Global study FAQs for 2021–22

Frequently asked questions

Fall 2021

Which programs are currently planning to run for the Fall 2021 semester? Have any programs been suspended?
Please refer to the Affiliated Programs List. Click on the country of interest to see a program’s current status. This list will continue to be updated daily, and students will be notified if there are changes to their programs
I don’t have a passport or my passport will expire soon. How do I get one?

If you do not currently have a passport or your passport will expire within 6 months of your expected return from your global study semester, please contact CGE as soon as possible. Passport processing times are currently longer than normal, so you should submit your passport application (or passport renewal) as soon as possible. CGE also recommends you notify your program provider if you are currently in the process of renewing your passport. You can apply at an acceptance facility. Processing may be limited so it is imperative that you start working on this immediately, and we strongly recommend that you choose expedited service.

Will I still be able to travel during my global study semester?

It is likely there will be travel restrictions, especially on travel outside of your host country. These restrictions may be due to government regulations, or rules put in place by your program provider in support of your community such as testing, quarantining, or showing proof of vaccination. You should prepare for a global study semester with opportunities for traveling within your host country and limited travel further afield. Remember that local regulations and guidelines can change at any time – and that means students must be prepared to adhere to these changes even if it means interrupted plans and personal disappointment. Remember flexibility is key; don’t book plans that can’t easily be canceled or rescheduled. Gettysburg College expects that you follow all local laws and guidance from your program provider.

If my program requires a visa, when should I start the visa process?

If you’ve been expressly told that you need a visa, please begin collecting the necessary documents, but do not submit your visa application until you have been told to do so by your program provider or host university. Some countries will require that you visit an Embassy or Consulate in the United States to secure your visa, so be sure to build that travel into your plans and anticipate the extra costs and time associated with it. Continue to monitor your email closely for instructions from your program provider. CGE sent a letter of enrollment and financial support to your email. If you need another copy please let us know.

When should I book my flight?

Do not book a flight until your program confirms with you that you should proceed with this purchase. When you are ready to purchase your ticket, CGE recommends that you purchase refundable/flexible tickets and/or purchase flight insurance that covers pandemic cancellations. We also recommend that students purchase flights directly through the airline provider. Third-party or discount ticket companies may not provide as generous cancellation/refund policies and may not be able to automatically rebook your ticket if your original flights are cancelled or rescheduled. Gettysburg College gives all students who have not previously studied abroad a flight allowance to help with the cost of flights. The College is unable to help support costs related to re-booking or cancelling flights.

When is pre-departure orientation (PDO)?

Pre-departure orientation is currently available in Moodle as the course “Pre-Departure Orientation - Fall 2021” Please abide by all posted deadlines.

Will I need to get vaccinated before studying globally in the Fall 2021 semester?

Gettysburg College requires that all students be vaccinated by the fall semester unless they have a medical or religious exemption, and this includes global study students. If you have an exemption to the vaccine please contact CGE to discuss how that could affect your participation in global study. At this time, most of our affiliated programs and host governments are not requiring the COVID-19 vaccine. However, there are countless personal, societal and experiential reasons to get your vaccine, and we encourage you to do so prior to departure. Many countries already require vaccines and other immunizations unrelated COVID-19 for entry (ex. Tuberculosis tests, measles, rubella, yellow fever, etc.) so it is possible that it will be required even if it currently is not. Keep in close contact with your program provider to better understand program requirements for your program/host country.

The program I’m applying to has been canceled in previous semesters. Will it be canceled in the Fall 2021 semester too?

Program cancelations occur for a variety of reasons. Each program must make decisions based on their unique structure and/or changing local conditions. The past status of a program should not be used as an indicator about what will happen in the future. Stay in close contact with your program for updates about the fall.

My program has confirmed it is planning to run in the Fall 2021 semester— Hooray! Is it possible that Gettysburg will make a decision that students cannot study abroad even if a program is running?

Yes, it is possible. The safety of Gettysburg students is our highest priority. Gettysburg reserves the right to make decisions about global study in the best interest of our students before or during a global study program. Decisions to cancel programs, delay program start dates, or modify program models are based on a balance of global health news, public health and safety advisories and restrictions, advice from International SOS (ISOS) Gettysburg’s medical and travel security assistance company, and input from our program providers and host universities. The timing of decisions will vary by program and/or country, rather than be announced as one uniform decision about all Fall 2021 programs. CGE is committed to updating students as we learn of any changes to programs, and helping students who wish to make alternative plans.

Can I change to another program if my program is canceled? What happens if my program is canceled?

