Summer 2021 FAQ

Update as of April 15, 2021: Covid-19 Vaccine Requirement for 2021 Programs

We at Syracuse Abroad recognize that this is a challenging time to make decisions about studying abroad this summer. We would like to reassure you that at this time, we are moving forward with our center-based & partner summer programs as planned. 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 the summer.

We are working with the Syracuse University global safety team along with our knowledgeable teams abroad to determine the most appropriate ways to maximize student safety. In addition to CDC guidelines, we are also considering 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 laws and regulations.


Will program dates change?

Syracuse Center program dates have been modified to align with the Spring semester date change on main campus.  You can view individual program dates on the corresponding program brochure page here.  For Partner programs, we are currently monitoring our partner institutions’ plans and will notify students of major changes.  Students should also be alert to updates they receive directly from their programs. 

Will students be required to obtain a visa?

U.S. Citizens will not be required to obtain a visa for most summer programs. Most international students and students pursuing an internship in London will, however, be required to obtain a student Visa.  Students needing a visa will work closely with their program advisor to complete the visa application process.

What is the likelihood that my summer 2021 program will be cancelled?

We are committed to providing you with a robust study abroad experience that is as safe as possible, and we are making contingency plans and preparing for a variety of scenarios to optimize the chances of running all programs. Because it is unknown how and when the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will evolve in the United States and in locations of our programs, it is too early to predict if a program will need to be cancelled. Be assured that we are monitoring all locations closely and will maintain communication with all applicants as conditions evolve.

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.  While we are committed to running quality academic programs as planned, if we determine in collaboration with experts that your safety is at risk or that we can no longer provide a robust experience for you, we will modify or cancel the program, immediately communicate any changes, and present you with alternative options where possible.

Will I be able to switch to another study abroad program for summer 2021?

Yes, pending availability, if your program is cancelled, you can change your enrollment to a new program at a different Syracuse Abroad center.  Please contact your Syracuse Abroad program advisor.

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

Yes, if you wish to defer your enrollment to Fall 2021, your $575 will be applied to your future program.  You must contact your Syracuse Abroad program advisor to make this change before March 1, 2021.


What will the refund policy look like for summer 2021?

  • The Syracuse Abroad withdraw date for summer 2021 programs is March 1, 2021.  This allows you to withdraw from your summer 2021 program or defer your enrollment to a new term any time prior to March 1, 2021 without incurring any financial penalty.
  • After the commitment period, but before the beginning of the summer term, Syracuse Abroad will work to minimize the financial impact of a withdrawal/cancellation as much as possible.
  • After March 1, 2021 refunds will be consistent with the University refund policy stated on the Tuition, Fees, and Related Policies Bulletin. Please make yourself familiar with this 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, will classes be available virtually?

Virtual classes and/or appropriate accommodations will be made to support students’ ability to stay on track academically.

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

Our Centers expect to offer the typical number of classes for each center. Class lists available on our site reflect the most up-to-date information on planned offerings. As always, we may have to cancel a class if it does not enroll well.

As a Syracuse student, will I be able to register for summer classes on main campus if the program gets cancelled?

Currently, we are planning to run Syracuse Abroad programs in summer 2021 as planned. In the event that your class or program is cancelled, we will present you with suitable in-person or online study abroad options (as available) or encourage you to work with your academic advisor to identify alternative main campus courses.  

Travel & Arrival

Do I need to worry about CDC and US Department of State risk ratings with my upcoming travel?

We continue to monitor all risk ratings and note that both agencies have returned to country-by country analysis rather than a global level 3 or 4 risk rating.  We believe this provides a more nuanced analysis of COVID-19 risk for travelers.  We will continue to monitor these important measures and as we get closer to summer, we will provide specific information about the COVID-19 risks in each program location.

Will group flights be offered?

Syracuse Abroad will not be offering group flights for most Summer 2021 programs, however we will be sending out detailed instructions for purchasing flights in early April.  Please 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. Because the situation is still changing, we will provide an update as we get closer to the date of departure.  

Can parents or family members come with students?

