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General GO and COVID-19 FAQ

GO Information Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Return to the main GO Response to COVID-19 page

How is Susquehanna monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation worldwide?
Since January, a team of university officials, including members of the GO office, have been meeting regularly to discuss the outbreak of the respiratory illness COVID-19. To assess risks related to study abroad travel, the university uses a number of resources, including governmental agencies, news reports, reports from international security provider, professional health and security organizations, and more. 
 
How does Susquehanna make decisions about its study abroad programs? 
As part of normal protocol, we continuously review information from the U.S. State Department, Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Risk Management and Security Advisors, news accounts, and our local partners in all countries where our students travel. GO staff receives real-time updates regarding health and safety within the countries where we send students. We also are in at least weekly contact with our in-country partners.
 
Who will GO contact with updates? 
The GO office will directly contact students with updates. We expect that students will share any updates with their parents, families, and supporters. 

What are “advisory levels”? 
The US State Department issues international travel advisories. Travel Advisories apply up to four standard levels of advice, describe the risks, and provide clear actions U.S. citizens should take to help ensure their safety.
Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions: This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk.
Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution: Be aware of heightened risks to safety and security.
Level 3 - Reconsider Travel: Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security.
Level 4 - Do Not Travel: This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks.

Consistent with University policy, regardless of the basis for the restriction, university-related travel is not permitted to areas with U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisories. As of March 19, there is a global Level 4 travel advisory; the State Department is updating the country-specific guidance as well. 

To see a complete list of Travel Advisories for every country in the world, see Travel Advisories.  

What changes has Susquehanna made to GO programs due to COVID-19? 
SU suspended all international university-related student travel through the Fall 2020 semester (December 11, 2020).  
 
Is GO still a requirement for students to graduate?
Yes. It is important to note that GO is a cross-cultural requirement, not a travel requirement.

At its heart, GO is a graduation requirement based on working toward a set of specific learning goals and reflection on that work. Traditionally that has included the requirement of a cultural immersion experience for at least two weeks and coursework on campus before and after travel.
 
In the past, the GO office has accommodated students when obstacles made it challenging for them to participate in a traditional GO program. We will use the same approach when working through concerns caused by coronavirus.  We are happy to talk with students about how they can complete the Cross-cultural Requirement if they are worried about travel due to coronavirus. They can set up a time to talk by sending an e-mail (goprogram@susqu.edu).
 
How can I stay healthy? 
Everyone should take the following routine precautions, as outlined by the CDC:
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially if visibly dirty, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol.
  • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. 
What would happen if a GO program was suspended? 
GO worked closely with the program providers, host institutions and students to ensure their academic progress continue upon their return home. We were in contact directly with students about program status changes. 

Check out our FAQ specific for upcoming travel (Fall 2020, Winter 2020/2021, Spring 2021).

Does Susquehanna have any recommendations for students traveling independently from a GO program? 
We strongly recommend that everyone reconsider even personal travel to any country with an advisory Level 3 or 4. Students should register their travel with the State Department which would enroll them in updates to the advisory levels in addition to visiting the State Department and CDC websites.

Students who are traveling, including domestically, should pay attention to local guidance and restrictions (including self-isolation), take recommended measures to prevent illness, and be prepared for potential travel disruptions
 
Who can I contact about GO and the coronavirus situation? 
Please contact the GO office at goprogram@susqu.edu with questions.

Return to the main GO Response to COVID-19 page

Last updated: 7/31/2020