COVID-19 FAQ: Past program terms

Winter Intersession 2020-21, Spring Semester 2021, Spring Break 2021, & Calendar Year 2021 Programs

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How do I find out if my program has been canceled?

All participants will be notified as soon as any modifications are made to their specific program. All decisions to cancel programming will be made no later than October 15.

Spring Break 2021 programs have been cancelled.

Students should reach out to their study abroad advisor directly if they have any questions about their program’s timeline or what they should be doing now to prepare to study abroad this Winter Intersession 2020-21 or  Spring Semester 2021.

Students should create a back-up plan for a semester at UW-Madison in case a semester abroad is not an option.

Students who wish to participate in non-approved programs will need to apply for a waiver prior to the program.  Waivers are being reviewed on a very limited basis (e.g., student already in country, strong family support in country, etc.).  Please direct any non-approved program questions to non-approved@studyabroad.wisc.edu.

A cancellation decision hasn’t been made about my program yet. How should I handle booking airfare or out of pocket expenses?

Students should have back-up plans in place and avoid spending any unrecoverable costs towards their study abroad experience. Please also refer to the letter sent to spring semester and winter intersession students in July for advice on what steps you should be taking now.

If my program is canceled, do I need to apply again to go on another study abroad program in the future?

Yes.  You will need to submit a new application for either the same program or a different program for a future duration. You cannot change your application to another program for the same duration.

 

What happens to my scholarships and financial aid if my program is canceled?

Any UW Study Abroad scholarships offered for your program will be rescinded. Scholarships cannot be retained to use on a future study abroad program. You will need to reapply for the scholarship when you apply for a future program.

Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine how your program cancellation will affect your scholarships and financial aid awards.

My program was canceled. Will I receive a refund of my program confirmation deposit?

Yes, students who have paid their program confirmation deposit will be refunded. Refunds will be applied to either your student account or credit card depending on whether you paid by check or credit card.

Can I withdraw my participation before UW Study Abroad formally cancels my program?

Yes. If you choose this option then you will be fully refunded the $300 program confirmation deposit. Refunds will be applied to either your student account or credit card depending on whether you paid by check or credit card.

Fall 2020 & Academic Year 2020-21 Programs

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How do I find out if my program has been canceled?

All participants will be notified as soon as any modifications are made to their specific program. All decisions to cancel programming will be made no later than July 15.

Students should reach out to their study abroad advisor directly if they have any questions about their program’s timeline, or what they should be doing now to prepare to study abroad in the fall or explore alternatives.

A cancellation decision hasn’t been made about my program yet. How should I handle booking airfare or out of pocket expenses?

Students should have back-up plans in place and avoid spending any unrecoverable costs towards their study abroad experience. Please also refer to the letter sent to fall students last month for advice on what steps you should be taking now.

If my program is canceled, do I need to apply again to go on another study abroad program in the future?

You can defer your application to the same program for Spring Semester 2021, if it is available. However if you are interested in another program or a different duration, you will need to submit a new application.

You cannot change your application to another Fall 2020 program

What happens to my scholarships and financial aid if my program is canceled?

Any UW Study Abroad scholarships offered for your program will be rescinded. Scholarships cannot be retained to use on a future study abroad program. You will need to reapply for the scholarship when you apply for a future program.

However, if you who defer your participation to Spring 2021 term for the same program may be able to retain your scholarship towards that program. Please contact our financial team to confirm whether or not you can retain your particular scholarship towards a Spring 2021 term offering of your program.

Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine how your program cancellation will affect your scholarships and financial aid awards.

My program was canceled. Will I receive a refund of my program confirmation deposit?

Yes, students who have paid their program confirmation deposit will be refunded. Refunds will be applied to either your student account or credit card depending on whether you paid by check or credit card.

Can I withdraw my participation before UW Study Abroad formally cancels my program?

Yes. If you choose this option then you will be fully refunded the $300 program confirmation deposit. Refunds will be applied to either your student account or credit card depending on whether you paid by check or credit card.

Spring 2020 & Summer 2020 Programs

Academics

Spring 2020 Programs

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Will I be able to earn credit for my courses abroad?

We are working with each overseas partner to see what academic credit may be available. Some programs have already confirmed that students can earn full credit via distance learning, and we are working to confirm this information for remaining programs soon. Please be advised that this may not be possible at all sites.

Staff will be in touch with you once information is confirmed for specific sites if arrangements are pending.

