COVID-19 Travel Overview

Travel and study abroad are two areas of university life and campus operations that have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is the latest travel and study abroad related guidance for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Study Abroad

The University has extended the suspension of study abroad through January 15, 2021. This decision applies to Fall 2020 and Academic Year 2020-21 programs and includes all program types (exchange, direct enroll, provider programs, faculty-led, and study abroad by petition). This decision also applies to Fall and AY inbound exchange students from partner institutions.

The University will not permit any waivers or exceptions for Fall 2020 study abroad, including for those programs with delayed start dates in September or October. Participants choosing to study abroad will have no University connection or support, including access to study abroad options through the University, international insurance, and pre-articulation of course credit.

Spring 2021

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is evaluating the resumption of study abroad for the Spring 2021 semester. Students are encouraged to review the latest information on Spring 2021 Study Abroad Plans page and the associated frequently asked questions.

International Travel

University-sponsored international travel

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has cancelled all international university-sponsored programs until further notice.

Those who believe they have an essential business reason to travel by air may request approval through their unit executive officer (dean, vice provost, vice chancellor, etc.). It is expected that permission to travel will be granted only in the most limited of circumstances.

As of early August, the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are issuing country level advisories related to COVID-19. All individuals returning from study or travel abroad should follow CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines.

Personal international travel

The Department of State has issued COVID-19 Travel guidance that advises all U.S. citizens to read the country-specific Travel Advisories and U.S. Embassy COVID pages for updates on the impact of COVID-19 worldwide. Individuals are also encouraged to review the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) travel notices.

Domestic Travel

University-sponsored domestic travel

The University is limiting domestic travel for faculty, staff and students to pre-approved travel for essential University business. 

Those who believe they have an essential business reason to travel by air may request approval through their unit executive officer (dean, vice provost, vice chancellor, etc.). It is expected that permission to travel will be granted only in the most limited of circumstances.

Programs that involve domestic air travel that have not yet departed are cancelled. Programs that involve domestic air travel that have already departed (are currently away from campus) should follow CDC guidelines for travel in the United States.

Personal domestic travel

The University is strongly advising against all personal domestic travel for faculty, staff and students, especially those in a high-risk category.

Returning to Campus

Upon arrival to the United States or return from domestic travel, individuals may be subject to quarantine and/or testing. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to review campus guidance on returning to campus after travel, quarantine and testing.

International Travel if Returning to Your Home Country

Some international students and scholars may wish to return to their home country. If you choose to travel outside of the U.S., you should be prepared for the possibility for your return may be significantly delayed. This could pose different problems depending on your unique situation, from not being able to resume classes when face to face instruction does resume to not being able to apply for OPT. Each student should consider their own circumstances.

International students and scholars can refer to the International Student and Scholar Services website for visa and immigration specific questions.