Response to COVID-19

The College of Charleston continues to monitor the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly its impact on the health of communities and the ability to reasonably predict reliable international travel and entry into foreign countries.  

Updates 

April 30, 2021 

Given the ongong logistical challenges and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Charleston has made the difficult decision to suspend all faculty-led study abroad programs for the Fall 2021 semester. For students who have been accepted to an on-site affiliate or exchange Fall 2021 semester program, they will be required to submit a COVID-19 Safety Plan to the CIE for review. Additionally, their participation in the program is pending final approval by their host university/partner organization and permission to enter that country by the host government.

 Of course, CIE will continue to assist students with their study abroad goals.

March 23, 2021 

After careful review of health and government agencies, and aligning with the decisions of other US institutions, the College of Charleston has decided to cancel ALL faculty-led study abroad programs for Summer 2021. In making this decision, the College of Charleston considered the following challenges, among many:

  • The ability to support successfully these programs given the continued rapid transmission of the virus;  
  • Entry and re-entry; e.g.: 10-14 day quarantine requirements in many countries; requirement for U.S. citizens to qualify for an exception category to enter many countries: testing requirements, etc.; 
  • Institutional limitations to address exposure, a positive COVID case, and/or close contact for all program participants (directors and students); 
  • Potential disruption to planned onsite learning activities and program objectives.

Please email studyabroad@cofc.edu with any questions or concerns.

We encourage students and parents to regularly review and monitor the links below as this continues to be a fluid situation:

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How does CofC make decisions about its study abroad programs?

Please refer to https://cofc.edu/back-on-the-bricks/ for more information.

 

 

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What official resources should I be consulting for more information about COVID-19?

The latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State can be accessed at the following links:

Does CofC have any recommendations for students traveling independently?

At this time, the CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to the following countries under CDC Warning Level 3 (or higher) travel notices. CofC students returning from countries impacted by the COVID-19must self-isolate off campus for 14 days before they can return to campus and could be subject to assessment by state health officials.  For more information, please contact CofC’s Student Health Services.

 

The latest travel advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State can be accessed at the following links:

The following general actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Students should strictly follow the guidelines and recommendations of their host program/university when traveling independently.  Students should also notify the onsite program staff and register independent travel with the host program as instructed. The program staff’s ability to assist students in case of a difficulty is increased by knowing students’ plans and their location in advance.

  • Students should keep cell phones fully charged and operational, and check their email frequently (at least once a day).
  • Students should travel with all key documents, including their passport/visa and insurance documents.
  • Students should travel with a full supply of any regular medications, regardless of how long they plan to be away. Prescription medications should be packaged in their original containers.
  • Students should be aware that if they choose to travel outside of their program, they may experience difficulty returning to the city or country their program is located in.

What does my health insurance cover?

  • All CofC students on faculty-led and exchange students have been enrolled in our study abroad health insurance policy through CISI. Please see the policy summary. Students received an email directly from CISI (enrollments@culturalinsurance.com) before their departure as well. 
  • Students studying on affiliate programs, should refer to their program provider’s insurance policy. 
  • Students considering future study abroad programs, may wish to purchase Cancel For Any Reason Insurance. 

If a student chooses to leave a study abroad program that has not been cancelled by their host or home institution, how might that impact their academic credit?

CofC recognizes that personal tolerance for risk may vary and that final decisions will be made between a student and their family. CIE recommends that students consult our office, their host program or university, and their academic advisor, as well as the Office of Financial Assistance and Veterans Affairs before making any decisions. 

 Students who choose to depart their programs early and return to the US must notify the CIE immediately (email studyabroad@cofc.edu). Students will be responsible for notifying their host university/ program provider and their CofC academic advisor to secure their next steps abroad and at home.  Any students with Financial Aid are also responsible for contacting the Office of Financial Assistance and Veterans Affairs. CofC cannot guarantee that students who voluntarily withdraw from a program that has not been canceled will receive credit for the academic term, though we will strive to support students in their academic progress to the fullest extent possible.  Additionally, CofC cannot guarantee that students who voluntarily withdraw from a program will receive a refund for program or travel expenses. If you are studying with a program provider that has offered a remote coursework option, please see below for guidance. If the College decides to cancel any of its own semester abroad programs, students and faculty on that program must return to the U.S. immediately.