Are students studying abroad? Are faculty planning future programs?
Yes, they are! Students are able to study abroad anywhere that is listed at a State Department Advisory Level 1 or Level 2. If the destination country is a Level 3, they may Petition to travel. Students, faculty, and staff at PSU are not permitted to travel to countries at a Level 4. Faculty wanting to run programs to a location that is a Level 3 will have a petition submitted on their behalf by the Education Abroad Department.
We are constantly monitoring the situation and have various contingency plans should there be restrictions on future travel.
Will students, faculty, and staff be required to get a vaccine to study abroad?
As of 03.03.2021:
PSU will not require students, faculty, or staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to studying abroad. It is possible that the destination country will require a vaccine to enter legally. If this is the case for your program, Education Abroad and the Program Leader will discuss how this will directly impact your students' ability to participate in the program.
Will students, faculty, and staff be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to studying abroad?
As of 03.03.2021:
PSU will not require students, faculty, or staff to present a negative COVID-19 test prior to studying abroad. It is possible that the destination country will require proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter, and in some cases, upon arrival at the airport. If this is the case for your program, Education Abroad and SHAC will work with you and your students to ensure that they have access to a test prior to departure.
Any testing is done at the expense of each student, though many insurers are covering the COVID-19 tests free of charge.
What goes into the decision-making process for canceling programs?
Education Abroad considers several factors before canceling a program. We use the CDC and Department of State as our primary guide for decision-making. We are also looking at the policies in each country surrounding travelers: will our students need to self-quarantine upon arrival or upon return to the U.S? Do they need to provide proof of vaccination or similar to travel? Are embassies available to support students while abroad or issue visas when necessary? Are students able to visit sites that are essential to the integrity of the program? All things that we are closely monitoring with our partners overseas.
What happens if travel becomes restricted in the country we are planning to travel to?
Prior to opening a program to applications, we will work with our partners on the ground and the program leader to determine a date by which we would need to cancel the program. The safety of our faculty and staff is our highest priority, and we will make a detailed plan regarding canceling the program. See the next question regarding program cancellation.
In 2020 & 2021, we successfully transitioned programs to an online format with intercultural components. During the planning stages of your program, Ed Abroad will work with you to determine a Plan B, should your program be unable to travel. Not all programs work in an online format, this is not a requirement, merely a suggestion. This plan will look different depending on the learning outcomes and program inclusions of your particular course.
What happens if my faculty-led program is canceled?
- Students are offered the opportunity to have their application fee refunded or deferred to another program or term
- No program fees are charged to students
- Students will be given alternate course options to fulfill the same or similar credit during the same term, to stay on track to graduation
What should I tell students concerned about travel during a post-COVID-19 world?
You can assure students that PSU will not sponsor any program that poses a risk to the health of their students and staff. We will continually be monitoring the situation globally and will cancel the program if it becomes unsafe to travel. Assure students that they will not be responsible for any program fees if their program gets canceled by PSU’s Education Abroad office. We also will make all decisions early enough to allow them to enroll in alternate courses, where necessary.