COVID-19 March 16

IFSA Programs Close Worldwide Due to Coronavirus

IFSA has been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and its impact around the world. Unfortunately, the uncertainty of the situation escalated dramatically recently, causing disruptions and restrictions to travel and a level of ambiguity and unpredictability unlike any we have seen before. Therefore, 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.

Key Dates and Information

  • Students will be asked to adjust their flights home immediately. Our IFSA onsite staff are prepared to assist students as needed.
  • We ask that students arrange flights to depart by Friday, March 20.
  • Students can remain in their current housing until their travel is arranged.
  • IFSA student insurance through CISI will terminate at midnight on the date of the student’s departure home.
  • Students who have difficulty arranging for travel in the timeline outlined should discuss those circumstances with the IFSA onsite staff so we can extend your accommodations and CISI insurance for a short time. We will provide all the support necessary for students dealing with this difficult situation.

Academics

Students enrolled in IFSA courses will complete those classes remotely. IFSA will have a small selection of online classes, to encompass at least 12 credits, available to begin on or around March 25. We will have additional information about this offering shortly.

We are committed to working with our host institution partners around the world to allow students the opportunity to continue their academic coursework remotely, wherever possible. All of our partner institutions have different philosophies and capabilities when it comes to online or remote learning, and students should keep instructors informed of their situation. Visit our Country and Academic Updates webpage to explore the details we know about each institution. We will keep this page updated as we learn more from our overseas partners. In all cases, IFSA will advocate on behalf of all IFSA students to award credit earned, even if it is partial credit.

Finances

We are actively evaluating whether we can recover a portion of unused costs in order to refund students or institutions as appropriate. This outcome may be different depending on your program structure and timing; however, we will notify you once we have had an opportunity to fully evaluate any recoverable costs.

We deeply regret that our students’ study abroad experience is cut short due to the pandemic. This is not the outcome that any of us would have chosen; however, it is the right choice for all involved. IFSA’s primary goal is to keep our students, staff, and host communities as safe as possible, and we believe that this action is in alignment with that mission.