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, the following programs have been canceled for summer 2020:

    • 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 recognize that the situation is fluid and circumstances may change. We are here to help you commit with confidence and lock in pricing. 

Will 2020 Fall IFSA programs run?

All programs are currently operating as planned. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed should anything change. We are here to help you commit with confidence and lock in pricing. 

I’m an IFSA student. I traveled to a country of concern, and I am coughing. What should I do?

Remain calm, it is unlikely to be the COVID-19 virus. However, out of an abundance of caution, it’s advisable to seek treatment and get tested. Your on-site staff can work with you to find a healthcare provider and coordinate the CISI insurance. 

Am I allowed to travel to locations outside of my host country while I’m abroad?

IFSA strongly discourages travel to locations affected by the COVID-19 virus. We are communicating regularly with our students about the risks associated with this travel at this time. We require students to submit independent travel forms in advance of travel and are reviewing these regularly. At this time, we are discouraging cross-border/international travel, in general, out of an abundance of caution. We continuously update our information about places affected by the virus and the guidance and best practices associated with travel.

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 April 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. 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.