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FAQ - Travel and Study Abroad

Travel and Study Abroad


Travel and Study Abroad

What is the university doing about study abroad programs?

All study abroad programs are canceled, and all students are being instructed to return immediately but no later than March 22 to their permanent addresses. Students are not to return to campus. The university will work with these students on academic arrangements and financial matters.

I am planning to travel to one of the affected countries. What should I do?

The ongoing suspension of all university-sponsored international travel announced on March 5 remains in effect. University-sponsored domestic travel is also suspended.

Will AU Abroad allow students to return to their suspended study abroad programs later in the semester?

No, all AU Abroad programs have been suspended for spring 2020, and there is no possibility to return to these programs this term.

If students want to fully withdraw from programs, what costs are refundable?

If a student prefers to withdraw completely from all classes for the semester, they will forego all credits and go through the normal university procedure for a voluntary withdrawal and be subject to the university’s refund policy.

For non-tuition related expenses, American University can only refund uncommitted and/or recoverable funds. If a payment was made directly to a third party, those payments are not recoverable by American University and cannot be refunded. Instead, such payments are subject to the third party’s cancellation and refund policies.

For students who participated in programs that are now suspended, what costs are refundable?

Many of AU Abroad’s programs are offering students the option to continue their coursework remotely and stay fully enrolled as an AU student for the remainder of the semester. If a student does not wish to pursue this option and instead prefers to withdraw completely from all classes for the semester, they will forego all credits and go through the normal university procedure for a voluntary withdrawal and be subject to the university’s refund policy.

For non-tuition related expenses, American University can only refund uncommitted and/or recoverable funds. AU will determine if there are any recoverable costs from the program and will communicate that information directly to students once it is available.

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

What happens if a student commits to a program that eventually gets canceled?

AU Abroad is moving forward at this time with all programs for fall 2020 and Academic Year 2020-2021. If that should change, students will receive notification and guidance from AU Abroad, and the AU Abroad office would work in conjunction with AU Housing and Dining as well as the Academic Advising units of the university to support students in course enrollment and accommodations on campus for the fall 2020 semester. All students applying to study abroad in fall 2020 should register for courses on campus out of an abundance of caution.

I just returned from abroad, what precautions should I take?

Detailed resources and guidance for students returning from high-risk countries can be found on the CDC website.

General guidance on how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick can be found at www.coronavirus.gov.

The AU COVID-19 Community Resources Guide can be found at www.american.edu/coronavirus.

How are travelers being screened when they enter the United States?

At this time, American citizens, lawful permanent residents, family (as specified in the presidential proclamation) who have been in certain designated regions in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States. Those travelers will be directed to one of 11 US airports and will undergo health screening and be asked questions about their travel. Those travelers may have some level of restriction on their movement depending on their health and travel history. Foreign nationals who have been in in the designated regions in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter the US.

Within the last 14 days, I was abroad AND I am exhibiting fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and/or shortness of breath. What should I do?

Please contact your healthcare provider for advice immediately. You should not come to work or on campus until you have been seen by a healthcare professional. If you are tested for novel coronavirus, you should stay home until you receive test results. Please also contact your supervisor and Human Resources at 202-885-2591. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please dial 911.

I am an AU Abroad student having trouble getting a flight out of the country. Does AU have a resource to assist me?

If travelers are unable to book their own travel and require assistance arranging travel back to their permanent address, the Office of Global Safety can arrange flights through our Travel Assistance Provider AXA. If you need assistance, email globalsafety@american.edu. Be ready to provide your current location and upload a copy of your passport. Due to the volume of travel requests, this option may take some time.

I am an AU Abroad student – are there any resources to assist with mental health?

Mental health crisis intervention support will be available 24 hours a day via AUProtoCall Services +1-202-885-7979. All students will be able to access this number from any location and receive crisis intervention services.

Is AU canceling all international travel? Will my expenses be refunded because AU canceled it?

On March 5, AU suspended all university-sponsored travel until further notice. We know this is both an inconvenience and a disappointment to many who had upcoming international travel plans, but the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation in many parts of the world requires us to take the appropriate steps to safeguard our students, faculty, and staff. There are many uncertainties regarding possible flight cancellations and changes to airline operations, international border closures, and restrictions/quarantines related to COVID-19 in other countries. The decision was reached after a thorough review of the conditions and to help members of our community avoid potentially unsafe conditions.