Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

At the Office of International Education & Development, we believe that international engagement is integral to developing global citizens. Our commitment to providing a safe and healthy study abroad experience before, during, and after the Coronavirus pandemic is centered around your individual needs and the importance, now more than ever, of global education in an increasingly connected world. We are confident that we can provide a safe, educational, and impactful study abroad experience that will shape our world for generations to come.

Applications are open for summer and fall 2021!

  • What is the current status of study abroad?

    • The Study Abroad Office is now accepting applications for travel-based study abroad programs in summer and fall terms in 2021, which will only run if pandemic conditions permit safe operations. All programs thus remain under continuous review.

  • When do I need to apply for study abroad?

    • Application dates vary by program. It is important to review specific program webpages to plan accordingly. There you’ll find the most current information. In general, most applications are due at least one term prior to the term of travel. For example, summer program applications are typically due in winter term; fall program applications are typically due in spring or summer term; winter and spring program applications are typically due in fall or winter term. Applications for year-long exchange programs are often due one year prior to travel and are typically due in January or February each year.

  • Do I need to quarantine before and/or after a future study abroad program?

    • At this time, self-isolation prior to departure is not required, but it is highly likely that you will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in your host country. Make sure you plan enough time prior to the program start date to allow for the required quarantine period. You may need to self-isolate upon returning to the United States. The CDC provides guidance on what you should do when returning from international travel. 

  • Do I need to take a COVID-19 test before and/or after a future study abroad program?

    • This depends on the host country. Some countries require that COVID-19 testing be done right before traveling or upon arrival.

  • Do I need to wear a mask/face covering during a future study abroad program?

    • Policies vary on a country-by-country basis. For example, masks or face coverings are required to be worn in classroom environments in Italy and the UK, but are not currently required in Denmark. Masks or face coverings are required to be worn on public transportation in all countries where GEO allows students to study. 

  • Do I need to budget extra money for testing, emergency medical needs, housing, supplies for COVID-19?

    • In most cases, costs for lodging and other expenses during any 14-day self-isolation period are the responsibility of the student. Any testing that is done on asymptomatic students is also done at the student’s expense. Nearly all study abroad programs provide health insurance that will help cover costs related to illness, including diagnostic testing, prescriptions, hospital stays, and, in serious cases, travel back to the student’s home country if medically advised. 

  • What if the country I am in restricts travel to my home while I am abroad?

    • Citizens have generally been permitted to travel back to their home countries up until now during the coronavirus pandemic. A risk of flight cancellations does exist. In those instances, students may need to travel home via a third country. In extreme cases, WOU would work with the U.S. Department of State or your home country, if not the U.S., to get you on a charter flight home. 

  • Will I receive a refund if my program is canceled?

    • WOU will refund all program fees in full if we cancel your study abroad program for any reason at any time. This includes all program cancellations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Once the program deadline has passed and WOU has determined it is safe to travel to your program location, cancellation policies may apply. All cancellation policy details will be communicated to program participants in writing at least one week before the policies go into effect.

    • Please note: Do not purchase airline tickets or incur other personal travel related costs until you have been told in writing by your program provider that it is safe to do so. Personal travel expenses may not be reimbursable.



Office of Study Abroad and International Exchanges

503-838-8425 | or e-mail:  | Location: Maaske Hall 106