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Spring semester student travel and study abroad

Posted by on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 in .

While many countries around the world have made progress in combating COVID-19, the course of the virus remains hard to predict, as do potential responses from other governments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of State continue to recommend that all nonessential travel be reconsidered over most of the globe. Continuing uncertainties exist related to mandatory quarantines, travel restrictions, visa processing, access to health care, and flight availability. Regardless of efforts to plan around these challenges, foreign governments may implement or change restrictions with little notice, even in destinations that were previously classified as low risk. 

As we weigh these factors and the wide range of potential measures that might be needed to keep our students as healthy and safe as possible around the world, the university has decided to continue its restriction on university-sponsored international travel for undergraduate, graduate and professional students for the 2021 spring semester. This includes all study abroad programs; undergraduate students who had previously expressed interest in study abroad for spring 2021 should contact the Global Education Office at 

Students are required to stay in the Nashville area and not travel away from campus for weekend trips through the end of in-person classes. 

  • If an undergraduate student decides that they must leave the Nashville area during the semester because of extenuating circumstances (e.g., to receive medical treatment or to attend a family wedding or funeral), the student must not attend in-person classes or other on-campus activities for 14 days after their return to Nashville and should limit personal contact with other Vanderbilt community members during that time. This is because travel to/from locations outside of Nashville and participating in events with individuals outside the Vanderbilt community can increase the risk of introducing the virus to the campus community. No refunds for tuition, housing costs, or other relevant fees will be issued if a student finishes the semester through online participation in coursework for any reason – including if a student chooses to leave Nashville for personal reasons after being on campus. 
  • Graduate and professional students should communicate with their program advisors about any request to leave the Nashville area during the semester because of extenuating circumstances, and to discuss methods to mitigate risk of transmission upon their return to Nashville. 

In addition, there will not be any university-sponsored travel during the spring semester, including for registered student organizations.