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Public Health
& Program Safety Guidelines

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CEA CAPA actively monitors global public health and international safety concerns that may impact our program destinations. The health and safety of our students and staff is important to us, and we are committed to following both CEA CAPA and local protocols and protective measures to provide meaningful programs.

Our goal is to provide our participants and partners with transparent and timely information. We continue to update our protocols and procedures to reflect evolving public health situations, ongoing global conflict, international requirements, the latest safety standards, and current health recommendations.

Program Updates

The recent COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that we must continue to maintain vigilance and navigate education abroad programming with public health concerns as a top priority. CEA CAPA closely monitors private, public, and governmental security intelligence resources to stay informed about ongoing global conflicts to understand how they may impact program operations in CEA CAPA destinations. Should a public health concern or global conflict impact CEA CAPA’s ability to operate programs, CEA CAPA will review all available and relevant information to determine feasibility of running that Program.

CEA CAPA closely monitors the most up-to-date private, public, and governmental health and security intelligence resources. In addition, we regularly monitor information published by the U.S. Department of State, governmental reports from allied countries, security reports from private sources, as well as consulting with a variety of reputable in-country sources and experts.

CEA CAPA maintains contingency plans for programs in the event a public health or security crisis would occur in a CEA CAPA program location. If the collective information from the above resources indicates the safest course of action would be to cancel a program, CEA CAPA reserves the option to make that decision.

Withdrawal dates for many of our programs may be adjusted and will be reflected on the CEA CAPA website as well as in the students’ MyCEA Portals. Students should work closely with their Enrollment Advisor if they have questions and/or concerns about their program’s withdrawal date.

A Withdrawal Date is the last day a student can withdraw from a program and not be held responsible for full payment. CEA CAPA’s Withdrawal policy is outlined in the grid below. Please make note that students fall into one of two payment structures as outlined below. Contact an Enrollment Advisor for any questions regarding payment structures.

    1. CEA CAPA Direct Payments (Student pays CEA CAPA Education Abroad fees directly to CEA CAPA.)
      • Student is subject to the policy below.
    2. University Payments (Student pays CEA CAPA Education Abroad fees through their home institution/study abroad office.)
      • Student is subject to the policies of their U.S. home institution. Please contact the study abroad office for your specific payment obligations.
Deposit Withdrawal Phase (prior to program start date)
Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5
Non-Refundable Prior to widthdraw date Withdraw Date to 45 days 22-44 days 21 days or less After Program Start Date (if applicable)
Study $500 Full refund 30% of total program fees applicable 50% of total program fees applicable 100% of program fees applicable 100% of program fees applicable
Internship $500 Full refund 30% of total program fees applicable 50% of total program fees applicable 100% of program fees applicable 100% of program fees applicable + $500 internship withdrawal fee

*If a student uses a CEA Student Universe flight voucher but does not participate in a CEA CAPA onsite program, the amount of the flight voucher used must be paid back to CEA CAPA.

**This withdrawal policy does not apply to custom or faculty-led programs.

Per our Standard Withdrawal Policy, students who request to withdraw in writing on, or prior to, their program Withdrawal Date are not responsible for final payment and may be entitled to a refund of payments already made to CEA, minus the application fee and program confirmation fee.

Application fees are always non-refundable, and program confirmation fees are non-refundable except in the case where the applicant is not academically eligible for the program.

As program withdrawal dates approach, we encourage students to make timely decisions about their program participation and communicate regularly with their CEA Enrollment Advisor. Students who withdraw after the program Withdrawal Date are subject to CEA’s Withdrawal Policy.

If CEA CAPA makes the decision to cancel programs, students will be refunded all program payments* made towards their program. Refunds can fall under one or both refund plans listed below. Students should contact their CEA CAPA Enrollment Advisor if unsure which plan(s) applies to them.

1. CEA CAPA Direct Payments (Student paid CEA CAPA Education Abroad fees directly to CEA CAPA)

  • The refund will be sent to the permanent address on file in the students’ MyCEA portals.
  • The refund will come in the form of a paper check made out to the student and can take up to 10 - 12 weeks to receive.
2. University Payments (Student paid CEA CAPA Education Abroad fees through their home institution/study abroad office)
  • Please contact your study abroad office for updates on refund payments.

*Refund Exclusions:

  • The non-refundable $95 application fee will be deducted from the total refund amount.
  • The non-refundable $95 application fee can be applied to a future term with CEA.
  • Students should reach out to their CEA CAPA Enrollment Advisor if they have any questions or concerns about the refund process. Students can find the contact information for their CEA CAPA Enrollment Advisor in their MyCEA portals.


