Skip to content

COVID-19 Student FAQs for International Travelers 

As with all things relating to the Coronavirus, things change frequently.  Additional updates and additional FAQs will be added on an ongoing basis.  If something is not clear, please let us know!  Please visit USF COVID-19 Updates, FAQ and Resources site for additional USF COVID-19 information.

Returning to Traveling
Financial Concerns
Traveling Safely

Returning to Traveling

  • How is USF monitoring COVID and other safety concerns abroad? 
    • USF International Risk and Security Office has several methods for monitoring the current pandemic. Our international health and evacuation insurance provider UHCG provides us with regular updates. We also track the data daily provided by the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard. There are also other governmental alerts and news that are at our disposal. 
  • What are the barriers to getting into a country (will other countries let me in)? 
    • Most countries are opening up to vaccinated travelers.  You can look up country travel regulations here but be aware that they may quickly be out of date if a country needs to respond to an emerging situation. 
  • I do not have a passport, when can I get one? 
    • The State Department significantly reduced passport operations earlier this year and delays are expected if applying for or renewing your passport soon. More information can be found here. Currently there is a wait of up to 18 weeks to get a passport so please plan accordingly.
  • Do I need to get vaccinated to study abroad?
    • Most countries or host communities are requiring students to be fully vaccinated.  Additionally, new requirements from the US government are requiring vaccination and COVID tests to enter back to the country.  If you want to study abroad, get vaccinated.  The final dose of the vaccine must be given 14 days prior to travel.  Proof of vaccination will be required to travel internationally by most airlines and to enter most countries including the United States!
  • Where can I get a vaccine?
    • Starting April 5, 2021 adults (age 18+) can seek out vaccines in the community.  Visit the USF Vaccination site for details.  Publix, CVS and Walgreen’s also offer vaccinations. Visit the Florida Department of Health for more locations: Please start this process if you wish to get vaccinated prior to your trip.  If you are currently residing outside of Florida, we encourage you to check with your local state, city, or county officials. 
Disclaimer:  USF Education Abroad cannot provide medical advice.  The details in this section are for informational purposes only.  We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider regarding their recommendations for your specific situation. 

Financial Concerns

  • Will I get all my money back if USF cancels a program? 
    • Our office is doing everything we can to get you abroad as soon as it’s safe to travel again! USF will refund as much as possible if a program is cancelled, but students in the committed status may be liable for program costs which USF is unable to recover if the program is cancelled.  
  • Is there insurance that I can purchase that will help me to recoup my investment in the program if the program is cancelled? 
    • USF and its insurance company (UHCG) has looked for cancellation insurance that would cover cancelations due the current COVID-19 pandemic, and unfortunately, we have not found a good alternative for students.  If you find a policy, please read carefully before purchasing as the fine print may contain many exceptions.   
  • Flights are fairly cheap right now to some destinations. Should I just go ahead and buy my flight? 
    • No. Students should not purchase flights until told to do so by their USF program manager, and USF cannot reimburse students for these costs. 
  • What if the COVID situation gets worse when I’m abroad? Will USF cover costs for me to come home if needed?  
    • No. These costs will be the responsibility of the student.   
  • If I have to self-isolate who covers those costs? 
    • Countries may impose COVID-19 related requirements such as self-isolation, COVID-19 tests, quarantine for individuals who test positive, temperature checks and other procedures at any moment. Participants agree to comply with local government orders, understanding that this may mean up to two weeks of additional Isolation before and after the program at their own expense.   
    • If you were to get sick while abroad, students will have medical insurance from USF that will pay for hospitalization, doctor’s visits and the like. COVID-19 positive individuals will be required to self-isolate or quarantine if they test positive with COVID-19 and will have to comply with local regulations.  USF will assist students in making self-isolation/quarantine arrangements for our faculty-led programs, but the costs of individual’s self-isolation (accommodation & food) will be borne by the student. 
  • If I have to get a COVID test upon arrival or while abroad, will I have to pay for this? 
    • You may have to get a COVID test upon arrival and throughout your time abroad, and students should prepare to budget extra for unknown expenses in case this occurs. 
  • Returning home
    • USF will require all students to self-isolate, at their own cost, prior to returning to campus for the summer.

