlue does not cover the cost of a return flight because of a COVID-19 outbreak. Similarly, U-M will not cover the cost of flight change fees or new return flights for travelers who choose to go abroad during COVID-19.  Faculty, staff, and students willing to travel during COVID-19 must ensure that they are able to cover the costs of travel if they need to return to their home country earlier than expected. Faculty, staff, and students who are not able, or not comfortable with, covering potential travel expenses due to COVID-19 should not travel. These possible expenses include return flights and costs associated with having to stay in-country for an indefinite period of time because of border closures.

GeoBlue benefits will cover most medical issues, including medically necessary COVID-19 testing and treatment, visiting a hospital or clinic because of illness, and many other medical issues. GeoBlue also covers evacuations for certain political crises and natural disasters. GeoBlue does not cover COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic individuals, quarantine costs (housing, food, etc), or other costs unless listed under the GeoBlue coverage benefits that students receive after purchasing GeoBlue. Details are on the GeoBlue COVID-19 updates page and the UHS Travel Abroad Health Insurance page

ARE U-M EMERGENCY FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR UNANTICIPATED TRAVEL DISRUPTIONS?

U-M Office of Financial Aid and the Dean of Students Office have limited to no emergency funds at this time. 

Verify financial contingency plans, either with your U-M department or your own personal funds, in the event of unanticipated travel disruptions, which include but are not limited to:

      • Pre-departure flight cancellations in the event the COVID-19 situation in the destination country deteriorates.
      • Early departure from the destination country in the event the COVID-19 situation in the destination country deteriorates. Please note that last minute flights or repatriation flights are expensive and can cost in excess of 3000 USD.
      • Living costs associated with being in-country longer than intended in the event of border / airport closures or not meeting exit requirements, such as testing positive for COVID-19 before departure.
      • COVID-19 related costs, including quarantine costs, testing, etc. 

Students must ensure that they have emergency funds while traveling during the pandemic, whether personal funds or verify that their U-M department has emergency funds that can be used for unexpected costs. The U-M Office of Financial Aid and the Dean of Students Office have limited to no emergency funds at this time. 

FAQS for Faculty/Staff


CAN U-M FACULTY AND STAFF USE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN FUNDS FOR INTERNATIONAL OR DOMESTIC TRAVEL AT THIS TIME?

The U-M suspension of non-essential travel has been revoked, effective July 1 , 2021. Faculty and staff should follow school, college, unit specific travel approval steps, if any.

 Faculty and staff traveling internationally for U-M related purposes need to:

    • Register travel in the U-M Travel Registry
    • Ensure that the activity follows relevant health, security, and immigration regulations, including those related to COVID-19 health regulations and exit and entry requirements. To determine entry  requirements and detailed COVID-19 specific information, visit the COVID-19 Country Specific Information for your destination country.
    • For faculty and staff taking students abroad, see the “Additional Requirements for Group Travel Abroad” below.
    • Plan to follow CDC and U-M guidelines for returning to the U.S. from abroad. See CDC and U-M Campus Blueprint website for details.

Details are available on the Global Michigan Travel Warning & Restriction page. 

HOW CAN I DETERMINE IF MY TRIP IS CONSIDERED U-M RELATED TRAVEL (UMRT)?

Faculty or Staff members who travel abroad for the primary purpose of location-specific work (research, conferences, field-work, etc.) are considered to be on UMRT. 

Non-UMRT travel is considered personal travel. See the International Travel Policy, SPG.601.31 for details. 

Note about working remotely outside of the United States: In general, working remotely or taking classes remotely from outside the United States are not considered University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT).

For example, if a faculty or staff member opts to work from another country for personal or other reasons (e.g. visa delays, travel constraints, living in their home country etc.), they are not considered to be on University of Michigan Related Travel and are not subject to SPG 601.31 for international travel. Similarly, a student living in their home country and taking U-M courses remotely is not considered to be on UMRT.

If faculty, staff, or students travel to a country outside the United States for the primary purpose of engaging in location-specific work, research, or study, then that travel is considered to be UMRT. In these cases, the travel is an essential component of completing their U-M activity and they are subject to SPG 601.31 for international travel.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO WHEN I TRAVEL TO CAMPUS FROM ANOTHER U.S. STATE OR FROM ABROAD?

