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.

Future-Focused Guarantee

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.

Program Changes

Due to CDC and U.S. State Department travel notices as well as the uncertainty of travel restrictions and disruptions, we have suspended operations in all IFSA locations worldwide as of March 20, 2020. At this time, we plan to operate all Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 programs EXCEPT the following:

  • China (Summer 2020)
  • Summer in Rome (Summer 2020)
  • Revolutions in Biomedicine, Imperial College London (Summer 2020)
  • University College Cork (Summer 2020)
  • University College Dublin – Summer Internships in Dublin (Summer 2020)
  • University of Cambridge, Pembroke College (Summer 2020)
  • University of Oxford, St. Peter’s College (Summer 2020)
  • University of Stirling (Summer 2020-Session 1)
  • University of Sussex (Summer 2020-Session 1-Standard and Session 1-Physics)
    • Session 2-Standard and Session 2-Physics are still being offered

We will continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation around the globe, and promptly notify students, emergency contacts, and university partners as relevant details change. Please contact our Student Life and Wellness team if you have any questions.

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 Summer IFSA programs run?
  • 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.

Important Communications

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:

  • 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.

Additional Resources


Stay Updated

Follow IFSA on social to stay up-to-date on COVID-19.