Yes, although the availability of programs will change as it gets closer to the Fall 2021 semester. There are a few program providers that can accommodate additional students on fairly short-notice prior to the start of their program; however, this is highly dependent on the structure of the program, how many students have already applied, and visa/entry requirements of the country. Depending on your academic goals for the semester, there may or may not be programs available that meet those goals. CGE advisors can meet with you to discuss what programs are available, or if it makes more sense to defer your global study plans to a future semester.

In addition to the question of whether you “can” change programs, it is important to consider if you “should” change programs. Global study requires significant pre-departure preparation. Last-minute changes will require diligent and intense work on behalf of the student to understand the specifics about their new program and their host culture, ensure that they are prepared for visa/entry requirements, make plans to maintain their own health and personal needs, and more. Students should also be prepared for limited course availability, and potentially higher costs of travel if flights are booked late.

If my global study program is canceled or I voluntarily withdraw from my program, will I receive a refund?

If your program provider or host institution cancels the program prior to the start of their semester, programs deposits will be refunded, but non-recoverable costs such as visa, immunizations, or flights will not be refunded.

If you voluntarily withdraw from your program prior to the start of their semester, programs deposits may or may not be refunded and it will depend on individual program policies. Non-recoverable costs such as visa, immunizations, or flights will not be refunded. Be sure to confirm the refund policy of your program and factor this timeline into your decision-making about the semester.

In either case, if you are no longer attending your Fall 2021 global study program, the financial credits that Gettysburg applied to your Student Account (e.g. flight credit, meal credit, program deposit credit) will be reversed.

My global study program is offering some coursework that is taught online. Can I enroll in these courses?

Potentially, but it depends on a few key factors. Any courses offered remotely would need to be taught by the student’s host institution with the potential to move to in-person. For example, one institution may offer several courses that will be taught remotely for the first few weeks of the semester with the intention of moving in-person later in the semester. In this case, students would be permitted to enroll in these online courses. However, some programs may offer remote courses that are actually taught by faculty from other institutions (ex. a program in Berlin may offer coursework taught remotely by another program centered in Costa Rica). In this case, there is no opportunity for these courses to transition into in-person coursework, and Gettysburg students would not be permitted to enroll in these courses. Please reach out to CGE if you are uncertain whether a course is taught remotely or in-person, or if you are unsure if you should enroll in a particular course.

Some global study programs offer remote coursework. Can I enroll in remote courses from a global study program while taking courses on Gettysburg’s campus?

No. Students cannot be enrolled in more than one academic institution simultaneously.

Can I take a full semester of remote coursework from a global study program instead of enrolling in courses through Gettysburg College?

No. It is not possible to enroll in a global study program with the intention of taking coursework exclusively remotely. If a global study program is required to start remotely before transitioning to in-person coursework or if the program is required to move to remote coursework after the start of the program, Gettysburg College will honor that academic credit.

If my program cancels or I withdraw, can I return to Gettysburg’s campus to take classes?

The answer to this question depends highly on timing. Generally speaking, you may re-enroll in courses offered by Gettysburg College until the add/drop deadline for the Fall 2021 semester. However, Gettysburg College may set a different "decide by" date by which students need to submit their plans for fall 2021. Students should be aware of College deadlines as they make decisions about participation in global study.

I’ve applied to a program, but I’m still not sure if I want to go. When do I officially need to make a decision?

There are several key dates to keep in mind. You can still re-enroll in courses and housing on-campus provided it is before the add/drop deadline, but you may not receive your first choices in courses or housing. You should also pay attention to the timeline for non-refundable expenses for your program. Take time to understand your program’s refund policy for deposits, as well as the timeline for purchasing a flight and/or your visa. CGE advisors continue to be available to help you think through your specific situation.

What do Department of State Travel Advisories or CDC Warning Levels mean for global study?

The entire world, including the United States, is on a heightened state of alert due to the current pandemic. In April 2021, the Department of State increased the risk level in their Travel Advisories for over 80% of countries to Level 4: Do Not Travel. However, they acknowledged that this increase in the Travel Advisory Level was not a reflection of changing conditions on-site, but rather an attempt to align Department of State and Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidance. In June 2021, both the Department of State and the CDC revised their travel advisories for dozens of countries to a lower risk level, and issued specific guidance for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Program providers and host universities globally consider travel advisory levels issued by the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and other information from trusted sources as they make decisions about whether their programs will run, and whether their universities will be open to in-person teaching. CGE works with the International Travel Review Advisory Committee (ITRAC) and other campus entities to review participation policies associated with these travel advisories, as well as general risk levels. Students will be required to acknowledge and accept the risks and responsibilities associated with global study by signing an Agreement and Release document prior to participating. At times of elevated risk such as traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, students will also be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Risks document recognizing the unique circumstances in their host country as detailed in the DOS Travel Advisories and CDC Travel Health Notices. If the risk level increases during the global study semester, the Acknowledgement of Risks will be updated as well. Students will be required to sign the updated Acknowledgement of Risks if they wish to continue with the program. If the risk decreases during the global study semester, no additional notifications will be made.

