Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

What is IFSA doing to communicate with current students?

IFSA is sending a global message out weekly with updates, best practices, and resources. This message is then supplemented by site-specific messaging on local public health and government guidance and in-person meetings with resident staff. 

IFSA on-site staff is also available to connect students with medical or mental health resources to maximize their wellness abroad.

In the event of specific guidance issued by a government and changes to that guidance, IFSA staff communicates this immediately to students and holds small meetings to discuss any concerns.

Will 2020 Summer IFSA programs run?

Based on current CDC travel warnings, State Department travel warnings, and travel logistics, among other factors, all Summer 2020 programs have been cancelled.

Will 2020 Fall IFSA programs run?

All IFSA Fall 2020 programs in Australia, Argentina, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Peru, Scotland, Spain, Sri Lanka, and Wales are canceled.

All on-site programs in England have been canceled for Fall 2020. However, IFSA is supporting online programs in partnership with the following institutions: King’s College London, London School of Economics, and select University of Oxford colleges. Please reach out to your IFSA Program Advisor for additional information. 

Will 2021 Spring IFSA programs run?

We will continue to review our spring programs globally against a set of criteria that assesses their readiness to receive students in the short term. At this time, IFSA plans to offer its entire portfolio of spring programs. 

Will 2021 Summer IFSA programs run?

We will continue to review our summer programs globally against a set of criteria that assesses their readiness to receive students in the short term. At this time, IFSA plans to offer its entire portfolio of summer programs. 

My university or college is considering recalling its students from my location. Can I continue my classwork remotely?

Our Academic Programs team is currently coordinating with our on-site staff and providers to determine contingency plans for these situations. In some cases, we may be able to arrange online continuation of classes, but each of our programs is structured differently, and in many cases, this will be dependent on the arrangements that can be made with the host institution. 

I am leaving my program early. What is IFSA’s refund policy?

We are actively working with institutions and vendors to secure refunds on your behalf. The outcome will vary widely based on your study location, specifics of the program structure, and how much of the semester was completed at the time of your program’s suspension. 

We will provide a refund update to you or your institution (if they paid IFSA on your behalf) by May 15.

This is an unprecedented challenge for all of us. We greatly appreciate your support, flexibility, and patience as we work with our partners abroad on this process.

I am leaving my program early. Will IFSA cover the cost of rebooking my flight home?

We cannot cover change fees or costs associated with rebooking flights; however, students with demonstrated financial need may be eligible for emergency scholarship funds to help defray the cost. Email Hannah Sutton if this applies to you. The deadline to make these requests is May 15, 2020.

Some airlines have been flexible with date fluctuation because of the global COVID-19 crisis. We encourage you to contact your airline directly or reach out to our travel partner, STA Travel, at 800.781.4040.

I am studying abroad in a location with relatively few (or no) reported cases of COVID-19, but I am nervous given the spread of the disease. I am concerned about medical care and the possibility of borders closing.

IFSA continues to monitor the spread of the virus and corresponding travel restrictions and challenges daily. U.S. citizens returning to the United States from a COVID-19 affected country would face enhanced screening and possible quarantine if warranted, but they would not be denied entry. In addition, IFSA has relationships with medical providers in our program locations and is prepared to support students’ health care needs.

Please contact us at 800.858.0229 or 317.940.9336 if you have any further questions.