COVID-19 Guidance for Study Abroad

COVID-19 Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions for Study Abroad Students 

September 2021

COVID-19 GUIDANCE

This COVID-19 guidance is a supplement to the GSU Study Abroad Programs Pre-Departure Guide and will be updated as the global COVID-19 situation changes.  This guidance is intended to provide guidance to students planning to study abroad in all destinations.  Please check the resources provided below for country-specific information. Consider this information carefully when deciding whether to travel.  Consider that travel advisory levels could change again, travel restrictions mean you may not be able to get home easily, and that in case of illness there may be issues with accessing healthcare.  If you decide to travel, GSU Study Abroad Programs is available to assist you in evaluating information.

Before departure:

  • Georgia State University strongly recommends that you get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before departure on your study abroad program. For information about getting your COVID-19 vaccine, please visit: https://covidinfo.gsu.edu/
  • Stay up to date on the COVID-19 situation in your destination country and monitor travel advisory levels for your destination country. The US Department of State and the US Centers for Disease Control are monitoring the situation around the world.  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html and https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/.
  • Stay up to date with entry requirements to your destination country. Are US citizens able to enter the destination country? Do you need a negative COVID-19 test before travel to this country? Is proof of vaccination a requirement to enter the country? For information about these requirements, please visit the website of the US Embassy in your destination country: https://www.usembassy.gov/
  • If possible, do not pay for your study abroad program, accommodations or airfare until at least 90 days before your study abroad program to limit the financial impact of a potential cancellation. Check refund/change policies of airfare and/or accommodations before booking.
  • The Study Abroad Programs office enrolls all students in international insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). To learn more about it, visit https://www.culturalinsurance.com/usg/pdf/USGA_BOR_BrInfo&CF_GLM-N10892880_2019-20.pdf and consider “cancel for any reason” and “interrupt for any reason” insurance in addition to your study abroad insurance. Please see below for frequently asked questions regarding the CISI insurance.
  • Check if your airline requires any health information, testing, or other documents. Some destinations require testing before travel and/or after arrival. Information about testing requirements for your destination is available here.
  • Enroll in STEP for the duration of your study abroad program to receive alerts and advisories shared with US citizens living in your destination country. To enroll, visit https://step.state.gov/step/
  • If your airline or destination country require a negative COVID-19 test, make a plan to get that test.   Free testing for COVID-19 is available on campus at GSU at: https://covidinfo.gsu.edu/.  Check the timing requirements and how long it takes to receive test results to make sure that you’ll receive your results in time.

While Abroad:

  • Watch for symptoms of COVID-19 while you are traveling. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, get a COVID-19 test immediately.   Testing locations for COVID-19 in your destination country can be found at the US Embassy website for your destination country:  https://www.usembassy.gov/
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, immediately isolate yourself and follow public health recommendations and the policies and COVID-19 protocols of your destination country.  Do not travel until it is safe for you to be around others; this includes your return trip home.
  • Recommendations regarding international travel will be different based on whether you are vaccinated or not. Please see the most up to date recommendations from the US CDC here.
  • Follow the local and national guidelines and laws of your destination country with regard to COVID-19. Follow lockdown measures, curfews and other restrictions due to COVID-19.  For this information, check regularly the US Embassy website for your destination country https://www.usembassy.gov/  and listen to local media.
  • During the pandemic, Study Abroad Programs recommends not traveling to more than one country while abroad. Each country has slightly different rules and policies with regard to COVID-19.  Border closings can cause additional difficulties for international travel.
  • Please remember that as a GSU student on a study abroad program, you can always call the Study Abroad Programs emergency phone number at GSU. That number is 470-825-3986.

Preparing for return to the United States

  • A COVID-19 test is required before boarding an airplane back to the United States. This COVID-19 test will be at your own expense.

If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than 3 days before you travel by air into the United States (US) and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel). For the most comprehensive information regarding this policy, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

Please review the list of testing locations on the US Embassy website for your destination country.  https://www.usembassy.gov/

  • Because of the asymptomatic nature of COVID-19, make a plan in case you need to stay abroad for 14 additional days due to a positive COVID-9 test.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CISI INSURANCE

The study abroad insurance with CISI is included in the cost of all faculty-led programs and is also required for students participating in exchange programs. Below are some FAQs about your international medical insurance coverage.

If I become sick abroad, will my international medical insurance cover me?

Yes, if you get sick abroad, CISI insurance will cover you while you are sick abroad. Check the website for exclusions.

If I become sick abroad (with COVID-19 or any other illness), may I be transported back to the United States for medical treatment?

No, not unless the situation constitutes a medical emergency evacuation.

If I am required to quarantine abroad as a result of COVID-19 exposure or a positive COVID-19 test, will CISI cover the cost of my quarantine?

No, CISI will not cover the cost of the quarantine.  They will cover for the cost of medical treatment if necessary during this time.

What constitutes a medical emergency evacuation?

Medical evacuations are executed when the evacuation is deemed necessary. The treating physician must recommend an evacuation and must clear the student for travel (per an evacuation plan devised by that physician).

If I become ill/hurt abroad, will the insurance cover continuing treatment once I arrive back in the US?

Benefits will be paid up to policy limits for expenses incurred in the United States for accidents or illnesses which were first treated while participating in the study abroad program. These expenses must be incurred within 30 days after return to the United States.