Arriving by domestic flight, bus or train:

All faculty, staff and students arriving from domestic locations via plane, bus or train are expected to follow the COVID-19 prevention measures (wear face covering, social distance, limit contact with others) outlined in the Enhanced Social Distancing FAQ. These individuals also are encouraged to stay home as much as possible for a period of 14 days following their travel and should schedule COVID-19 testing within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers arriving from within the United States have no restrictions for attending class, work or going out for essentials (groceries, banking, etc.) and they may use public transportation to get to their destination.

Additional guidance for international air travelers:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States. As detailed on the CDC Testing and International Air Travel page, requirements include: 

  • Per the CDC, International air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. For additional information see the U.S. Department of State Fact Sheet for Required Negative COVID-19 Test for Travel to the US
  • Get tested within 72 hours after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel.
    • Testing appointments are available to all members of the U-M community throughout the winter term through the Community Sampling & Tracking Program. Those arriving from international destinations are directed to get tested at the Intramural Sports Building location.
    • Individuals who do not have an Mcard will need to register for the CSTP program here in advance of coming to get tested.
    • Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
    • Please note that fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from the stay home for 7 days after travel requirement. See this FAQ for details about quarantine exemptions for fully vaccinated individuals.
    • If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days after travel.
  • Follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.
  • Follow U-M COVID-19 Enhanced Social Distancing protocols as outlined on the Campus Maize & Blueprint site
  • Delay your travel if you are waiting for test results.

See the International Center website for additional guidance for international students, scholars, and employees.

Before you travel, please participate in Enhanced Social Distancing during the 14 days prior to your travel, per U-M guidance. 

WHAT WEBSITES CAN I REVIEW TO DETERMINE THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR TRAVELING TO ANOTHER COUNTRY?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, entry requirements for countries have changed regularly, including details about: 

  • Who is allowed to enter the country, including requirements for travelers arriving from different countries, or requirements based on traveler’s nationality. 
  • What immigration forms or COVID-19 tests need to be completed before departing.
  • Health regulations upon arrival. Note some countries may require visitors to quarantine in their own residence or in specific hotels at the cost of the traveler and require the traveler to follow specific health procedures, such as testing, downloading public health apps, etc.  
  • Travelers who do not follow entry requirements may not be allowed to enter the country and are subject to the host country laws, rules, and regulations. 

The best way to determine entry requirements is to contact the consulate or embassy of your host country. 

Additional resources include:  

CAN STUDENTS TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY FOR UNIVERSITY-RELATED PURPOSES?

All countries outside the U.S. are currently under a U-M Travel Warning or Travel Restriction. See the Global Michigan Travel Warning & Restriction page for country details and  travel requirements for undergraduate and graduate students.

CAN STUDENTS TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY FOR PERSONAL TRAVEL (NOT UMRT)?

Please note that there are restrictions in place for traveling abroad for University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT). The University of Michigan does not prohibit personal travel, though any travel during COVID-19 should be carefully considered. 

Students wishing to travel internationally for personal reasons that are not UMRT should consider the wide range of risks, including health risks, financial risks, academic risks, visa and entry restrictions, and the possibility of being stuck in-country for an indefinite period of time because of airport closures or entry/exit restrictions.

Students who do choose to travel must follow any guidelines for returning to campus, such as practicing enhanced socially distancing before engaging in in-person activities on campus, if required. See Campus Maize & Blueprint for updated guidance.

Students choosing to travel for personal reasons may still purchase U-M’s Travel Abroad Health Insurance and may register in the U-M Travel Registry, so U-M can contact you in the event of an emergency. 

CAN STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS TRAVEL AT THIS TIME?

Sponsored Student Organizations, and any student traveling on University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT), must follow U-M travel policies. Details for international travel are available on the Global Michigan Travel Warning & Restriction page. For U.S. Off-Campus Engaged Learning Guidance for U-M Students during COVID-19, see Engaged Michigan for updates.

Sponsored Student Organizations are encouraged to connect with the Center for Campus Involvement before conducting any activities during COVID-19 to determine if there are additional requirements.

I AM A U-M FACULTY OR STAFF MEMBER ADVISING STUDENTS INTERESTED IN INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL DURING COVID-19. WHAT GUIDANCE SHOULD I PROVIDE STUDENTS?