Please note that some scholarship programs such as the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program may withdraw funding based on heightened DOS Travel Advisory levels. Questions about scholarships should be directed to the scholarship-granting agency.

My program has been modified. Will I still have the experience I was expecting?

This will vary by program and by student. Many programs are adjusting their regular schedule in order to create the best chance the program will run safely. Course availability may be subject to change as well. Access to resources on-site such as museums, archives, concert venues, or internship sites may continue to be impacted. There will likely also be restrictions on personal travel. We recommend that you carefully monitor and review your program modifications and decide for yourself if program changes still meet your academic, personal, and professional goals that were the basis for your decision to study globally. Information about any program modifications can be found on your program provider’s website or will be sent directly to you by your provider. CGE is happy to speak with you about these modifications at any time.

What happens if there is an increase in COVID-19 cases while I am on-site? Will I be sent home?

In the event of an increase in COVID-19 cases during your semester abroad, program providers and host institutions are prepared to shift coursework remotely while continuing to accommodate students on-site. It is unlikely—though not impossible—that students would be required to depart the programs early. Students would be required to depart the program if the program is no longer able to safely accommodate students on-site (such as if cases increased beyond what the local healthcare infrastructure can sustain) or if there is indication of impending border closures.

I’ve heard that people may need COVID-19 vaccine boosters a certain number of months after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine—and I will be studying abroad at that time! Is it possible to get a COVID-19 booster while studying abroad?

It is too early to know if booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine will be required and what availability will be like in countries around the world. At this time, you are strongly encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and keep a close eye on your email for updates from your program provider in the months/weeks before your departure.

Spring 2022

Which programs are currently planning to run for the Spring 2022 semester? Have any programs been suspended?

Please refer to the Affiliated Programs List. Click on the country of interest to see a program’s current status. This list will continue to be updated daily.

I’m interested in studying globally, but I’m worried my program will be canceled. Should I still apply?

Yes! There is no risk in submitting a Gettysburg Application for Spring 2022. If your plans for Spring 2022 global study change, you can withdraw your application or defer your global study until a future semester. The deadline to submit a Gettysburg Application for Spring 2022 is October 1.

I don’t have a passport or my passport will expire soon. How do I get one?

If you do not currently have a passport or your passport will expire within 6 months of your expected return from your global study semester, plan to submit your application as soon as possible. Passport processing times are currently longer than normal, so you should apply for your passport even before submitting your Gettysburg Application or program application. CGE also recommends you notify your program provider if you are currently in the process of renewing your passport. You can apply at an acceptance facility. Processing may be limited so it is imperative that you start working on this immediately.

Will I still be able to travel during my global study semester?

It is possible there will be travel restrictions, especially on travel outside of your host country. These restrictions may be due to government regulations, or rules put in place by your program provider in support of your community such as testing, quarantining, or showing proof of vaccination. You should prepare for a global study semester with opportunities for traveling within your host country and limited travel further afield. Gettysburg College expects that you follow all local laws and guidance from your program provider. You must accept all risks associated with booking non-refundable reservations for travel that must be cancelled for any reason.

If my program requires a visa, when should I start the visa process?

If you’ve been expressly told that you need a visa, you will begin the application after the program application’s due date. You will receive instructions from the program provider and you may begin collecting any documents they recommend, but do not submit your visa application until you have been told to do so by your program provider or host university. Some countries will require that you visit an Embassy or Consulate in the United States to secure your visa, so be sure to build that travel into your plans and anticipate the extra costs and time associated with it. Continue to monitor your email closely for instructions from your program provider. CGE will provide a letter of enrollment and financial support by email in October 2021.

When should I book my flight?

Do not book a flight until your program confirms with you that you should proceed with this purchase. When you are ready to purchase your ticket, CGE recommends that you purchase refundable/flexible tickets and/or purchase flight insurance that covers pandemic cancellations. We also recommend that students purchase flights directly through the airline provider. Third-party or discount ticket companies may not provide as generous cancellation/refund policies and may not be able to automatically rebook your ticket if your original flights are cancelled or rescheduled. Gettysburg College gives all students who have not previously studied abroad a flight allowance to help with the cost of flights. The College is unable to help support costs related to re-booking or cancelling flights.

