Do I need to get vaccinated to participate in a UW–Madison study abroad/away program?
We strongly encourage all participants to be fully vaccinated with a CDC or WHO approved updated COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine prior to their program start date. The CDC recommends that everyone aged 6 years and older should get 1 updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to be up to date. The definition of “fully vaccinated” or “up to date” in many countries may differ/could change to include an updated (bivalent) vaccine, a booster, or a second/third dose (depending on vaccine) at some point before or during your study abroad experience. Access to vaccines for study abroad students may vary as well per location. Please also check in with your program for specific recommendations.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison does not require participants be vaccinated. However, some countries may require proof of vaccination for entry, and some individual programs and/or partners may also require proof of vaccination prior to participation. Additionally, country and program protocols such as mandatory quarantines, self-isolation, travel policies, course and activity participation, housing options, and testing requirements may vary by vaccination status. Being up-to-date with a CDC or WHO approved vaccine will result in a less burdensome and safer traveling, living, and learning experience for you and those you interact with given dynamic worldwide health conditions.
It is your responsibility to understand and abide by the vaccination requirements (including acceptable vaccine types and verification methods) for your specific program and location(s), as well as any country you may travel through or visit during your time abroad. Note that restrictions and regulations may change at any time. Any related delays, penalties, quarantines, self-isolations, program status changes or cancellations, and associated costs are the full responsibility of the student.
We encourage you to bring your COVID-19 vaccination record card and a copy of your general vaccination record when abroad and to also have copies available as a back-up. Many countries have different systems to document your vaccination record, so you will need to research and complete these as needed if required for any country you will enter. Many countries do not accept the US’ handwritten vaccination records.
You will need to research and monitor the COVID requirements for your host country and program. The U.S. Embassy is a good source for any country(ies) you’re visiting. For program-specific requirements, please read all your program materials carefully or reach out to your Study Abroad Advisor if you have any questions.