Global study in 2020–21

Interested in studying globally in the Spring 2021 or Fall 2021 semester? In addition to material from your Program Provider and directly from CGE, see below for Frequently Asked Questions and answers.

Frequently asked questions

Summer 2021

Is it possible to study globally in the summer?

It is possible for Gettysburg students to study globally during the summer; however, there are significant differences in the application and financial processes that students should keep in mind when considering summer vs. semester global study. See CGE’s website for more information about summer global study processes, and feel free to make an appointment with a CGE Advisor to discuss summer opportunities.

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.

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 Fall 2021. If your plans for Fall 2021 global study change, you can withdraw your application or defer your global study until a future semester.

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.

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. 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, 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. Continue to monitor your inbox closely for instructions from your program provider. CGE can provide a letter of enrollment and financial support if needed.

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)?

All sections of Pre-Departure Orientation will be held virtually beginning at the end of the Spring semester. Please monitor your Gettysburg College email for updates.

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

At this time, it is too soon to know how widely/quickly the COVID-19 vaccine can be distributed and/or if countries will include vaccination requirements to allow travel. Keep in close contact with your program provider in the months and weeks prior to departure to better understand entry requirements for your host country.

Can I get vaccinated in my host country during my semester?

This will be highly dependent on vaccine availability and whether the vaccine is available to non-citizens. It is too soon to know if this would be an option for global study students.

My global study program was canceled for the Spring 2021 semester. Will my program be canceled in the Fall 2021 semester too?

Some program providers made the decision to cancel their programs for the spring semester. These cancellations occurred for a variety of reasons. Each program must make decisions based on their unique structure and/or local conditions, so if one program cancels it does not mean another program will – even programs in the same country. Depending on the timing of program cancellations, CGE can help students consider another global study program for Fall 2021, assist students in deferring global study until Spring 2022, or support students who wish take classes through Gettysburg instead.

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.

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

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 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 Fall 2021 global study program, the credits that Gettysburg applied to your Student Account (ex. flight credit, meal credit, and program deposit credit) will be reversed.

Some global study programs offer remote coursework, and many Gettysburg courses are offered remotely. Can I enroll in remote courses from a global study program in combination with remote courses from Gettysburg College?

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 remote 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?

While there is no risk to submit a Gettysburg Application for global study, there are several key dates to keep in mind. Firstly, you should keep in mind the dates for Gettysburg College Course Selection and Housing selection for the Fall 2021 semester. If you withdraw or otherwise change your global study plans after Course/Housing selection occurs, you can still re-enroll in courses and housing on-campus, but you may not receive your first choices. 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. Program providers and host universities globally consider travel advisory levels issued by the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control, 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 and other campus entities to review participation policies associated with these travel advisories, as well as general risk levels. Students will be required to 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 be required to sign an additional Acknowledgement of Risks recognizing the unique circumstances in your host country as detailed in the DOS Travel Advisories and CDC Warnings.

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

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 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 want to take remote coursework offered by a program provider instead of remote coursework offered by Gettysburg. Is this possible?

Gettysburg College will accept credit from remote coursework taught by affiliated programs in the event that in-person teaching is suspended after students arrive on-site or after the add/drop deadline for Gettysburg College.

However, in the event that a program suspends in-person teaching but plans to offer remote coursework prior to students’ departure and prior to Gettysburg’s add/drop deadline, students should plan to take remote coursework through Gettysburg College.

I’m on a Leave of Absence in Spring ’21. Can I study globally in Fall ’21?

Typically, students who are on a Leave of Absence (LOA) must return to campus for one semester prior to applying for global study. Given the current impacts of the pandemic and remote learning, in Spring ’21 students can submit a petition to CGE outlining the reason(s) they took a LOA, and why they believe studying globally in Fall ’21 is the best choice for them. Petitions should be sent to cge@gettysburg.edu and received by Monday, February 22. Students will be notified by Friday, February 26 if they have been approved to apply for global study for Fall ’21. Students who have questions about the petition process or would like advice about their petition before submitting can email CGE (cge@gettysburg.edu).