COVID-19 Information for Berkeley Study Abroad Students
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges related to health concerns and international travel. Berkeley Study Abroad is committed to your well-being and is here to support you through the process. The information below and our advising staff are here to guide you with resources to help you make an informed decision.
Last updated 8/1/2022
Are study abroad programs happening during the pandemic?
Yes, Berkeley Study Abroad students have returned to in-person study abroad programs since Fall 2021. We continue to support students’ safe participation in study abroad programs in current and future terms.
Will programs be offered in-person or virtually?
Programs traditionally offered in-person are expected to proceed as in-person offerings. There are also programs designed to be offered virtually. Any program cancellations or changes to offerings will be reflected on the Berkeley Study Abroad Explore tool and/or the UCEAP Pandemics Update page.
Could programs be impacted by COVID-19 related cancellations?
Yes, select programs may be impacted by COVID-19. Berkeley Study Abroad and UCEAP International Health, Safety, and Emergency Response monitor global health and safety situations carefully. In most cases, cancellations are due to host countries' border restrictions, local program providers' decision to cancel, or a lack of confidence in getting visas or student travel requirements settled in time before the start of the program. For many other destinations where BSA and UCEAP send students, study abroad is finding ways to support students while disruptions occur.
Please note that the Berkeley Study Abroad office works with a variety of programs. Information about specific program cancellations will be reflected on the Berkeley Study Abroad Explore tool and/or the UCEAP Pandemics Updates page.
Should I still apply to study abroad given the uncertainties of COVID-19?
Yes, we encourage interested students to proceed with planning and applying for a study abroad program. Applications are due months before a program begins, which means that if you would like to keep study abroad as an option, it may benefit you to consider applying.
We encourage all students to inform themselves of deadlines to withdraw from a program, the financial consequences for doing so before or after such deadlines, and any deposits or application fees before starting an application. For instance, UCEAP programs do not have an application fee and each program has a unique deadline to withdraw before financial penalties are incurred. Berkeley Summer Abroad and Berkeley Global Internships programs will be billed a $400 deposit at the time of application. If admitted to the Summer Abroad or Global Internships program, your deposit will be applied to the cost of your program fee. Please note that the Summer Abroad and Global Internships deposit is non-refundable.
Should I apply to more than one program in case my top choice is impacted by COVID-19 cancellations?
No. We ask that you only apply for one program per participation period.
Can I switch to another option if my program is canceled due to COVID-19?
If a program gets canceled due to COVID-19, Berkeley Study Abroad (and UCEAP, where applicable) will do our best to accommodate you into another program where possible at that time.
How can I better inform myself about travel recommendations?
We recommend that you regularly monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination and the US Department of State's Travel Advisories US for your destination throughout the pre-departure and on-site phases of participation. Some countries may require students to quarantine after arrival. If this is the case, you will be informed of quarantine dates and requirements. For financial aid recipients, costs associated with quarantine will be considered a part of the study abroad financial aid package.
Passport Information (for US Passports)
The Department of State has reduced services due to COVID-19. At this time, they have now indicated that they are offering normal processing times for passports of up to 8 to 11 weeks and expedited processing times of up to 5 to 7 weeks weeks. Most acceptance facilities such as post offices, clerks of court, and libraries are open and accepting passport applications. You are encouraged to apply by mail when possible because it is a safe, contactless option for certain services. In-person appointments are still limited and may come with certain restrictions. Please see the Passport Operations page for the most up to date information.
If your passport is currently valid, please check to ensure it will be valid through the duration required by your program to determine if you need to renew at this time. Applicants to the UCEAP program will see on the UCEAP application how long your passport must be valid after the end date of the program. If you have already applied for your passport, you can check the status of your US Passport application. Be sure to check the Department of State's Passport Operations in Response to COVID-19 website for the latest guidance.
UCEAP participants can read more about the student travel insurance policy on the Health and Safety page of the UCEAP website.
Summer Abroad and Global Internships students can read more about the student travel insurance policy on the Student Travel Insurance page of the UCB Risk Services website.