Covid-19 FAQ

Syracuse Abroad recognizes that this is a challenging time to make decisions about studying abroad. We would like to reassure you that our highest priority is the health and safety of our students and we will continue to review public health and travel advisory guidance leading up to and throughout each program.  Notably, the increasing Covid-19 vaccination rates across our program locations leads to heightened optimism.  Please know that we are committed to communicating frequently and transparently as conditions change.  

In general, CDC guidelines will be observed. However, each program is bound by law to follow the health requirements of their host country, region, and/or city.  In most cases, these expectations meet or exceed CDC guidelines, but may achieve the desired result differently, and in a manner consistent with local culture.

Please note: The questions and answers below represent the best information we have as of February 15, 2022.  This information changes rapidly and we will update this page as new information becomes available.  Also, the information in this FAQ only applies to the programs that Syracuse University operates. For more information about World Partner Programs, please reach out to your World Partner program advisor.

As of January 5, 2023: Syracuse Abroad is unable to accommodate Covid-19 Vaccination and/or booster Exemptions. All students studying with our programs must be fully vaccinated, receive all eligible boosters and provide proof of inoculation prior to a published deadline for each program. In general, international governments have constraints on those unvaccinated such that robust participation in a study abroad program is not possible. The experience would be so compromised as to not meet the high standards of a Syracuse Abroad experience. Students with questions about this should reach out to their International Program Advisor.

Syracuse University students that have been formally granted exemption from the University’s Covid-19 vaccine and booster requirements, may, in some circumstances, be eligible to study abroad with a World Program in locations where the host country and partner institution allow exemptions.  Please contact Syracuse Abroad at to request information and discuss your options.

Student Enrollment and Pre-Departure

How will it be decided if a program is cancelled?

The Office of Global Safety & Support at Syracuse University carefully monitors developments in close cooperation with various offices on the local, national, and international level such as the NYS Department of Health, the CDC, U.S. State Department, and International SOS.  We want to provide the very best study abroad experience for each of you. If we feel that your health is at risk beyond our ability to reasonably mitigate that risk, we will modify or cancel the program as needed.  Other conditions such as border closures will result in a program cancellation.

If my program is cancelled, can I obtain on-campus housing if I’m a Syracuse University student?

While you will need to be flexible with the on-campus housing location, housing may be available in the unlikely event that your Syracuse Abroad program is cancelled.  Please contact Syracuse University’s Housing, Meal Plan & ID Card Services Office directly by email at or by phone at 315-443-2721 to discuss further.

Will I be able to register for courses on main campus if my semester abroad is cancelled?

In the unlikely event that upcoming Syracuse Abroad programs are cancelled, Syracuse Abroad would offer your scheduled semester abroad courses online if the decision to cancel was made at a time where it’s too late to register for courses on main campus or your home university.  Students attending local partner institutions abroad may need to move to online Syracuse Abroad Center courses if online courses are not available through the institution.  We encourage you to consult with your academic advisor to discuss other academic contingency plans. 

Will students be required to obtain a visa?

For programs modified to be under 90 days in length, students who are U.S. citizens will not need a visa (*See exceptions below).  Additionally, you will be unable to obtain a student visa.  In order to receive a visa, you would need documents from Syracuse University stating that the length of the program is more than 90 days, and Syracuse University cannot submit documentation with incorrect program dates.

All students will be required to obtain a visa for any program 90 days or more in length.


  • Non-U.S. citizens may be required to apply for a student visa, based on country of citizenship and length of program.
  • London Center – All students (both U.S. and international) who will be pursuing an internship in London must apply for a visa. 
  • Students requiring a visa will work closely with their program advisor for guidance and support.

Can I defer my enrollment to a future semester? If I defer my enrollment, will I be able to apply my application fee (paid by all students) and $575 deposit (paid by visiting students) to a future program?

Yes, you can defer your application to a subsequent semester. If you wish to defer your enrollment, your application fee and $575 will be applied to your future program. 

Covid-19 Vaccination Policy

Does Syracuse Abroad require Covid-19 vaccinations for study abroad?

On April 27, 2021, Syracuse Abroad announced that all study abroad participants will be required to be fully vaccinated.  This requirement is consistent with the Syracuse University Chancellor’s message to the University on April 8, 2021. 

Syracuse University students will need to upload documentation of their status to the Barnes Center Patient Portal.  Visiting students should upload documentation of their status to their Covid-19 Documentation Upload questionnaire on their OrangeAbroad portal. Please move expeditiously to secure the vaccine.  In addition to increased health and safety for you, vaccinated students will also be less impacted by international and local covid-related restrictions.  For any Covid-19 questions, please contact Bridget Demorest at  

Does Syracuse Abroad require a Covid-19 booster for study abroad?

On December 6, 2021, Syracuse University announced that beginning with the spring 2022 semester, all students who are eligible to receive a Covid-19 booster must receive one before the beginning of the semester, including all study abroad participants. Additionally, many of our study abroad locations have very strict Covid vaccine passport rules and a booster will be required to access most public venues, indoor dining, university facilities and transportation access.

