2022 - 2023 ISEP Program Updates, Policies, and COVID-19 Information

May 2, 2022

Click on a frequently asked question or topic below for details regarding 2022 ISEP programs.

Which ISEP 2022 & 2023 programs running, and are the dates finalized?

We currently planning to run most 2022 and 2023 programs, and applications are open. When we learn of program cancellations, we remove those dates from the program page. Dates are updated on the program pages as soon as they are confirmed.

We continue to monitor health guidance from the World Health Organization, CDC, U.S. State Department, our university partners and other organizations. We also collect pandemic response plans from each of our host sites.

As ISEP host institutions finalize their plans, we will update ISEP program pages and inform program applicants. We recommend waiting to purchase your flight until final dates are confirmed or purchasing flights with flexible, low-cost date changes.

When are the application deadlines spring (January - June) 2023 programs?

For spring 2023, the priority application deadline is September 15, 2022.

ISEP Direct programs have different applications deadline, so please see our ISEP Direct Spring Program Deadlines page.

When will I need to commit to my ISEP program?

You’ll commit to your program by signing an acceptance package, which you can review with your ISEP Home University Coordinator and ISEP Student Services Officer. The due date on your acceptance package will vary for each student, but for students who apply by our priority deadline, you will likely receive your placement a few weeks following the deadline and will have additional time to accept your placement.

How will current travel restrictions impact my ability to study abroad?

ISEP students come from universities all over the world, and travel restrictions will vary based on your home country, current location, and planned host country. We recommend that you start an application to your program of interest so we can provide updates and that you also monitor your home country and host country’s restrictions. We will update you if there are changes that impact your ability to participate in a program. Most countries now require students to be fully vaccinated against COVID prior to arrival or upon arrival in their host country. Countries may also require a negative COVID test or quarantine. Each country’s requirements vary and change frequently. When accepted and placed, we recommend you carefully follow current guidance from your host country. We strongly recommend all students receive a COVID vaccine prior to departure if available.

How can I find the requirements for the program I’m interested in?

Each ISEP Member University may have a number of programs. You can find specific requirements on each individual program page, which shows academic and language requirements, fields of study, dates and fees, and links to course lists. When you add a program to your application, you can return to the corresponding page by clicking on the program’s title.

What happens if my home university will not allow me to study abroad, my host university cancels my program, or travel restrictions prevent me from going on my program?

In the event that a home university, host university, or travel restrictions prohibit you from participating in a program after you apply but before the program begins, ISEP will:

· Attempt to find you an alternate academically appropriate placement,
· Defer you to a later semester in the same program, or
· Refund all fees paid to ISEP except for the non-refundable application fee and any non-recoverable costs, only if you do not wish to accept an alternate placement.

If my program is cancelled, will I get a refund?

If your program is cancelled prior to the start of the program, ISEP will refund all fees paid to ISEP except for the non-refundable application fee and any non-recoverable costs from the host site. We ask all ISEP host institutions to determine if they plan to run their program before any non-recoverable fees would be incurred, so those fees are usually related to the cost of a visa, passport, or other personal expenses, although this is not guaranteed. For internships with The Intern Group, students may transfer any fees paid to TIG for another program location or a future credit.

What happens if my program moves online or I am asked to return home while I’m abroad?

Should in-person instruction be suspended indefinitely or for the remainder of the semester after the beginning of your program, modality of studies is at the discretion of the host institution and may or may not be synchronous with your home time zone. In the event that in-person courses are disrupted, ISEP expects all host institutions to provide a way to successfully earn full credit for the semester. It is also expected that all ISEP hosts continue to provide additional housing and meal benefits (when applicable) for the totality of program dates. Contact your ISEP Student Services Officer if you have concerns about taking classes from your home country.

If all my classes are online, can I withdraw from my program and receive a refund?

  1. If the entire program moves online (for the whole semester) prior to the start of your program, you have the option to continue to attend, or request a refund.
  2. If all of your classes are online for the first few weeks, but you may live on site, and classes are scheduled to transition to in-person, ISEP will continue to operate the program and your host institution will provide support and academic continuity. ISEP will not provide refunds.
  3. If your program starts in person, and then must temporarily transition online due to an outbreak, your host institution is providing academic continuity and you are able to receive academic credits. ISEP will not issue refunds.

If I decide to withdraw from my program, will I receive a refund?

If your program is not cancelled and you chose to withdraw, ISEP’s standard withdrawal policy will apply.

Are there any virtual options available?

Yes! ISEP is pleased to offer virtual internship options through The Intern Group. We also are offering a new virtual service-learning program in Barcelona. With flexible options for all fields of study, these programs offer a rich, cross-cultural opportunity to gain hands-on skills that employers are seeking. You can learn more about ISEP Virtual Opportunities on our website.

Health & Safety Abroad

ISEP’s Response to COVID-19

    • ISEP works closely with its Member Institutions to ensure the health and safety of all students is the number one priority of the organization. We closely monitor local health and safety conditions at all host sites and make programmatic decisions with this information.
    • ISEP maintains a standing Health and Safety Taskforce which meets regularly to ensure we have a consistent and thorough set of policies and procedures that are designed to assess individual scenarios and allow staff to act accordingly in supporting students.
    • In addition to closely monitoring governmental and non-governmental agencies, ISEP also utilizes its health and safety partner, On Call International, as well as our ISEP staff and coordinators abroad to determine whether a program meets its high standards for a safe environment for students to learn and grow.

