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COVID-19 Information

Coronavirus Update (COVID-19) 
Division of Global Education 

Webster University continues to monitor the status of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic around the world and its impact on global programs. This is a constantly developing and changing situation. As a global institution, we have policies and protocols in place for monitoring developments, making decisions as needed, and communicating to impacted constituents and to our community. The health and safety of the Webster University community worldwide is of primary importance.  

Travel Guidance from Non-U.S. Countries 
There have been travel restrictions and border closings around the globe throughout the pandemic and many countries have had or currently have quarantine requirements upon entry. In some countries, quarantine requirements have been lifted for vaccinated travelers. As countries re-open to international travel, you should ensure that you check all country restrictions for any country to which or through which you are traveling. The Division of Global Education can assist you as you consider your plans to teach or study abroad.  

Worldwide Campus Operations 
Please remain aware of worldwide Webster campus operations that may have shifted. You can find up-to-date information at the following campus web sites:  
Webster Athens - https://webster.edu.gr/  
Webster China - https://www.websterchina.com/  
Webster Ghana - https://webster.edu.gh/covid19/index.php  
Webster Geneva - https://webster.ch/covidupdate.pdf  
Webster Leiden - https://www.webster.nl/covid-19.php  
Webster Tashkent - https://webster.uz/index.php  
Webster Vienna - https://webster.ac.at/covid-19.php  
Webster USA/St. Louis Campuses - https://webster.edu/covid19/index.php   

Stay Informed - News Sources 
The news sources below may prove useful as you consider your international travel plans through Webster.  

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control - https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus-china   
World Health Organization (WHO) - https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019   
US Department of State Travel Advisories - https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/  
New York Times Updates - https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/coronavirus   
NY Times Country Vaccination Tracker - https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-19-vaccine-doses.html     
CDC Information for Travel - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html   
CDC Covid-19 FAQs - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html  
Global Health Security Index Assessment - https://www.ghsindex.org/ 
Harvard Metrics on Case Rates - https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/ 
Our World in Data - https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/positive-rate-daily-smoothed?region 
International SOS (ISOS) - Impact Rating - https://pandemic.internationalsos.com/2019-ncov/covid19-locations-with-cases  

Division of Global Education 
All information and communications related to our international programs and partnerships have been centralized in the Division of Global Education (DGE) in the Office of Academic Affairs. The DGE is doing the following:  
 
  • Monitoring U.S. Department of State and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other pertinent travel advisories  
  • Monitoring communication from national and international associations as well as other universities and our WINS partners  
  • Communicating with our international campuses, collecting country-specific requirements and guidance, developing common and consistent message for students and others, and tracking those communications  
  • Communicating with our international partners, collecting their country-specific requirements and guidance, and ensuring we are aware of their messaging to visiting students and faculty  
  • Communicating with faculty who are scheduled to teach on faculty mobility or lead faculty-led study abroad programs  
  • Communicating with students who have applied to study abroad  
  • Communicating with our international insurance carriers 
     
The DGE will be in communication with specific people and groups as needed to provide guidance and information and to relay decisions as they are made. Hannah Verity, Director of Global Program Development, is serving as point-person for questions and can be reached at hannahverity72@webster.edu or at +1-314-246-7627.  

Office of Study Abroad and WINS  
The Office of Study Abroad and WINS program are working in partnership with Webster’s international campuses and partner programs to provide up-do-date information and communications to students on a regular basis.   
 
Here are the most recent decisions regarding study abroad programming:  
 
  • Fall 2021 Programs: After a thorough review of the Covid-19 situation and its impact on Webster programs, the following programs were approved or canceled. All Fall 2021 study abroad participants have been notified.  
Approved Programs
Webster Athens
Webster Geneva
Webster St. Louis
Webster Vienna
Kent State Florence
Université Libre de Bruxelles
University of Roehampton

Canceled Programs
Kansai University
Obirin University
Universidad de Cuyo
Game and App Design in Japan
Inequality and the Environment: Coffee
Indigenous Rights and the Rights of Nature in Ecuador
 
  • Summer 2020-Summer 2021 - All programming during these terms was canceled except for select students who were already in their host country/region.  
 
The Office of Study Abroad/WINS will provide ongoing updates to study abroad participants about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and country/region-specific notices when needed.  
 
Should you have questions, please call the Webster Office of Study Abroad at 314-968-7430. If you have an after-hours emergency, please contact Public Safety at 314-968-7430.  

Return to International Mobility 

Covid-19 Precautions for International Mobility at Webster 
Webster has been looking forward to re-opening international mobility opportunities, including faculty mobility and study abroad, when the conditions permit. To this end, Webster is planning and preparing to provide students and faculty with a safe and impactful experience abroad. With the health and safety of our Webster community at the forefront, we have identified a list of standard measures that will generally apply across Webster’s international programs. We believe these steps are critical at this time due to the current global landscape and will ensure the best experience possible given the circumstances. Please keep in mind that these are subject to change depending on the location. Some of the measures include:   
 
