Global Education

COVID-19 FAQ for Outbound Study Abroad



Prospective Maymester Study Abroad Students

Will I be able to study abroad on a 2021 Maymester Program?

Student safety and security remain our top priority as we continue to navigate the unprecedented conditions created by the global pandemic. HPU has continuously monitored, evaluated, and held extensive discussions about the many factors associated with Maymester study abroad. With student safety in mind, the difficult decision has been made to suspend faculty-led study abroad programs for Maymester 2021.

We understand that this news is disappointing. We admire the commitment of our students to pursuing the important global life skills and academic insights cultivated through study abroad. Please know that High Point University and the Office of Global Education did not take this decision lightly.

Many sources were consulted in the decision-making process, including:

  • The U.S. Department of State, who currently advises U.S. citizens to reconsider international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. It has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory for all countries scheduled to host HPU students in Maymester 2021.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who maintain a Level 4: COVID-19 Risk Is Very High advisory for all countries scheduled to host HPU students in Maymester 2021. This advisory recommends avoiding all travel to these countries.
  • International SOS, HPU’s global health and safety management partner, who recommends against “non-essential” international travel.

Challenging travel logistics were also a factor in our decision. These potential challenges include entry and exit restrictions for various host countries, quarantine requirements upon arrival, proof of vaccination requirements, proof of negative COVID-test requirements to reenter the United States, limitations on academic-related course excursions and extracurricular activities, and potential for sudden lockdowns and academic disruptions due to increasing local infection rates.

We want you to know we remain committed to pursuing important experiential learning opportunities, including global learning and study abroad programs, in the future. While this scenario is disappointing to us, we made this decision with your safety in mind. We will continue to plan and keep you posted on future opportunities as we all work to stay safe during this time.


My 2021 Maymester program was canceled. Can my application be rolled over to 2022?

Due to potential changes in participant eligibility and program offerings, all students will be required to submit a new application should they want to join a Maymester program in 2022. Faculty-led programs for 2022 will be announced in conjunction with the annual HPU Study Abroad Fair in September 2021. Students can expect a full menu of two-week “Global Experience” program options and four-week “Maymester” program options in 2022. To make the “reapply” process easier, 2021 students applying for a 2022 program will have access to their personal statements from the previous year’s application. Students should adjust those statements to fit the 2022 program they are applying for. The application deadline for 2022 programs will be November 15, 2021.


Will I receive a refund of my Maymester application fee?

Yes, all students who were Committed to a 2021 Maymester program as of February 22, 2021, will receive a full refund of their program application fee. Refunds will be processed by check and sent directly to students’ home addresses.


Prospective Semester Study Abroad Students

Will I be able to study abroad during the Fall 2021 Semester?

We hope so! The application deadline for Fall 2021 semester study abroad is March 15, 2021. Please begin the application process by reviewing program options in the ViaTRM study abroad portal and by making an advisement meeting with Mr. Chris Ferguson, our Senior Study Abroad Advisor. 


What factors will impact the decision on whether Fall 2021 semester study abroad is allowed to move forward?

The Department of State currently advises U.S. citizens to reconsider international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. It has issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory for the majority of countries where HPU’s exchange and affiliate partners are located. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a Level 4: COVID-19 Risk Is Very High advisory for the majority of countries where HPU’s exchange and affiliate partners are located. The lowering of these advisories is a prerequisite for any university-sponsored international travel to take place. High Point University will also be utilizing resources provided by International SOS, an industry leader in global health and safety management, in addition to advice provided by partner universities about health and safety precautions, socially-distanced housing options, measures to contain COVID outbreaks on their campuses, and course delivery methods. Information will also be sourced from local and national governments about entry restrictions for U.S. citizens, quarantine requirements for travelers arriving from abroad, local infection rates, and restrictions on daily activity.


Should I create a back-up plan in case Fall semester study abroad programs are suspended?

Unfortunately, yes. Students hoping to spend a semester abroad should make a back-up plan to remain on campus at HPU if student mobility is suspended. This back-up plan must include registration for a full course schedule and for campus housing. If studying abroad is approved, students will be provided an opportunity to withdraw from their back-up courses and housing prior to departure.


Will I receive a refund of my semester study abroad application fee if my Fall semester study abroad program is suspended prior to departure?

Yes. If your program is suspended prior to departure, a refund of your application fee paid to HPU will be refunded. Fall 2021 semester-long study abroad students can waive their application fee refund and request to defer their application to a future semester. Students who are approved to defer to a future semester will need to complete a new set of course approvals.


What happens if I’m approved to study abroad during Fall 2021 but my program is canceled midway through the semester?

High Point University will work with your host university to determine how you will complete the semester. In most cases, students would remain enrolled at the host university, although classes would be completed remotely from the comfort of your home. Students would return home as quickly as possible once the departure order is made by HPU. In order to limit the financial impact of returning home mid-semester, HPU recommends booking flights that offer flexible ticket change or cancellation policies, along with purchasing “cancel for any reason” trip cancellation insurance. Trip cancellation insurance should be purchased concurrently or soon after flights are purchased. Students are responsible for paying for their own flights to and from their host universities. Application fees are non-refundable if a student withdraws from a program prior to HPU suspending study abroad or if the program begins as planned and is suspended during the term.


ALL Prospective Study Abroad Students

Does HPU require a comprehensive international insurance plan?

Your health and safety are our top priority. All students traveling abroad on official university programs will be enrolled in a comprehensive international medical insurance plan and risk management program. The premium for this plan, $325 per semester or $220 per Global Experience or Maymester study abroad program, will be billed to your student account as the International Health and Safety Fee. This is a two-part plan: the international medical insurance component is provided through GeoBlue; the risk management program is provided through International SOS. Students will be provided full details about the comprehensive plan during pre-departure orientation, including details on how to arrange treatment due to illness, register all international travel, access mental health assistance, and take advantage of safety and security resources prior to departure and during your time abroad.

Office of Global Education

Location: Cottrell Hall, Suite 142
Phone: +1 (336) 841-9280
Mailing Address:
High Point University
Office of Global Education
One University Parkway, Drawer 24
High Point, NC 27268  USA

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