If you are a Syracuse University student, you must upload an image of your updated Covid-19 vaccine card to your Barnes Center Patient Portal.  Students will soon receive an email from the Barnes Center with additional information related to how and when to upload documentation.  For visiting students, please navigate to the “Online Applications Checklist” section of your OrangeAbroad account and upload an image of your updated Covid-19 card to the “Covid-19 Booster documentation upload” checklist item in your account.

Does Syracuse Abroad consider medical or religious exemptions?

Syracuse Abroad is unable to accommodate Covid-19 Vaccination and/or booster Exemptions. All students studying with our programs must be fully vaccinated, and, if eligible, must also receive a booster dose and provide proof of inoculation prior to a published deadline for each program. In general, international governments have constraints on those unvaccinated such that robust participation in a study abroad program is not possible. The experience would be so compromised as to not meet the high standards of a Syracuse Abroad experience. Students with questions about this should reach out to their International Program Advisor.

Do I need a vaccination to enter my host country?

It is important to stay updated on country entry requirements, along with airline transportation requirements. We recommend you regularly monitor your airline carrier’s requirements, along with the local host country’s government website. Syracuse Abroad staff also regularly monitor and will communicate major changes in arrival requirements. Presently, the Covid-19 vaccination is not an entrance requirement at any of our center program locations. It is important to keep in mind that a traveler who is not vaccinated will very likely experience significantly more barriers in their travel plans, which may include additional arrival quarantine time and additional testing. 

These elements impacting arrival for unvaccinated travelers must be accounted for when planning financial and arrival logistics, as the cost and time associated with quarantine upon arrival are the responsibility of the unvaccinated student, who is expected to begin the program on the published start date. 

Do I need to be vaccinated to attend classes, restaurants, and social and cultural activities?

In many locations, yes, vaccination is required in order to participate in social and cultural activities. For the unvaccinated student, regularized Covid-19 testing will be enforced (in one location, unvaccinated students must undergo a test every 48 hours) in order to participate in classes and enter educational buildings. 

Proof of the Covid-19 vaccine is required in many countries within the European Union which allows individuals to enter museums, theaters, fitness facilities, restaurants, cinemas, etc. Unvaccinated individuals wishing to partake must provide proof of a negative test within a specified time period. 

In some locations, restrictions and costs for unvaccinated students will be prohibitive.  In such circumstances, Syracuse Abroad may decline to permit unvaccinated students from attending.


What is Syracuse Abroad’s refund policy?

Students can withdraw from their program or defer their enrollment to a new semester any time prior to the program’s financial commitment date without incurring any financial penalty. See Syracuse Abroad Refund Policy and Commitment Deadlines for more information.  

After the commitment deadline, Syracuse Abroad will work with each student to minimize the financial impact of a withdrawal/cancellation.  Refunds will be consistent with the University refund policy stated on the Tuition, Fees, and Related Policies Bulletin.  Students are encouraged to read the policy.  The actual amount of the refund will depend on a variety of factors including type of housing and the point in time when the withdrawal/cancellation takes place.


If a student is required to quarantine or arrives late as a result of a positive Covid test, will classes be available virtually?

Virtual classes and/or appropriate accommodations will be made to support students’ ability to stay on track academically. The exact nature of the accommodation will depend on the specific center, course and/or instructor.

What are the academic contingency plans if my program is suspended or cancelled?

Syracuse Abroad is committed to helping students stay on track to graduate while abroad.  If a program is cancelled before the semester begins or during the early phase of the study abroad semester, we will work with you to either identify an alternate study abroad option (when available and if applicable) or offer you to return to main campus (for Syracuse students) or your home campus if possible (for visiting students). If a program is cancelled close to or beyond the half-way point of your semester abroad, we will assist you in completing coursework remotely, on the main Syracuse campus, or through a combination of both.

Will Covid-19 affect the number of classes taught at each center?

Our Centers expect to offer the typical selection of classes (pending course enrollment) and may add additional sections in order to meet social distancing requirements.  At some of our centers, you will see some new and exciting courses that directly tackle current issues.  Class lists available on our website reflect the most up-to-date information on planned offerings.  Find your program here and then select the ‘Courses’ link under ‘In this Section’.

How may Covid-19 impact my registration experience?

With social distancing measures in place, there will be fewer seats available in each classroom. As a result, we anticipate that more classes than usual may fill during registration. In conversation with your academic advisor, please prepare for registration by selecting multiple alternative classes you will be able to substitute for your first-choice options in case your preferred options fill. Flexibility will be key to a stress-free registration!

As a Syracuse student, will I be able to register for classes on the main campus and abroad?

Students should not be planning both an abroad and a main campus schedule.  Students should only be planning and registering for courses abroad during the semester they will be abroad.  Please connect with your academic advisor if you have any questions or concerns.