  • Providing information on/arranging airport pick up that is Covid-19 compliant.  
  • Providing visa support to faculty and staff and updates on any procedures that might have changed due to Covid-19.   
  • Following host country quarantine measures and Covid-19 testing requirements upon arrival and providing information to participants on this prior to departure.   
  • Providing program affiliated quarantine housing upon entry, if quarantine is required when entering the country (this housing may incur additional charges).   
  • Information and assistance on meal delivery if quarantine is required when entering the country.  
  • Access to virtual learning during any mandatory quarantine periods throughout the term/semester (should they arise).   
  • Covid-19 safe classrooms, activities, campus facilities, and housing 
  • Access to masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies according to country and location-specific standards  
  • Using masks in accordance with host country and host campus guidelines  
  • Access to accommodation if isolation is necessary due to positive Covid-19 test or exposure (this housing may incur additional charges).  
  • Whenever possible, placing participants in housing that minimizes the need to utilize public transportation on a daily basis.    
  • Access to COVID-19 testing throughout the duration of the program (this testing may be an additional charge).   
  • Medical and accident insurance that covers Covid-19 related illness outside of the U.S.   
  • Medical insurance that covers Covid-19 related illness inside of the U.S. for non-US citizens (for participants coming to St. Louis from abroad).   
  • Cultural activities that emphasize safe, local exploration geared to the specific context of being abroad at this special time  
  • Encouraging participants to limit independent travel and focus on exploring areas in and around their program location.   
  • Mitigation of financial risk for the participant and the university through flexible and extended withdrawal dates.   
  • Using health and safety protocols specific to each location that will be monitored, managed, updated, and communicated throughout the term/semester.  
  • Offering a comprehensive on-site orientation that focuses on campus and host country guidelines.   
  • Providing contingency plans in case of a resurgence of Covid-19 at any program location. 
  • Ability to seamlessly move to online courses for all or part of the semester if needed. 

Vaccination Requirement for International Mobility  
 As Webster starts to resume international mobility, it is important to do so in a  responsible manner that keeps Webster students and faculty safe and healthy, and also considers the health and safety of on-ground partners and the local communities to which we are sending students and faculty. Therefore, the university is requiring study abroad and faculty mobility participants to be fully vaccinated prior to going abroad. This policy will go into effect starting with Fall 2021.   
 
Vaccinated individuals are less likely to have severe cases of Covid-19 and are less likely to spread Covid-19. Thus, vaccinated travelers lessen the impact of their presence on local health systems and minimize spread. This is particularly important in locations where transmission remains high and/or vaccination rates remain low. In addition, the spread of new and concerning virus variants differs from country-to-country, and the CDC now recommends that individuals do not travel internationally until fully vaccinated.  
 
While travel regulations and entry requirements around the world continue to evolve, it is clear that in many instances and at an increasing rate, travel restrictions are being eased for travelers who are fully vaccinated. This may mean entrance into a country, reduction or elimination of quarantine requirement, reduction or elimination of testing requirements, and freer movement/travel as some airlines, hotels and other venues may require proof of vaccination.  

Given that Webster has students and faculty from campuses around the world, it is possible that some students and faculty scheduled for mobility may not have easy access to vaccines in their home campus country. In these instances, the Division of Global Education will work with the individuals and the host campuses to support vaccination in the host country. Individuals not fully vaccinated at the time of travel will be required to comply with the CDC guidance for non-vaccinated travelers to international locations.  

For individuals with underlying medical conditions or religious exemptions that prevent them from being vaccinated, a release form will be provided, and these individuals will be required to comply with CDC guidance for non-vaccinated travelers to international locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Note: For the latest and most detailed information on global response and prevention, visit the CDC's COVID 19 page and their COVID 19 FAQ, and the WHO's coronavirus 2019 page, which are updated frequently. 

How will Webster decide whether to run or cancel a study abroad program? 
In the event of a program cancellation, Webster would come to this decision through doing a thorough country review and analysis using the following sources of information among others:  
  • U.S. Department of State travel advisory and other reputable travel advisories 
  • National and international centers for disease control and prevention 
  • Communication from national and international associations as well as other universities 
  • Country-specific requirements and guidance from Webster’s international campus staff  
  • Communications with international partners, including country-specific requirements and guidance  
  • Reports from our international insurance carrier 
Students would be notified as soon as a decision to suspend a program was made. 
 
What will happen if Webster decides to cancel any of its study abroad programs? 
If a program is canceled prior to its start, students will be notified immediately and withdrawn from the program automatically. Students will not suffer any financial penalties due to the withdrawal. Alternative options for enrolling in classes at another study abroad program or Webster campus would be provided.  

Will I have to pay study abroad costs if my program gets canceled? 
If your program is canceled prior to departure, you will not have to pay any program costs. The Office of Study Abroad will work with the Office of the Bursar to have the costs removed from your student account. 
 
How can students and parents stay informed about COVID-19 and international travel?  How can students stay informed about the status of their program? 
  • Regularly check webster.edu email 
  • Stay in close touch with your study abroad advisor 
  • Be aware of program decision dates 
  • Contact the Office of Study Abroad at any time with questions 

How might my study abroad experience differ from the norm if my program is approved to run? 
Your program may differ from the normal, pre-pandemic experience, in that there may be country or campus Covid-19 requirements that you will have to follow (e.g. masking, testing, maximum capacity at events, etc.), you may be part of a smaller group of study abroad students, and you may have different visa or entry requirements due to the pandemic. These are some of the main differences.  

Why is Webster requiring the Covid-19 vaccine for study abroad and faculty mobility participation? 
Webster is requiring the vaccine in order to keep our community of faculty, staff and students safe during international mobility, as well as to protect the local communities that they interact with. Having the vaccine can help ease travel and entry restrictions such as quarantines and testing. It can also make it easier for individuals to travel within their host country and neighboring countries.  

Does it matter what vaccine I receive?  
You can receive any vaccine approved by the World Health Organization. If you received a vaccine not on this list, please contact the Office of Study Abroad at worldview@webster.edu to follow up.  
 
Do I need to provide proof of a Covid-19 vaccine before my program starts?  
Yes, you will need to provide a copy of your vaccination card (or country equivalent) prior to departure. If you are participating in an international mobility opportunity (faculty mobility or study abroad) the relevant support staff will follow up with you about how to submit your information. If you are unable to get vaccinated prior to departure, or have religious or medical reasons preventing you from receiving it, please contact worldview@webster.edu for next steps.