  1. Overview of Travel Approval Processes: U-M faculty or staff members advising students interested in international travel can view Global Michigan’s Travel Warning and Restriction page, view the Safety Plan approval process flowchart for an overview of travel approval processes, or email umich-itoc@umich.edu with questions,.  Students can also email umich-itoc@umich.edu with questions.  
  2. Destination Country Requirements: Each country has its own entry requirements and students should familiarize themselves with travel safety resources, including entry requirements and public health guidelines (see bottom of COVID-19 & Travel page for resources). 
  3. U-M School/College/Unit Requirements: 
    1. Understand student’s financial contingency plans and their unit’s ability to financially support international travel in the event of a COVID-19 related travel disruption, especially considering the U-M Office of Financial Aid and the Dean of Students Office have limited to no emergency funds at this time. Travel during COVID-19 may incur unanticipated expenses, including living costs associated with being in-country longer than intended in the event of border closures, high flight costs/repatriation flights to the student’s home county, quarantine costs, etc. 
    2. For University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT) – including to use U-M funds for International travel, students must complete a Safety Plan and receive International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC) approval in order for funding to be disbursed.
  4. U-M Travel Requirements:  Details of U-M international travel requirements are on Global Michigan and on the Safety Plan approval process flowchart. A summary is below: 
    1. Undergraduate students are prohibited from traveling to a U-M Travel Restriction destination, but may travel to a U-M Travel Warning destination with ITOC approval. Graduate students may travel to either a U-M Travel Warning or Travel Restriction destination with ITOC approval.
    2. Complete an Individual Safety Plan for International Travel application to be reviewed by ITOC. See an example Safety Plan here.
    3. Register travel with the U-M and obtain U-M Travel Abroad Health Insurance: https://global.umich.edu/travel-resources/register-your-travel/
    4. Ensure that they are following entry guidelines and all laws/guidelines in their intended travel destination. 
    5. Verify financial contingency plans in the event they have unanticipated travel disruptions, such living costs associated with being in-country longer than intended in the event of border closures, high flight costs/repatriation flights to the student’s home county, quarantine costs, etc. Please note the U-M Office of Financial Aid and the Dean of Students Office have limited to no emergency funds at this time.

I AM AN ADVISOR AND HAVE STUDENTS WHO LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN A NON-UM EDUCATION ABROAD PROGRAMS. CAN U-M SIGN THEIR PARTICIPATION FORM FOR NON-UM PROGRAMS?

Undergraduate student University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT) , including study abroad, is prohibited when there is a U-M Travel Restriction in place for a specific country. The U-M will not approve or endorse any non-U-M undergraduate study abroad programs while a U-M Travel Restriction is in place.

Students pursuing independent study abroad programs (not UMRT) may obtain verification of enrollment or transcripts from the Registrar’s Office: https://ro.umich.edu/records-registration/enrollment-verification. Students can offer this as documentation to external study abroad program providers, and explain that U-M advisors cannot sign approval forms while a U-M travel restriction is in place. For additional details about U-M travel policy and U-M warnings/restrictions, please see https://global.umich.edu/travel-resources/warnings-restrictions/

Please note that U-M advisors can sign study abroad participation forms for U-M managed programs, though approval will be contingent on the location moving from a U-M Travel Restriction to a U-M Travel Warning before the program begins. Undergraduate travel to a U-M Travel Restriction location remains prohibited.  

HOW ARE WARNING AND U-M TRAVEL RESTRICTION DESTINATIONS DETERMINED?

The International Travel Oversight Committee reviews U-M Travel Warning and Restriction destinations on an iterative basis using a variety of sources, including: US Department of State Travel Advisories, CDC Travel Notices, CDC COVID-19 risk levels, other non-U.S. government advisories, and U-M’s assistance provider’s risk ratings.  As countries move from U-M Travel Restriction status to U-M Travel Warning status, more student travel opportunities may become available. 

Any updates to U-M Travel Warning & Restrictions will be posted on this Global Michigan page. 

Countries designated as U-M Travel Warning destinations only take into account health and safety conditions, not entry requirements. Travelers must verify their ability to enter a country before planning travel. Each country links to the U.S. COVID-19 Information page for each country which provides links to entry requirements / restrictions.

HOW DOES U-M DETERMINE IF STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS WILL PROCEED?

