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In light of the continuing global pandemic of COVID-19, we have compiled the following guidance for students and families considering studying abroad in 2021.

To learn about the university's full response to the pandemic, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center.

 

Learn more about Spring 2022 program options

    Travel abroad risk management and review for abroad programming in 2021-2022

    Updated October 7, 2021

    Lehigh University remains committed to providing students with meaningful global learning opportunities.  We continue to closely monitor the impact of COVID-19 worldwide.  Lehigh students who were studying abroad in spring 2020 returned from their programs at the start of the pandemic, and Study Abroad programming was suspended through Summer 2021. Travel resumed in August 2021 for the fall semester, and Lehigh is offering a modified list of abroad programming for the 2021-2022 academic year.  

    The International Travel Advisory Committee (ITAC) is a group of Lehigh staff and faculty from across the university that reviews all undergraduate international travel. ITAC meets regularly to review current and future Lehigh abroad programming. Decisions about supporting travel are made in collaboration with University leadership.  ITAC’s evaluation is informed by travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), International SOS, local conditions in host countries, and our partners abroad. As these conditions and recommendations can change rapidly during a pandemic, ITAC review occurs on an ongoing basis.  There is no single factor that would be a go/no-go indicator; rather our review takes into account a variety of sources as noted above. 

    The following is a partial list of resources that ITAC may consult as part of the program review: U.S. Department of State travel advisories; U.S. Department of State country-specific information; CDC; World Health Organization (WHO); Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC); International SOS; Forum on Education Abroad; NAFSA - Association of International Educators, Governments of United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and our program providers’ risk management resources.

    Vaccination information for study abroad

    At this time, students participating in Lehigh abroad programming must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to travel, which is consistent with CDC recommendations. We are seeing significant changes and quickly evolving requirements and restrictions related to COVID-19 vaccination worldwide, making it difficult to provide consistent advice and support to unvaccinated travelers.  As a result, unvaccinated students with exemptions will not be approved for study abroad through spring of 2022.  This decision will be revisited for future terms. Unvaccinated students may elect to participate in a virtual global experience, or postpone their participation to a future term. Some examples of international requirements, restrictions or concerns related to COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:

    • Countries may require proof of vaccination in order to gain entry;
    • Unvaccinated travelers may be required to quarantine upon arrival, during which time Lehigh/your abroad program may not be able to provide assistance;
    • Host institutions abroad may require proof of vaccination for enrollment in courses;
    • Foreign governments may implement  travel restrictions and changes related to vaccination status with little advance notice;
    • Local governments have varying levels of restrictions on personal movement, business operations, and access to events and places of business (i.e., proof of vaccination may be required to enter places of business, move around a city or country); and
    • Traveling while unvaccinated increases the risk of contracting or transmitting Covid-19, increasing the risk to our partner faculty, staff, students and communities abroad. 

    Considerations for Abroad Programming DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

    Updated October 7, 2021

    The global coronavirus pandemic is ongoing. No travel is risk-free, and disruption is still possible. While Lehigh carefully reviews the locations and academics of our approved study abroad programs, the university cannot guarantee the safety of our students while they are abroad. Travel of any kind during the unpredictable circumstances of COVID-19 carries additional risks.  In addition to following Lehigh’s guidance, students and families must determine their own comfort level regarding international travel. The ALAMA COVID-19 Medical Risk Assessment tool found at https://alama.org.uk/covid-19-medical-risk-assessment/ can assist travelers in the review of their own vulnerability to Covid-19.  We list below some factors to consider when determining your individual level of risk tolerance for any academic, financial, or other impacts that may result from travel abroad during the pandemic.  Students sign the Covid-19 Travel Addendum to the Study Abroad Student Understanding and Agreement prior to departure. 

    Entry and Exit requirements

    • Review required documentation for entry into host country and re-entry to US;
    • Be aware of any quarantine requirements upon arrival and the costs (time and financial) involved;
    • Check for visa requirements and/or restrictions for US citizens entering the host country;
    • Check for updates to travel policies and restrictions regularly; and
    • Note that if you experience an emergency while abroad, family and friends may not be able to travel to visit or assist you due to travel limitations and restrictions.

     Host country/local regulations

    • Personal movement and access to businesses/tourism (museums, restaurants, events) may be restricted and further restrictions could be implemented after arrival; and
    •  Universities may need to limit in-person classes or access to campus facilities, possibly with little to no advance notice.

    Financial and travel considerations

    • Review all costs and refund policies prior to making any financial commitment;
    • Consider trip/travel insurance (an example of travel insurance is InsureMyTrip, this is not Lehigh managed or endorsed)
    • Do not purchase flights until both Lehigh AND your program give permission;
    • Look for flights with flexible change/refund policies
    • Seek direct flights or those with the fewest number of stops/layovers
    •  Note that students are responsible for all costs related to travel changes if a program is cancelled, or if you need to change arrival or return dates; and
    • Consult your airline for information on COVID-Tested Flights which, for some countries, may eliminate an arrival quarantine requirement (these flights typically include an extra fee).

    Program modifications

    • Abroad programs may have made significant program modifications related to Covid-19 mitigation, including but not limited to, altering or limiting housing options, field trips, and at-site activities. 

    Independent and Personal Travel

    • Personal/independent travel to other countries is likely to be discouraged and/or limited, and in some cases not permitted by your host country and/or your study abroad program; and 
    • These restrictions may change after students commit to their program or arrive on-site.

    ABROAD PROGRAM OPTIONS
    Spring 2022, January 2022, Summer 2022

    Updated October 7, 2021

    Spring 2022 programming
     

    Spring 2022 semester abroad programming is available.  While conditions are improving, the pandemic continues to be a factor that will impact the spring 2022 semester. At this time, per the recommendation of the International Travel Advisory Committee, we will continue to limit our program list to select partners. Lehigh is monitoring worldwide conditions and will keep students and families informed of updates. Please search for a program using this list of approved options. Programs may be added or removed as we review health, safety and risk considerations.  We anticipate that a larger number of students from across the US will be studying abroad than a typical spring, and we anticipate some programs may reach capacity prior to stated deadlines.

    WINTER 2021-22 programming

    Lehigh student international travel programs remain limited.  Most Lehigh international travel programs are not being offered for winter 21-22.  Lehigh in Munich winter course is scheduled for January 2022.  There are limited Lehigh study abroad grants available for winter.  Any Lehigh funded or Lehigh organized travel must be reviewed by the Lehigh International Travel Advisory committee, and your study abroad advisor can help review these options with you. 

    Due to limited Lehigh abroad courses, students may explore external programs; a partial list is available for reference.  These programs are not affiliated with Lehigh University for the winter 2021-2022 term..  The Study Abroad Office will authorize applications if requested by an external university/program provider, however, since you would not be enrolled as a Lehigh student while you attend the program, Lehigh cannot provide logistical, health and safety, or other support. Your participation would be independent of Lehigh University. 

    SUMMER 2022 PROGRAMMING

    INFORMATION COMING SOON