Can I still enroll in coursework at UW-Madison?

Though it is too late to enroll in regular Spring 2020 coursework at UW-Madison, we understand the impact that the cancellation of study abroad programs is having on students’ academic plans, and are exploring options with campus for other on-line or alternate course opportunities for our students for the remainder of Spring Semester and Summer.

Can I stay in my host country to continue coursework in-person?

No, you may not continue coursework in-person.

Will I be able to enroll for future terms at UW-Madison during my regular enrollment period?

Yes.

Will I be able to pick Satisfactory Disruptive/Unsatisfactory Disruptive (SD/UD) grades for my courses from abroad?

Yes.  If a student earns the equivalent of a C or higher from their grade conversion scale, and opts into the COVID-19 grading option, their grade will be converted to a SD.  If a student earns the equivalent of a D or F from their grade conversion scale, and opts into the COVID-19 grading option, their grade will be converted to a UD.

How will I indicate I want a SD/UD grade for my course?

When UW Study Abroad receives a student’s transcript, we will be sure that each course taken has an approved Course Equivalent Request.  Once all courses have been verified, the Enrollment Specialist Advisor will send you an email stating that you can select courses for the COVID-19 grading option through your MyStudyAbroad account.  You will have 8 days from receipt of the email to do so. 

What if I elected to take a class Pass/Fail through MyStudyAbroad at the beginning of the semester?

Any student who previously requested a pass/fail grading basis will have that pass/fail option reverted to the original grading basis for the course (most likely A-F).  Students will be able to choose to convert the grade they receive to COVID-19 grades during the conversion window. This allows all students, including those who opted for pass/fail at the beginning of the term, to benefit from the unique, spring 2020 policy and adjusted rules.

Students on programs sponsored by the College of Engineering will receive COVID-19 grades for courses taken abroad unless they are fulfilling degree requirements for a non-engineering major or certificate. Courses fulfilling degree requirements for a non-engineering major or certificate can be taken for a letter grade or a COVID-19 grade.

Should I request pass/fail at my host institution?

No. Please do not request pass/fail grading at your host institution and continue to receive letter grades. If you have been informed that your institution is changing their grading please notify your Enrollment Specialist Advisor.

What if my host institution has moved to a pass/fail only grading system for this semester?

We know that some host institutions have moved to an all campus grading system of pass/fail and are not issuing letter grades.  If this is the case for your host institution, a pass will be processed as a Satisfactory Disruptive (SD) and a fail will be processed as an Unsatisfactory Disruptive (UD).

Summer 2020 Programs

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Can I still enroll in coursework at UW-Madison?

If you have concerns regarding your academic plan in relation to the cancellation of your study abroad program, please contact your academic advisor to discuss your options.

We encourage all students to look at UW-Madison’s Summer Term offerings as an option to earn credits and stay on track for graduation.  Taking accelerated Summer Term courses can help you lighten your load in the fall and spring semesters and possibly help with making time in your calendar for a different study abroad opportunity in the future.

Financial support is available to help pay for the cost of Summer Term tuition.

Virtual summer language instruction is also available through the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes.

 

Financial

Spring 2020 Programs

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Will my program fee be refunded?

Refund policies are outlined on the cost sheet for your program in your UW-Madison MyStudyAbroad portal.

  • If a program is canceled and academic credit cannot be awarded, the IAP Program Fee is refunded in full.
  • If a program is canceled and you can receive academic credit either in person or via distance learning, no refund of the IAP Program Fee is provided.

In both cases, non-IAP Program Fees (out of pocket expenses) are the responsibility of the student.

For students who can receive academic credit for the program, IAP will continue to work with the program provider/host to seek any recoverable costs (unused housing, excursions, etc) that were part of the program fee. All recoverable costs will be passed on to the student in full.  This process is ongoing and takes time.  As soon as we hear back from a provider that there are recoverable costs, we will reach out to the student and post the amount on the student’s account. Credits for unused CISI insurance premiums are also being posted to the student’s account.

Will I be refunded for housing in my host country?

If your housing was billed as part of your program fee and academic credit is being offered through distance learning, we will follow up with our program providers/host universities to see if there could be any recoverable costs, such as unused housing. If there are and they refund to us, that will fully be refunded to the student.

Independent housing (housing that is not included in the program fee) is considered an out-of-pocket expenses and will not be refunded by UW Study Abroad. Students are responsible for their lease and communicating with their landlord in their host country.

