Study abroad

COVID-19 Response information about study abroad programs.

Last updated: March 30, 2020

Frequently asked questions

Current study abroad students

I am studying abroad. Do I need to come home?

As of Thursday, March 12, all students in Europe and the UK were required to come home and have been notified of that decision. Additional programs in other parts of the world have been canceling or suspending their programs. Regardless of where you are, if your program cancels, you are required to come home. At any point, if your country moves to CDC Warning – Level 3, you are required to come home.

For students outside of Europe whose programs continue to run, we urge students to consult with their program provider, their family, and other trusted advisors for the purposes of coming to a decision about whether to remain abroad or return home.

How did the College come to the decision to bring students home?

After the Presidential Proclamation on March 11, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 3 Global Health advisory, stressing that individuals avoid any and all non-essential travel. In addition, the CDC raised its Travel Warning to Level 3 for specific countries. These warnings occurred in a context where the WHO declared a global pandemic, and where we had seen an alarming and sudden spike in incidents in some countries where, just a few weeks ago, the numbers were comparatively modest.

Further, the International ISOS —Gettysburg College’s medical and security assistance company—then reported to us that they were unlikely to be able to guarantee prompt medical care in locations where the “outbreak numbers” resulted in high levels of stress on medical facilities. These warnings underscored the severity of the world health crisis and placed added emphasis on the College’s response to safeguard our students abroad.

I am studying abroad but not in Europe. Do I need to come home?

With the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak now worldwide, and with our students both studying in and potentially returning to locations with various levels of prevalence, we are not in a position in Gettysburg to accurately evaluate what is best for each individual student studying abroad.

For students outside of Europe whose programs continue to run, we urge students to consult with their program provider, their family, and other trusted advisors for the purposes of coming to a decision about whether to remain abroad or return home.

With this said, students studying outside of Europe whose programs have been canceled must return to their home within the parameters outlined by their program.

My location outside of Europe is safe, my program is still running, and my family has advised me to stay. Will Gettysburg approve of my decision?

We encourage students studying outside of Europe to use their best judgment regarding whether to stay or travel home. If you prefer to finish out the semester in your host country, we will respect that decision. We likewise will support you if you decide to return home.

I’m concerned that if I leave my host country and return home, I will lose my academic credit. What should I do?

Gettysburg College has been working closely with all of our program providers and host institutions around the world to understand the options for continuing coursework and enabling our students to earn credit for their global study semester. In the majority of cases, programs are offering coursework through a virtual learning format. In the few cases where students do not have options to continue coursework online or students are at risk of losing academic credit, Gettysburg will work with you individually to address these issues upon your return.

What arrangements do I need to make to get home? Will Gettysburg offer any financial assistance?

You are responsible for planning your travel back to the United States. Gettysburg College will offer up to $500 to help offset any costs of changing your flight. Students who were required to return from Europe have already been given these funds via direct debit or check. Other students who have decided to return home should send your request to

How fast do I have to return from my study abroad program?

“As soon as reasonably possible” was the guidance that you received. We understand that each location is different and each program provider or host university is giving locally specific advice. Please follow that guidance, and if in doubt, please contact CGE at for further advice.

Can I return to campus?

Gettysburg College is operating remotely for the remainder of the semester. All global study students returning to the U.S should return to their homes.

Fall 2020 Global Study Abroad Applicants

Can I make an appointment to speak with a CGE advisor?

Please do! CGE started virtual appointments on March 23rd. Please make an appointment as you normally would. Despite not meeting in person, CGE is keeping regular advising hours. We will arrange a phone appointment instead of in-person appointments.

Should I continue filling out my program application?

Yes. If you have questions about where to find your application, what the due date is, or how to answer any application questions, please write to us at

Do you think my program will run in the fall?

Program providers are updating us regularly on their fall 2020 application process (and any deadline extensions), and their policies for program deposits for students who are accepted. The best way to find out the information for your specific program is to finish your application. That way, your program provider or host university will send you updates specific to your program . Once you have applied and have received that information, CGE is here to help you think through your options.

How does Gettysburg decide if my program will be cancelled?

Students will be permitted to participate in their global study programs as long as the travel advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and US Department of State are not at levels 3, or 4, respectively.

Do you think I should change global study locations?

We can’t predict if all programs will run in the fall, but we don’t believe changing now based on current information is necessary. Please make an appointment with CGE if you’d like to discuss this further.

Can I register for housing at Gettysburg in case my program cancels or I decide not to go?

Students enrolled in fall 2020 global study programs can’t register for housing during the housing selection process unless they withdraw from global study prior to housing selection.

What if I change my mind after housing selection and want to return to Gettysburg in the fall?

Students who decide after the housing deadline that they prefer to return to campus in the fall will be accommodated in housing through a separate student lottery number and a preference form. Students should know that their location of housing and roommate preferences cannot be guaranteed.

Can I register for classes at Gettysburg as a back-up plan?

We have received approval from the Registrar’s office for all fall 2020 global study students to add one (1) Gettysburg College course to your fall registration. If you would like to do this, please fill out the request to add a fifth course form and submit it to the Registrar.

What if my program is cancelled and I can’t get the classes I want?

While placement in specific courses cannot be guaranteed, Gettysburg commits to making sure that your graduation is not delayed due to your global study program being cancelled.

I’ve decided to change my global study plans. How do I withdraw from Fall 2020 global study?

To withdraw from Fall 2020 global study, simply e-mail to communicate your intention to withdraw. At that point, CGE staff will make the necessary changes in our system and, if necessary, inform your program provider.

I was scheduled to study globally in fall 2020 but recently withdrew. I have since changed my mind - can I be reinstated?

Students who have withdrawn from global study can’t be reinstated for fall 2020. However, rising juniors are eligible to apply for spring 2021 or fall 2021 global study and should contact to discuss this opportunity.

When is pre-departure orientation (PDO)?

Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation will be available online using Moodle beginning in mid-April. Please monitor your email for updates.