Study Abroad & COVID-19

COVID-19 has created significant unpredictability for study abroad and travel. We will continue to update this page as often as necessary. For general information about COVID-19, see the CDC website or visit Evergreen's general information page on COVID-19.

Status of Evergreen Study Abroad

Spring 2020 programs

Status of faculty-led group study abroad trips, including independent travel under the umbrella of the programs that included these destinations:

  • China: canceled
  • France: canceled
  • Greece: canceled
  • Ireland: canceled
  • Italy: canceled

Summer 2020 programs

The faculty-led program to Japan does not start until mid-June 2020. The COVID-19 situation may have changed significantly by then. Evergreen will make a decision about Japan at a later date.

Travel through Individual Learning Contracts, SOS programs, General programs, or Graduate Level Study

The U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3 advisory against international travel. In view of this, all study abroad travel through ILC’s, SOS programs, general programs, or Graduate Level Study submitted for Spring Quarter is now canceled. If you are already overseas on a continuing ILC from Winter Quarter, with plans to continue Spring Quarter, you are advised to return to the U.S. However, you may file an Appeal and Assumption of Risk Form with the International Programs Office for approval of continued study. Consult with your sponsoring faculty and the International Programs Office as soon as possible. Forms are available below.

Travel through a consortium

The 20+ consortia provider programs that Evergreen partners with are distinct from Evergreen and function according to their own policies. You have signed participation agreements with your selected program and are subject to those guidelines. However, in view of the Presidential Proclamation issued March 10, 2020, as well as overseas government decrees and travel restrictions, many consortia programs are altering, suspending, or canceling in-country study, and are directing students to return to the U.S. You will need to work with your consortium provider to understand new procedures for study or cancelation guidelines. If your consortium has arranged for continuation of studies remotely so that you may receive credit and eventual transcripts, then you will still need to register for spring quarter at Evergreen using the designated CRN for your consortium.  Contact Michael Clifthorne for the correct CRN. If you are on financial aid, you will also need to consult with the Financial Aid Office to discuss award processing for spring. You may also consider applying for Short Term Loans to assist in unexpected costs related to changes to travel plans and flights. Evergreen has no jurisdiction over the internal policies for these organizations, though we will advocate for students as best we can when appropriate.

How we decide whether to cancel a program

The World Health Organization has officially declared the global COVID-19 global outbreak a pandemic, the highest level of health emergency. Given this declaration, and the U.S. State Department advisory against international travel, Evergreen has canceled all study abroad  scheduled to begin spring quarter. This decision considers both the personal risks for our students and faculty to travel at this time, as well as the risk to destination communities and countries concerned with group travel from Washington State and the U.S. This update replaces any prior policy guidelines issued regarding CDC Warning Levels.

Additionally, Washington State currently has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Other countries may place restrictions on travelers from this region or partnering agencies overseas may decide to cancel services to us. Other considerations for cancellation may include student, staff, and faculty health issues, here or overseas.

If your overseas study or travel is canceled

Faculty for your program will redesign the program for on-campus spring quarter study, or you may choose another campus-based program.

If you choose to travel independently, you will not receive credit, and you will need to unenroll for the quarter and return any financial aid you may have received for the quarter.

You will receive a full refund of any Evergreen deposit and any other program trip costs paid in advance to Evergreen; these costs vary by program.

If you have personally purchased air tickets or have other travel expenses related to unexpected changes, Evergreen is not able to reimburse you directly. Evergreen will offer support to students and parents in navigating various refund policies from airlines and other providers, as requested.  Additionally, you may contact the Financial Aid Office about Short Term Loans to assist with unexpected travel costs in order to return home.

If you have received a scholarship or travel grant, you will need to work with the appropriate office to resolve funds already awarded. You may be able to defer travel, arrange for a different destination, or develop a repayment plan. Currently, the Gilman Scholarship office is allowing students to return to the U.S. or make adjustments to future study abroad, with no expectation of repayment of funds. However, recipients should respond appropriately to email notices they receive directly from Gilman to ensure compliance with emerging policies.

If you requested additional financial aid to cover study abroad expenses, contact the Financial Aid office as soon as possible. You may be required to repay funds that were issued in advance or to turn down additional aid that has not yet been paid. The Financial Aid office will do its best to be flexible with the evolving COVID-19 situation, but it also must adhere to laws and regulations that govern student aid.

If you want to go back to a job on or off campus that you were planning to leave for study abroad, talk to your employer. We can provide documentation if necessary.

Appeal process for students on existing Winter Quarter ILC’s, SOS, or other program study

Officially, all ILC study abroad is canceled and you are advised to return to the U.S.  However, you may file an Appeal (Word) and complete an Assumption of Risk form (Word) in view of your existing overseas situation. The Dean of International Study will consider your circumstances based on multiple factors. Send all Appeal responses and the Assumption of Risk form to Michael Clifthorne at clifthom@evergreen.edu in the International Office as soon as possible.

Every student, in consultation with their family or doctor, should re-assess their health situation in relation to travel at this time. Those with immune-comprised health conditions especially should reconsider travel. Evergreen will refund study abroad fees and any program costs students have paid in advance to Evergreen. We will also support students as we can in navigating refunds or changes regarding tickets and other personal expenses they have paid.