Traveling Safely

  • Has the US Department of State changed its travel advisories?
    • The week of April 19, the US State Department began to update its Tier System to align with the CDC COVID-19 advisory levels.  USF is not cancelling any of its programs due to the change in the State Department updates.  The State Department has made clear that this change is not due to changing conditions or an elevation in risk within the specific countries, again it is an alignment with CDC advisories. 
  • Are there going to be COVID-test requirements? 
    • There may be COVID test requirements while abroad, and USF will continue to monitor entry requirements for countries where students are studying abroad. We also advise students to research entry requirements during the application process and before travel as these may change rapidly. 
  • Do I have to show proof of a negative COVID test prior to leaving the US?
    • Even if you are vaccinated, your host country might require proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48-72 hours of departure.  Guidance is changing rapidly.  To be safe, plan on getting a COVID-19 test within 2-3 days of travel to and from your final destination. The only home kit which is currently approved is the ABBOTT… available at X (as of October 2021).  It requires that you take the test remotely with a health care professional watching you.  When you test negative, you will be sent official proof indicating the negative test.  Budget approximately $75 for a pack of two tests. 
  • Self-Isolation and Quarantine
    • Generally, fully-vaccinated individuals who test negative prior to travel (and often upon arrival to another country) are not asked to observe a self-isolation or quarantine period.  The United States will not require self-isolation/quarantine for vaccinated international travelers. 
  • Will I have to socially distance while abroad? 
    • Students may have to practice social distancing and other COVID mitigation strategies while abroad. Students should continue to stay informed on the condition of the country they plan to travel to, and will need to be open-minded to potential changes in program itineraries if needed.  
  • My family is really scared about me getting COVID so far from home, what should I do? 
    • Our office is doing everything we can to get students abroad as soon as it’s safe to travel again. If students or families are concerned, we first encourage you to research the situation in the country and city you will be traveling to. Some countries are handling the situation much better than others and have differing health care infrastructures in place. If students and families still feel uncomfortable traveling during this time, they should consider travel during another semester or summer if possible. We would be happy to review program opportunities with you to see if a future term would be a better opportunity. We also have virtual internships and opportunities for you to consider as well. 
  • What if I get sick while abroad? 
    • Students will have medical insurance from USF while abroad that will pay for hospitalization, doctor’s visits and the like. COVID-19 positive individuals will be required to self-isolate if they test positive with COVID-19 and will have to comply with local regulations.  USF will assist students in making self-isolation arrangements for our faculty-led programs, but the costs of individual’s self-isolation (accommodation & food) will be borne by the student. 
  • What if my roommate abroad or someone else on my trip gets COVID?  
    • Contact tracing will likely require that any student who came in contact with COVID-19-positive individual must self-isolate for two weeks.  Students should be open-minded to potential changes in program itineraries if needed for the health and safety of each student on the program. More information will be available on a per-program basis as we continue to develop plans for each program.  


  • What happens if USF cancels travel, but I already paid my affiliate provider? Will I get my money back?  
    • Students should review the affiliate’s terms and conditions before committing to a program. You will have to discuss this with your affiliate provider, as USF cannot reimburse you for these expenses. 


  • I have a global requirement to meet for my major. What can I do if I can’t study abroad? 
    • We are offering international virtual internships! These are guaranteed internship placements with a global organization. You can do this from home, and we can place most majors on an internship. For more information visit our website.
  • Can I travel on my own during weekends or before and after my program? 
    • Weekend travel will be dependent on your program itinerary, and current COVID-19 conditions in the area.  In general, it will be safer for you to travel after the study abroad experience. 

Have other questions? Please feel free to contact us.