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COVID-19 Updates

Returning to Study Abroad in 2021

Update with Director Allen Bertsche - September 7, 2020


Semester Study Abroad Plans in 2021

Update with Assistant Director Heather Powell Browne - September 17, 2020

While COVID has temporarily halted Colorado College's outbound study programs around the globe, this page will provide current information about the status of plans for the future, and criteria for our own programs to resume. The Center for Global Education & Field Study monitors travel advisories and updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the U.S. Department of State; Centers for Disease Control; World Health Organization; International SOS; and other international resources such as the United Kingdom, Canadian, and Australian equivalents to the Department of State advisories (see links at bottom). We also monitor news on immigration and re-entry policies of both the United States and host countries.

Study Abroad in 2021  

(Updated April 20, 2021)

For Fall 2021 CC faculty-led programs, the Center for Global Education & Field Study will continue to regularly monitor and communicate with each of our partner programs and CC faculty on the plans to offer and support 2021 study abroad program options, in conjunction with U.S. State Department and CDC travel restrictions and guidance. At this point, students may apply for study abroad programs which are still planning to be offered in 2021, and work closely with us as the pandemic continues to unfold. A general standard for program cancellation is based on risk levels assessed by agencies and government departments, but allows for individual programs to determine if they wish to be even more cautious than warnings require.

CC Faculty-led Program Criteria

CC faculty-led programs abroad in 2021 are evaluated for travel safety and logistical viability both prior to course pre-registration periods and 60 days prior to the program's planned departure. In order to receive clearance to travel, all faculty-led CC programs are required to provide evidence in eight different areas of program safety and travel viability. These requirements include:

  • Host nation(s) must fall within low to moderate risk ratings for travel by the U.S. Department of State (Level 1 or 2 of 4 levels), Centers for Disease Control (Level 1 of 3 levels), and our global security partner, International SOS (travel advisory level of low to moderate risk.)
  • U.S. embassy and consular offices in the host nation must be open and offering full services to U.S. citizens abroad.
  • All entry, international, and domestic travel restrictions, including required self-isolation or quarantine expectations, for the host nation(s) must be lifted.
  • Evidence of ample and varied travel services, such as flights or train service, to reach the destination city must be provided.
  • Restaurants and grocery stores in all program destinations must be able to offer their services without restrictions.
  • Program partners & providers must acknowledge that they are able to provide their contracted services.
  • The host destination country and city must allow for group gathering equal in size or larger than the size of the proposed program cohort of students, faculty and staff so that classes, excursions, and program activities are unimpacted by restrictions on gatherings.
  • Medical facilities are open and able to provide full patient care.

Due to the potential for program cancellation, CC is recommending that all students enrolled in a scheduled off-campus study program delay purchase of airfare until the program's final review is complete and participants have been notified that the program will proceed as scheduled.  Colorado College cannot reimburse students nor provide financial aid awards to cover the cost of purchased airfare for a cancelled program. 

CC Off-Campus Programming and Vaccination

Colorado College has announced a vaccination requirement as part of the return to campus in the fall.  This same requirement will be implemented for all off-campus study as well.   Our office will follow the same requirements as those expected for campus access, with one distinction: If entry to the destination country of any program requires vaccination and does not allow for the exceptions which Colorado College may allow, students destined for that country will be required to meet the more stringent standard of the host country.  We do not anticipate that there will be significant incidents where a nation would have more rigid guidelines than Colorado College regarding vaccination and acceptable exemptions, however we want the policy to be clear at this early date. We anticipate that the requiement that all students and faculty be vaccinated for campus access will benefit our study away programming as it will likely allow for entry without quarantine even in nations where other travel may be restricted.  We also anticipate that with all CC-led programming occurring no sooner than Block 2 in the fall, that all students will meet the vaccination requirement prior to their study abroad experience as a prerequisite for Block 1 or later coursework.  

All CC-led Programs Have Been Cancelled for Spring and Summer 2021:

Colorado College has completed their reviews of all scheduled CC-led study abroad and has made the difficult decision to cancel all remaining Summer programs due to the ongoing uncertainty, safety concerns, and travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  While we anticipate that some destinations will loosen entry requirements in the coming weeks, particularly for vaccinated travelers, we also recognize that in-country conditions vary greatly, that significant concerns with variant strains of the virus exist, and that entry and quarantine restrictions may still impact global travelers.  We are optimistic that our Fall 2021 programming will be able to operate as scheduled, but will continue to utilize our Safety & Travel Viability Review process throughout the summer to evaluate all upcoming program destinations.  

CC Partner Programs in Spring 2021 or Fall 2021

For students who are exploring a semester or year of study abroad in 2021 with one of our approved partner programs (i.e., not run by CC faculty, but a partner like IES, DIS, Syracuse, School for Field Studies, etc), many are planning to run in 2021, and students may apply in Summit now, using the CC Internal Application for Off-Campus Study. Students need to plan to work closely with us and their partner program as the pandemic continues to unfold.