What about my return flight?

Flights are considered out-of-pocket expenses and will not be refunded by UW Study Abroad. Students are responsible for arranging their travel to their home of record.

If you need financial assistance paying for a return flight, UW Study Abroad can assist with this process and have the charge billed to your account. If this is an option you would like to pursue, please email your Financial Specialist.

Additional financial resources

For students experiencing financial hardship, the Office of Student Financial Aid has a team of people ready to help connect you to financial and other resources. Their emergency request form can be found at: financialaid.wisc.edu/emergency-assistance-form

Summer 2020 Programs

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Will my program confirmation deposit be refunded?

Yes, students who have paid their program confirmation deposit will be refunded by the end of day on March 27. Refunds will be applied to either your student account or credit card depending on whether you paid by check or credit card.

Will my program fee be refunded?

Program fees were not yet charged to summer students and will not be charged to accounts in the future.

What happens to my scholarships and financial aid?

Any UW Study Abroad scholarships offered for your program will be rescinded. Scholarships cannot be retained to use on a future study abroad program. You will need to reapply for the scholarship when you apply for a future program.

Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine how your program cancellation will affect your scholarships and financial aid awards.

Travel

Spring 2020 Programs

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When do I need to return home?

You should return home as soon as possible (no later than Sunday, March 22nd, 2020).

Can I stay in my host country?

Our directive remains that you should return to your home of record, as it is in the best interest of your health and safety.

If you do not follow this direction, please be advised of the following:

You have been asked by UW-Madison to return to your home of record due to the evolving situation of COVID-19. If you decide, independent of the university’s direction, to travel to other locations not associated with, sponsored, or supported by UW-Madison, you acknowledge that you are leaving the programming oversight of UW-Madison and your host program abroad, and any implied responsibility accepted by them previously, associated with your enrollment as a student abroad. Your travel is undertaken as an independent citizen and is not part of any continuing study online or directed study associated with your enrollment as a UW-Madison student. The university will no longer be a point of contact point for you for any travel issues encountered and is not responsible for making arrangements for your personal travel. 

What should I do to prepare for leaving my program?

Here are some things to think about as you prepare to depart your host country:

  • Be in touch with local staff to see what specific information or guidance they may have for you
  • Pack all your belongings; if you are currently traveling, return to your host site to pick up your belongings
  • Notify landlords
  • Close local bank accounts, if applicable
  • Cancel any national insurance policy (not CISI)
  • Cancel any electricity, internet, or other subscription plans
  • Cancel any in-country cell phone plans; contact US phone provider about re-establishing service upon your return

I'm having difficulty rebooking my flight. What can I do?

If you are unable to purchase a ticket home or rebook an existing ticket, we will be able to assist with purchasing the ticket and having it billed to your student account.

Step 1
Do some online research on your flight path and itinerary options. The flight must be an economy fare.  (Note, you do not need to book a basic economy fare as those have luggage restrictions.)

Step 2
Once you have determined the flight itinerary you would like to take, call Fox World Travel at +1-920-482-6790 to make your reservation with an agent. Be prepared with your passport. The agent will need passport details and your birthdate in order to make your reservation. Changes to this information cannot be made after booking.

Step 3
Once you have reserved the flight, inform the Fox World Travel agent that they should forward the itinerary by e-mail to abroad@studyabroad.wisc.edu.  We will pay for your flight and will work to put the charges on your student account.

I’ve booked my flight home, now what?

Please update your UW-Madison MyStudyAbroad portal with your return travel plans as soon as possible.  We have removed your initial travel details and ask that you please insert your new return plans for our records.

What should I do now that I’ve returned to my home of record?

Please update your UW-Madison MyStudyAbroad portal to indicate you have returned home.

  • Login to MyStudyAbroad portal
  • Click on the Acceptance Tasks tile
  • Navigate to My Travel Itinerary – Return
  • Select “I am already home” checkbox

UW-Madison has provided guidance on self-quarantine after returning from international travel.

Summer 2020 Programs

Not applicable

Health

Spring 2020 Programs

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Will I still be covered by my CISI insurance?

When travel is suspended to a specific country, we are required to end CISI coverage as well.

CISI coverage will end on March 22. 

You are able to add an additional 30 days for personal travel through your MyCISI portal.

Do I need to self-quarantine after returning home from international travel?

UW-Madison has provided guidance on self-quarantine after returning from international travel.

Summer 2020 Programs

Not applicable