COVID-19 FAQs

The University of Pennsylvania continues to monitor the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and is committed to supporting students as the situation continues to evolve. Penn Abroad remains committed to providing every Penn student with a meaningful global experience. We understand that students and families have many questions about how global program may be affected and will update this page as new information becomes available.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What criteria does Penn Abroad use to determine when it is safe to resume international travel associated with its programming?

Penn Abroad is guided by the travel criteria put forth by Penn’s Committee on Travel Risk Assessment (CTRA) along with information provided to us by partners abroad based on their government requirements and restrictions. As we consider – in consultation with Penn Leadership and Risk Management – the feasibility of international travel, programs and locations abroad must meet the requirements set forth by CTRA for the resumption of travel in order for student mobility to resume. For more information on Penn’s travel criteria for the resumption of travel, please refer to the travel guidelines and procedures on Penn's International Travel Guidance website.

What is the status of Semester Abroad (SA) in Spring 2021?

Due to COVID-19, Penn Abroad’s regular Semester Abroad programming will not run in the 2020-2021 academic year. The next application cycle for Semester Abroad will be in the 2021 – 2022 academic year. We will begin advising and opening applications for fall and academic year 2021 in the upcoming months. By joining our mailing list, you will receive an email when Semester Abroad advising resumes.

Will Penn Global Seminars (PGS) courses travel abroad in Spring 2021?

Penn Global Seminars travel has been suspended for the Spring 2021 semester. For Spring 2021, Penn Global Seminars will run as Collaborative Online International Learning (PGS-COIL) courses. For more information, please review the course offerings for Spring 2021.

Will the Global Research and Internship Program (GRIP) run in Summer 2021?

Yes, the Global Research and Internship Program (GRIP) will run in Summer 2021. Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, each placement may be offered in an on-site or a virtual format. Penn Abroad will continue to work closely with Penn Leadership, Risk Management, and the Committee on Travel Risk Assessment (CTRA) to monitor the feasibility of GRIP travel. This will be assessed on both a worldwide and individual location basis. Should Penn suspend travel to any GRIP location, the internship or research placement will be offered virtually whenever possible. More information regarding GRIP’s COVID-19 information and travel planning is available on the GRIP COVID-19 Information page.

Will the incoming Exchange at Penn (EAP) program run in Spring 2021?

Unfortunately, the University of Pennsylvania has made the difficult decision to suspend its incoming undergraduate exchange program for the 2020-21 academic year.