When is pre-departure orientation (PDO)?

Pre-Departure for Spring 2022 will be held in late October; it may be held virtually and/or in-person. Further instructions will be sent after the start of the Fall 2021 semester.

Will I need to get vaccinated before studying globally in the Spring 2022 semester?

At this time, most of our affiliated programs and host governments are not requiring the COVID-19 vaccine. However, there are countless personal, societal and experiential reasons to get your vaccine, and we encourage you to do so prior to departure. Many countries already require vaccines and other immunizations unrelated COVID-19 for entry (ex. Tuberculosis tests, measles, rubella, yellow fever, etc.) so it is possible that it will be required even if it isn’t now. Keep in close contact with your program provider to better understand program requirements for your program/host country.

I’ve heard that people may need COVID-19 vaccine boosters a certain number of months after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine—and I will be studying abroad at that time! Is it possible to get a COVID-19 booster while studying abroad?

It is too early to know if booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine will be required and what availability will be like in countries around the world. At this time, you are strongly encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and keep a close eye on your inbox for updates from your program provider in the months/weeks before your departure.

The program I’m applying to has been canceled in previous semesters. Will it be canceled in the Fall 2021 semester too?

Program cancellations occur for a variety of reasons. Each program must make decisions based on their unique structure and/or changing local conditions. The past status of a program should not be used as an indicator about what will happen in the future. Stay in close contact with your program for updates about the fall.

My program has confirmed it is planning to run in the Spring 2022 semester— Hooray! Is it possible that Gettysburg will make a decision that students cannot study abroad even if a program is running?

Yes, it is possible. The safety of Gettysburg students is our highest priority. Gettysburg reserves the right to make decisions about global study in the best interest of our students before or during a global study program. Decisions to cancel programs, delay program start dates, or modify program models are based on a balance of global health news, public health and safety advisories and restrictions, advice from International SOS (ISOS) Gettysburg’s medical and travel security assistance company, and input from our program providers and host universities. The timing of decisions will vary by program and/or country, rather than be announced as one uniform decision about all Spring 2022 programs. CGE is committed to updating students as we learn of any changes to programs, and helping students who wish to make alternative plans.

Can I change to another program if my program is canceled? What happens if my program is canceled?

Yes, although the availability of programs will change as it gets closer to the Spring 2022 semester. There are a few program providers that can accommodate additional students on fairly short-notice prior to the start of their program; however, this is highly dependent on the structure of the program, how many students have already applied, and visa/entry requirements of the country. Depending on your academic goals for the semester, there may or may not be programs available that meet those goals. CGE advisors can meet with you to discuss what programs are available, or if it makes more sense to defer your global study plans to a future semester.

In addition to the question of whether you “can” change programs, it is important to consider if you “should” change programs. Global study requires significant pre-departure preparation. Last-minute changes will require diligent and intense work on behalf of the student to understand the specifics about their new program and their host culture, ensure that they are prepared for visa/entry requirements, make plans to maintain their own health and personal needs, and more. Students should also be prepared for limited course availability, and potentially higher costs of travel if flights are booked late.

If my global study program is canceled or I voluntarily withdraw from my program, will I receive a refund?

If your program provider or host institution cancels the program prior to the start of their semester, programs deposits will be refunded, but non-recoverable costs such as visa, immunizations, or flights will not be refunded.

If you voluntarily withdraw from your program prior to the start of their semester, programs deposits may or may not be refunded but it will depend on individual program policies. Non-recoverable costs such as visa, immunizations, or flights will not be refunded. Be sure to confirm the refund policy of your program and factor this timeline into your decision-making about the semester.

In either case, if you are no longer attending your Spring 2022 global study program, the credits that Gettysburg applied to your Student Account (ex. flight credit, meal credit, and program deposit credit) will be reversed.

My global study program is offering some coursework that is taught online. Can I enroll in these courses?

Potentially, but it depends on a few key factors. Any courses offered remotely would need to be taught by the student’s host institution with the potential to move to in-person. For example, one institution may offer several courses that will be taught remotely for the first few weeks of the semester with the intention of moving in-person later in the semester. In this case, students would be permitted to enroll in these online courses. However, some programs may offer remote courses that are actually taught by faculty from other institutions (ex. a program in Berlin may offer coursework taught remotely by another program centered in Costa Rica). In this case, there is no opportunity for these courses to transition into in-person coursework, and Gettysburg students would not be permitted to enroll in these courses. Please reach out to CGE if you are uncertain whether a course is taught remotely or in-person, or if you are unsure if you should enroll in a particular course.