Questions you should be asking:
We are in close communication with all of our CC partner programs, but if you are a student planning on studying abroad with a CC partner semester program in 2021, we recommend that you also r
each out to your program provider with questions (or reference the COVID health & safety adjustments that most of them are listing on their websites) so that you have the best possible information about their contingency plans and your ability to participate in their program. Some of the questions you should be asking the CC program provider partner that you are applying with are:

  1. When do they anticipate making a final decision as to whether their Spring programs will be able to run?
  1. If the program can run, but the host country requires a period of self-isolation for foreign visitors, will they be able to provide housing, meals, and support to students prior to the start of classes? How will they do this?
  1. Is there an expectation that classes will start on their standard schedule or is there a plan in place to delay the start of the program or start online? Ask for details about any potential changes to the calendar for the semester, including modified online start.
  1. If the program begins but then must be cancelled due to another wave of COVID-19, what support will the host institution or university provide you? For example:
  • Will they offer online courses in order to complete your semester work?
  • Will they provide housing, meals, and services if you are placed on a lock-down or shelter order?
  • Will they assist with the cost of rescheduling tickets or purchasing return flights if you are asked to return home?
  • Does their program include travel insurance which has "trip cancellation" or "trip interruption" coverage to handle a potential last minute or mid-program cancellation?

For any study abroad planning, making sure you understand and are comfortable with all the contingencies in place is of crucial importance, as well as planning for flexibility and change (including in purchasing any airline tickets or submitting deposits). The Center for Global Education & Field Study staff are here to support you, but we realize that every individual has different needs and levels of comfort with the plans our partners around the world are making for study abroad program operations.

Applying for Study Abroad in 2021

The CC Internal Application for Off-Campus Study is open in Summit now for Fall 2021 applications for CC partner programs until March 1, and students have until May 1 to finalize (confirm or cancel) their Fall 2021 semester abroad plans. We will be in close communication with all applicants as we have more information, on a program-by-program basis.

The CC Application Process for Off-Campus Blocks is open on Summit now for all 2021-2022 Off-Campus Blocks.  Each individual course will close applications 90 days prior to the start of its scheduled block.  Early application is recommended as we are now beyond the initial aid window, which closed on March 12.  All aid for Block 1-6 programs has been distributed and an aid waitlist is in place.  All new applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received, and students eligible for aid will be placed on teh aid waitlist in the order of the receipt of their application.  Students applying for Block 7-8 programs will be included in an aid review to be held at the conclusion of Block 1 in September, 2021.

COVID passport considerations

U.S. Citizens should be aware that passport processing at facilities in the U.S. (both for first-time passport issuance, as well as renewals) have been suspended for much of the pandemic, and you should expect delays as they begin to resume services. U.S. Americans also face entry restrictions in many countries around the world, and mandatory quarantine periods in those that will currently accept people traveling on a U.S. passport. These restrictions must be lifted in order for CC to approve any group travel to an international destination.

All students, faculty, and staff should use the International SOS database of travel information worldwide, which is regularly updated as situations change, country-by-country. You can access the International SOS pandemic page, and click on "Travel Restrictions, Flight Operations, and Screening." You will need to log in with the College's membership number: 11BSGC000027.

Non-U.S. Passport Holders: Colorado College international students should review the latest information regarding entry restrictions placed on passport holders from their home country. If you travel on a non-U.S. passport and you are unsure of your status for an upcoming study abroad program, you should reference the Frequently Asked Questions on the International Students' section of this website, and speak with the ISSS staff ( to confirm restrictions that might affect you.

Planning for co-curricular travel

Currently, all travel is on hold for all College community members (students, faculty, and staff). Departments, offices, and programs who are looking ahead to resuming travel should contact Director Allen Bertsche at, (719) 227-8280, before making co-curricular international travel plans (including any breaks).

Archive: Past Updates on CC Faculty-Led Programming in 2020

In the Spring 2020 term, Colorado College-led programs which had not yet begun were cancelled predeparture, and students overseas were brought back mid-term. All Summer 2020 programs were canceled pre-departure. Students enrolled in these courses have been provided with multiple deferral or re-enrollment options, depending upon the course's availability online in Summer 2020 or abroad in Summer 2021. Students who deferred to Summer 2021 are guaranteed slots in the 2021 program, and all aid awards from Summer 2020 will be honored in Summer 2021.

For Fall 2020, Colorado College made the decision to also cancel all of our own faculty-led study away programs, including all individual blocks, as well as the First-Year Fall Semester Away (FSA) Program, the CC in Lüneburg Semester and the CC in Latin America Semester in Brazil and Mexico.

We developed a new option for the Fall 2020 semester in conjunction with CET in China to offer educational options to our Chinese international students in Beijing and Shanghai to study on special Colorado College programs in these cities, while travel and entry to the United States is complicated by COVID travel limitations.

Due to the uncertain nature of the virus and the measures taken by different nations, all students who applied for a non-CC Fall 2020 semester abroad through one of our partner programs were strongly encouraged to consider deferral until Spring 2021 or Fall 2021. Some students are still planning to move forward with a partner program study abroad for either Fall 2020 semester or for the 2020-2021 academic year, and the College is working closely with them to support them and prepare/understand contingencies and plan for the unpredictable path that the virus may still take as the year progresses.

All CC faculty-led blocks abroad in the Spring 2021 semester were ultimately cancelled pre-departure, rescheduled to later in the Summer term, or offered entirely on-campus/online.

Contact Information

Center for Global Education and Field Study: (719) 389-6077

Allen Bertsche, Director of Global Education (policy, procedures, CC faculty-led blocks abroad during the academic year and summer, all program models)

Heather Powell Browne, Assistant Director of Global Education (specialist in semester programs)


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