How is ISEP responding to COVID variants of concern?

    • ISEP continues to actively monitor the impact of variants of concern on international travel and student safety. All students should plan to be fully vaccinated against COVID and receive a booster if eligible prior to departure. Vaccines and boosters have proven to decrease the risk of serious illness or death against Omicron, Delta, and the original COVID variant. Several countries and universities now require that individuals have received their most recent vaccine dose within six months to maintain “fully vaccinated” status. ISEP cannot guarantee entry, housing, program benefits, or academic continuity to unvaccinated students.

What are ISEP’s COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols?

    • ISEP shares its Health & Safety standards and communications protocols on its website. As we’ve learned more about best practices put forth by the WHO and CDC, we’ve amended our health and safety protocols in order to respond quickly and effectively to ensure student safety and academic continuity in the event that a COVID-19 outbreak impacts the on-site learning experience of our students.

ISEP guidance for reducing exposure and spread of COVID-19

    • ISEP collects information related to COVID-19 response and mitigation from all of our host universities before the start of each program. We use this information to share our recommendations with students for reducing their exposure and the potential spread of COVID-19. In addition, both ISEP and our member institutions share recommendations presented by global epidemiological and public health experts during pre-departure orientation, in-person orientation, and through regular email communications.

Will students need a COVID vaccine to participate in an ISEP study abroad program?

Students are required to understand and comply with the terms of participation, codes of conduct, and emergency procedures of their program. If the student’s host country, host university, home university, home country, or travel provider requires a COVID-19 vaccination, students should comply with that requirement. Students should monitor program expectations and terms of participation. Students can locate their host institution’s requirements in their program acceptance package. ISEP will notify students if we become aware of changes in the terms of participation for their program. ISEP strongly recommends all students receive a COVID vaccine if available to protect their host community and themselves. ISEP also anticipates additional vaccine requirements throughout its program sites.

Most countries where ISEP operates programs require full COVID vaccination, however what qualifies as “full vaccination” will vary based on destination. Students may face quarantines, limited access to public buildings, campus facilities, or housing services and other significant barriers if they are not fully vaccinated, as defined by their host country or institution. If students are unable to fully access their ISEP benefits due to their vaccination status, ISEP is not responsible for additional fees and will not provide refunds to students who are not following the polices and requirements of their host country and institution.

What happens if I test positive for COVID right before the start of my program and my arrival will be delayed?

    • You should follow the isolation and testing protocols of your home country and rebook travel accordingly. Please inform ISEP and your host university immediately so that they are aware of your situation and updated arrival date. Most host institutions can be flexible and will be able to offer orientation virtually or upon your safe arrival in your host country. If your host country requires a negative COVID test for entry, you may be able to use a “proof of recovery” note from your physician if you have recently recovered from COVID to enter the country. Please contact your Student Services Officer with any questions specific to your situation.

What happens if I test positive for COVID while abroad?

    • Students must follow all policies and guidelines in place in their host country and at their host institution for isolation and testing. Your ISEP Insurance provides coverage for COVID testing and treatment when ordered by a physician or health care professional. If you need assistance finding healthcare, please contact On Call International. Should a student test positive and be ordered by a medical professional or regulatory entity to isolate or quarantine at their own expense while abroad, the ISEP Insurance plan will cover housing and meal costs up to a maximum of $3,500 USD. This benefit must be arranged by **On Call International**. Accommodations for isolation or quarantine must be arranged through and approved by the insurance company and retroactive claims will not be accepted, so students who need access to this benefit should immediately contact On Call International for assistance making arrangements. To learn more about what is covered under students’ ISEP Insurance plans, including details regarding benefits and coverage maximums, please see the Frequently Asked Questions on ISEP Health Insurance..

What will the on-site experience be like during COVID-19?

    • While COVID-19 presents unique challenges to universally ensure continuous in-person instruction, our expectation of all of our host universities is that academic continuity is to be prioritized in the event of a disruption to in-person instruction in order to address potential COVID-19 transmission.
    • Students should be prepared to adhere to local expectations related to PPE and social distancing inside and outside of the classroom.
    • Extra-curricular opportunities will be assessed by our host university coordinators, who are best positioned to recognize the local health conditions. Students should follow all guidance from their host institution related to social distancing and PPE.
    • All ISEP member institutions have been reviewed closely to ensure that they are providing safe, clean, and academically appropriate housing for their hosted students. ISEP is reviewing all housing options provided by member institutions to ensure that they are meeting standards recommended by local public health officials and best practices declared by other governmental and non-governmental organizations. It is expected that housing will be provided for the duration of a student’s program regardless of a potential COVID-19 outbreak.
    • Travel beyond a student’s host country and community may be limited due to local COVID-related travel restrictions.
    • Many countries have begun instituting restrictions related to access to public and private spaces for unvaccinated individuals. For example, students may face quarantines, limited access to public buildings, campus facilities, or housing services and other significant barriers. In addition, there may be additional fees for students who are not vaccinated.

Insurance Coverage

    • ISEP requires that all students are covered by health and emergency evacuation insurance coverage while abroad. Our health insurance coverage is comprehensive and includes free testing for COVID-19 as well as treatment, if needed, following a $50 deductible. To learn more, please see the Frequently Asked Questions on ISEP Health Insurance.
    • Proof of ISEP insurance coverage is often required when applying for a visa. ISEP will provide all students with a coverage letter detailing insurance dates and amounts.