Learning Abroad Center

COVID-19 Updates & Policies

The Learning Abroad Center is proud to offer programs in locations where health and travel restrictions allow. We are actively consulting with health experts, monitoring health websites, and in conversations with broader university leadership. In order to make a program viable, we must reach enrollment minimums. We are hopeful that we will meet these minimums and we look forward to hosting you.

Study centers around the world will comply with local public health recommendations as well as recommended standards of the University of Minnesota. This may include modifications to the program calendar, weekly schedule, classroom environment, course delivery, housing arrangements, internship placements, transportation policies, and inter-continental or in-country travel restrictions.

If you are interested in learning more about the specifics, explore the following resources https://global.umn.edu/travel/covid19.

If you are looking for Carlson School of Management learning abroad COVID-19 updates, refer to this web page.

If you are looking for UMD learning abroad COVID-19 updates, refer to their website https://z.umn.edu/ips-covid-19-info.

For information about the University's back to campus plans for fall semester, visit https://safe-campus.umn.edu/return-campus/covid-19-updates.

Summer 2021 Programs

We are offering study abroad programs for future academic terms with additional health precautions and modified course delivery as needed. Use our Program Search to explore programs offered during these terms. Decisions about whether programs will run are being made on a program by program basis, and you will be notified via email if your program is canceled.

Parallel Academic Planning for Fall 2021

We encourage you to have parallel academic plans in place for fall 2021: one plan assuming you’ll be able to go abroad and a backup plan in case your study abroad program is canceled. Register for both your study abroad placeholder credits and backup UofM classes on campus.

Once you confirm your participation in your study abroad program, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to register for your block of study abroad placeholder credits. At that time, your fall 2021 maximum credit limit will also be increased to 30 credits, allowing you to register simultaneously in full-time UofM classes plus your study abroad placeholder block of credits. Work with your academic adviser on which UofM classes to temporarily register for in case you’re unable to go abroad.

It will be your responsibility to drop your UofM classes before the UofM semester starts if your study abroad program is approved to run. If you don’t drop your UofM classes, you’ll be charged tuition and may end up with Ws or Fs on your UofM record. If your program abroad is canceled, the Learning Abroad Center will remove the study abroad placeholder credits from your record.


For your housing, consider exploring parallel options: one plan assuming you’ll be able to go abroad and another plan in case your study abroad program is canceled.

How We Decide Whether a Program Will Run

The availability of study abroad programs for fall 2021, and other future terms, is impacted by different factors including; the University of Minnesota’s restrictions on international travel, the reopening of borders, travel guidance, and the lifting of travel restrictions by the US Department of State. The Learning Abroad Center continues to gather information from these entities, and is working towards the goal of offering a full portfolio programs.

The University's International Travel Risk Assessment and Advisory Committee (ITRAAC) makes the decisions on whether or not programs will be offered. While we are preparing to offer programs with ITRAAC approval, the approval is contingent upon lifting of international travel restrictions for the University of Minnesota, a review/reaffirmation of the approval if the advisory changes before departure, and if public health developments in the country change enough to necessitate further review.

Once a program is approved, students will receive more information about booking airline tickets and preparing for departure. Students should not book airline tickets or make non-refundable deposits until they receive information about this from their program adviser. If a program is canceled, students will be notified via email and receive a full refund, and a note about the cancellation will be added to the relevant program webpage.

Students interested in studying abroad on affiliate programs must apply individually through ITRAAC for approval.  Students should consider alternative options through the Learning Abroad Center as affiliate programs are less likely to be approved through ITRAAC at this time. 

Cancellation Policy

For May 2021 and summer 2021 programs a modified cancellation policy is in place.  Prior to 45 days, students may elect to cancel their participation in any program during those terms and any deposit charged to their student account will be reversed. 45 days or less from the program start date, the normal cancellation schedule will apply.

For programs during fall 2021 and beyond, standard cancellation policies apply. If a program is canceled related to COVID-19 (or for any other reason) prior to the program start date, you will receive a full refund including application fee and deposit.

We understand that there is some uncertainty about future travel plans due to the worldwide impact of COVID-19 and that you may be hesitant to confirm your place on your program at this time. For now you can safely ignore any automated emails stating that you must confirm within two weeks. The Learning Abroad Center is allowing more flexibility with confirmation deadlines, and you will receive additional information about confirming closer to the program start date.


Unless otherwise directed by a health professional, the Learning Abroad Center recommends, but does not require, that students get vaccinated prior to the start of their program if they are eligible and have no specific health reasons preventing them from doing so. Vaccinated students should bring a copy of their CDC COVID 19 vaccination record card with them when they go abroad.

Summer programs

For students who do not qualify for a vaccination, the inability to get a COVID vaccine is not grounds for a refund appeal if you choose to cancel your participation in a summer program. If you are uncomfortable or unwilling to participate in a summer program unless vaccinated, you may cancel prior to 45 days before the program start date and receive a refund of any deposit charged to your account. After that time, the standard cancellation policy will apply.

Students who are qualified for a vaccination who attempt to get vaccinated prior to their program start date but are unable to get an appointment may submit a refund appeal if they cancel from their program.

Fall programs and beyond

In the near future COVID vaccine requirements may be instituted by specific countries and/or airlines without advance notice. Vaccination gives you the best chance for participation in a program and will keep open the most travel options. 

The inability to participate in a program because of local, national, or airline restrictions if you are not vaccinated but are eligible to be vaccinated will not be considered a valid reason for a refund.


* The content of this webpage will be updated regularly. Check back for new information.