COVID-19 & Study Abroad
Last updated August 9, 2021.
After University review, SJU Summer Programs for summer 2021 have been canceled. Travel on Non-SJU Summer Programs has been reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
After University review, the following programs have been approved to move forward for the fall 2021 semester. Saint Joseph's will continue to monitor conditions for travel as the departure dates approach. Please note: the University, or individual programs, may cancel travel should conditions change. Participants should refer to their email for important considerations and next steps.
- Saint Louis University, Madrid
- IES Abroad Paris: French Studies
- Florence University of the Arts - Fairfield University
- John Cabot University
- The American University of Rome
- University College, Cork
- National University of Ireland, Galway
- St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, London
- DIS - Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark
At this time, the following semester abroad programs have been suspended for the fall 2021 semester:
- Belgium Internship Program - suspended by program provider
- CIEE Russian Area Studies Program in St. Petersburg, Russia - suspended by program provider
- IFSA - University of Auckland - suspended by program provider
- IFSA - Macquarie University - suspended by program provider
- IFSA - University of Melbourne - suspended by program provider
- Sibanye Cape Town - suspended by program provider
- The Beijing Center - suspended by program provider
Affected students have been notified by email.
The following semester abroad programs will not be offered in spring 2022:
- IFSA - University of Auckland (New Zealand) - suspended by program provider
- CIEE Russian Area Studies Program in St. Petersburg, Russia - suspended by program provider
- IFSA - University of Melbourne (Australia) - suspended by program provider
- IFSA - Macquarie University (Australia) - suspended by program provider
Applications will be accepted for all other spring 2022 semester abroad programs. The University will review the status of spring 2022 semester abroad in mid-October 2021. Students are advised not to make any non-refundable payments for their semester abroad until a University update for spring student travel is provided. Students should have alternate plans for spring semester courses and housing at SJU in the event that travel is not possible.
Previous University decisions regarding student travel are listed below. All affected students have been contacted by email.
- As of November 9, 2020, all spring 2021 Semester Abroad programs with enrolled participants were suspended. Programs with enrolled participants were reviewed on a case-by-case basis before program-specific decisions were made.
- As of October 15th, 2020, Saint Joseph's suspended all faculty-led study tours for the spring 2021 semester.
- As of June 24, 2020, Saint Joseph's suspended all University-sponsored study abroad programming for the fall 2020 semester. This included the suspension of fall 2020 semester abroad, as well as the postponement of one winter break study tour scheduled to depart in early January 2021.
You can still apply for a new or renewed U.S. passport, but you should expect delays before receiving your passport. The current processing time for routine service applications is 10-12 weeks. You also have the option of paying an additional $60 for expedited service to receive your passport in 4-6 weeks.
Due to anticipated delays, if you are planning on studying abroad during spring or summer 2022, you are strongly encouraged to apply for a passport as soon as possible.
Refer to the U.S. State Department Update on U.S. Passport Operations for the most current information, and visit their Passport Agency and Center page to check on the status of passport agencies and centers. To see the current wait times to receive your passport and the return of your citizenship documents (such as previous passports and birth/naturalization certificates), please see the U.S. State Department’s Processing Times page.
While the University will provide decisions on each program based on the timelines set, it is important to note that conditions may continue to evolve after a decision is made. Host institutions or program providers may make cancellations, or students may voluntarily opt to withdraw. To protect funds committed toward a study abroad experience, the CIP recommends that students purchase Trip Cancellation & Interruption insurance.
Saint Joseph's does not endorse any specific insurance carrier, but we have compiled below a list of websites to assist with your research. AAA, your car insurance company and your credit card company may offer Trip Cancellation benefits as well. Please obtain online quotes to compare or speak with an insurance representative:
Each carrier provides different levels of services at different rates, so it is important to understand exactly what is covered by a particular plan before purchasing, particularly in regard to COVID-related cancellations. In many cases, losses due to COVID may not be covered by a standard plan. Students may need to look for special coverage, such as a “Cancel for Any Reason” plan. It is strongly advised that you speak with the insurance provider to understand the details of a specific plan, as even “Cancel for Any Reason” coverages may vary between providers.
Saint Joseph's will directly contact students with updates via email. SJU reaches out to students’ designated emergency contacts only in specific situations, such as when a student has been incapacitated or when we cannot reach the student. All members of the SJU community can find updates related to COVID-19 on this page and on Hawk Hill Ahead.
Saint Joseph's takes guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of State and the World Health Organization (WHO). When making decisions about specific programs, we also consider local conditions as well as input from peer institutions and our overseas partners.
Prior to canceling a Study Tour or Summer Program, we first explore all viable alternatives, such as postponing a program. For those programs that are postponed, the details of what a postponement will look like will be communicated directly with the participants, and the outcome for each program could be different.
SJU Study Tours/Summer Programs:
Deposits submitted for a fall 2021 study tour are fully refundable should a student withdraw due to concern for COVID-19. Students will not be charged additional fees by SJU for study abroad until the University has reviewed the status of fall travel.