Programs may open study abroad applications in hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic will improve. Please note that each U-M School/College considers a number of factors when deciding whether or not a study abroad program will proceed:  

  • Significant planning goes into each study abroad program. Students often plan at least a year ahead to prepare their applications, map out their courses, make financial arrangements, and select housing that takes their time abroad into account. Similar planning is needed for Schools and Colleges, as they design the learning experiences, reserve sites, hire instructors, secure accommodations, etc. Contracts are signed and students make deposits several months in advance of departure. If there is significant uncertainty about conditions at the host location (including COVID-19), Schools and Colleges may cancel a program in time for students to avoid financial commitments and make alternate plans for the upcoming semester.
  • All U-M managed study abroad programs are subject to the U-M International Travel Policy (SPG 601.31).  If there is a U-M Travel Restriction for your specific destination by the time financial commitments must be made, your program will not run. Before a program can run, the country must have no Travel Restriction and the program must be approved by the International Travel Oversight Committee. Travel warning/restriction details are available on Global Michigan. 
  • U-M Schools and Colleges may determine that certain providers or partner institutions do not have the capacity to meet certain COVID-19 health and safety measures for U-M students and/or the host community. There may also be cases where the provider or partner institution makes the decision not to run programs.
  • U-M Schools and Colleges may decide to run a smaller number of programs (or no programs) during COVID-19 due to academic concerns, the financial viability of a particular program, or other unit-specific reasons. 

For additional details, please contact the U-M office sponsoring your program.

CAN MY U-M TRAVEL ABROAD HEALTH INSURANCE (GEOBLUE) OR THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN COVER THE COST OF A RETURN FLIGHT BECAUSE OF COVID-19?

Because COVID-19 pandemic is a well documented event and is considered a “known risk” by the insurance underwriters, GeoBlue does not cover the cost of a return flight because of a COVID-19 outbreak. Similarly, U-M will not cover the cost of flight change fees or new return flights for travelers who choose to go abroad during COVID-19.  Faculty, staff, and students willing to travel during COVID-19 must ensure that they are able to cover the costs of travel if they need to return to their home country earlier than expected. Faculty, staff, and students who are not able, or not comfortable with, covering potential travel expenses due to COVID-19 should not travel. These possible expenses include return flights and costs associated with having to stay in-country for an indefinite period of time because of border closures.

GeoBlue benefits will cover most medical issues, including COVID-19 testing and treatment, visiting a hospital or clinic because of illness, and many other medical issues. GeoBlue also covers evacuations for certain political crises and natural disasters. Details are on the UHS Travel Abroad Health Insurance page

ARE U-M EMERGENCY FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR UNANTICIPATED TRAVEL DISRUPTIONS?

U-M Office of Financial Aid and the Dean of Students Office have limited to no emergency funds at this time. 

Verify financial contingency plans, either with your U-M department or your own personal funds, in the event of unanticipated travel disruptions, which include but are not limited to:

      • Pre-departure flight cancellations in the event the COVID-19 situation in the destination country deteriorates.
      • Early departure from the destination country in the event the COVID-19 situation in the destination country deteriorates. Please note that last minute flights or repatriation flights are expensive and can cost in excess of 3000 USD.
      • Living costs associated with being in-country longer than intended in the event of border / airport closures.
      • COVID-19 related costs, including quarantine costs, testing, etc. 

Students must ensure that they have emergency funds while traveling during the pandemic, whether personal funds or verify that their U-M department has emergency funds that can be used for unexpected costs. The U-M Office of Financial Aid and the Dean of Students Office have limited to no emergency funds at this time. 

FAQS on Vaccine Requirement for Students on U-M Managed Programs

 

Students traveling internationally on a U-M managed program are required to have an authorized COVID-19 vaccination and complete the “Student COVID-19 Vaccination Self-Report Form” in Wolverine Access before traveling abroad unless they have an approved exemption. Students traveling internationally, but not on a U-M managed program, are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated before travel. View the full policy at COVID-19 VACCINE REQUIREMENT FOR STUDENTS PARTICIPATING ON INTERNATIONAL U-M MANAGED PROGRAMS.

Students can report their vaccination status in Wolverine Access by following instructions on the Campus Maize and BLUEprint website

U-M’s vaccine requirement for students participating in international U-M managed programs is the most important and effective way to protect individual travelers while protecting the communities that travelers may be entering and/or exiting. Our goal is to provide an international experience that is safe so that students can focus on their learning objectives. We appreciate your support with helping us to achieve this goal.

