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COVID19 Upcoming Travel FAQ

COVID-19 and Upcoming Travel FAQ
Fall GO Long 2021, Winter 2021/2022, Spring 2022

When will GO make a decision about postponing a program?
The timing of decisions will be based on a balance of global health news, public health and safety advisories, travel restrictions, visa application dates (when applicable), and program deadlines (when applicable), as well as feedback from on-site contacts. Once a decision has been made to postpone a program, GO will promptly notify students directly with details about alternative options. GO reserves the right to rescind approval for a program in a region with a level 4 U.S. Department of State Travel advisory – the travel advisories are just one aspect of program approvals. 

Fall GO Long 2021:
Decisions to postpone or cancel programs are made by each program provider; therefore, the timing may vary. If a program is cancelled by the provider, GO will work with students to help them find alternatives. For SWSB London, GO office makes postponement and cancellation decisions for this program. We are watching travel advisories very closely and reserves the right to rescind approval for a program in a region with a 4 advisory.
 
As of June, programs in which Susquehanna students are participating on have announced that they will be running in-person classes in accordance with local COVID restrictions. Some programs and some countries have announced as of early June that they will require study abroad students to be vaccinated. Students should be familiar with the policies of their host country’s government and the policies of the program.
 
If a program is canceled or students opt not to participate prior to August 30, 2021, students are able to attend the fall semester on campus. Housing options will be limited and students would need to work with Residence Life to coordinate their on-campus housing options. Students were asked to enroll in courses on campus, and their spot in the course is held until no later than the week of August 23 (or their GO Long program start date, whichever comes first). Withdraw fees charged by Susquehanna apply for voluntary withdraw from a program. Any fees charged by the host university/program follow their withdraw policies.
 
“GO Long” programs are options during the semester in which students attend programs not directly managed or administered by the GO office.

Winter GO Short/GO Your Way 2021: 
We, along with the study abroad field, are hopeful that programs will be able to run during the summer. We will be monitoring each country and travel recommendations closely in the coming months in hopes that we will be able to travel. Information about travel will be directly communicated with students accepted into GO Short/GO Your Way programs.

“GO Short” programs are study-away options offered during winter and summer breaks in which students attend programs that are directly managed and administered by the GO office.

“GO Your Way” programs are options during winter and summer break. Students typically attend study abroad programs through providers.

Spring GO Long 2022:
Decisions to postpone or cancel programs are made by each program provider; therefore, the timing may vary. If a program is cancelled by the provider, GO will work with students to help them find alternatives. For SWSB London, GO office makes postponement and cancellation decisions for this program. We are watching travel advisories very closely and reserves the right to rescind approval for a program in a region with a 4 advisory.
 
“GO Long” programs are options during the semester in which students attend programs not directly managed or administered by the GO office.

I am planning to travel for Fall 2021, Winter 2021/2022, or Spring 2022 program, now what happens?
  • Fall 2021 GO Long:
    • We are still planning for approved students to be able to participate in their program, should the program provider or host university allow. Students received information directly about their program. 
    • Students should have already started any visa process by now.
    • Students should be familiar with their host country entry requirements including any required testing and quarantine.
    • In July, 1-2 months in advance of the program start, students should book their flights. (Exception: SWSB London flights are coordinated by Susquehanna).
  • Winter 2021/2022 GO Short:
    • We are still planning for approved students to be able to participate in in-person programs in accordance with host country regulations.
    • Students will receive information directly from GO about their program. 
    • Prep courses will start on October 21 at 7PM, which are added to your schedule by October 15.
  • Winter 2021/2022 GO Your Way:
    • Students should apply to GO by September 15. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting in August.
    • We are still planning for approved students to be able to participate in their program, should the program provider and host country allow. 
    • Prep courses will start on October 21 at 7PM, which are added to your schedule by October 15.
  • Spring 2022 GO Long:
    • We are still planning for approved students to be able to participate in their program, should the program provider or host university allow. 
    • Students received information directly about their program. 
    • Prep courses will start on October 21 at 7PM, which are added to your schedule by October 15.
You will have time to confirm your acceptance after notification is sent out. Please pay attention to the deadlines in your acceptance letter.

How does Susquehanna make decisions about its study abroad programs?
As part of normal protocol, we continuously review information from the U.S. Department of State, 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. 

Do I need a passport?
Yes. For international programs, you should have a passport valid for 6 months after your anticipated return date.
 
