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Education Abroad

COVID-19 Implications for Education Abroad Programs

Updated: February 12, 2021. This is a constantly changing situation and information on this page is updated as quickly as possible. Please refer to the CDC for the most up to date information about COVID-19.
Summer and Fall 2021 Education Abroad Programs Exemption Process

Individuals who are planning faculty-led, affiliate or third-party provider education abroad programs may now request an exemption to the Kansas State University travel restriction policy.

The Education Abroad Office, or EAO, and the International Risk Advisory Working Group, or IRAWG, have developed the exemption process for a limited number of summer and fall 2021 education abroad programs. The steps to request an exemption are:

1. Travelers register with EAO.

2. Travelers develop a COVID-19 response plan with EAO staff. The plan will include a detailed strategy for mitigating personal health risks and COVID-19’s impact on the program.

3. EAO forwards response plans, and other relevant information, to the International Risk Advisory Working Group, or IRAWG. The IRAWG will grant conditional approval if response plans satisfy all requirements. Final approval will be granted by IRAWG only if travelers have an approved response plan and conditions in their host location are safe for travel.

Since the pandemic is a dynamic and constantly changing situation, COVID-19 response plans and data will be continually reviewed until the departure date. All K-State students, faculty and staff are encouraged to have contingency or back-up plans in case travel is still restricted.

The Education Abroad Office, the Office of Risk and Compliance and the Office of General Counsel are updating contracts with third party and affiliate programs to ensure they effectively mitigate risk. In addition, travelers are covered by an accident and sickness insurance policy that provides medical and security coverage and travelers have access to 24/7 travel assistance services if they need help while abroad. Insurance coverage for trip interruption also will be available.

Updates on U.S. Travel Advisories

On March 19, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control issued global wide warnings and advisories, advising against travel. On August 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) returned to the previous system of providing country-specific levels of travel advice. KSU Education Abroad will continue to update information as these changes occur. You can view the country-specific warnings of the DoS and CDC at the following website:

U.S. Department of State country-specific travel advisories:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

U.S. Centers for Disease Control:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/

On November 21st, the CDC added a fourth level to its health notice system. The new 4-level system categorizes destinations based on COVID incidence rates, new case counts, and new case trajectory. You can find more information about the primary and secondary criteria for travel health notices here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/how-level-is-determined.html

Spring 2021 Education Abroad Programs

In the Spring 2020 semester KSU issued a policy which prohibits university-affiliated or sponsored out-of-state or international travel for employees or students, and this travel prohibition remains in effect. As such, Spring 2021 Education Abroad programs have been cancelled.

If you are interested in going abroad during a future term, please contact overseas@k-state.edu 

K-State will continue to monitor changes

Though there are other potential circumstances that may also lead K-State Education Abroad to suspend or cancel a program, any of the conditions outlined above would serve as definitive justification for closure of a program prior to departure. Please note that, at this time, an elevation in the CDC Warning Level from 1 to 2 or U.S. State Department Travel Advisory from 1 to 2 will not prompt cancellation of a K-State Education Abroad program, but K-State will continue to monitor the CDC and U.S. Department of State for any changes or recommendations.

K-State Education Abroad will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as necessary. For any questions or further information, please contact K-State Education Abroad at overseas@k-state.edu 

 Travel insurance

Students may want to purchase comprehensive travel insurance, including trip interruption and trip cancellation coverage for any reason. This type of insurance will provide travelers with some financial support and flexibility to adjust travel as needed. There are many companies and organizations that offer travel insurance, including:

Kansas State University does not specifically endorse or recommend any particular company.  

For more information about how the university is preparing, visit K-State's COVID-19 update page.