Spring 2022 Resources for Study Abroad

December 1, 2021

Update about Omicron and Recommended Booster Shots

Columbia is monitoring the latest news about the new Omicron variant. In light of the evolving nature of the new variant, it is important for students to keep abreast of any impact on travel to their host country and to read all communications from Columbia and their programs to understand any program modifications and/or updated policies and recommendations. Students are also recommended to continue using the protective tools that we have including the following:

COVID-19 Vaccination:

All students are already required to be vaccinated before studying abroad on a Columbia Led or Columbia Approved program. More information about updating your vaccination status through Columbia Health is forthcoming.

COVID-19 Booster Shot:

The FDA and CDC recently supported expanding the eligibility for a single booster dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to all individuals 18 years of age and older.

  • Students who got the Pfizer or Moderna immunizations are eligible for a booster six months after their second shot.

  • Students who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster two months after their first shot.

Boosters are strongly recommended for all students who plan to study abroad. Some European countries, such as Italy and France, are beginning to provide guidance about whether students are considered fully vaccinated if too much time has passed since the last shot. It is anticipated that other countries will begin to provide specific guidance. Not having a valid digital COVID vaccination certificate could potentially impact entry to classrooms, cafeterias, and dormitories in the host country as well as other public spaces such as museums, libraries, restaurants/cafes, and gyms. Whether students will have access to booster shots while abroad will depend on the host country’s local policies and guidance at that time. In order to be in a position to fully explore the host country, students are recommended to take the next steps:

  • Check their vaccination card to confirm the date of their second/final dose.

  • Use vaccinefinder.org to find a location to obtain a booster near you.

  • Make an appointment to get the booster prior to departure.

If you are a Columbia student: please note that Columbia Health will be providing a limited number of Pfizer and J&J booster shots at the Lerner Hall Vaccine site for eligible Morningside students. Students seeking Moderna boosters can check the above websites for availability. You may make a booster vaccine appointment through the Columbia Health Patient Portal. Additional guidance for Columbia students can be found on the University COVID-19 website.

While Columbia does not currently require booster doses, if you have received one, please upload your documentation. Please use only Part Two in the instructions.

If you are not a Columbia student: please check with your home school about the availability of booster shots on your campus.The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to present a risk to participants and communities around the world for the upcoming term. UGE continues to work with University and international partners to review and monitor each program location to ensure that appropriate steps can be taken to mitigate these risks while providing meaningful and educational experiences for all.

November 1, 2021

Update on Study Abroad Spring 2022

The University has determined that limited undergraduate study abroad will be permitted in the spring 2022 term after undertaking a nuanced, program-by-program, location-specific review. Participation in these programs will require that students adhere to the policies and protocols that are set forth by the following which include but are not limited to: Columbia, home schools, the programs, and by local and national guidelines as applicable. Your UGE adviser will be in touch with you about the status of your program for spring 2022.

For students from institutions outside of Columbia, please keep in touch with your home institution for updates about the status of international travel for your school.

In order to participate in study abroad, all students on Columbia-led and Columbia-approved programs will be required to:

  • Comply with the vaccine mandate and be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to departure for their program.

  • Abide by Columbia's Spring 2022 Travel Policy which prohibits travel outside the program country.

  • Adhere to established protocols for quarantine/isolation procedures, contact tracing and follow-up testing. Students will be responsible for any additional expenses related to quarantine, isolation, and testing.

  • Follow local public health and institutional guidelines if they test positive for COVID or believe they have been exposed. Inform Columbia Health via email at covidtesttrace@columbia.edu if they test positive for COVID while in host country.

  • Complete mandatory program prerequisites and post-acceptance materials and requirements, including Community Compacts, Participation Agreements, and Travel Risk Waivers.

  • Comply with required program protocols, policies and deadlines.

  • Take safety training and get tested upon return to Columbia's campus.

Spring 2022 Travel Policy

  • Columbia is not permitting travel outside of the program country during the period of the program.

  • Subject to individual program guidelines, and based on the current situation in the program country, travel within the program country is permitted. Students will need to:

    • Enter all travel information into their Columbia ISOS profile at least 2 weeks in advance of their planned travel, including itinerary, lodging, and contact information.

    • Follow program protocols pertaining to independent travel.

  • Personal travel plans should not interfere with regularly scheduled program activities. Students are advised not to make any personal travel reservations or purchases before the start of the program.

Current recommendations

UNDERSTAND FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS

Please understand any financial commitments you are making and if they are refundable, and if so up to what date. Examples include, plane flights, program deposits and visa fees. You could consider purchasing travel insurance. You should not expect to be reimbursed for airline tickets or other program related expenses should the program be cancelled.

ENTRY & EXIT REQUIREMENTS

UGE is monitoring all host-country entry and exit requirements, which includes the necessary visa documentation. All participants are encouraged to do so as well, given that travelers are required to book their own travel.

INDIVIDUAL CONTINGENCY PLANS

Columbia-led and Columbia-approved programs are subject to pandemic-related modifications, and circumstances can change at any time, whether prior to the program start or after you have arrived onsite. This can result in unexpected changes including but not limited to:

  • courses moving to an online or hybrid format

  • field trips and other activities being rescheduled or cancelled

  • modifications related to housing options

  • the restriction of program and/or personal travel

  • other travel and program modifications depending on local guidance and policies that you will be required to follow

Please Note: The University reserves the right to cancel participation in any study abroad programs if conditions in the host country change.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to your UGE adviser or home school study abroad adviser.