COVID-19 & Education Abroad

COVID-19 & Education Abroad

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The UNH International Travel Risk Review Committee (Dr. Kate Ziemer, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Dr. Ken Holmes, Senior Vice Provost for Student Life; Dr. Peter Dagnan, Medical Director), in consultation with Education Abroad team members, carefully considered and reviewed education abroad programs for J-term and Spring 2022 and made the following decisions:

  • All J-term 2022 programs are cancelled.
  • All Spring Semester 2022 programs are approved to proceed.

Cancelling all J-terms programs is a difficult decision and very disappointing for the students who had hoped to have an education abroad experience during J-term. Students planning to go on these programs have been notified.

While semester programs will be able to proceed as planned, please know that, in accordance with the UNH International Travel Policy, programs may be cancelled or suspended in the future depending on health and safety conditions in a host country.

Important notes for students on Spring programs:

  1. Countries and/or program providers may require proof of a booster vaccination. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to get a booster shot if you have not done so already.
  2. Program providers have their own withdrawal/cancellation policies and dates. Students are responsible for knowing the details of these policies. UNH is not responsible for the refund of any fees that are not paid directly to UNH. This is why we strongly recommended the purchase of program cancellation/interruption insurance.
  3. Students who need specific requirements to stay on track for graduation should work with their Academic Advisor to register for regular UNH Spring courses, if they have not done so yet.
  4. Students should be prepared for rapidly changing program and host country requirements and policies, as well as the possibility of starting the semester remotely.

We understand that students and their loved ones may have a difficult decision to make. Students who decide to withdraw from their Spring study abroad program should let their Education Abroad Advisor and program know immediately.

Leonie Meijer

Interim Director Education Abroad

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Monday, November 29, 2021

The Education Abroad department and International Travel Risk Review Committee are aware of the new Covid Omicron variant and are using our established resources and processes to continue to evaluate overall risk of education abroad as well as location-specific risks. As of now, no programs have been cancelled as a result of the new variant, although some countries have updated their entry requirements. Students planning to go abroad in J-term/Spring 2022 have been advised to stay in communication with their education abroad provider or program director regarding COVID testing and vaccination on their program and in host country.

We will continue to evaluate the safety of our study abroad programs and will keep you informed as new information becomes available.

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Friday, June 25, 2021

UNH has approved education abroad programming for J-term and Spring 2022. Some restrictions will apply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Depending on health and safety conditions in a host country, programs may be taken off our approved list in accordance with the UNH International Travel Policy. If this applies to your program, we will work with you to find a different program. Contact your Education Abroad advisor with any questions.

Important preparation notes:

  1. Countries and/or program providers may require proof of vaccination. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to get fully vaccinated if you have not done so already.
  2. There is a severe delay in passport processing. If you do not have a passport yet or if it expires before October 2022, you MUST apply for it now, using the EXPEDITE option (which will now take approximately 12 weeks). Do not choose the Standard option; your passport will not arrive in time.
  3. Students planning to study abroad in spring 2022, and especially those who intend to graduate in May, are advised to work closely with their academic advisors to develop contingency plans in the event of changes or cancellations due to COVID-19.

May 25, 2021

The leadership at UNH continues to monitor the global impact of COVID-19. The decision for J-term/Spring 2022 study abroad is currently under consideration. Please check back for updated information.


January 27, 2021

Education Abroad Summer/Fall 2021 Cancellation Announcement and Petition Process

On behalf of the education abroad team, I want to give you an update about education abroad during the Summer and Fall of 2021. Even though it is still early in the year, we think it is important to be transparent, so that students have time to plan: for registration, housing, finances, etcetera.

At this point, UNH leadership feels that it would be unsafe to fully open education abroad programming. There are a number of reasons for this decision:

  • There is still much uncertainty about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the US and throughout theworld.
  • Several variants of the COVID-19 virus have emerged, and additional variants may occur. It is still unclear if and how reliable the current vaccines are in the fight against these variants.
  • Governments of most countries continue to impose restrictions on U.S. travelers.
  • The U.S. Department of State continues to rate most countries at the highest risk levels.

However, there may be extenuating circumstances in which education abroad experiences could be an option. In these cases, a student or unit (program director) may petition to the International Travel Risk Review Committee (ITRRC) for prior approval. Examples of possible exceptions are travel to a country that permits entry for study or internships and exchanges accepting U.S. students. All cases must be thoroughly assessed for risk and deemed to be acceptable irrespective of the country’s State Department rated risk level. Please contact your Education Abroad Advisor for information on the petition process.

Start planning for future study abroad experiences. It is never too soon to start conversations with your academic advisor and your education abroad advisor about all the different international educational experiences that are available. We anticipate that many UNH students are planning to study abroad the Spring of 2022, so make sure to start the process this Spring!

While waiting to travel internationally, have you thought about exploring North America? The National Student Exchange, The Washington Center and the Semester in the City programs offer some very exciting opportunities!

The world will open again, and when it does, UNH Education Abroad will be ready!

 

Leonie Meijer

Interim Director Education Abroad


 

January 5, 2021

The Education Abroad Team is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. At this point, no decision regarding study abroad in the Summer/Fall 2021 has been made. Please continue to check back for updated information. 


 

Friday, September 18, 2020

The UNH leadership has had to make the difficult decision to cancel J-term and Spring 2021 education abroad programming.


The J-term programs that most UNH students select are Faculty-led courses with one to three weeks of international travel. Typically, these educational and cultural experiences with a faculty member involve specific course topics, exploring cultures, and visiting places of interest. Because of a two-week quarantine requirement in most countries, restrictions on U.S. travelers, and the State Department rating most countries at the highest risk levels, J-term travel is unrealistic and unsafe.


It is unlikely that circumstances related to international travel for January through May will change. Due to the recent worldwide upward trend of COVID-19 cases and the unlikelihood of a vaccine in the next six months, traveling will remain unsafe and limited in the foreseeable future. Other barriers to education abroad are border closures to U.S. travelers and an increased risk of contracting the virus when traveling.


For the Spring semester, there may be extenuating circumstances in which study abroad experiences could be an option. In these cases, a student or unit (program director) may petition to the International Travel Risk Review Committee (ITRRC) for prior approval. Examples of possible exceptions are travel to a country that permits entry for study or internships and exchanges accepting U.S. students. All cases must be thoroughly assessed for risk and deemed to be acceptable irrespective of the country’s State Department rated risk level. Please contact your College’s education abroad advisor for information on the petition process.

 

Start planning for future study abroad experiences. It is never too soon to start conversations with your academic advisor and your education abroad advisor about all the different international educational experiences that are available, attend a virtual education abroad information session, and visit the website.

 

Below is a list of helpful resources and information about COVID-19 and international travel:

To learn more about UNH’s COVID-19 updates and guidelines visit: https://www.unh.edu/coronavirus