If you are enrolled in a program with CEA and would like to decide to defer your enrollment to a future term prior to the Withdrawal Date, please contact your CEA Enrollment Advisor to discuss your options. If you want to defer to a future term after the Withdrawal Date, please refer to the Withdrawal Policy.

Many countries are currently restricting entry for the purpose of tourism but are making exceptions for travelers who are entering the host country as a student. All CEA locations are allowing entry for students who either have a student visa or proper documentation to show their student status.

COVID-19 entry requirements vary by country and are subject to change. CEA is actively monitoring these requirements and will provide the necessary documentation to enrolled students prior to their departure. Please note, CEA cannot provide documentation for friends or family members who wish to enter as a tourist. If you have questions or concerns about what you may need to enter your host country, please contact your Enrollment Advisor.

Please consult the U.S. State Department’s website for further information.

Health & Safety Abroad

CEA CAPA’s number one priority is the health, safety, and security of its students, staff, and faculty. Our practices and policies are grounded in established standards within the international education field, and we actively participate in professional organizations that help shape the future of health and safety standards in education abroad. By actively monitoring credible reports and data published by reputable sources, we are better able to make informed decisions that prioritize the wellbeing of our students and the community in locations where we operate. For more information, check out our Health & Wellness and Safety & Support Abroad pages, or contact our Health and Safety Team.

Yes! We have successfully welcomed students abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic since the Spring ’21 term. Check out these student success stories to see how CEA CAPA alumni studied abroad during this time.

CEA CAPA’s academics and curricula are designed to emphasize experiential learning and we incorporate activities to help students connect their experiences outside the classroom with the content they learn in class. While this seems like a daunting task in the midst of a pandemic, we accomplished this starting with our Spring 2021 programs and have since continued to welcome students on programs abroad. Through respecting the guidance of local authorities on protective measures as well as adhering to our own unique Pandemic and Public Health Concern Guidelines, CEA CAPA continues to provide outstanding experiences for our students in and out of the classroom.

CEA CAPA does not offer programming in these countries and no changes have been made to existing CEA CAPA programming at this time. CEA CAPA continues to monitor private, public and governmental security intelligence resources. Onsite teams also closely monitor any impacts on their program locations and communicate with students on an as needed basis to share travel safety information and inform students of any demonstrations, increased security presence, or closures they may encounter, as well as highlighting mental health support resources. Students are strongly discouraged from travelling to Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Israel.

CEA CAPA has a team of dedicated individuals who regularly monitor and review local conditions relating to health, safety, and security, including public health concerns in our program locations. We utilize a vast network of resources including but not limited to: U.S. Department of State, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Overseas Security Advisory Counsel, World Health Organization, allied foreign government travel advice, U.S. and international health organizations, PULSE, and insurance and third-party security intelligence reports. Our onsite staff, local partners, and networks are invaluable resources, and we depend on their first-hand knowledge and experience to help guide our decision-making processes. .

CEA CAPA pledges to continue prioritizing student health, safety, and wellbeing, while never compromising academic quality of programs. We approach each situation cautiously and uniquely to critically assess the best course of action for our students and institutional partners. This approach is crucial in times like these when we must balance student wellbeing with providing the academic quality students, families, and our institutional partners have come to expect from CEA CAPA.

CEA CAPA developed extensive COVID-19 protocols and best practices in order to provide staff, students, and faculty a flexible framework of guidance to reduce the risk of contagion, promote safe practices, and respond effectively to the continuously changing COVID-19 environment.

We defer to the requirements of local authorities regarding COVID-19 guidelines and/or restrictions. We reserve the right to implement stricter COVID-19 protective measures during program courses or activities in order to safeguard the health and wellness of our students, staff, and faculty.

We understand that many U.S. institutions do not allow students to study abroad in a country where the U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 3 or 4 travel warning due to COVID-19 or other reasons. We encourage students to check-in with their home institution immediately should this occur before or during your program.

For CEA CAPA, the U.S. Department of State travel advisories are one resource amongst many that we consult to make well-informed decisions regarding abroad programming. They are not the determining factor in whether or not we will make adjustments to our programming. CEA CAPA pledges to continue prioritizing student health, safety, and wellbeing, while never compromising academic quality of programs. We approach each situation cautiously and uniquely to critically assess the best course of action for our students and institutional partners.

