COVID-19: Guidance for students planning study abroad and university-related international travel

April 2, 2020

Updated June 13, 2022, 1:55 p.m.

The health, safety and security of MU students is our top priority. All decisions regarding study abroad and university-related international travel are made with this at the forefront. At this time, MU requires all university-related international travel to be reviewed and approved.

MU is using the following indicators to review the feasibility of all study abroad programs and university-related international travel:

  • Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of State and COVID-19 related metrics
  • U.S. citizens (or international travelers coming from the U.S.) can enter the country
  • Sufficient hospital capacity exists in the host country to treat COVID-19 and non-COVID related medical concerns
  • Students can achieve their academic goals (COVID-19 prevention measures in the host country do not interfere)
  • UM System insurance will provide coverage
  • Approved contingency plans

Study abroad students should contact their adviser for more information about this process.

As MU monitors the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that students remain as flexible as possible. Students should make an academic back-up plan knowing that travel restrictions and other guidance can change unexpectedly and made alter plans.

We are working closely with the MU Student Health Center to monitor COVID-19 variants. We will continue to implement best practice protocols recommended by U.S. and overseas health experts in all MU study abroad programs.

Considerations for study abroad students

You will be notified via your MU email account with as much advanced notice as possible regarding any significant changes in your program. If your program is canceled or you are not able to participate, you should work with your program coordinator to defer to a later semester, find an alternative program or withdraw your application.


Being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 is strongly recommended, and is required for participation in some study abroad programs. Additionally, we strongly recommend that you obtain a booster shot before you depart for your study abroad program as soon as you are eligible — refer to this guidance from the CDC for details. Being fully vaccinated with a booster shot before you study abroad will help you:

  • Stay healthy: Protect yourself and others against COVID-19.
  • Comply with local regulations: An increasing number of countries are setting expiration dates for efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination and requiring a booster after that date for people to be considered fully vaccinated.
  • Enjoy the full study abroad experience: You may be required to show proof of vaccination and a booster shot before visiting public places like classrooms, libraries, cafes and public transportation.

Learn how to obtain your vaccine or booster shot on Show Me Renewal.


Do not purchase plane tickets or make other non-refundable financial commitments until after you have received a final acceptance decision from MU and your host university or program provider. MU will not be able to provide any financial assistance if your program is canceled or altered after you have purchased your plane ticket.


We understand you may have concerns regarding the possibility of your program being canceled and having to enroll in courses on campus last minute. Please schedule an appointment with your MU academic adviser to enroll in courses on campus; they can be dropped later if your study abroad program is confirmed to operate as scheduled. 


We encourage you to work with MU Residential Life to secure a flexible housing lease should your travel plans be postponed or canceled due to COVID-19. To learn more about your housing options at MU, please email or call 573-882-7275.


You are bound by the host institution or affiliated provider cancellation and refund policies regarding withdrawal from the study abroad program, which may prevent you from receiving a refund even if you withdraw prior to the beginning of the program. It is your responsibility to be familiar with and abide by all refund policies for your study abroad program. 

Financial considerations

The University of Missouri is unable to assist you financially if the program is canceled or to provide financial reimbursement for any additional costs you may incur, including the cost of return travel or quarantine. Therefore, we recommend the following to protect your study abroad investment:  

  • Purchase flights that offer refunds or maximum flexibility should you need to change or cancel your ticket.
  • Purchase a travel insurance policy that allows you to cancel for any reason.
  • Consider working with a travel agency that can provide in-person support to ensure you fully understand the policies and can support you if any alterations or cancellations are made to your travel plans.

International travel guidelines and requirements

Guidelines regarding COVID-19 can change rapidly. You should carefully monitor local health conditions and entry restrictions for the U.S. and all destinations where you plan to travel, including points of transit. These restrictions may differ depending on citizenship/immigration status, vaccination status or point of departure/transit. Resources for monitoring entry/exit requirements include:

Prior to travel, review the current guidelines and requirements for international travel from the CDC. As of June 12, 2022, air passengers traveling to the U.S. are no longer required to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19.

For questions or concerns, please contact the Office of International Health, Safety and Security ( or your study abroad adviser.