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Important Notes for All Considering Study Abroad in 2021-2022!

Passport Processing Times
At this time (December 2021), the U.S. State Department indicates that standard passport processing time is up to 11 weeks; expedited processing of 5-7 weeks is available at additional cost. If you are considering applying for a Winterim or Spring 2022 program that is still accepting applications, and you do not have a passport that will be valid for six months after the end of your intended program, please contact the CIE study abroad staff (studyabroad@uwec.edu) before applying. 

COVID-19 Vaccination
Many countries, airlines, and study abroad programs are requiring proof of vaccination as a condition of entry or program participation. The CIE strongly encourages vaccination as it protects you as well as your fellow travelers and host country nationals with whom you will interact during your time abroad. Currently, we are aware of the following programs that have a vaccination and/or testing requirement for participation:
 
  • Australia, Melbourne (USAC):  Vaccination required.
  • Brazil, Florianopolis (USAC) Vaccination required.
  • China, Chengdu: Vaccination required.
  • Chile, PUCV: Vaccination required
  • Costa Rica, Heredia and San Ramon (USAC): Vaccination required.
  • Czech Republic, Prague (USAC): Vaccination required.
  • England (United Kingdom), Harlaxton College: Vaccination required.
  • France, Lyon and Pau (USAC): Vaccination required.
  • Israel, Haifa (USAC): Vaccination required.
  • Italy, LdM:  Vaccination required to avoid quarantine upon arrival.  If not vaccinated, 5 day quarantine and regular testing (every 48 hours) is required at student expense.
  • Italy, Reggio Emilia (USAC) Vaccination required.
  • Japan, Kansai Gaidai University: Dorms will require proof of vaccination or regular testing (at the students’ expense, cost ~$50 per test) effective January 2022. Vaccination required to live with host families.
  • New Zealand (USAC): Vaccination required.
  • South Korea: Gwangju and Seoul (USAC): Vaccination required.
  • Spain, Bilbao and Valencia (USAC): Vaccination required.
  • Spain, Valladolid: Vaccination required to enter country without student visa.  (Summer and fall students cannot get student visas and therefore must be vaccinated.) Vaccination required to live with host family any term.
  • Thailand, Chiang Mai (USAC): Vaccination required. 

A growing number of countries are also requiring proof of vaccination, COVID recovery, or negative test to participate in daily activities such as eating in a restaurant/bar or entering any type of public space (museums, schools, tourist attractions, etc.), and/or requiring the use a COVID notification app.  

Booster Shot Requirements
Several countries are also announcing booster shot requirements for vaccinated travelers.  We strongly recommend that you get a booster shot prior to departure for your host country.  If you do not, and your vaccine card “expires” while you are abroad, per your host country’s guidelines, you may be subject to all requirements for unvaccinated travelers in the country.
 
Stay on Top of Entry Requirements
Entry requirements and COVID regulations continue to change rapidly in many places.  Please keep a close eye on the requirements for your host country.  Research and monitor your country and program requirements.

The U.S. Embassy is a good source for the country(ies) you’re visiting, as are the Centers for Disease Control. and US Department of State websites to stay up-to-date on changes.

For program specific requirements, please read all of your program materials and communication from your host organization carefully.
 
Although the CIE is here to assist you, it is your responsibility to understand and abide by the vaccination requirements (including acceptable vaccine types and verification methods) for your specific program and location(s) and any country you may travel through or visit during your time abroad. Note that restrictions and regulations may change at any time. Any related delays, penalties, quarantines, program status changes or cancellations, and associated costs are your responsibility.
 
You may be required to show your COVID-19 vaccination record card when abroad; you should also have copies available as a back-up.
 


Center for International Education COVID-19 Information

Note: this information does not apply to programs run through the Intercultural Immersions Office

Overview

COVID-19 has significantly impacted outward mobility for UW-Eau Claire study abroad students. In March 2020, all spring 2020 students were called home, which was a devastating decision to make. We know that many students and families saved and planned for years to finally have the chance to study abroad, only to have experiences cut short. We appreciate the support and swift action our students and families took. All programs were suspended before they began from Summer 2020-Spring 2021. Limited Summer & Fall 2021 programs were approved to run.
 