Even as program destinations have lifted COVID-19 protocols, we believe being up to date on the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters will help safeguard the health and wellness of CEA CAPA participants, faculty and onsite team members, as well as show respect and support for the wellbeing of the communities in which we operate programs.

Starting with programs beginning on or after May 1, 2023, CEA CAPA is strongly recommending all participants to be up to date on the COVID-19 vaccination and recommended booster doses prior to going abroad.

All participants are responsible for knowing and adhering to the COVID-19 vaccine and booster requirements of their program location and host institution (if applicable). Should a program destination or host institution change their vaccination policies, students may have to adhere to those policies.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine and booster, check out the following websites:

COVID-19 Vaccine Information
CDC’s Vaccine Booster Recommendations
Where to get a COVID-19 vaccine
World Health Organization COVID-19 Vaccine Information

In most countries, only citizens or permanent residents of that country are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination or booster shot, therefore we recommend being up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine and booster(s) before departing for your program.

You are free to travel during the program term, but if you choose to travel outside of your program country, we strongly encourage you to do plenty of research and take precautions with your travel plans. If you decide to travel, you will need to check-in your travel through our emergency communication app so we can contact you in case of emergency. We also recommend reviewing the U.S. Department of State information for the destinations you plan to visit and sign-up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, CEA CAPA prohibits travel to Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus. Students are also strongly discouraged from travelling to Israel. Should you travel to these destinations, CEA CAPA and/or our international emergency assistance provider may not be able to assist you.

We encourage you to speak with your health care provider to discuss your unique health situation and how that may be affected by COVID-19 or other public health concerns in your program destination. In addition, we recommend that you research and follow local guidance regarding COVID-19 protective measures in order to protect yourself and others. The Center for Disease Control provides a lot of information on how to best do this. In addition, CEA CAPA strongly encourages you to:

  • Be fully vaccinated and up to date on any CDC recommended vaccines and boosters before you leave for your program.
  • Employ good hygiene practices, wash your hands frequently, and pack a small supply of masks and hand sanitizer.
  • Inform onsite staff immediately upon possible COVID-19 exposure or if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and self-isolate until you receive test results.
  • Check out the following websites for more information on COVID-19 safety tips:

CEA CAPA partners with CISI to provide  student travel health insurance coverage for all program students abroad during their program or internship term. This insurance is a reimbursement style plan that includes medical coverage for COVID-19, up to plan limits. If you have specific questions about the COVID-19 coverage under the CISI plan, we recommend that you contact CISI directly for more information.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, a COVID-19 test may be covered under the insurance plan. You will need to pay for the test up front, then you submit your receipt with a claim form to CISI for reimbursement. Keep in mind that COVID-19 tests required for travel or in-country COVID-19 Pass requirements are not covered under the CISI policy.

Should you require hospitalization due to COVID-19 or other medical concerns while abroad, CEA CAPA and CISI work closely with AXA Travel Assistance to support you and ensure you receive proper medical treatment without any out-of-pocket expense. If needed, they may arrange for transfer, follow-up care, or medical evacuation home for continued treatment as recommended.

The CISI policy includes a small benefit for quarantine, trip delay, and trip interruption. If you test positive for COVID-19 at the end of your program and need to quarantine as a result, you may file a claim with CISI for possible reimbursement of certain quarantine expenses.

Whether or not you have been directly impacted by COVID-19 or the ongoing global conflicts, watching these events unfold over the news and social media can take a toll. You are not alone! Increased numbers of college students have reported experiencing depression or anxiety over the past few years. While studying abroad may provide a welcome change of scenery, it will be important to prioritize your mental health and continue any treatment you currently receive. Be sure to speak with your mental health provider about your study abroad plans before you depart.

Mental health support services may be available in your study abroad location, either in person or virtually. Where in person mental health services are not available, we may be able to arrange online counseling or therapy with select providers through our student travel health insurance company, CISI. If you would like assistance arranging for services while abroad, please indicate this on your Required Health Information form or feel free to reach out to your CEA CAPA Advisor for more information.

Mental Health is Health by the JED Foundation
Caring for your Mental Health by National Institute for Mental Health
Trauma and our World Today by Being Well Abroad

We have found the following websites to be helpful and informative regarding multiple aspects of COVID-19. If you have other questions or concerns, please reach out to your CEA CAPA representative. We are happy to help you navigate COVID-19 and study abroad.

US Department of State - Country specific COVID-19 information and advice
US Center for Disease Control and Prevention - General COVID-19 information
US Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Advice for international travel
World Health Organization - General COVID-19 information
World Health Organization - COVID-19 vaccination information
Global Epidemics by Brown University- COVID-19 by the case numbers by country
Our World in Data - COVID-19 vaccination rates by country
Mental Health is Health by the JED Foundation
Caring for your Mental Health by National Institute for Mental Health

What Happens If...

CEA's programs are running and currently open to applications! While certain inclusions may need to be adjusted, and student life abroad may not be the same as previous terms, CEA is committed to supporting students in their journey abroad.

If a program is cancelled, any fees paid will be refunded back to the student at the permanent address on file minus the $95 application fee. These funds will be returned in the form of a check. Due to COVID-19, refund timelines vary and can take up to 12 weeks from the date they are processed.

CEA's Policy: CEA is committed to giving students every opportunity to academically complete their program, which means we’ve developed many contingency plans for each of our programs. If a program moves coursework online while you are abroad, CEA would consider that a change in academic structure. We would not consider your program cancelled, as you still have the opportunity to complete your credit hours. Depending on the reason for the shift online, students may still have the opportunity to remain abroad or may be required to return to the US. It is important to note that if a program shifts online, you will not be eligible for any refunds for fees paid to CEA due to the shift in academic structure.

Recommendation: You may not experience a move to online coursework, but it doesn’t hurt to proactively work with your home university to explore how a shift online may affect your transfer credits. While most universities will accept virtual transfer credits the same as if they were completed abroad, you may need to provide additional documentation about each course or may be given the option to transfer credits as Pass/Fail.

CEA is committed to doing everything we can to maintain your international experience, and a large part of that has been developing contingency plans for many possible scenarios. While we can't predict exactly what will happen, we can tell you CEA has local staff available to students in every single host city. All of our staff are trained in navigating health & safety situations locally and coordinating back with our domestic US staff as needed. It is important to note that if you are required to come home, you will not be eligible for any refunds for fees paid to CEA.

CEA's Policy: CEA strongly encourages students to listen to the guidelines put out by their home institution. In the case you cannot go abroad due to your university's COVID protocols, you will be offered the opportunity to switch your application to a future term or request a refund for all fees paid minus the $95 application fee as long as your program’s withdrawal date has not passed. If your withdrawal date has passed, please refer to the withdrawal policy above or on our student policy page.

Recommendation: It's easy to miss emails or communication from your university, but it's more important than ever to keep up on their announcements. If they are considering cancelling study abroad for your term or you are told you cannot go abroad, let CEA know as soon as possible so we can work with our University partners to evaluate your options.

Should I...

Background: CEA has worked with our partners abroad to confirm program start and end dates, however as the situation develops both domestically and internationally there is always the possibility for dates to change. We know students are excited to get abroad as soon as possible, but CEA wants to ensure that every detail is inline prior to student’s arrival.

Recommendation: We strongly advise students to wait until the closure date (and encourage the withdrawal date when possible) to book flights. When you do book flights, research the specific cancellation or rebooking policies. Booking with a more flexible airline or a flexible type of ticket may cost more but it also gives a lot of peace of mind. CEA is not able to offer assistance with booking or changing flights, or reimbursing flight costs.

Recommendation: Yes! Whether it’s picking out multiple cities that work for you, approving alternate courses, or eyeing multiple flight options, we always encourage students to be flexible and open to change. International travel takes a lot of planning and it’s common for last minute changes.

If you’re committed to an international experience, CEA will do everything we can to get you there!

Background: Student Universe flight vouchers are a great perk for eligible CEA students! We often run promotions and offer codes to use when completing a CEA program application. If you've earned a flight voucher, the code is valid for use on Student Universe for one year after it's issued.

Recommendation:Booking through Student Universe is similar to booking with Expedia or Travelocity, which means an additional company is involved and you’re subject to their additional policies. You can absolutely use your flight voucher for your flights (that’s why we offer it!) but you definitely want to pay attention to the change policies when you book and if travel insurance is offered. Booking directly with an airline may offer more flexibility in cancelling or rebooking flights. You can always use your voucher later for travel while you’re abroad!

Note: CEA has no control over Student Universe's refund or cancellation policy, and we are not able to refund the value of a flight voucher. Please be aware if you use a flight voucher and do not participate in a CEA program, the value spent must be paid back to CEA. For more information, visit the CEA Policy Page.

Background: In order to study or intern in a foreign country, American students are often required to obtain a Student Visa or Residence Permit prior to entering their host country. Due to recent developments with COVID-19, it’s important to not only be aware of the Student Visa requirements but also any additional health forms or documents needed to enter the country.