At this time, U.S. Citizens are only able to enter Spain, Italy, and France if they are deemed essential.  Students are deemed essential but parents and family members are not.  All U.S. Citizens may enter the United Kingdom but must follow quarantine requirements. We ask that parents not enter residential spaces or program locations.  If parents would like to meet with staff, please call and they will make arrangements to meet you.  Per our standing policy, parents/guests are not permitted to participate in program activities.

Is travel in the province, country, region allowed? Based on visa? Based on COVID?

Unless conditions change, students will be asked to refrain from travelling outside their host country for the duration of the program.  Any restrictions within the host country are within the purview of the host country and students will be routinely apprised of any applicable rules and regulations.  (Note that the Strasbourg program is an exception and some travel to Germany may be permitted.  A determination about student travel within both countries will be made closer to the start of the summer.)

If students can travel, will they have to quarantine upon return?

Among other reasons, potential quarantine requirements are one of the reasons that independent travel will be limited to within the host country.  Please note that students will be solely responsible for the foreseeable consequences of violating the travel guidelines, including financial consequences associated with quarantine.

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 time leading up to the summer.  We will provide specific guidance as we get closer to the start of the summer term.  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. Curfews may also be in place.


What will physical distancing look like in classrooms?

Appropriate physical distancing (1-2 meters according to local regulations) will be the standard in each classroom.  In some cases, the layout of the room or other factors, may require the use of temporary separation barriers (e.g. plexiglass shields).  Specific layouts for these rooms will be determined based on enrollment and as we get closer to the summer.

What is ventilation like?

Some facilities in Europe pre-date central air conditioning systems, and, in some cases, Syracuse Abroad does not own the facility and cannot make changes to the infrastructure.  That said, we are currently looking at options for air filtering systems that are appropriate to each facility and will provide an update as we get closer to the spring term.

What will the maximum capacity be?

This depends on class enrollment, the specific classroom size, and the number of seats that can be arranged in the room while maintaining a 1 to 2-meter separation between students. On average our classroom capacity will be approximately 60% of normal.

Will libraries be open (Florence and Madrid)?

Yes.  Masks will be required and students will be asked to social distance.  Study spaces will be rearranged (e.g. Students will not be seated across from one anther).

Will there be procedures in place for students arriving to the classroom/building (e.g. temperature checks)?

There will not be temperature checks.  Given this age group is most likely to experience asymptomatic cases of COVID-19, temperature checks are not generally effective for limiting spread.  Students will be strongly advised to remain home if they feel ill. 


Will students stay in homestays? How many per host?

Strasbourg is the only location offering homestays this summer.  There will be specific COVID protocols implemented to minimize risk to both students and their host families.  The specifics of housing arrangements will be provided as we get closer to summer.

Will students stay in residence halls?

Students in Madrid and Florence will be placed in student housing. Students in Madrid will have the choice between two residence halls, both will offer shared rooms. Students in Florence will stay in single rooms at the Student Hotel. (more information can be found on each program’s page)

How many students will live in apartments in London?

Students sharing an apartment will be treated as a “pod” or “family group.”  Students within the group may associate without social distancing as one does now with family.  Outside the group, masks and social distancing should be strictly followed.   Each apartment will house a maximum of four students. London apartments will be within a 20-minute walking distance from to London Center.

Will the centers be offering field trips? If so, what will transportation look like?

Centers will offer local programming activities as feasible. The specifics of these experiences will be provided as we get closer to summer as the risks associated with travel in each location become clearer.  Rest assured that we are planning exciting extra-curricular options that will meet local health guidelines and maximize both student experience and student safety.


Will masks be required?

Yes, masks are required at all centers both indoor and outdoor, just like on the SU Campus.

Are students required to bring their own masks? If yes, how many? What kind?

Yes, students will need to bring their own masks.  We recommend a supply of cloth masks in sufficient quantity to allow the mask to be cleaned and dried each day.  While this is possible with two masks, it is certainly more convenient to bring more.  Each Center will maintain a supply of disposable masks for special/emergency use only.

European locations may have stronger mask requirements in place by Summer, please check back for updates.

What is the availability to purchase masks abroad?

