The RIT Education Abroad office is constantly monitoring how COVID-19 is affecting international travel, with student safety as our top priority. While RIT no longer requires students to be vaccinated, we highly encourage study abroad participants to stay up-to-date with immunizations, boosters and social distancing polices. In fact, study abroad partners and vendors, travel providers and foreign governments may have different requirements and it is the students responsibility to understand and adhere to all requirements and guidelines.
As you plan for future study abroad, these FAQs can help you better understand how your program may be impacted.
Will I need to receive the COVID-19 vaccination prior to studying abroad?
While RIT no longer requires students to be vaccinated, we highly encourage study abroad participants to stay up-to-date with immunizations, boosters and social distancing polices. In fact, study abroad partners and vendors, travel providers and foreign governments may have different requirements and it is the students responsibility to understand and adhere to all requirements and guidelines.
Can I still plan for study abroad and meet with an advisor?
Yes! The Education Abroad office is open and our advisors and staff are available to help you plan for future study abroad. Schedule an appointment. In-person or zoom meetings are available.
How should I prepare for an upcoming meeting with my study abroad advisor?
The RIT Education Abroad office offers both in-person and virtual Zoom meetings with study abroad advisors.
If you have a scheduled in‑person meeting, please be sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer, maintain social distancing and follow RIT mask guidelines. When you arrive at our office, check in at our front desk. Please bring a laptop if you can. If you need Access Services support, please reserve in advance at myaccess.rit.edu.
If you have a scheduled Zoom meeting, we suggest logging into the meeting about 5 minutes early to test out the sound and camera and make sure that all of the technology is working as it should. If you need Access Services support, please reserve in advance at myaccess.rit.edu.
Is it worth still applying for a study abroad program when international travel is so uncertain?
Yes, most countries/locations are open and safe. We encourage you to apply if there is a program or location you are interested in. Some things to keep in mind:
- Many programs are offering more flexible cancellation and refund policies to minimize financial risk.
- RIT and our partners have your safety as our main priority, are constantly monitoring the situation and will communicate any changes with you accordingly.
- If your chosen program ends up being cancelled, you could choose another location or defer to a later semester.
- Being flexible and understanding the situation is constantly changing and evolving is important during these uncertain times.
- Have a back-up plan in place so if you can’t travel you can still take classes at RIT, do a co-op or continue with other personal, academic or employment plans.
- Wait to purchase any flights until you have a better idea if your program will run and consider purchasing refundable tickets.
- Your study abroad advisor can talk through concerns or questions you have.
Will I be able to get a passport or renew my passport?
According to the U.S. State Department you can now apply for routine passport service and expect to receive a passport in 10-12 weeks. If you need a passport, we recommend starting this process immediately to give yourself ample time. Learn more about the current state of passport operations on the U.S. Passport COVID-19 Update page and their Frequently Asked Questions page.
How is RIT determining whether or not it will be safe to travel abroad?
Your health and safety is our highest priority. RIT Global Risk Management services regularly receives travel briefings and travel warnings from our global security consult agency, On Call. In addition, we follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the State Department travel warnings and guidelines to further evaluate and assess risk.
In addition, all students and faculty are required to attend a pre-departure orientation, which includes health and safety preparedness and emergency response information and resources.
How can I better understand the current COVID-19 status of a country I'm interested in traveling to?
Taking some time to familiarize yourself with the current state of COVID-19 in your potential host country will make you a more responsible and informed traveler. It's important to understand infection rates, vaccination rates, and guidelines around COVID-19 safety in the country you plan to travel to. Some resources to help you stay informed:
- U.S. Department of State COVID-19 Country-Specific Information (enter your host country in the box provided)
- IHME COVID-19 Projections (click green tab at top and change "Global" to your host country)
- Rates of Infection by Country (change "geolocation" on left side to "worldwide")
- Rates of vaccination by country
- Center for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 resource page