Should travel on fall 2021 study tours be approved after University review, students will be held to the CIP’s withdrawal policy as captured in the Terms of Participation in Program Agreement (Study Tours and Summer Programs) on which students sign off as part of their application.
In the event a decision is made by the University to cancel or suspend a program after the initial University review, Saint Joseph’s University will issue recoverable cost refunds, but only if and when SJU has recovered actual expenses from its vendors. Please note that the University is working diligently to ensure that as many costs as possible are recoverable.
Tuition is not refundable if students are provided an option to continue pursuing a course for credit. As refunds are not guaranteed, the CIP recommends that students purchase Trip Cancellation & Interruption insurance to protect funds committed to a study abroad experience. Suggested websites to research insurance options can be found above.
SJU Approved Semester Abroad Programs:
If a future semester abroad program were canceled prior to the start of the SJU semester, students would be able to enroll in SJU courses. No tuition refund would be issued, as tuition remains the same for students participating in a semester abroad and students taking classes full-time at Saint Joseph's.
Semester abroad confirmation deposits submitted to Saint Joseph's for fall 2021 or spring 2022 are fully refundable should a student withdraw due to COVID-19 or should a program be canceled.
As non-tuition fees are paid directly by students to their abroad programs, refund policies will vary. Many programs have updated their refund and cancellation policies in light of COVID-19. Be sure to fully review the partner program’s refund policy as the University has no control over another institution’s policies.
Spring 2022 semester abroad students are advised not to make any non-refundable payments for their study abroad experience until a University update on the status of spring student travel has been provided. A University update on the status of spring 2022 travel will be provided in mid-October 2021.
As conditions may continue to evolve after a University decision is issued for a program, students are advised to be aware of refund and cancellation policies before making any payments to external providers. As refunds are not guaranteed, the CIP recommends that students purchase Trip Cancellation & Interruption insurance to protect funds committed to a study abroad experience. Suggested websites to research insurance options can be found above.
Yes, you will need to reapply. If your program was postponed to 2021, it is possible that the terms of the program (dates, itinerary, etc.) and cost have changed. You will need to submit a new application to confirm that you wish to participate and that you accept the new program terms and cost. Certain question items from your 2020 application can be carried over to your 2021 application (please contact Ilana at email@example.com to do so).
Students who were previously confirmed participants on a 2020 Study Tour or SJU Summer Program will be given priority if they reapply.
No, you will not need to reapply. If your application for fall 2020, spring 2021 or fall 2021 semester abroad was previously approved and you plan to defer your participation to spring 2022, please do not open a new application. Please contact Sara Haines in the CIP at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in reopening your application.
Saint Joseph's understands that personal circumstances may vary, and that final decision will be made between students and families. All enrolled study abroad students may voluntarily withdraw from a study abroad program at any time. Deposits submitted for fall 2021 and spring 2022 study abroad are fully refundable should a student withdraw due to concern for COVID-19. Students will not be charged additional fees by SJU for study abroad until the University has reviewed the status of fall or spring travel. Should fall or spring travel be approved after University review, students will be held to the CIP’s withdrawal policy as captured in the Terms of Participation in Program Agreement (Study Tours and Summer Programs) or Academic, Disciplinary and Financial Waiver (Semester/Year Abroad), on which students sign off as part of their application.
Semester abroad students pay non-tuition fees directly to their programs abroad, and non-SJU summer & winter program students pay all fees directly to their programs abroad. Students are advised not to make any non-refundable payments for their study abroad experience until a University update on student travel for their intended term abroad has been provided. As conditions may continue to evolve after a University decision is issued, students are advised to be aware of refund and cancellation policies for any non-SJU fees, such as housing costs or airfare. Many programs have published information on their websites for future students. If you are not sure how to contact a program representative, the CIP will be happy to assist.
Saint Joseph's has a two-year residency requirement; first and second-year students, and some transfer students, are required to live on campus. This requirement is waived for students participating in SJU study abroad programs for only the semester they are abroad.
On-campus housing will be available for students who sign a 2021-2022 Housing Agreement. If your fall 2021 program is suspended after University review in June, you will retain your space in campus housing for the Fall 2021 semester.
If fall 2021 travel is approved and you choose to move forward with your study abroad experience, your space in on-campus housing will be released for the fall semester. You will be housed on campus for the spring semester, though potentially not in your original housing assignment. Should a student withdraw, or should a study abroad program be canceled, the University will make every effort to house students on campus if availability allows.
Students who have not signed a 2021-2022 Housing Agreement should discuss availability with the Office of Residence Life.
For questions about a semester abroad program, non-SJU summer program, or a student on one of these programs, contact Sara Haines at email@example.com or 610-660-1675
For questions about a Study Tour, SJU Summer Program, or a student on one of these programs, contact Ilana Egert at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-660-3479.
For general inquiries or concerns, please reach out to Tom Kesaris at email@example.com or 610-660-1836.
Please note that this page will be updated frequently as new information becomes available. All are encouraged to refer back regularly for the latest information.
- SJU Hawk Hill Ahead
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- U.S. Department of State - Travel Advisories
Previous updates regarding COVID-19 and study abroad can be found below: