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COVID19 Upcoming Travel FAQ

COVID-19 and Upcoming Travel FAQ
Summer 2021, Fall GO Long 2021
 
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 with details about alternative options. GO reserves the right to rescind approval for a program in a region with a level 3 or 4 U.S. State Department Travel advisory - which is just one aspect of program approvals. 

Summer 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.

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 level 3 or 4 advisory.
 
“GO Long” programs are options during the semester in which students attend programs not directly managed or administered by the GO office.

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 12 weeks to process. Additional information can be found on: https://travel.state.gov/passports

I am planning to travel for Summer 2021, Fall 2021, or Spring 2022 program, now what happens?
  • Summer 2021 GO Short: Travel decisions will be made no later than March 15 
    • Most programs have been postponed, converted to a virtual experience, or canceled as of 3/5/2021. Students received information directly about their program. 
    • Prep courses will start on March 18 at 7PM, which are added to your schedule by March 15.
  • Summer 2021 GO Your Way: Decisions vary based on the host university or program provider.
    • We are still planning for approved students to be able to participate in their program, should the program provider or host university allow. 
    • Prep courses will start on March 18 at 7PM, which will be added to your schedule by March 15.
  • Fall 2021 GO Long: Decisions vary based on the host university or program provider
    • 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 March 18 at 7PM, which will be added to your schedule by March 15.
  • Spring 2022 GO Long: Notifications will be sent out May 20, 2021
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. 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. 

Will I need the COVID Vaccine?
Potentially – that will depend. There are still many uncertainties about COVID-19 vaccination rollouts and possible travel restrictions.  We anticipate that some countries will continue to require proof of negative test but that many will transition to requiring proof of vaccination for entry, and most students would want to be vaccinated before travel in any case. 
  
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?
Unfortunately, not at this time. We are monitoring vaccination rollout plans and will keep students informed as those plans become known. We will provide information as soon as it is made available.

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 State Department 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. 

When should I book my tickets? 
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 will provide refunds, many airlines are offering to waive change and/or cancellation fees for flights booked in the next few weeks to provide you with protection and flexibility with upcoming travel plans. All of these airline-specific policies apply to tickets booked directly with an airline and through travel agencies.

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. 

I am at high risk for COVID-19 and am not sure about travel in 2021, what should I do?
We have heard from some students that they are still concerned about traveling because of COVID-19 and completing the cross-cultural requirement for graduation. Therefore, we have built a “COVID-19 accommodation request” application for approval to complete the cross-cultural requirement through a virtual program over summer 2021. Please set up an appointment with Molly if you would like to pursue this accommodation. *This will also be an option for Winter Break 2021/2022. 

Return to the main GO response to COVID-19 page
updated 3/5/2021