NAFSA has been in dialogue with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ask for clarity on guidance issued by the CDC regarding international travel and study abroad programs. NAFSA provided context and background on existing risk management practices in international education with the CDC.

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The key points include:

  • The guidance was posted in direct response to requests for advice from the higher education community about the risks posed by COVID-19 for students participating in educational programs outside of the United States.
  • The guidance is not intended to be a mandate but rather to provide institutions with flexibility in their decision making and highlight that this may be a time to consider a shift in planning for these activities.
  • Institutions have risk management guidance and additional sources they may turn to in order to assess these risks—CDC’s Travel Health Notices may not provide the full scope of information needed for institutions to make future programming decisions

NAFSA has posed a variety of questions to the CDC and continues to encourage clarity on country-specific recommendations regarding “areas assessed as high-risk for exposure”. This situation is evolving. NAFSA appreciates this ongoing dialogue with the CDC and will provide updates as new information becomes available.