I need a new passport - What information do you have about US passport processing?
The US State Department has resumed operations for passport processing, but due to the shut down in operations earlier in the year, they are still experiencing significant delays. Passports are taking over 18 weeks to process. Therefore, we recommend that students planning to travel internationally on Winter break or Spring semester programs apply for a passport no later than July 31, 2021. Additional information can be found on: https://travel.state.gov/passports
 
Will I need the COVID Vaccine?
Yes, the campus-wide vaccination requirement announced June 21, 2021 includes students on GO programs and therefore you are required to be vaccinated.  
 
Vaccines help safeguard the students’ health, as well as that of the local community. Each country sets its own requirements for entry. We anticipate that some countries will continue to require proof of negative test. As of early June, countries have started to require proof of vaccination for entry. We anticipate that more countries will follow suit, and most students would want to be vaccinated before travel in any case. 
  
Countries that do not require vaccination may still require mandatory quarantine which could add to the students’ financial obligations. Circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are developing and it is the student responsibility to stay informed of all risks, recommendations and required practices. There are likely to be many new developments in these areas over the coming weeks and months and it is too soon to know what will be possible. 
 
Is GO/Susquehanna able to assist me in getting the vaccine before my program?
You can search for a nearby vaccination center using this link: https://www.vaccines.gov/search/

How do I know the entry requirements for my program's location?
You should review the US Embassy for international programs. Each embassy website includes information for entry - you can get to those websites on the US Department of State Travel Advisory site. Select your host country and you will link the country's main advisory notes, which will include a link to the embassy. Your program provider/host institution advisor may also share specific information with you. 

For domestic programs, please refer to the state's websites

Am I required to be tested prior to departure?
This will depend on your program, and the country you are visiting. The best places to find information on COVID-19 testing requirements in a specific country include: host country's Ministry of Health and government websites, U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notices, and the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories.
 
When should I book my tickets? 
For GO Long and GO Your Way students: We would recommend waiting until 1-2 months prior to departure. We urge you to know what the refund policies are for the flights before booking. 

Each airline has their own policy regarding refunds and cancellation waivers due to the coronavirus. These are being updated regularly as the situation is changing minute to minute. While airlines that have cancelled flights directly into areas with coronavirus outbreaks may provide refunds, many airlines only offering flight vouchers. All of these airline-specific policies apply to tickets booked directly with an airline and through travel agencies.
 
GO Short programs include the flight. Students do not coordinate their own travel to the host location.

Should I buy flight insurance?
You should review what is included in any insurance that is offered to you. While providing the most flexibility, the “cancel for any reason” plans are costly. Unfortunately, many flight insurance plans are restrictive and do not assist if you need to cancel your travel yourself.
 
Am I able to take side-trips to visit other countries/cities once I am at my program?
Students are advised not to engage in non-program sponsored travel outside of the program location at any point in the term. Students are advised to limit or forego sharing physical space with visitors from outside of program location. 

Does international insurance cover COVID-19?
The emergency international insurance that is provided for all Susquehanna students, EIIA, covers treatment for students diagnosed with COVID-19 or symptomatic students directed by a medical provider to receive a test and/or undergo treatment. 
 
Students for GO Long/GO Your Way programs may have an additional insurance plan provided by the program – in that case students should review the plan to understand coverage. Students can also choose to purchase CISI which also covers COVID-19 treatment for diagnosed individuals.
 
If you become ill with COVID-19 and a medical evacuation is necessary, that evacuation will be coordinated by and covered by the EIIA policy provided by Susquehanna.  
 
Are there different withdraw policies because of COVID-19?
The withdraw policies are outlined in the students’ post-approval paperwork on their GO application. There is a $500 withdraw fee after committing to a program for GO Short and GO Long in addition to any non-refundable expenses made on behalf of the student. There is no Susquehanna issued withdraw fee for GO Your Way, but students may be charged a withdraw fee by the program provider.
 
Will I be required to sign an additional waiver related specifically to COVID-19?
Yes, part of the GO application includes a COVID-19 waiver. There is also a place for students to upload their COVID vaccine card.
 
Students are also required to download the AlertTraveler app and register their account as part of our increased health and safety measures. Instructions for this are on the students’ GO application.
 
Am I required to be tested when I return to the US?
As of January 2021, all passengers are required to show proof of negative test result to enter the US. This applies to all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, traveling into the US, including US citizens and legal permanent residents. Please review the CDC guidance and Department of State for any updates. It is your responsibility as the traveler to understand and follow the regulations.
  

Return to the main GO response to COVID-19 page
updated 10/14/2021