GO Response to COVID-19
We understand and share your concerns about how COVID-19 may impact you/your student’s GO program and graduation. Because the global health outlook related to COVID-19 is fluid and can change rapidly, we understand that each student and their families may have differing thoughts regarding how they would like to proceed, and we will support each student’s decision.
What does GO review for travel decisions?
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 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 Department of State Travel Advisories are only one aspect of program approvals. We hold our students’ health and safety in the highest regard.
Is GO still a graduation requirement:
The university has guaranteed to work with students to meet the cross-cultural requirement for graduation. We recognize that this may be different for each student, as students’ needs are unique. We are committed to working with students individually to find a suitable alternative, if needed.
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 (email@example.com).
Some students are still concerned about traveling because of COVID-19 and completing the cross-cultural requirement for graduation. We have built a “COVID-19 accommodation request” application for approval for 2022 graduates to complete the cross-cultural requirement through a virtual program over Winter Break 2021/2022 as well. Please set up an appointment with Molly if you would like to pursue this accommodation.
What would happen if a GO program was suspended?
We will work with students about deferral and alternative program options to complete the cross-cultural requirement. By being signed up for a program, we can work with students on next steps. Check out our FAQ specific for upcoming travel for more details.
Are students required to get a COVID-19 vaccine to participate in GO?
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.
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
Who can I contact about GO and the COVID-19 situation?
Please contact the GO office at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Last updated: 6/21/2021
Please review our General COVID-19 and GO FAQ and Upcoming Travel COVID19 FAQ documents. To see messages that we sent and general statement updates, use this link.