Study Abroad and Coronavirus
We continue to closely monitor the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, communicating regularly with students, emergency contacts, and university partners providing guidance and updates on the situation globally as well as locally.
The health and safety of IFSA students is our highest priority, and our decisions about program closures and cancellations reflect this commitment. IFSA evaluates programs based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) country-specific travel notices, as well as the guidance of the U.S. State Department and other relevant governing bodies and authorities. We always encourage students to follow the requirements of their home institution, and our onsite resident staff will support students who must leave a program early.
Below you’ll find FAQs, IFSA program updates, and links to recent communications regarding COVID-19.
In light of the worldwide COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, IFSA is prepared to help students and families currently thinking about study abroad experiences for Summer 2020 or Fall 2020.
Fall 2020 Program Changes
We have reviewed our fall programs globally against a set of criteria that assesses their readiness to receive students in the short term. At the programmatic level, criteria included well-established emergency and academic contingency plans; flexibility and responsiveness in recent months; and our ability to manage the needs of a pandemic, including self-isolation needs. At the country level, we prioritized locations that handled the pandemic rationally, demonstrated an ability to flatten the curve, and have highly rated healthcare systems to handle local and foreign residents in the event of illness. These and other criteria will continue to guide our decision making for upcoming terms.
As a result of this evaluation, we are offering the following programs for Fall 2020:
We will make a final decision as to whether the program will operate by the date listed as IFSA Decision Date. To offer the most flexibility to our students, we will extend our Future-Focused Guarantee to match these dates.
All IFSA Fall 2020 programs in Australia, Argentina, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Peru, Scotland, Spain, Sri Lanka, and Wales are canceled.
The following Fall 2020 programs in England are also canceled:
City, University of London
Queen Mary, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
|University of Leeds
University of Sussex
University of the Arts, London
University of York
Urban Research Lab
IFSA Health & Safety Matrix
Download a PDF of the IFSA Health & Safety Matrix.
Country and Academic Updates
Find a comprehensive update of all IFSA locations for Spring 2020, including academic information from our partner institutions in each country, on these detailed pages. We’ll update these pages with information as we receive it from our host institutions around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding the evolving coronavirus pandemic.
- What is IFSA doing to communicate with current students?
- Will 2020 Fall IFSA programs run?
- I’m an IFSA student. I traveled to a country of concern, and I am coughing. What should I do?
- Am I allowed to travel to locations outside of my host country while I’m abroad?
Please contact us at 800.858.0229 or 317.940.9336 if you have any further questions.
March 16—IFSA Closes Programs Worldwide due to Coronavirus
We have determined that the best decision for the health, safety, and wellbeing of our students and staff around the world is to suspend operations of all IFSA programs worldwide, effective immediately
March 13—Online course update for Argentina, Chile, and Peru
Currently, we are continuing our onsite operations in Argentina, Chile, and Peru. For students who depart early, IFSA is working to develop an online option for IFSA sponsored program classes.
March 12—Europe, U.K., Israel early closure; Updates around the world
We have made the measured decision to close our programs in Europe, the United Kingdom, and Israel; other programs around the world will continue with the option for students to return home early.
March 10—Spain early closure
Today, after careful evaluation, we made the difficult decision to close our 2020 Spring program in Barcelona, effective April 3, 2020. Students will complete the academic portion of the program remotely.
March 9—Weekly update
At this time, all of our Spring 2020 programs except those in China and Italy continue to operate. We are monitoring a variety of government and public health sources, nationally and internationally, and we are meeting daily to discuss the situation in each of our program locations.
February 29—Italy early closure
Following actions by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. State Department, IFSA made the difficult decision to close its on-site operation of its Rome, Italy program, effective March 4, 2020.
January 28—China cancellation
After a complete evaluation of the current situation in China, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the IFSA China programs for Spring 2020.
We strongly recommend you take the following precautions at home and abroad:
- Wear a facial mask.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue in the trash.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Center for Disease Control Travel Notices
- Department of State Travel Advisories
- In Case of Emergency
Follow IFSA on social to stay up-to-date on COVID-19.