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KU Study Abroad Programs & COVID-19

Updated March 27, 2020

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elevated their Travel Warning to “Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel” for most countries in Europe and “Level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions” for the rest of the world. On March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a global health advisory "Level 4: Do Not Travel"  as a result of the rapid spread of COVID-19.  As a result of this guidance, KU has suspended all Spring 2020 study abroad programs.  All study abroad participants remaining overseas have been asked to make plans for immediate return to the United States.

The U.S. federal government has urged all citizens currently abroad to return to the U.S. immediately. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State have advised against all non-essential international travel. While we remain optimistic that efforts to contain the virus will be successful, economic recovery and the normalization of international travel will require substantive time even after containment of COVID-19 is achieved. In light of these circumstances and recognizing the need for faculty, staff and students to plan now for summer and fall terms, KU has made the difficult decision to cancel or postpone all KU-administered summer 2020 study abroad programs scheduled to depart the U.S. prior to June 30, 2020. At this time, all late Summer 2020 programs (July/August) and Fall 2020 study abroad programs are continuing as planned.

Students whose programs have been affected by the decisions above have been notified.  Any student inquiring as to the status of a specific summer or Fall study abroad program can contact Study Abroad at studyabroad@ku.edu.

For student participants on late Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 study abroad programs:

  • Please proceed with the next steps as outlined in your JayhawksAbroad account and in the emails you have received from your SAGE Program Managers, host institution abroad, or SIP program provider. 
  • If you have been accepted to a program and you are still interested in studying abroad, you should submit the contract by the due date indicated. If you have concerns regarding submission of the contract, speak with your Program Manager.  
  • Do not purchase airfare or make travel plans at this time. If you do, we strongly suggest that you purchase fully refundable airline tickets and/or trip cancellation insurance ("cancel for any reason" coverage) and ensure that the policy covers cancellation due to pandemic.  KU Study Abroad assumes no responsibility for losses or penalties due to program cancellation or student withdrawal.
  • If KU Study Abroad makes any changes to your program, we will reach out to you directly via email. Please check your KU email account and JayhawksAbroad account regularly.

For late Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 KU-administered programs, if KU determines that we cannot safely operate a program due to COVID-19 and KU Study Abroad cancels the program, you will not be charged the KU Required Fee or KU Program Fee.  SAGE will void your financial contract.   If KU programs remain operational and a student withdraws from that program, the student will be bound to the withdrawal policy outlined on the financial contract.

Students applying to programs administered outside of KU (direct enrollment programs, student-initiated programs, etc.) should speak with the program provider regarding their withdrawal policy for the term in question.  Should the partner cancel your study abroad program, you will not be charged the KU Study Abroad Required Fee.  Should the program remain in operation and a student elect to withdraw, the student will be subject to the withdrawal policy as per the financial contract.

For country or program-specific questions, please contact Study Abroad & Global Engagement at 785-864-3742 or studyabroad@ku.edu.


Fall 2020 & Academic Year 2020-2021 programs now accepting applications !

Study Abroad Information & Advising
Our office is still available to help you with your study abroad questions.  Click here to set up an E-advising appointment with our team.

Study Abroad Financial E-Advising
Personalized advising through phone appts, Monday - Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM, call 785-864-3742 or email nicholas.f.kellerman@ku.edu

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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
The Office of Study Abroad and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times