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Education Abroad

COVID-19 Implications for Education Abroad Programs

Updated: August 24, 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.
Education Abroad Programs Resumed in Summer 2021

Effective May 17, 2021, the restrictions on university-related or sponsored out-of-state or international travel were lifted. KSU students resumed participation in education abroad programs during the summer 2021 term, and this continues into the fall 2021 term. Most of the countries where KSU students participate in education abroad have an elevated Travel Warning or Advisory to Level 3 or 4 from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Department of State (DoS). KSU's International Travel and Activities policy (PPM: 3120) generally disfavors employees or students participating in university-sponsored international travel to any locations categorized as Level 3 or 4 by the CDC or DoS. For students seeking to participate in education abroad programs to a country with an elevated Travel Advisory level, students must meet with staff in the Education Abroad Office to discuss the process for seeking approval to travel to these countries. Students are also asked to sign a waiver and release for travel to countries with elevated CDC or DoS Travel Warnings and Advisories.

Updates on U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control Travel Advisories

On April 19, the U.S. Department of State announced it would begin to update its travel advisories to more closely align with those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This change in U.S. State Department travel advisories has led to approximately 80% of countries in the world to be assigned an elevated Travel Advisory of 3 or 4. The State Department issued a statement, reading "This does not imply a reassement of the current health situation in a given country, but rather reflects an adjustment in the State Department's Travel Advisory system to rely more on CDC's existing epidemiological assessments."

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

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.

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, per PPM Chapter 3012: International Travel and Activities, an elevation in the CDC Warning Level from 2 to 3 or U.S. State Department Travel Advisory from 2 to 3 prompts a required evaluation by Education Abroad to assess health, safety and risk. 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:

CompanyWebsitePhone Number
Travel Insured Internationalwww.travelinsured.com1-855-752-8303
*This is the KSU brokered insurance policy which includes Cancel for any Reason (CFAR) and Interruption for any Reason (IFAR) coverage.
Generali Travel Insurance www.generalitravelinsurance.com1-877-243-4135
*This is an example of travel insurance offered by a well know travel insurance provider

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.