For the purposes of this requirement, U-M managed programs subject to this requirement include international education programs (study abroad, internship, field work, etc.) within the M-Compass application management system. For these programs in M-Compass, U-M units organize the experience, collect application requirements, and make application decisions. Travel registrations and “funding” programs are not considered U-M managed programs even if they are considered University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT)

  • Note 1: Students traveling abroad for University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT) and not on a “U-M Managed Program” as defined above are not subject to these guidelines. Though these students are not required to be vaccinated to travel internationally, U-M strongly encourages all students to be fully vaccinated before travel. 
  • Note 2: These guidelines only apply to students traveling on U-M Ann Arbor campus managed programs. Students traveling on U-M Flint or U-M Dearborn should follow U-M Flint or U-M Dearborn guidelines.     

 Checklist for Students              Checklist for Units

       

See FAQs below for more information.

HOW DO I REPORT THAT I HAVE BEEN VACCINATED?

You can report your COVID-19 vaccination by completing the “Student COVID-19 Vaccination Self-Report Form” in Wolverine Access as instructed on the Campus Maize and BLUEprint website.

When you begin an application in M-Compass,  you will also be prompted to review and sign the Terms & Conditions of COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement document and complete the  Confirm Reporting COVID-19 Vaccine / Request Medical or Religious Exemption form. The “Terms & Conditions of COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement” document provides information on how to report your COVID-19 vaccination and complete the “Student COVID-19 Vaccination Self-Report Form” in Wolverine Access as instructed on the Campus Maize and BLUEprint website.

Students who are not yet fully vaccinated must be fully vaccinated and report their COVID-19 vaccination before traveling abroad. Necessary University officials, such as Global Engagement Team members within the Office of the Provost, may validate that students have completed the requirement, and the U-M unit sponsoring the program may request validation. 

WHICH VACCINATIONS ARE RECOGNIZED AS ACCEPTABLE IN MEETING THIS VACCINE REQUIREMENT?

Please visit Campus Maize and BLUEprint website for an updated list of acceptable vaccines. For the purpose of meeting Michigan International Travel requirements, the University recognizes vaccines that are authorized for use in the United States by the U.S. FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO) as meeting COVID-19 policies and requirements. The list of recognized vaccines may change; you can view the current WHO list

IF I HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED YET, CAN I STILL APPLY FOR A U-M MANAGED PROGRAM?

Yes, you can still apply for a U-M managed program if you have not yet been vaccinated. However, students who do not report their COVID-19 vaccination before travel or do not have an exemption approved before the application decision date will not be permitted to participate in the program. Students who are not permitted to participate will not earn U-M credit, cannot use U-M funds for the experience, and will not be eligible for a refund for any out-of-pocket expenses. See the Participation Agreement for University Related Travel Experience within M-Compass for terms of agreement for participation on a U-M program. 

Students requesting exemptions must complete the exemption process before the decision date as listed in their U-M program application within M-Compass. 

I AM TRAVELLING ABROAD AND NOT ON A U-M MANAGED PROGRAM. DOES THIS REQUIREMENT APPLY TO ME?

The requirement applies only to students on a U-M Ann Arbor managed program in M-Compass. Students traveling internationally, but not on a U-M managed program, are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated before travel.  

If you are traveling abroad for University of Michigan Related Travel (UMRT) — such as research, study, field work, internships, etc.— or for personal travel, you are encouraged to follow the links on the Campus Maize and BLUEprint website for instructions on uploading your vaccination information.

IF I RECEIVE A VACCINE NOT APPROVED FOR USE IN THE UNITED STATES, WILL I STILL BE ALLOWED TO APPLY FOR A PROGRAM?

Any student may apply for a program. You will not be considered fully vaccinated and can apply for an exemption of the vaccination requirement with the M-Compass program application. When applying for an exemption, you need to demonstrate understanding of COVID-19 risks – including entry requirements of your travel destination which may or may not accept your vaccination – and share your plan to mitigate those risks. 

For the purpose of meeting Michigan International Travel requirements, the University recognizes vaccines that are authorized for use in the United States by the U.S. FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO) as meeting COVID-19 policies and requirements. The list of recognized vaccines may change; you can view the current WHO list

WHAT IF I CANNOT GET A VACCINATION PRIOR TO THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?

When you apply for the program, you will be asked questions about your vaccine status, and you can indicate that you plan on being vaccinated before traveling abroad. Students who are not yet fully vaccinated must be fully vaccinated and report their COVID-19 vaccination before traveling abroad. 

Necessary University officials, such as Global Engagement Team members within the Office of the Provost, may validate that students have completed the requirement, and the U-M unit sponsoring the program may request validation. 