Suspension decisions are based on the following:

  • The U.S. Department of State travel advisories
    • Level 3 & 4 require review; Level 4 is typically a suspension. Most countries we send students to are currently at Level 3 or Level 4
  • The U.S. Center for Disease Control Levels
  • Continuing uncertainties related to passport and visa processing
  • Several U.S. Embassies abroad warning that future travel restrictions may be imposed with little notice
  • Restricted travel to/from the U.S., with limited flights servicing many countries
  • Entry bans or quarantine requirements upon arrival to host countries due to number of cases in the U.S.
  • Uncertainty surrounding host university calendar, mode of delivery or other COVID-related issues

A few Spring 2022 programs have been approved continue; others are under review.  As the situation continues to evolve daily, we are closely monitoring program locations and travel accessibility of U.S. citizens. If future terms are suspended, students will be emailed and given options for how to proceed. We will continue to update this page as we have more information. We encourage students to continue planning for future teams. Our staff is available for virtual advising to assist in answering any questions you may have. 
 

CIE Program Status Summary:


Fall 2021 Study Abroad Mobility 
  • France, Italy, South Korea and Spain were approved to run. 
  • All remaining programs have been suspended by either UWEC or the partner organization.  In some cases, this is due to entry restrictions, in others due to new or continued Level 4 advisories, low enrollment, or an early decision by the partner organization to remain entirely online.
Winterim 2022 Study Abroad Mobility:
  • LdM Italy and USAC Seoul South Korea have been approved to run.
  • USAC Australia and Cuba have been suspended by USAC.
  • Chile has been suspended by the partner university due to continuing border closure and potential quarantine requirements should the border open.
Spring 2022 Study Abroad Mobility (as of December 10):
  • Chile, USAC Costa Rica (Lyon & Pau), England (Harlaxton and Winchester), USAC France (Lyon & Pau), Marburg/Germany, LdM/Italy; Ireland, Scotland (Glasgow and Stirling), USAC Seoul/South Korea, USAC Spain (Bilbao & Valladolid), Valladolid/Spain, Sweden and USAC Thailand have been approved to run.
  • All Australia sites, USAC China, Japan, Mexico, USAC New Zealand and USAC Poland have been suspended for various reasons including continuing border closures/uncertainty about ability to enter; uncertainty about host organization calendars and modes of instructions, and low enrollment.


COVID-19 FAQ:

What is UW-Eau Claire doing to manage the situation?
We are monitoring the situation abroad in conjunction with the UW-Eau Claire Office of Risk Management and Safety, UW System Administration, and our partners abroad. In particular, UW-Eau Claire looks to official government sources, such as travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State and travel warnings from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), when considering program safety.
 
We are also monitoring which countries have restricted travel to/from the U.S. and/or if U.S. travelers face entry bans or quarantine requirements upon arrival in their host country. 

Are you going to cancel my program?
UW-Eau Claire considers the U.S. Department of State travel advisories and the Center for Disease Control travel warnings when reviewing program safety. A Level 3 or 4- U.S. State Department or CDC travel advisory would prompt review by the UW-Eau Claire Travel Risk Committee, which includes the UW-Eau Claire risk management office, faculty/staff with study abroad expertise, and staff from the Student Health Services. If a decision to cancel a program were made, UW-Eau Claire would contact students directly about the decision and next steps.
 
Have you canceled programs?
See the above Status Summary section for more details. 

What refunds are available? 
Please see our "Understanding Program Costs" to review UWEC's Withdrawal & Cancellation Refund Policies. 

Should I book airfare?
No. You should not book your flights until UWEC has made a decision as to whether or not programs will run. Any costs associated with flights, including original booking fees, change and cancellation fees, are your responsibility.