Will the University of Florida International Center (UFIC) move forward with Spring and Summer 2021 study abroad programs?
For the past 6 months, UFIC has been carefully monitoring the situation regarding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections worldwide and we will continue to do so throughout the Fall and beyond. Our office is also monitoring all notices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. State Department for any further recommendations and/or restrictions on travel. While there is much uncertainty regarding COVID, please know that we will never run a program if we do not consider that it can be carried out safely for both our faculty and students alike.
At this time, we are planning to run programs in both Spring and Summer 2021, and are accepting applications to study abroad accordingly. However, final approval for Spring and Summer programs will only be issued approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the start of your program. Study abroad advisors will be updating students should there be any changes to the timeline stated above. It is important that all students continue to check their UF email frequently for any updates.
Can the study abroad application be completed online, or do I need to be on campus?
We are working to ensure that all students can complete the application online. We will accept electronic signatures from your academic advisors and the faculty directors on all Academic Advising Forms. While previously you had to come into the office to obtain this form, you will be able to access it within your online application. If you have questions regarding how to complete the form, or you cannot find the correct form, please contact Study Abroad Services for assistance.
My Summer 2020 program was cancelled. Can my application be rolled over to Summer 2021?
Due to potential changes in participant eligibility, all students will be required to begin a new application for Summer 2021. However, if you chose to not receive a refund of your $375 deposit/application fee for Summer 2020, that amount may be transferred to your Summer 2021 application and will complete the deposit/application fee requirement. Please contact your Study Abroad Advisor to facilitate this transfer.
I was accepted into a faculty led study abroad program last year. Am I guaranteed a spot again this year?
While we cannot guarantee that you will be accepted into any program, we encourage all students to contact their Study Abroad Advisor and the faculty director for the program to see if preference is being given to those students who were accepted for the 2020 program. While some faculty may give priority to those students, others may be accepting students on a first-come-first-serve basis, or based on merit. We will be glad to work with you to ensure that you find an appropriate program if you would like to study abroad.
What is my application status and how do I know when I am fully approved?
Throughout the process of applying to a study abroad program, you will see changes in your application status. The three statuses are: Pending, Conditionally Approved, and APPROVED.
- Pending: You have started an application but have not yet provided all required documentation or signatures for your application to be complete.
- Conditionally Approved: You have completed all application requirements, and in effect, have been approved to study abroad. However, due to COVID-19, your program is still under review and consequently student travel has not yet been approved by university administrators. This is what that means by program type:
- UF Sponsored: You have been selected by the program director to participate in their program. You will be contacted by them or your study abroad advisor regarding any additional paperwork, next steps, or to schedule a group meeting.
- UF Exchange: Your study abroad advisor will now nominate you to study with our exchange partner. Once nominated, your host institution will communicate with you directly about next steps, which may include completing an application, obtaining paperwork necessary to apply for a visa, or submitting housing preferences.
- Non-UF Programs: You have fulfilled all of the requirements for UF's application, and your study abroad advisor can now complete any necessary approval forms for your program. If you have not already done so, you should also complete an application for your program provider or host institution. From this point on you will work with them directly. As such, it is your responsibility to understand their cancellation and refund policies as they relate to COVID-19.
- APPROVED: Your program is approved to run, and you may begin planning for travel.
Should I purchase my flight tickets?
Once you have been fully approved, have gotten a visa (if necessary), and have gotten specific instructions from your Study Abroad Advisor, you may purchase your airfare. However, we highly recommend that all students purchase additional travel insurance to help cover flight cancellation costs. Please understand that UF will not be able to refund any expenses (including but not limited to housing, flights and visa costs), in the event a program is cancelled at any time.
If my program is cancelled due to COVID-19, will I be refunded any fees I have already paid?
Students participating in a UF Sponsored program will be refunded their deposit and any program fees paid if UF were to cancel their program. Students participating in a Non-UF program should speak with their provider/host university to discuss their refund policy for the selected program prior to financially committing to their program.
Will I need to self-quarantine upon arrival in my host country?
While it is difficult to predict what the COVID-19 situation will look like in 2021, we expect for each country and host school to have different policies and regulations regarding travel and quarantine. You will be expected to fully comply with all host institution or country policies and regulations. Once you are approved to study abroad, please speak with your Study Abroad Advisor or host institution to determine what will be expected of you upon arrival. Please note that if quarantine is obligatory, you may incur additional expenses.
Should I register for spring/summer classes at UF as a backup plan? Will I be able to withdraw from those summer courses without being fee liable, if my program runs as planned?
Students should register for spring or summer coursework at UF as a backup plan. Once you are approved by all parties for your study abroad program, and hear from your Study Abroad Advisor, you can drop the UF courses you have registered for without penalty. All courses must be dropped by the UF drop/add deadline in order not to be fee liable, as indicated on the UF Registrar website.
If I sign up for spring or summer housing in UF’s residence halls and end up studying abroad, can I get out of my UF housing contract?
According to the UF Housing Terms and Conditions for 2020-2021, “Students participating in an internship, co-op or study abroad activity for which they will receive University course credit, or fulfilling a requirement of their University degree; in such instances Student may cancel this Agreement without a cancellation fee provided that Student supplies appropriate documentation (as determined by the Department) substantiating the relevant circumstances.” Your Study Abroad Advisor can provide such documentation upon request.