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COVID-19 and UCEAP 2021 Programs

February 22, 2021 - UCEAP has made the decision to cancel 2021 summer in-person programs in all locations.

The following 2021 summer programs are offering an online version. Applications will be accepted through February 28.

Summer Physics: Students nominated to any of the summer 2021 physics programs are eligible to transfer their application to Dublin Science and Engineering Summer Physics Online, as long as the online program has been approved by their campus.

The following 2021 fall programs are canceled:

2021 Fall

  • Argentina, Immigration and Identity: Asia in South America
  • Argentina/Chile, Human Rights and Cultural Memory
  • Australia, Australian National University
  • Australia, University of New South Wales
  • Australia, University of Queensland
  • Australia, University of Sydney
  • Botswana, University of Botswana
  • Brazil, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Chile, Chilean Universities
  • Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong (fall and year)
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (fall and year)
  • Hong Kong, University of Hong Kong (fall and year)
  • Mexico, Field Research in Mexico
  • Mexico, National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • Mexico, Leadership in Social Justice and Public Policy
  • Morocco, Arabic Language and Culture, Rabat
  • New Zealand, Massey University
  • New Zealand, Otago University
  • New Zealand, Victoria University of Wellington
  • New Zealand, University of Auckland
  • New Zealand, University of Waikato
  • Russia, Russian Area Studies
  • Russia, Russian Language (fall and year)

UCEAP Updates

Dear UCEAP Community,

It was an incredibly difficult and painful decision for UCEAP to cancel those UCEAP programs with a start date prior to March 15, 2020 but we firmly believe that it was the right decision under the circumstances. Factors which weighed heavily on our minds as we reached this decision include: the impossibility of predicting viral surge conditions or quarantine restrictions across the world; the accessibility to quality health care; the status of visa processing; the continuation of various travel bans; the lack of clarity regarding local modes of instruction; and the willingness of universities in other countries to engage in exchange. In addition, UC Policy precludes UCEAP from operating in any countries where the US Department of State issues travel advisories of level 3 or higher, or where the CDC issues a health notices of alert level 2 or 3. The majority of our programs are in countries with travel advisories of level 3 or higher and the CDC has issued level 3 health notice alerts.

While the March 15 date means that the UC Berkeley and UC Merced students will have few study abroad options this year, it also means all the quarter-campus students still have the option of completing winter quarter on their home campus and then studying abroad in spring quarter 2021. At the present time, we anticipate about 20 programs will run in spring. A final list (which may be subject to change depending on local circumstances) will be available by August 28.

While we remain optimistic, it is impossible to know whether there will be a COVID-19 vaccine later this year and when there is a vaccine questions remain about its availability and the priority of distribution.

UCEAP continues to monitor the global situation as it evaluates whether it will operate any post-March 15 programs. We will make a decision with sufficient time to allow students and their families to discuss options during the December holiday break and enable students to register on time for spring courses at their home campuses.

Decisions to cancel programs are not made easily, quickly, or lightly. Staff members of UCEAP, here in California and abroad, share our students’ disappointment—but we believe the decision was necessary and appropriate.



Vivian-Lee Nyitray
Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director
University of California Education Abroad Program

Program Information for Students

Should I purchase trip cancelation insurance and/or refundable airfare?

Please be advised that insurance companies no longer deem the COVID-19 pandemic an unforeseen circumstance. Therefore, trip cancelation, trip interruption, and trip delay that are caused either directly or indirectly by pandemic-related events will most likely not be covered by most travel insurance policies, including the UCEAP travel insurance policy.

UCEAP strongly urges you to purchase fully refundable airfare because it may offer some financial protection if your travel plans are interrupted or your program is canceled.

In case of program cancelation, will insurance pay for any change of ticket costs?

No. Please see response above related to trip cancelation, trip interruption, and trip delay benefits.

Does travel insurance included in my UCEAP fees cover COVID-19 illness during study abroad?

Treatment for COVID-19 would be considered as any other medical condition and is subject to the policy terms and conditions. If you experience symptoms of an illness while traveling overseas, you should seek medical care. Expenses resulting from medically necessary treatment will be considered for reimbursement according to the policy terms, conditions, and exclusions.

According to the insurance policy, “medically necessary” means a treatment, service, or supply that is:

  • Required to treat an injury or illness
  • Prescribed or ordered by a licensed doctor

What happens if I pay a program deposit and then my program is canceled prior to the start date?

Your UCEAP first payment deposit will be refunded in full. Deposits paid to your home campus and/or host universities may or may not be refundable.

What happens if my program is switched from in-person to virtual instruction after the withdrawal deadline?

The UCEAP Withdrawal Fee is waived should you decide to withdraw because your program is no longer taught in-person. Third-party withdrawal fees may still be due. Please check with your program’s finance accountant before withdrawing.

What happens if I pay a housing deposit and then my program is canceled prior to the start date?

Housing deposits paid directly to your provider may or may not be refundable depending on the provider’s agreement. Please check with your housing provider before paying a deposit.

Are expenses related to COVID-19 included in my budget? Should I pay special attention to anything in my budget due to COVID-19?

Additional costs related to COVID-19 regulations may be included in your student budget if all of the following applies:

  • UCEAP is aware of the expense.
  • The expense is a requirement of all students on the program.

A separate line item won’t be created for these expenses. Any of the above expenses related to COVID-19 will be added to the appropriate category of the student budget.

Am I still responsible for program fees if a program is canceled?

If your program is canceled prior to the start date, all UCEAP program fees will be refunded in full, including the travel insurance fee. This means you won’t be eligible for travel insurance benefits.

If your program is canceled after the start date, fee refunds are subject to UC and UCEAP refund policy if your program allows for alternative coursework completion. Program fees are either non-refundable or partially refundable after the program start date. UCEAP recommends that you don’t expect a full refund of your program fees if you’re given the option to continue coursework online. Financial aid recipients may also have aid revised if the program has already begun. Financial aid revisions will be reported to UCEAP and may result in a bill. Contact your campus financial aid office if you have questions about revisions to aid.

If your program is canceled after the start date and the host institution is unable to provide coursework completion and no credits are given, you’ll receive a full refund of tuition and fees.

Will I need to pay withdrawal fees after the deadline if the program is canceled?

UCEAP and third-party withdrawal fees will be waived for program cancelation prior to the start date. UCEAP withdrawal fees will be waived for program cancelation after the start date. However, UCEAP cannot guarantee third-party withdrawal fee waivers after the start date.

How will financial aid work if the program is canceled?

If your program is canceled prior to the start date, you won’t be eligible for aid at UCEAP. If you’ll be attending classes with your home campus, aid will be modified appropriately. Contact your campus financial aid office with questions.

For programs that are canceled after they have started, a withdrawal calculation will be performed by your campus financial aid office. You’re eligible to keep a portion of aid based on the percentage of time completed in the program. This calculation can’t be performed until the campus receives all the withdrawal information from UCEAP, so it can take time to process. You should expect that you may have a bill with revised charges, especially if the cancelation occurs prior to 60 percent of the term being completed. UCEAP will determine the revised program charges and then your campus financial aid office will update financial aid and report it to UCEAP. Depending on these differences, you may receive a bill with revised charges. It is advisable for you, especially if you are a financial aid recipient, to consider the financial impact of a withdrawal after the start date. In many cases, when you withdraw after receiving a financial aid disbursement, a balance is created by financial aid and fee revisions. As a result, this could create a balance due to UCEAP in the thousands of dollars. If you are considering withdrawing, consider waiting to spend any remaining funds from a disbursement until your financial aid and fee revisions are complete to see if a balance is due.

What potential financial liabilities (beyond fees paid directly to UCEAP) could I have should my program be canceled once abroad?

Housing refunds depend on your housing provider. If your housing fee is paid directly to the provider, you’ll need to work with them directly.

How will financial aid work if the program is canceled, for example fall semester, and I wish to enroll at my home campus for the following term?

Contact your campus registrar’s office and financial aid office to confirm your plans to enroll for the term. They can confirm if you’re able to do so, what actions you need to take, and what aid would be available. For financial aid purposes, you can’t earn financial aid for two programs for the same term.

What is the UC withdrawal fee policy as it pertains to UCEAP?

UCEAP follows UC tuition refund policy for non-freshman matriculated students (Schedule B). UC Schedule B tuition refund policy applies to the following UCEAP fees and uses the start date of host institution instruction:

  • UC Tuition (fall, winter, spring) (including non-resident supplemental tuition)
  • UC Student Services Fee
  • UCEAP Program Specific Fee (UCEAP Program Specific Fee is calculated based on the start date of program NOT the start date of host institution instruction)

The following fees are not refundable after the start date:

  • UCEAP Participation Fee
  • UCEAP Mandatory Travel Insurance
  • UC Miscellaneous Campus Fee

Other fees such as UCEAP Student Activities and Services Fee and UCEAP Books/Materials/Lab/Internship Fees may or may not be refundable depending on the service provider. For example, ACCENT program fees assessed as a UCEAP Student Activities and Services Fee are not refundable after the start date. However, if Student Activities and Services Fees are assessed for Study Center activities provided by UCEAP Study Center staff, the Student Activities and Services Fee associated is refundable by any recoverable expenses as determined by Study Center staff. Typically, you can determine the provider of these services if your program is run by a third party, such as CIEE, ACCENT, IFE, et al.

In the event of a voluntary withdrawal, UCEAP Housing Fees are generally non-refundable. In the event of a program cancelation after the start date, UCEAP Housing Fees may be prorated to the date of cancelation whether you are withdrawn from the program or remain enrolled.

It is important to note for Summer, Pre-Intensive Language Program, and Intensive Language Program Tuition and Student Services Fees, UCEAP uses Schedule Y for non-freshman matriculated students (periods of instruction other than quarters or semesters) when calculating refunds.

For more information about UC Refund Policies Schedule B and Y, please visit the University of California Office of the President website.

If I am required to quarantine at any point once abroad, who will pay for the costs related to this?

UCEAP won’t pay for quarantine expenses while abroad. If required to quarantine, UCEAP is able to adjust your financial aid budget to include this additional expense. Your campus financial aid office can advise you if you’ll be offered additional aid in this case.

Will I be able to defer my scholarship if the program is canceled?

It will be up to the scholarship agency/donor. Most times for predeparture cancelations, the scholarship will be rescinded for that term. UCEAP recommends that you reach out to your donor directly to inquire if they’ll let you keep the award or transfer it to another program or term. If your program has already started, your campus financial aid office will contact the donor when the withdrawal calculation is performed to see if you can keep that award.

In most cases, your UCEAP Promise Award can be transferred to another program within the same academic year.

Whom should I contact with questions?

Questions about billing, payment, or program budgets should be directed to your UCEAP finance accountant. Any questions about aid eligibility will need to be directed to your campus financial aid office or contact.

Can I take classes online?

The availability of online coursework will vary by program. Please contact your UCEAP academic specialist for further information.

How many classes can I take pass/no pass?

Each program has its own requirements. Check the Academics section of your program’s web page on the UCEAP website.

Can I enroll in my home campus and study abroad campus at the same time?

Many UC campuses are allowing UCEAP participants to enroll in both UCEAP and UC courses for the same term. This way, if your program is canceled before the program begins or you choose not to participate in the program, you have a back-up plan. Please check with your UC campus to see if this is an option they currently offer and if any deadlines may apply.

Will my units still transfer if I don’t complete the term?

For any coursework that is completed, final grades will be reported. For any coursework that is not completed, withdrawals will be reported.

Will I be able to complete my courses if my program is canceled after it has already started? If yes, how would this work?

Whether you can complete coursework in the event of program cancelation will vary by program. Please contact your UCEAP academic specialist for further information.

What if I need to miss two weeks or more of class to self-quarantine or recover from COVID-19?

If you contract COVID-19 during your program abroad, please inform UCEAP Study Center and/or Systemwide staff. You should also let your course instructor know that you won’t be in class. Depending on the program, the instructor and/or host university may have protocols in place to accommodate your absence from class. The UCEAP academic specialist can also inform you about other academic accommodations you may request, such as additional pass/no pass grading options.