Travel & Arrival

How are CDC and US Department of State risk ratings taken into consideration?

We continue to monitor both among other indicators including those provided by local experts and our international service provider, International SOS (ISOS).  In particular, where the State or CDC rating is driven heavily by risks associated with Covid-19, we consider these risks in the context of our active and aggressive efforts to mitigate those risks including a fully vaccinated student population.

Will group flights be offered?

We have every hope that we will be returning to group flights for future semesters.  For upcoming semesters, your program advisor will send out detailed instructions for purchasing flights.  In the meantime,  do not book any flights until you receive this information from your program advisor.

Will students be required to quarantine upon arrival?

This is a possibility and will depend on the requirements of the host country.  Should quarantine be required, then each program will provide academic and personal support during the quarantine period and specific instructions will be provided to the student.  Please see Covid-19 Plans below for more information regarding quarantine requirements. 

Students On-Site

Will Syracuse Abroad allow personal travel?

For our program in Chile,

  • Entry requirements for Chile remain constrained by Covid-19 regulations and those traveling outside the country face the very real possibility of facing quarantine requirements or possibly being denied re-entry. Therefore, independent international travel for those attending Syracuse Chile remains prohibited.  Local program staff and the Office of Global Safety and Support will continue to monitor conditions with the intention of making opportunities for international travel available if conditions warrant.

For programs in Europe,

  • Independent international travel is constrained to the European Economic Area, the UK, Switzerland, and to/from a student’s home country.
  • Our principal concerns are the highly variable rules regarding entry, isolation, and quarantine.  Government regulations on the movement of people across borders remains fluid and chaotic.  We continue to recommend that students think carefully before investing time and resources on international travel in the current environment.  Students are strongly advised to investigate these rules before travel and to be prepared for unforeseen disruptions to their travel plans.
  • For European countries, some form of Covid vaccination and/or testing documentation is required.  Each Syracuse Abroad location in Europe will have specific guidance for obtaining this documentation, and your student will receive instructions locally.  These processes vary by country, and some are very bureaucratic requiring diligence to obtain.  Syracuse Abroad has no control over these processes, but the documentation must be acquired before students may travel internationally.
  • The prospect remains that a student may become ill with Covid-19 while traveling.  Syracuse Abroad will be limited in the assistance that can be provided and all costs associated with any required isolation or quarantine are solely the responsibility of the student.  Students are advised to have resources and consider how they will sustain themselves if required to isolate or quarantine in their destination location.

Students whose home institution is not Syracuse University are subject to the travel policy of their school as well as that of Syracuse Abroad.  Your student should confirm that international travel is permitted before proceeding.

Will there be limitations to local travel that may affect my travel time from my housing to class?

This will vary by location and may change over the course of the semester.  We will provide specific guidance as we get closer to the start of each semester.  In general, students should plan on longer travel times anywhere public transportation is utilized.  Social distancing protocols will assuredly limit the number of passengers per vehicle, whether bus or train, resulting in increased travel times.

Will students be covered by insurance?

As a student studying abroad with Syracuse, you automatically receive travel insurance benefits as part of your program fee. This is not major medical coverage, but will provide coverage for accidents or emergencies that occur overseas. It is important that you review your private insurance to see if global coverage is included. Taking into consideration the Syracuse Abroad insurance along with your private insurance, you can then make an informed decision on whether to purchase additional coverage based on your health situation.

Will the University’s travel insurance cover Covid-19 testing?

University travel insurance will NOT cover preventive testing. However, should a student become ill then any necessary diagnostic testing will be covered as will any necessary treatment.

That said, the University has surveillance testing in place in every study abroad location at no additional cost to the student.  The timing and frequency of this testing depends on local regulations.

How will Syracuse Abroad support students who test positive prior to the end of the program?

Staff will support students through regular contact and virtual engagement activities; arranging grocery delivery services and any supplies or support students may require. Virtual classes and/or appropriate accommodations will be made to support students’ ability to stay on track academically. All academic classes are prepared to pivot quickly to online learning if necessary. Extensive training for all faculty has taken place to ensure skillful use of virtual teaching approaches.

If a program ends early and students must return home unexpectedly due to COVID, will Syracuse Abroad cover their flight costs?

Syracuse Abroad is unable to purchase tickets for students, make flight arrangements or cover the cost of an early return flight.  Students are encouraged to purchase flights that have flexible ticket policies to allow for minimal or no change fees.

Covid-19 Plans

Covid-19 precautions and support measures will likely remain a feature of study abroad for the foreseeable future.  Therefore, Syracuse Abroad has put in place comprehensive health and safety measures to help support your experience abroad.  Please access these plans for more detailed information about documentation for proof of vaccination, cleaning/sanitation/PPE, social distancing, medical care, quarantine/isolation, Covid testing, and contact tracing.

Travel Policies

Please visit the following pages for more details about our independent international travel policies: