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?

As of September 8, 2020, Penn Abroad is temporarily pausing region-specific and program-specific advising for semester abroad as well as the opening of any new Spring 2021 applications until we provide further update on the status of Spring 2021 abroad. We continue to assess the evolving COVID-19 situation worldwide and expect to update students within the month of September. All updates will be posted on the Semester Abroad web page, as well as on individual PASSPORT program brochures.  

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

Penn Abroad continues to work with Penn Leadership and Risk Management to determine the feasibility of Penn Global Seminars travel in Spring 2021. The PGS team will continue to keep the website updated to reflect the most current class list for the upcoming semester. A final list of Penn Global Seminars courses expected to travel abroad in Spring 2021 will be available before advance registration opens for the spring semester.

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. Program applications open on October 15, 2020. At this time, all internship and research placements offered through GRIP are expected to take place abroad, and applicants should expect to complete their placement on-site in the host country. However, throughout the year leading up to summer travel, Penn Abroad will continue to work with Penn Leadership and Risk Management 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. Full details on each GRIP placement’s contingency plans will be available on the specific GRIP program brochure in PASSPORT beginning on October 15.

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.