How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected study abroad for W&M students?
Based on CDC and State Department warning levels and in adherence with W&M university policy, in March 2020, all university-sponsored undergraduate student travel was prohibited for spring 2020. Due to the ongoing pandemic, CDC and State Department warnings, and significant international travel restrictions, W&M also cancelled all summer 2020 and fall 2020/full year 2020-21 study abroad programs (W&M and non-W&M programs). For Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, students were able to petition to the International Travel Review Committee (ITRC) for an exception.
Summer 2021: With the health and safety of students as our top priority, W&M will be reviewing study abroad requests for summer 2021 on a case-by-case basis. We are also hoping to offer a limited number of W&M faculty-led programs. In line with the W&M International Travel Policy, given the current CDC and Department of State Travel Alerts, students may only study abroad for summer 2021 if they or their W&M faculty-led programs receive prior approval by the International Travel Review Committee (ITRC). As in fall 2020 and spring 2021, exceptions will be considered by the ITRC to accommodate international students with no way of returning to Williamsburg at this time and other students with critical reasons for undertaking study abroad in summer 2021 and sufficient onsite support.
Given the nature of the program, students at St Andrews for 2020-21 as part of the W&M-St Andrews Joint Degree Program are not affected by these policy decisions.
What happens if my W&M Summer faculty-led program is cancelled before the program begins? Will I receive a refund if I've paid the deposit?
Yes, if W&M cancels a W&M program prior to its start, all student payments already made for the study abroad program will be returned. ($75 application fee, program deposit, program balance).
If I was abroad on a study abroad program in spring 2020, had to leave the program early due to the suspension, and am completing my courses online, am I eligible to receive COLL300?
Yes, all spring 2020 study abroad students who had begun their study abroad program and complete courses for the semester will have met the COLL 300 requirement.
For spring 2020 study abroad students who needed to return home quickly, are there any funds available to help with unexpected additional travel costs due to COVID-19?
W&M has announced that CARES eligible spring 2020 study abroad students may submit requests for additional travel expenses. More information, including eligibility information for CARES emergency funds, can be found through the Financial Aid Office.
If W&M were to suspend a study abroad program, mid-semester, what would happen?
In such a scenario, W&M works closely with the study abroad provider programs and our academic partners to identify ways to help mitigate the impact on students, including their academic work. Because our students study abroad on many different programs, exact scenarios may vary, depending on the study abroad program provider and host university.
What if I have booked my flight and my program is cancelled?
We encourage you to purchase refundable tickets or travel insurance for your flight (cancellation for any reason). Travelers are responsible for their own travel arrangements.
Whom can I contact for more information?Each student has a global education advisor, depending on program type or location. Please contact them or wmabroad.wm.edu with questions. GEO also offers daily virtual pop-in advising hours.