Masks are now broadly available in most locations.  However, given travelers are expected to wear masks while in flight and/or at the airport, students should expect to travel with a basic supply of masks.  Please keep in mind that at certain times, such as a beginning of the semester, there may be a high demand for masks which might make acquiring masks locally a challenge.

Where are masks required to be worn? In our program space? In housing? In and around the city?

Mask requirements will vary by location, much as they do in the United States.  We will publish these requirements for each program location as we get closer to summer.  That said, masks will be required in all classrooms and program spaces regardless of local rules.  Masks will not be required in a student’s personal living space but may be required in shared spaces depending on the facilities requirements, or the family’s expectations if you are living in a homestay.

Covid-19 Testing

Will students be required to take a Covid test before departing for their program? How recent should the results be?

Yes. Consistent with the practice at main campus, students should have a COVID-19 test before travelling. The requirements for how soon before travel the test is required will vary by location.  Details of the testing process will be released closer to the departure date.

Will students need to take a test upon arrival?

This will depend on quarantine and testing requirements in the host country. We will release details as we get closer to the summer term.

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.

Will students be required to be tested throughout the summer program?

Currently, we are planning to test students once/twice a week for surveillance testing.  Additionally, consistent with good contact tracing practice, students/staff/faculty found to have had close contact with another student/staff/faculty that tests positive may be asked to take a test.  Specific requirements will vary based on local regulations.

What will the turnaround time be for test results?

This will vary based on location.  Obviously, we are all very interested in testing regiments that provide quick results. More details about each program’s testing plans will be available as we get closer to summer.

What is the general access to testing in each summer study abroad location?

At present, testing is broadly available in each program location.  However, as we have seen in the United States, if there is a local surge in such cases then resources can become strained.  We continue to monitor local testing availability and will provide more information as we get closer to summer.

Quarantine/Isolation Protocols

What happens if a student is exposed to Covid-19?

Local health authorities will determine what protocol a student must follow if they are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.  We will provide more specific information about the planned response of each jurisdiction as we get closer to summer.  That said, close, and not casual, contact is generally required before precautionary quarantine would be required.  If a student is required to quarantine for a 10-day period because of exposure, then the student will be able to continue to study remotely and support for life needs will be arranged.

What happens if a student is sick?

Any student experiencing an illness with symptoms associated with COVID-19 will need to contact a physician for advice.  Each program location will provide access to appropriate medical care.  As in the US, there may be a fee for these services beyond what is covered by program travel insurance.  Students are expected to follow medical advice regarding testing, treatment, and any necessary self-isolation.  Students who test positive, if they live with another student, will be provided temporary isolation housing.  Please note that testing positive for COVID-19 will NOT result in a student’s repatriation to the United States.  Excellent medical care is available in each location where we operate a program.  In fact, it is unlikely that either the host government or the US government will permit a known positive individual to fly.

What happens if a roommate is exposed? Sick? Has symptoms?

Local health authorities will determine whether a roommate of an ill patient must quarantine.  Quarantine support will be provided as noted above.  Please note that if all roommates are found to be positive then no individual isolation is required and all those found to be positive may isolate together.

What would require a student to return home?

Special expectations for student behavior will be published in advance for each program site.  Students are expected to rigorously adhere to University and program policies intended to support participant health and safety.  Flagrant violations of these expectations will trigger the university judicial process and/or may result in the student being terminated from the program in which situation they will need to depart the location because their student visa status will also be void.  While not likely, students may also be repatriated if advised to do so by medical professionals.

What conditions might trigger a program cancellation?

Program cancellation due to Covid-19 would be considered if a local surge in cases was determined to place students at substantial risk and/or if there were a number of cases among program participants that could not be traced and contained through isolation and quarantine.  To be clear, as with universities across the country, a successful study abroad experience is heavily dependent on the cooperation of students and their compliance with health and safety regulations.  Risky behavior of few may result in all losing a great experience.

One thing this pandemic has made clear is how increasingly globalized our world has become.  Intercultural understanding and collaboration are more important than ever.  This fuels our dedication to providing you with the best study abroad programming possible.  We know that many students are eager to go abroad, and we are committed to do our best to offer a safe, positive, and fruitful experience abroad this summer.

If you have any further inquiries, please contact your program advisor and they would be happy to assist.