COVID-19 FAQs for 2020-2021 Study Abroad Programs

Students’ health and safety abroad is our top priority. In collaboration with Notre Dame's Global Gateways and Centers, as well as our partner institutions and organizations, we have been closely monitoring the ongoing coronavirus situation around the world. While we communicate with students directly, we will continue to update this page as new information becomes available. Should you have any questions after reviewing this page, please do not hesitate to write to us at studyabroad@nd.edu.

Study abroad program directors continue to be available to hold virtual meetings with students via Zoom. To schedule a meeting, please contact our program directors.


1. When will Notre Dame make a final decision about fall 2020 study abroad?

In an email to all fall 2020 study abroad students on June 8, 2020, the University informed students that fall 2020 outbound study abroad programs have been canceled as a result of the ongoing global pandemic and the uncertainty that it brings.

2. What are my options now that ND has canceled fall 2020 Study Abroad programs?

Your program director will be working with you to find alternatives. While we can’t guarantee that everyone will have a space for spring 2021, we will work with you to explore different options, some of which include the following:

  • Transfer acceptance of your program to spring ‘21: if a) your program has capacity, and b) you have permission from your Dean and DUS to study abroad either semester.
  • Participate in a summer 2021 program: NDI plans to run a full portfolio of summer programs in 2021. Students impacted by the cancellation of spring, summer, and fall 2020 study abroad programs will be given priority for our summer 2021 programs pending program capacity.
  • Transfer acceptance of your program to fall 2021: With the permission of your Dean and DUS, you will be prioritized for fall 2021 in the program to which you have been accepted.
  • You may also withdraw from study abroad without exploring further options.

For Spring 2021 program options, please view the information session presentation linked below. 

Spring 2021 Available Programs Information Session

3. In addition to being able to switch semesters, am I able to switch to a different program?

  • If the program you would like to switch to has capacity, we will try to accommodate your request.
  • If you meet all the requirements and prerequisites for the new program.

4. Will there be a refund for anything for which I have already paid for my fall 2020 program?

No. Program Directors advised students against purchasing flights or paying deposits because of the fluidity of the situation. Therefore, students will not be refunded for any purchases or deposits.

5. Can I petition for a program outside of Notre Dame’s programs? 

Petition programs for spring 2021 will not be available.

6. Am I guaranteed on-campus housing? Can I live in my dorm?

Residential Life will make these determinations and you are encouraged to read their communications regarding on-campus housing.

7. Will I be able to study abroad as a senior in fall 2021?

Different colleges have different requirements for the senior year. Please consult your advising deans before making a decision. Study abroad programs accept seniors as long as students can get required approvals from colleges.

8. Are there any summer opportunities? Can I get priority enrollment for a summer program?

Yes, NDI plans to run a full portfolio of summer ‘21 programs. Students impacted by the cancellation of the spring, summer, and fall 2020 study abroad programs will be given priority for our summer 2021 programs pending program capacity.

9. Will I get priority enrollment in a spring program over students currently on the spring waitlist?

Yes. Currently accepted students will have priority enrollment for spring 2021 should capacity become available.

10. I withdrew from a fall 2020 program due to concerns about COVID-19. Can I still be considered for a spring 2021 opportunity now that fall 2020 programs have been canceled?

At this time, NDI will prioritize those students who remained committed to their programs. Should additional opportunities arise, students who withdrew for this particular reason will be considered for a spring 2021 program.

11. My parents are concerned. Is there someone they can talk to regarding their questions?

Study Abroad staff are prepared to answer your parents’ questions. Notre Dame International also has a full-time international travel and safety professional who is available for consultation. If you would like to schedule an appointment to go over any concerns or questions about the program, please email studyabroad@nd.edu or contact your program director directly.

12. What is the status of my spring 2021 study abroad program?

As of now, we are planning to run all spring 2021 programs. We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation and will update you if the status of your spring program changes.

13. What do I do if my plans have changed and I wish to withdraw from my accepted program?

You should send your request in writing to studyabroad@nd.edu and your program director. A withdrawal fee will be waived until August 10, 2020. Once fall semester starts, the standard Withdrawal Policies apply and a withdrawal fee will be charged.

14. Who can I contact if I have more questions?

You can write to studyabroad@nd.edu or contact any of the program directors. Our staff are currently working remotely, and the study abroad team is available via Zoom for advising.