Ohio University

COVID-19 Information for Study Away

Updated March 25, 2021

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 this outbreak. We will update this page often as more resources and information become available. Questions? Contact us at global.opportunities@ohio.edu or 740-593-4583 to schedule an advising appointment.  

What is the status of travel for Spring Semester 2021?

Ohio University has suspended all student international travel for spring semester, 2021. Domestic programs offered by the Office of Global Opportunities are also cancelled. Students can direct all questions regarding spring 2021 travel to global.opportunities@ohio.edu.  

More information about the University’s Coronavirus response can be found at the Be Safe Bobcats website

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

Yes, at this time all 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.

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?

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 had 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 OGO's Fall Update page.

What alternatives are available while travel is suspended?

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 US 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 US 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 type of COVID-19 test is 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 insuring your trip. While this type of trip or travel insurance is optional, 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.