The Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement (UGE) continues to plan for the return of Spring 2021 study abroad, in case the Columbia travel suspension is lifted and it is determined that it is safe to resume program operations abroad.
As updates about Spring 2021 become available, they will be shared. Please see below for frequently asked questions and in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact your UGE adviser with any further questions you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions for Spring 2021
What do I need to know about planning for Spring 2021?
Spring applications are open and students can apply to study abroad. Students are also encouraged to actively consider back-up options to remain at Columbia in case travel continues to be restricted.
Please note that the situation remains fluid which might impact whether your chosen program remains open for study abroad. You should also expect there to be COVID-19 related modifications to programs, such as quarantine periods, which might change the program calendar and social distancing requirements which might affect classes, housing, activities, and trips.
How will decisions be made about whether or not Spring 2021 can move forward?
UGE is coordinating with on campus partners, local institutional officials, and other collaborators to determine the rubrics and protocols by which study abroad can resume. Guidelines provided by U.S., international, and foreign government agencies and non-governmental agencies that formulate policies and recommendations related to health, safety, and travel will inform the decision-making process..
Will certain locations or programs be open for study abroad in Spring 2021?
This will depend on the rubrics developed by Columbia. More information will be shared once they are available in the fall. In the meantime, apply to your program of choice and discuss a back-up alternative to remain at Columbia with your UGE adviser and Advising Dean.
When will a decision be made?
A decision about study abroad for spring 2021 will be made in the fall term, prior to the spring semester registration period.
If I am not a Columbia student, but would like to participate on a Columbia-led program, am I still eligible to apply?
Yes, all students are welcome to apply. Please check with your home institution about any home school policies.
If Columbia cancels study abroad, will I receive any refunds?
Prior to putting down any deposits for Spring 2021, please check with your UGE adviser before proceeding. It is also recommended that you learn about refund policies of your respective program, if applicable.
What about refunds? If my program is cancelled before it is scheduled to begin but after I confirmed participation, will I be refunded all fees? What if the program goes 100% remote directly before the start of the semester? Can I be fully refunded? What are the refund options should the program start in-person but ultimately switch to 100% remote?
Each program will have its own policies regarding all of these questions. Prior to submitting any deposits, please make sure you understand your program’s financial policies.
Will I have the option to defer my acceptance to the following semester?
This depends on individual program policies. You may have a chance to defer your acceptance, but please check with the specific program.
Do I have other opportunities for global learning in case study abroad doesn’t resume in Spring 2021?
Yes, please learn more about the Global Columbia Collaboratory which is a new virtual exchange program that was launched in summer 2020. We anticipate offering it through the 2020-21 academic year.
We also welcome you to reach out to the UGE Peer Advisers who are past participants of study abroad programs and the Global Columbia Collaboratory. They are happy to share their perspectives and experiences that helped them further their global learning and develop global competencies while at Columbia and abroad.
Please follow us on Instagram (@ColumbiaUndergradGlobal) which will keep you informed about new opportunities for the upcoming year.
As a Columbia College student, can I study abroad in the spring of my first or second year? For example, as a second-year, I can take my CC course online while I study abroad in order to stay on track with the Core.
Current eligibility requirements are still in place for spring 2021, which means that Columbia College students should plan to participate in study abroad during their junior year, during any summer period, or, with special permission, during their senior year.
As a Columbia Engineering student, can I study abroad in the spring of my first year? I can take some required courses on-line while I study abroad in order to stay on track.
Current eligibility requirements are still in place for spring 2021, which means that Columbia Engineering students should plan to participate in study abroad during their sophomore or junior year, during any summer period, or, with special permission, during their senior year.
Will I be able to do a summer study abroad program in Summer A or B session?
Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students are allowed to take 40 credits over the fall, spring, and summer terms. In terms of costs and scheduling, it is not certain whether some study abroad programs will fit into the tuition plan or the Summer A or B sessions, or whether they will follow their own dates and fee schedules. Decisions about summer study abroad programs are ongoing, and details about will be released in the fall semester. All Columbia-sponsored programs abroad are subject to University travel restriction policies.