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FAQ - Travel and Study Abroad

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Study Abroad


What is AU’s current policy on student/faculty/staff travel?

All official university travel outside of the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area will remain suspended pending a reassessment in the fall. Travel related to research grants must be approved through the Office of the Provost. Future travel policies will be based on government, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, and the university’s risk assessment of travel conditions and exposure risks.

Are there COVID-19 related reentry restrictions to the U.S.?

At the moment there are travel restrictions for certain countries, including the US. For travel inquiries and up-to-date information on travel restrictions, please visit the US Department of State's COVID-19 Country Specific Information page, and for travel health guidance, visit CDC's COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Country page.

Study Abroad

What is the university doing about study abroad programs for fall 2020?All study abroad programs for the fall semester are suspended consistent with university limitations on travel and ongoing international travel restrictions.


What happens if a student committed to a program that is now canceled?

Students who committed to a fall 2020 semester study abroad program have the option to defer their study abroad programs to the spring 2021 semester. Students who would rather withdraw completely from study abroad will receive refunds of their deposits back to the original form of payment.

I am not able to study abroad in a future semester. Can I still take classes through an AU Center program this fall 2020?

Yes. The vast majority of the previously planned in-person classes (including internships) from our AU Centers in Madrid, Brussels, and Nairobi will now be taught online by our faculty on the ground. You can enroll in these classes and learn from our overseas experts. See the AUA Centers Virtual Offerings microsite for more information, and use Eagle Service to add/drop courses from your fall 2020 schedule. Please let AU Abroad know if you have any problems registering for one of our courses.

The partner university I was planning to attend overseas is offering online classes. Can I enroll in those courses and get credit at AU?

No. Unfortunately, students are not allowed to enroll in online classes via another institution abroad for fall 2020. Keep in mind that our AU Abroad Centers in Madrid, Brussels, and Nairobi are offering online classes, so if you would like to take courses from an interesting international perspective, we encourage you to explore those options on the AUA Centers Virtual Offerings microsite.

Can I take a leave of absence to attend online classes via my partner university overseas?

No. AU Academic regulations do not allow you to enroll in another institution during an official leave of absence.

How is AU making the decision to maintain or suspend programs?

American University has implemented a comprehensive approach led by a cross-functional emergency response team to respond to the COVID-19 situation and support our community.

This team continues to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation in the United States and around the world. We continue to follow guidance of global, national, and local health and government officials. Any decisions regarding the continuation or cancellation of our study abroad programs will be made by the emergency response team in accordance with this guidance.

I was planning to study abroad in fall 2020. What happens to my $500 confirmation deposit?

You must notify AU Abroad via this online form if you wish to defer your study abroad to another semester or if you wish to withdraw completely. If you defer, your deposit can carry over to spring 2021. If you withdraw, AU Abroad will refund your deposit.

If a payment or deposit is made directly to a partner institution or third party, those payments are not recoverable by American University and, therefore, cannot be refunded by AU. Instead, such payments are subject to the partner institution’s cancellation and refund policies.

Can I defer my study abroad to spring 2021?

You may defer participation in your AU Abroad program until the spring 2021 semester. In this case, you should contact your AU Abroad advisor to discuss and to complete this online form notifying us officially of your request to defer. The AU Abroad advisor will then work with you and your program abroad to arrange for the deferral of your application. In general, you would not need to re-apply, as most application materials can carry over to spring 2021. However, a few items may need to be resubmitted depending on the program.

I received an AU Abroad grant for fall 2020 and now I am deferring to spring 2021. Can I defer the grant as well?

Unfortunately, no. You would need to reapply for the AU Abroad grant for spring 2021.

I was planning to study abroad with an approved program provider. What do I need to do to withdraw my application or defer to another semester?

Once you fill out this form, your AU Abroad advisor will email your program provider letting the provider know of your decision to defer or withdraw because AU has suspended all study abroad programs for the fall 2020 semester. If you choose to defer, this email will also include next steps you should take and the materials you may need to resubmit.

Will I be able to study abroad in Spring 2021?

AU Abroad is accepting applications for the Spring 2021 term however we are still unsure if AU’s suspension on sponsored international student travel will be lifted in time to allow those programs to go forward. More information will be known in mid-October. All students considering study abroad for Spring 2021 should have a backup plan in the event the suspension continues. AU Abroad can defer your application to the Fall 2021 term if needed. Please reach out to your AU Abroad advisor with any questions. Students planning to participate in a spring 2021 study abroad program managed by a different academic unit or offices at AU should contact that unit directly for guidance.