Students requesting exemptions must complete the exemption process before the application deadline as listed in their U-M program application within M-Compass. 

IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE EXEMPTED FROM THE INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENT?

Exemptions are provided for documented medical or religious reasons. Medical exemptions mean the student has a documented medical condition that precludes them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Religious exemptions mean that the student has a sincerely held religious belief against receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

The U-M Chief Travel Safety Officer or other member of the Global Engagement Team staff will verify that you have met this requirement before your application deadline.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR AN EXEMPTION FOR MEDICAL REASONS?

Students who are requesting an exemption from the vaccine requirement due to a medical condition that precludes them from receiving the vaccine must complete the “Confirm Reporting COVID-19 Vaccine / Request Medical or Religious Exemption” questionnaire in their M-Compass application, which includes:

  1.  Providing a written explanation.
  2. Uploading documentation from a healthcare provider, such as a medical contraindication statement specific to the COVID-19 vaccination, in support of the request. Documentation from a medical provider, such as a statement of a medical contraindication to the COVID-19 vaccine, is required for consideration.
  3. Providing an understanding of the COVID-19 risks and strategies to mitigate risks.
  4. Demonstrating an understanding of the COVID-19 related regulations or guidelines that pertain to unvaccinated individuals in the proposed destination, including entry requirements and local public health regulations or guidelines, if any.
  5. Members of the Global Engagement Team who will be reviewing the exemption may request an online meeting to go over the request. 

HOW DO I APPLY FOR AN EXEMPTION FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS?

Students requesting an exemption based on sincerely held religious beliefs will be prompted to complete the “Confirm Reporting COVID-19 Vaccine / Request Medical or Religious Exemption” questionnaire in their M-Compass application, which includes:

  1. Providing a written explanation detailing, in the student’s own words, the reasons for requesting a religious exemption. Students may also upload documentation provided by a religious/spiritual leader or scholar, but it is not required.
  2. Providing an understanding of the COVID-19 risks and strategies to mitigate risks.
  3. Demonstrating an understanding of the COVID-19 related regulations or guidelines that pertain to unvaccinated individuals in the proposed destination, including entry requirements and local public health regulations or guidelines, if any.
  4. Scheduling a meeting with a Global Engagement Team member to go over the request. 

HOW ARE EXEMPTION REQUESTS REVIEWED?

All requests will be considered on an individual basis. Students who requested an exemption for a religious or medical reason will be notified if their exemption is approved or declined. Students approved for an exemption will be subject to an individualized assessment to determine if reasonable accommodations may be offered to the student such that they may participate in the program safely while being unvaccinated. 

All students traveling internationally are subject to local laws and regulations, including their intended country’s entry requirements. For students with an approved exemption, this may include adhering to additional public health protocols like wearing a face covering, completing a pre-departure COVID-19 test, or participating in regular COVID-19 tests during their time abroad. It is also possible that some programs, and some destinations, are of such high risk that it is not reasonable for an unvaccinated student to travel to the program, in which case the student may consider other programs or decline participation in the program.

Please contact global-engagement@umich.edu if you have additional questions about your destination or would like additional resources.

Resources for Travel during COVID-19

 

The following resources will assist travelers as they learn about the risks of travel, determine viability of travel, and plan. Travelers should visit the U-M Travel Warning & Restriction page for U-M specific travel policies and guidance.

Considerations for Planning International Travel During COVID-19 – An overview of U-M requirements and host country requirements/conditions to to consider. Click on image to download, or watch the video panel presentation from April 16th, 2021.

U.S. Department of State – View travel advisories, country specific COVID-19 information, and enroll in STEP:

  • Travel Advisories and Country Information  – Learn about COVID-19, transportation, crime, and other risks in your destination. Also sign up for email advisories to specific destinations when they are posted
  • COVID-19 Country Specific Information – View entry and exit requirements and detailed COVID-19 specific information in your destination country.
  • Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) – a free service allowing U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate so that they may contact you in an emergency and help family and friends get in touch with you

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – See a COVID-19 situation summary, travel FAQs, or enroll in updates:

Resources to Locate COVID-19 Testing Sites Abroad:

U-M Predeparture COVID-19 Testing Resources

Additional COVID-19 Health Resources

Entry Requirement Resources for Countries Abroad

Requirements for Re-Entering the United States

Please contact umich-itoc@umich.edu if you have additional questions about your destination or would like additional resources.

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