Can I take a full semester of remote coursework from a global study program instead of enrolling in courses through Gettysburg College?

No. It is not possible to enroll in a global study program with the intention of taking coursework exclusively remotely. If a global study program is required to start remotely before transitioning to in-person coursework or if the program is required to move to remote coursework after the start of the program, Gettysburg College will honor that academic credit.

If my program cancels or I withdraw, can I return to Gettysburg’s campus to take classes?

Yes, provided that you re-enroll before the add/drop deadline for the Spring 2022 semester. However, Gettysburg College may set a different "decide by" date by which students need to submit their plans forSpring 2022. Students should be aware of College deadlines as they make decisions about participation in global study.

I’ve applied to a program, but I’m still not sure if I want to go. When do I officially need to make a decision?

While there is no risk to submit a Gettysburg Application for global study, there are several key dates to keep in mind. You should pay attention to the timeline for non-refundable expenses for your program. Take time to understand your program’s refund policy for deposits, as well as the timeline for purchasing a flight and/or your visa. CGE advisors continue to be available to help you think through your specific situation.

What do Department of State Travel Advisories or CDC Warning Levels mean for global study?

The entire world, including the United States, is on a heightened state of alert due to the current pandemic. In April 2021, the Department of State increased the risk level in their Travel Advisories for over 80% of countries to Level 4: Do Not Travel. However, they acknowledged that this increase in the Travel Advisory Level was not a reflection of changing conditions on-site, but rather an attempt to align Department of State and Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidance. In June 2021, both the Department of State and the CDC revised their travel advisories for dozens of countries to a lower risk level, and issued specific guidance for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

Program providers and host universities globally consider travel advisory levels issued by the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and other information from trusted sources as they make decisions about whether their programs will run, and whether their universities will be open to in-person teaching. CGE works with the International Travel Review Advisory Committee (ITRAC) and other campus entities to review participation policies associated with these travel advisories, as well as general risk levels. Students will be required to acknowledge and accept the risks and responsibilities associated with global study by signing an Agreement and Release document prior to participating. At times of elevated risk such as traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic, students will also be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Risks document recognizing the unique circumstances in their host country as detailed in the DOS Travel Advisories and CDC Travel Health Notices. If the risk level increases during the global study semester, the Acknowledgement of Risks will be updated as well. Students will be required to sign the updated Acknowledgement of Risks if they wish to continue with the program. If the risk decreases during the global study semester, no additional notifications will be made.

Please note that some scholarship programs such as the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program may withdraw funding based on heightened DOS Travel Advisory levels. Questions about scholarships should be directed to the scholarship-granting agency.

My program has been modified. Will I still have the experience I was expecting?

This will vary by program and by student. Many programs are adjusting their regular schedule in order to create the best chance the program will run safely. Course availability may be subject to change as well. Access to resources on-site such as museums, archives, concert venues, or internship sites may continue to be impacted. There will likely also be restrictions on personal travel. We recommend that you carefully monitor and review your program modifications and decide for yourself if program changes still meet your academic, personal, and professional goals that were the basis for your decision to study globally. Information about any program modifications can be found on your program provider’s website or will be sent directly to you by your provider. CGE is happy to speak with you about these modifications at any time.

What happens if there is an increase in COVID-19 cases while I am on-site? Will I be sent home?

In the event of an increase in COVID-19 cases during your semester abroad, program providers and host institutions are prepared to shift coursework remotely while continuing to accommodate students on-site. It is unlikely—though not impossible—that students would be required to depart the programs early. Students would be required to depart the program if the program is no longer able to safely accommodate students on-site (such as if cases increased beyond what the local healthcare infrastructure can sustain) or if there is indication of impending border closures.

When will things be back to normal?

This is highly dependent on your definition of “normal.” Students should expect to have varying degrees of program modifications in response to the ongoing pandemic, and—despite progress in vaccination and strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19—it is possible that some of these changes to day-to-day life will become part of normal everyday life. The impacts of COVID-19 will continue to vary on a country-by-country basis.

Where should I study if I want few to no COVID-19 modifications? Are some countries faring better than others?

While it is true that the impacts of COVID-19 continue to vary on a country-by-country basis, the COVID-19 pandemic is a global pandemic, so every country has been impacted to some degree. The impacts of COVID-19 have not been shared and felt equally by every person, but students should not view global study as a means of “escaping” COVID-19. All countries (or even specific regions within countries) can have the potential of experiencing COVID-19 case hotspots, and each country may respond with differing levels of restrictions to mitigate spread.