Statement on Coronavirus Outbreak

Update - November 18, 2020

IU is one of the nation’s leading universities in the area of international education, and has long maintained a commitment to the international dimension of student learning. We recognize that study abroad is a central part of the undergraduate experience for many IU students; for some, it is a degree requirement.

For spring semester 2021, IU will support study abroad for a limited number of programs that have established appropriate protocols to address the worldwide pandemic. It is important to emphasize that conditions due to the pandemic continue to evolve. It is therefore possible that some of the programs currently approved may be suspended prior to the start of the spring semester; in addition, limitations on air travel might disrupt some itineraries.

For these reasons, IU continues to encourage students to consider postponing their plans for study abroad to a future semester, if feasible. We also encourage students to plan as flexibly as possible, by identifying an alternate course of study on campus and by arranging for local housing. Since last minute changes could result in cancellations, students should avoid incurring financial commitments for as long as possible.

Before receiving final permission to engage in semester-long study abroad programs, individual participants will be required to confirm through a written Commitment statement their understanding and acceptance of strict virus mitigation protocols.  Each student will receive additional program-specific guidelines for their study abroad location.

Update - September 28, 2020

In light of ongoing fluctuations in COVID-19 transmission in locations around the world, and the associated unpredictability of travel restrictions, IU will defer determinations regarding spring program participation beyond the anticipated October 1 deadline. The decision, which we now expect by early November, will be made based on the public health situation, information from our partners, travel restrictions, and other variables. 

We continue to encourage students to plan as flexibly as possible, by identifying an alternate course of study on campus and by arranging for local housing. Programs and students should avoid incurring any financial commitments until the final decision date. Those students who prefer to postpone their plans to a future semester should seek out assistance from Overseas Study staff regarding their options.

Update - June 24, 2020

  1. Fall Semester 2020

IU has suspended undergraduate study abroad programsfor fall semester 2020. This suspension encompasses all IU and non-IU undergraduate semester programs.

A number of factors relating to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect international mobility, including:

  • The U.S. Department of State’s worldwide Level 4 Global Health Travel Advisory,
  • Ongoing restrictions that bar travelers from the U.S. from entering a number of countries,
  • Mandatory quarantines for all arriving travelers in a number of countries, and
  • The risk that a second wave of contagion may develop in the fall/winter.

In addition, many of our external university partners and program providers have either canceled or significantly curtailed academic programs for the fall.

This decision was not made lightly. We understand that these program cancellations are disruptive to faculty and staff who have invested time and energy to make these activities possible, and disappointing to the students who have been making academic plans around them.

  1. Spring semester 2021

The Office of Overseas Study looks forward to offering programs abroad when the current pandemic subsides, and at this time is moving ahead with planning for spring semester 2021. However, we recognize that this planning will necessarily remain contingent on developments regarding the pandemic and international mobility.

We encourage students and program advisors to continue planning for these programs, and will announce decisions regarding winter term and spring semester programs abroad by October 1. Until that time, students should be advised to plan as flexibly as possible, including by identifying an alternate course of study on campus and by arranging for local housing. Programs and students should avoid incurring any financial commitments until the October decision date.

Update - May 21, 2020

In a statement issued today, Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie shared a set of recommendations about the medical and public health measures that will permit IU to begin a phased reopening of campus operations. Plans for the fall 2020 semester at IU Bloomington are now being developed in light of those recommendations, and we expect an announcement with details soon.

It is still unclear to what extent and under what conditions international travel might be possible in the coming months.  Decisions regarding overseas study for fall 2020 will be made no later than June 30th, based on the advisories then in effect and prevailing public health conditions.

Update - March 23, 2020

IU officials have determined that IU study abroad programs cannot proceed this summer due to the current pandemic and the U.S. Department of State’s worldwide Level 4 Global Health Travel Advisory. It is impossible to predict when this Advisory will be lifted and more than 50 countries have implemented entry restrictions barring travelers from the U.S. while others have instituted mandatory quarantines for all arriving travelers.  The duration of these restrictions is not clear, but may very well extend into the summer.

This suspension encompasses programs that were not previously cancelled—that is, programs with start and end dates that fall between May 16 and August 23.* 

These program cancellations are disruptive to faculty and staff who have invested time and energy to make these activities possible as well as disappointing to the students who have been planning their summers around them.  But a clear determination regarding these programs will now allow students who had planned to engage in summer study abroad to register for other summer courses or make alternative plans.

The Office of Overseas Study looks forward to offering programs abroad when the current pandemic subsides.

 [*Note: semester programs that begin during the summer months will depend on our partner institutions and the evolution of the pandemic.]

