Off-Campus Study during COVID-19
Off-campus study programming and travel continues to be impacted by the ongoing disruptions created by COVID-19. While URI has returned to offering off-campus programs, domestically and internationally, some programs may be still modified or canceled due quarantine and/or travel restrictions at the host location.
Below is an update of off-campus study policies as of the start of the fall 2022 semester.
The University of Rhode Island requires all individuals participating on international education abroad and URI Faculty-Led programs (domestic and international) to be vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19.
The institution also strongly recommends that all students, faculty, and staff be vaccinated and obtain all recommended boosters to protect themselves from COVID-19. The URI COVID-19 Response web site has up to date information, policies, and resources for the campus community.
It is important to note that some programs, institutions, and host countries may have their own vaccination/booster or testing obligation requirements that should be reviewed carefully prior to finalizing program participation commitments. Participants should not rely on being able to get booster shots abroad as this is far from certain in most cases so should plan accordingly.
For more detail on country-specific travel recommendations, including entry and exit requirements, quarantine, and movement restrictions, visit the Department of State’s searchable web page: COVID-19 Country Specific Information
Students may explore URI and URI-affiliated programs in the URIAbroad application management system.
Students pursuing an off-campus program that is not affiliated with URI or pursuing an independent/custom research project overseas, a petition must be submitted and approved by the URI International Travel Review Committee (ITRC) at least 12-16 weeks prior to the intended program or activity start date. All proposed travel must align with URI’s International Travel Policy. If you are unsure if your program is affiliated with URI, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Programming and Advising Related to Off-Campus Study
Students interested in programs managed by our office are invited to visit our web page and social media sites to learn about global opportunities, information sessions, advising appointments and more!
Click here to learn more about our services and programs.
You are welcome to make an appointment with an Education Abroad Advisor through Starfish.
Planning Considerations for Off-Campus Study During COVID-19
As we have learned, the only thing predictable about the pandemic is its unpredictability.
While URI and its global partners are offering off-campus programs, there are still many factors beyond our control (e.g. international border closures and travel restrictions) that may result in delayed or suspended programs. Here are a few items students applying to an off-campus program should position at the forefront of their planning activities:
- Carefully review refund policies for programs, flights, etc. prior to committing resources or agreeing to contractual obligations. While many off-campus study providers have introduced very flexible refund policies, or will permit deferral to future participation without penalty, some expenses (e.g. travel expenses) may not be recoverable.
- Talk to your academic advisor(s) to discuss how to structure your academic plan of study should your program participation be delayed and your option for participation has to be moved to a future term.
- Have a back-up plan. When planning for an off-campus program, also retain your URI course schedule and housing options as long as deadlines and contractual agreements permit – in the event your program is cancelled. URI will be as flexible as possible in this regard, but it is important to plan accordingly.
- Review alternative options such as virtual study abroad or virtual internships. The pandemic has created challenges, but URI and its global partners have responded with many creative new educational opportunities!
- Consider purchasing a CFAR/IFAR (Cancel For Any Reason/Interruption For Any Reason) insurance policy. The URI/CISI policy, URI’s international travel insurance for all students, does not provide other types of supplemental insurance coverage, such as theft insurance, trip cancellation insurance, etc. An optional CFAR/IFAR policy is available for students through CISI – this is completely separate from the URI/CISI policy. Please speak with your URI Education Abroad Advisor if you are interested. You must be enrolled in CFAR/IFAR within 21 days of receiving your admission to your program.
The OIE/NSE staff is available to discuss these matters and provide advising as needed.
URI’s leadership team and International Travel Review Committee are monitoring guidance from governments, agencies, and institutions here and abroad to make decisions that align with institutional efforts to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our community and global partners.
Contact the Office of International Education at email@example.com or 401.874.2395
Additional information may be found on URI’s COVID-19 response page.