Recommendation:Yes! Your Enrollment Advisor will provide you with a guide and details on your host country’s specific visa process. The application process can typically take 4-7 weeks and with current delays in mail service and at the consulates, it may take longer. Many consulates are limiting their working hours and appointment times so it's important to be patient while waiting for updates. Make sure you're checking the consulate website for the most up to date process information. If you are unsure if your program requires that you need a student visa, please contact your Enrollment Advisor.

Recommendation: Yes! The tasks in your MyCEA to-do list are timed specifically to best prepare you for your time abroad. It's important that you complete all of your tasks on time so the CEA teams abroad can get ready for your arrival. Most tasks you complete now can be transferred over to a future or alternate program, if you do end up needing to change plans.

Background:If you are paying CEA CAPA directly, it is important to pay your Confirmation Deposit and communicate your funding plan to CEA CAPA prior to the Withdrawal Date. Please refer to the payment schedule and note that your full program cost is due prior to the Program Start Date. If CEA CAPA cancels your program at any point prior to your start date, you are eligible for a full refund minus the $95 application fee.

Recommendation: Yes! We recommend meeting all payment due dates, however we understand many of our students are taking a bit more time and doing a bit more research this year, before financially committing to a program. We ask that students keep in communication with their Enrollment Advisor, and work with their Financial Services Specialist to build a custom payment schedule. You may also want to review our CEA CAPA Policies to best understand your financial obligations and our refund policies.

Custom & Faculty-Led Programs

The short answer:

Yes. We are excited to welcome your groups onsite!

The detailed answer:

We recognize the many uncertainties that exist regarding the opening of borders and consulates, visa processing times, vaccinations, COVID-19 Green/Health passes, and possible mandatory self-quarantines. Wherever possible, we are committed to providing flexibility to our university partners. As necessary, this could include pushing back deadlines, exploring changes to program dates and/or alternate locations, adjusting activities, etc., to allow you to make the best decisions for your programs.

We are continuously monitoring the situation in locations where CEA CAPA offers programs as well as entry requirements for U.S. citizens. Students holding passports from other countries should consult the host country’s consulate website for up-to-date information on student entry. Should entry requirements affect the ability of students and/or faculty leaders to visit a specific country, CEA CAPA will partner with you to determine the feasibility of running impacted programs.

Please see the Health & Safety Abroad section for detailed information surrounding CEA CAPA’s response to COVID-19, our onsite health and safety protocols, current Green/Health Pass requirements, guidance for reducing exposure and spread, and more. CEA CAPA’s Director of Health and Safety, in collaboration with our teams abroad, is working tirelessly to keep this information up to date based on evolving global realities.

For custom and faculty-led programs, we can also collaborate with sending institutions to align to your home campus practices wherever possible. Please note that requests that substantially impact the availability and/or scope of our agreed-upon services and inclusions may result in the modifications to program agreements, to be determined and agreed upon collaboratively with the sending institution.

We are continuously monitoring the travel restrictions and visa requirements in place for U.S. citizens in each of our host destinations. As program withdrawal deadlines and start dates approach, we will collaborate with our institutional partners to evaluate any restrictions in place at that time. Should travel restrictions affect the ability of students and/or faculty leaders to enter a specific country, CEA will partner with you to determine the feasibility of running impacted programs.

Students and faculty holding passports from countries other than the U.S. should consult the host country’s consulate website for up-to-date information on entry requirements.

As we navigate the evolving realities both in the U.S. and internationally, we are committed to providing flexibility to our university partners wherever possible. This could include accommodating changes to program dates, exploring alternate locations, adjusting activities and other program inclusions, and more.

We are continually evaluating all of our programs’ inclusions, and will be in touch to discuss potential adjustments as needed. For specific questions related to how your program may be impacted by CEA’s current health and safety protocols (as noted in the above Health & Safety Abroad section), please reach out to your Regional Director or Custom Program Coordinator.

Global health and safety requirements that substantially impact the availability and/or scope of our agreed-upon services and inclusions may result in modifications to program agreements, to be determined and agreed upon collaboratively with the sending university.

Our university partners always have the opportunity to cancel a program without financial penalty up to the withdrawal deadline as noted in our program agreements. After this deadline, CEA CAPA will begin making reservations onsite in order to ensure we can provide the requested program inclusions.

Should a program need to be cancelled for health, safety, and/or global mobility reasons after the withdrawal deadline or while the group is onsite, CEA CAPA will make our best effort to refund all recoverable program costs. Fees and refunds depend upon timing, program requirements, and the specific circumstances of cancellation or termination.

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