Update - March 17, 2020

The first priority of the Office of Overseas Study is the health, safety and security of IU students abroad. Consequently, we partner with institutions and organizations around the world that have strong health and safety protocols.

The evolving virus situation is unprecedented and has resulted in the departure of most IU students from their program locations abroad due to the local conditions and various international travel restrictions.

The Office of Overseas Study is coordinating communication with impacted students and their programs. The majority of IU students have on-line options to complete their courses off-site. The Office of Overseas Study has supported decisions of students and families regarding the timing of program departures.

Please note that returning students are required to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days if they have been in a country under a CDC Level Three Travel Warning.  When they leave their program location, all students will need to complete an on-line form. See the IU Public Safety Advisories for additional details.

We appreciate your patience at this stressful time as the world adjusts to this new community health situation.


Update - March 13, 2020

IU officials announced today the suspension of summer study abroad activities that start on or before May 15th.  Students whose programs are impacted can expect to receive more details directly from either Overseas Study or the IU unit organizing the program.


Update - March 12, 2020

IU officials have advised students still in Europe to return to the U.S. as soon as possible, given the recent CDC Level Three Travel Alert issued late Wednesday night.

While the U.S. government has declared a 30 day travel ban on individuals entering the U.S. from a Schengen country (i.e. most of Europe), U.S. passport holders are not included in that ban according to the official policy: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/11/homeland-security-acting-secretary-chad-f-wolf-s-statement-presidential-proclamation.  (Note: IU students who do not hold a U.S. passport should contact Overseas Study and the Office of International Services (ois@iu.edu) for special guidance).

Anyone remaining in Europe may find themselves facing other unpredictable travel restrictions so it is not advisable for IU students to remain in Europe right now.  IU had supported individual student decisions regarding voluntary program departures until now but all IU students are now urged to plan to return to the U.S. as soon as they can arrange to do so. 

Students should follow the instructions and advice of their programs regarding departure.  Overseas Study advisors will be in touch with more information as course completion options are finalized for those programs where on-line instruction had not yet begun.  Students should complete the secure IU Traveler Form once travel plans back to the U.S. are complete.  Students will be expected to self-quarantine for two weeks prior to returning to campus which will not be fully operational until Monday, April 6.


Update - March 8, 2020

Given the recently announced decree of the Italian Government restricting travel in and out of the Lombardy region in northern Italy, the Office of Overseas Study is coordinating efforts with programs and students to ensure that any IU students still in that area depart the region before the restrictions go into place. They will be able to continue their studies via on-line course work.

The Office of Overseas Study is aware that two IU spring semester study abroad students have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 and are recovering away from their program sites.  We are working with the IU Public Safety office and our partner organizations to support the impacted students and to provide information and guidance to other program participants who were at the original locations.


Update - March 5, 2020

Indiana University semester programs abroad continue to operate as described on March 4. However, Indiana University officials have today suspended short-term international spring break travel programs with the announcement below.

Due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, Indiana University has canceled all university-sponsored spring break student travel programs to international locations. 
This difficult decision was made in light of the rapidly evolving nature of the outbreak and the associated risk that student travelers could unexpectedly become subject to additional U.S. and foreign travel restrictions.
We understand that the cancellation of these programs may be disappointing and disruptive, but the health and safety of our students and of the IU community as a whole must take precedence.
The university is developing policies and procedures to address the academic and financial impacts of these cancellations, in particular to ensure that students will be able to make up any missing credits necessary for graduation. Detailed information will be communicated to affected students as quickly as possible, and will be posted at protect.iu.edu.

 

We recognize that this will be disappointing to the students and their faculty leaders. We continue to work with our partner institutions and organizations regarding students on current ongoing programs regarding both health and safety and academic issues impacted by the virus situation.


Update - March 4, 2020

The first priority of the Office of Overseas Study is the health, safety and security of IU students abroad.  Consequently, we partner with institutions and organizations around the world that have strong health and safety protocols. 

We recognize that the evolving virus situation is unprecedented and has created concerns among students and families as recommendations from the CDC and local public health authorities evolve with it.  IU officials continue to monitor the situation worldwide through information and advisories being issued by the CDC and the WHO, as well as a variety of U.S. government sources. 

During the current situation, our partner institutions and organizations are directly communicating with IU students and our office regarding the local environment of their programs.  We rely on them to do so since they have up-to-date information necessary for students and families to make sound decisions.  We have advised IU students to follow the recommendations of their programs and institutions.  And, of course, we urge them to protect their health through following CDC prevention and treatment guidelines.

