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COVID-19 Guidance for EA Programs

The guidance below is designed to help support planning for education abroad programs given the COVID-19 pandemic. Our approach this academic year is to only support programs that meet risk mitigation requirements and that have undergone a COVID-19 impact assessment.


Program Requirements and Recommendations

Detailed program guidance has been shared with Colleges and Program Directors. Please contact your EA Program Coordinator or the Office of International Health and Safety if you do not have these documents. Below is a brief summary of key program guidance.

  • Total number of student participants is limited to either 10 students or 12 students depending on country COVID-19 risk level. Please refer to the program guidance document for more information.
  • All programs must have two qualified on-site MSU staff.
  • Classroom and meeting space must accommodate physical distancing. Please refer to the program guidance document for specific recommendations.
  • Program Directors must submit a detailed program itinerary for review.
  • Program Directors must submit various contingency plans for review and approval. Please refer to the program guidance documents for more information and work with your EA Program Coordinator to develop these plans.
  • Single occupancy housing is strongly recommended and may be required in some cases.
  • Programs should limit inter- and intra-country travel. Please refer to the program guidance document for specifics.

The list above is just a summary. Please be in touch with your EA Program Coordinator. 

OIHS and EA are working on a COVID-19 addendum to the EA Statement of Responsibility that will outline behavior expectations to students. 


Planning Resources

Detailed program guidance and an EA program review checklist were shared with Colleges and Program Directors. If you need copies of these documents, please contact your EA Program Coordinator or the Office of International Health and Safety

Program Directors must be aware of local health care options and must submit a health care access plan. We strongly recommend developing this plan with International SOS. They can be reached 24/7 at 1-215-942-8478 (allow 48 hours for a written follow up). MSU's membership number is 11BCAS798617 Program Directors with experience using a specific local facility should mention this to International SOS. 

There are several resources and indicators for assessing a country's COVID-19 prevalence. The Harvard Global Health Institute COVID Risk Level Map is one source that has been approved by the MSU Re-Opening Task Force (select "Worldwide" under "Geolocation" on the left side of the map). Program Directors are encouraged to check this map often as it is dynamic.

These travel health resources may also be helpful. 


Health Considerations

Anyone who may participate in or lead an EA program must carefully consider their own health, including whether they are at increased risk for COVID-19, and their personal level of risk tolerance. Please discuss your potential travel plans with your primary care physician and/or the MSU Travel Clinic.  


Critical Incident Management Training

All on-site Program Directors and Program Assistants must attend training this year since we will be reviewing tools to evaluate and mitigate COVID-19 risks on-site. More information and instructions for registering for a live virtual seminar is available.


More COVID-19 information may be found on the Office of International Health and Safety "Travel During COVID-19" Pandemic webpages, the Office for Education Abroad, and the MSU Together We Will website.