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COVID-19 Information for Study Away

OGO continues to closely monitor the news about COVID-19 and global travel. We are working in partnership with university leadership on planning and risk mitigation associated with the pandemic.

Students may only travel abroad for any academic or university purpose if travel is approved in advance. For more information, please see OGO's Risk Management for Students website.

The below FAQ will help answer many questions about travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. OGO will update this page as needed.

Questions? Contact us at ogoriskmanagement@ohio.edu or 740-593-4583 to schedule an advising appointment.  

FAQ

Is the Office of Global Opportunities open?

Yes, OGO's offices are open. You can visit us both in person and virtually. Please see the OGO website for more information on our hours. 

What is the status of student domestic and international travel?

Due to COVID-19, student international travel is still suspended by Ohio University. Only students who seek and receive pre-approval for their proposed travel will are allowed to travel abroad.

To seek pre-approval for international travel, see OGO's Risk Management for Students website. If you have questions about the approval process for international travel, email us at ogoriskmanagement@ohio.edu.

Do students need permission from Ohio University in order to travel abroad?

Yes, at this time student international University-affiliated travel is only permitted if University permission has been sought and granted. You can learn how to seek approval for planned travel here. Please start this process early as the approval process can take 1-2 months. If you have questions about how to seek approval for international travel, email us at global.opportunities@ohio.edu.  

How does OGO monitor travel during the COVID-19 pandemic?

OGO monitors information about COVID-19 using information from several different agencies and resources. We look at the impact on travel as well as day-to-day operations in locations around the world. Among the resources we consult are:  

For more information about International SOS, please visit OGO's health and safety resources page

Can I participate in program or independent international travel in future terms?

Yes! OGO is working closely with University leadership to assess and open student travel as much as possible. Planning for study abroad takes time, so the earlier you start your research, the better. While the COVID-19 pandemic has added new uncertainties to all travel plans, we encourage students start the process now and speak with an OGO advisor about their plans. For appointment information, visit https://www.ohio.edu/goglobal.

Why is it important to be vaccinated for COVID-19 when traveling? 

Travel increases the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. To minimize the risk, the CDC recommends that all travelers are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. You are fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the last dose of a 2-dose vaccine or 2 weeks after a 1-dose vaccine. 

According to the CDC, unvaccinated travelers should avoid travel. If travel is essential, unvaccinated travelers should follow CDC’s advice for unvaccinated travelers.  

Some countries only allow fully vaccinated travelers to enter. These requirements are becoming more widespread. Entry requirements may change with short notice. For more information, check the U.S. Department of State's travel advisories regularly.

Many businesses, venues and locations in the U.S. and abroad have implemented COVID-19 vaccination requirements. If unvaccinated, travelers may need to provide a recent negative COVID-19 test result in order to participate in program activities, stay at hotels, visit cafes and restaurants, entertainment venues and other points of interest for personal or program purposes. Staying current with local testing requirements could entail testing as often as every 24-48 hours and will likely result in additional costs to the traveler (such as paying for the test itself, transportation to/from testing site). In general, program itineraries cannot be adjusted to accommodate testing needs. 

Ohio University or study abroad program providers may additionally require vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers to participate in mitigation testing before, during and/or after the program. 

Is OGO offering any alternatives to global travel?

A variety of Virtual Global Experiences are available and offer an affordable and safe way for students to gain global experiences and skills while travel is suspended. Check out the OGO Virtual Global Experiences website for more information.

Ohio University also offers several COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) courses in which OHIO students interact with students at an international university to complete course projects.  See a list of these courses here

Are any scholarships available for Virtual Global Experiences?

Yes! Check out OGO’s resources on the Funding website for more information about which scholarships are offered for both Study Away and Virtual Global Experiences. 

If I'm permitted to travel, what health insurance do I need?

Ohio University automatically enrolls students participating on international trips and programs in our international health insurance. To access the insurance, you must register your travel with us in advance. Read more about the insurance and how to use it here.

In case of early return to the US due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, travelers should never cancel their domestic U.S. health insurance while traveling internationally. 

If I'm permitted to travel, do you have special recommendations for booking a flight?

There are many things to keep in mind when booking a flight, and the COVID-19 pandemic has added new, important considerations. Travelers are experiencing more delays, cancellations, departure and arrival requirements - and just plain hassels. Below are a few recommendations for booking a flight. In addition, we encourage you to research travel to your destination(s) carefully before booking airfare.

  • Only book your flight when your program director, third party provider or other international partner gives you the go-ahead; and
  • Only book your flight after you have received University approval for your individual international travel plans.
  • Be as flexible as possible.
  • Try to book a direct flight from a U.S. airport to your destination country. Minimizing the number of international stops and layovers will help you minimize the number of COVID-19 travel restrictions, testing requirements, etc. you have to consider on your trip.
  • Make sure you know what COVID-19 test and test documentation are required by authorities in countries where you transit (change flights) and at your final destination.
  • Read the "small print" before you purchase. Make sure you understand the financial commitment you're making when you book the flight. Check rules concerning itinerary changes, luggage and especially flight delays, interruptions, cancellations, and refunds.
If I'm permitted to travel, do I need any other type of insurance for my trip or program?

The Office of Global Opportunities advise that you consider purchasing travel insurance for your trip. Travel insurance is optional, however it will help you recoup your money if a flight, program or other activity is interrupted or cancelled.

If you choose to purchase travel or trip insurance, make sure you select a plan that includes so-called"Cancel for Any Reason" (CFAR) and "Interrupt for Any Reason" (IFAR) insurance. Participants may choose to purchase this type of insurance through Gallagher Insurance's partner company Travel Insured International.

Many other providers offer similar comprehensive insurance plans. You should research and select the plan that's right for you.