Response to COVID-19

Updated January 14, 2021

Out of an abundance of caution, the College of Charleston suspended all international travel through Spring 2021. You can read more here.

 

The Center for International Education (CIE) continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 closely and is communication with students currently abroad. 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.

When will CofC make decisions about future study abroad programs?

Please refer to College of Charleston's Back on the Bricks Plan:

Given the continuous uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the elimination of spring break from the academic calendar, the College of Charleston is suspending all study abroad programs in spring 2021. At this moment, we continue to plan for study abroad programs in summer 2021; we will continue to monitor developments around the world and make a final decision on summer programs by March 1, 2021.

Students are encouraged to limit travel to only that which is essential. For any school-related travel, overnight travel and travel by air is not permitted.

Anyone traveling to a hotspot or out of the country will be required to quarantine for at least 14 days before returning to campus.

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 followingcountries 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 US Department of State has also issued a Level 4 Global Travel Advisory (Do Not Travel). 

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.