There are over 1,000 IU students abroad this spring in more than 80 different programs around the world.  The university partners and providing organizations to whom we entrust our students are posting their statements about coronavirus on their websites (a few examples include, CIEE,IES, DIS).  If there are questions about local advice directed to students, please contact us at overseas@iu.edu.

The Office of Overseas Study is coordinating communication with impacted students.  In cases where programs have been suspended, the majority of IU students have on-line options to complete their courses off-site.  In cases where programs have continued to operate, IU students can choose to remain with the programs OR leave their programs and complete their courses on-line. There are a few programs in countries less impacted by the virus at the moment where a few providers are offering voluntary returns with on-line options.  The Office of Overseas Study will support decisions of students and families to take advantage of those options and are in direct touch with students who have been offered those options.

Please note that returning students will be required to self-quarantine off campus for a period of 14 days before returning to Indiana University as per IU’s Public Safety Advisories should the country of origin be under a CDC Level 2 or 3 Advisory.  Should they leave their program location, they will also need to complete an on-line form.   See the IU Public Safety Advisories for additional details.

At this time there are no plans to restrict upcoming travel to any countries other than Italy, China and South Korea.  IU study abroad programs scheduled for spring break will continue to operate.

We appreciate your patience at this stressful time as the world adjusts to this new community health situation.


Update - February 29, 2020

In accordance with guidance from the U.S. Department of State and the CDC, Indiana University has restricted all new travel to Italy at this time.  Travel to China, South Korea and Iran also remain suspended.   

The Office of International Affairs, along with Public Safety and Institutional Assurance, is closely monitoring the developments associated with this virus worldwide and communicating with the hundreds of IU students who are currently studying overseas in Italy. We are advising these students to follow the guidelines of their programs and the safety and public health measures they recommend. 

The Office of Overseas Study is coordinating communication with impacted students.  In cases where programs have been suspended, the majority of IU students will still have on-line options to complete their courses off-site.  In cases where programs have continued to operate, IU students can choose to remain with the programs OR leave their programs and complete their courses on-line. 

Please note that returning students will be required to self-quarantine off campus for a period of 14 days before returning to Indiana University as per IU’s Public Safety Advisories.  Should they leave their program location, they will also need to complete an on-line form

There are no plans to restrict travel to any countries other than Italy, China and South Korea at this time.

No determinations have been made regarding summer travel at this time.


Update – February 28, 2020

In accordance with guidance from the U.S. Department of State and the CDC, Indiana University is immediately suspending all travel to South Korea for faculty, staff and students.  Consequently, all IU study abroad programming in South Korea is suspended.  Reinstatement of programs will be determined at a later date.   

The Office of Overseas Study is coordinating communication with impacted students.

There are no plans to restrict travel to any countries other than China and South Korea at this time.

See Indiana University Public Safety Advisories here.


Update – February 24, 2020

Indiana University official continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation worldwide and are aware of recent decisions by officials in Italy to contain the spread of the virus as much as possible.

All IU students abroad are encouraged to follow the precautions issued by the CDC which are similar to annual flu prevention measures and to follow the advice of their program providers regarding safety measures.

IU officials have no current plans to suspend programs in Italy or elsewhere in Europe.  

Update - January 31, 2020

In accordance with guidance from the Department of State and the CDC, Indiana University is immediately suspending all travel to China for faculty, staff and students.  Consequently, all IU study abroad programming in China is suspended.  Reinstatement of programs will be determined at a later date.   

There are no plans to restrict travel to any other countries at this time.

See Indiana University Public Safety Advisories here.


Update - January 29, 2020

In cases where programs in China have been suspended, the Office of Overseas Study is coordinating with partner institutions and will work to facilitate alternative program opportunities for impacted students.


Update - January 28, 2020

Given updated travel advisories issued yesterday by the CDC and the U.S. Department of State, IU officials are re-evaluating plans for spring break programs scheduled to travel to China.


January 27, 2020

Officials of the Office of Overseas Study, in conjunction with other Indiana University administration and campus health officials, are closely monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) related illnesses in China and in individuals who recently traveled in East Asia or Southeast Asia. Sources include the CDC Travel Health Notices and the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories. We currently do not have IU students in Wuhan, China. 

Given the current locations impacted by the virus, we have no plans to change study abroad programming at this time.

We will update this site as needed.

Find the Indiana University Public Safety Advisory here.

Office of Overseas Study
Leo R. Dowling International Center
111 South Jordan Avenue
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405-1223 

Ph: 812-855-9304
Fax: 812-855-6452
overseas@iu.edu