UofSC strongly recommends receiving a COVID-19 vaccine prior to international travel. Getting vaccinated helps mitigate the risk of contracting COVID and will help you be prepared for vaccine-related travel requirements that countries may begin to implement in the next few months. Because of its widespread global acceptance, we particularly recommend getting the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine if possible. As you think about when to schedule your vaccine, please remember you are not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after your second Pfizer or Moderna dose. You can find more information about how to obtain a vaccine through University Health Services.
Countries maintain different policies regarding the “expiration” of the vaccine. For example, Italy recently announced that if you received your second dose more than a year ago, you are no longer considered fully vaccinated. For this reason and depending on how the timing of your travel aligns with your initial vaccination date, you may need to get a booster before travel.
International Emergency Health and Safety Insurance
Faculty traveling on University business are encouraged to obtain specialized international emergency health insurance through UofSC’s policy.
Insurance coverage is provided by Cultural Insurance Services International, an organization dedicated to providing insurance to students and academics traveling abroad. This plan is intended specifically to cover your emergency health/safety needs while traveling internationally. Most domestic insurance policies do not provide international coverage (or consider it all out-of-network). Additionally, most domestic policies do not provide emergency response assistance in the case of a natural disaster or political unrest, or if you need to be medically evacuated. For a complete list of benefits provided by this program, please contact the Education Abroad Office for a policy brochure. To get a better sense of the resources offered through our CISI policy, please view this short video.
The cost is $9.61-$16.19 per week. You can find the short online enrollment form under the faculty dropdowns on the Insurance page . If you are traveling for research or to attend a conference, please follow the instructions under the heading “Faculty/Staff – Travel Not Connected to Education Abroad Programming.” Please contact the Education Abroad Office if you have any questions about the policy or enrollment process.
Trip Interruption/Cancellation Insurance
Please note UofSC's CISI is not travel cancellation insurance and is intended to cover your health and safety needs while traveling internationally. Trip interruption or cancellation insurance must be purchased separately.
We recommend purchasing trip interruption insurance or a flexible plane ticket to help cover unexpected expenses, particularly if a traveler tests positive and is not able to return to the United States as originally scheduled.
We recommend considering a “Interrupt for Any Reason” insurance plan or a “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance plan. Here are some options from our insurance company, CISI. Not all plans will cover all costs associated with a program – please contact CISI or your chosen insurance provider directly for confirmation of what expenses would be covered.
These are some resources that Global Carolina is using to track the impact and trajectory of the pandemic around the world. You might find them helpful as well.
U.S. Government Advice
- U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Health Notices
- U.S. Embassy COVID-19 Information Pages
Case and Testing Metrics
- Brown Global Health Institute Key Metrics for COVID Suppression and corresponding map (make sure to switch to 'worldwide' view on left hand panel)
- World Health Organization country situation reports
- World Health Organization spread classifications
- Our World in Data COVID-19 test positivity rates
- Our World in Data COVID-19 vaccination rates
All international travelers returning to the United States must show proof of a negative test result obtained no more than 1 day prior to your flight's departure. You may also show specific proof of recovery within the past 90 days. Please review the CDC’s requirements to learn more. You should be prepared to remain in your destination country if you test positive and are not able to return to the United States on your scheduled return date. You can find information about testing availability in your destination country on the U.S. Embassies’ COVID-19 Information Pages.
If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you will also need to show proof of vaccination to enter the United States.
After you return to the United States, if you are vaccinated, please plan on following the CDC’s after-travel guidance and get tested 3-5 days after travel. If your test is positive, isolate yourself. If you are not vaccinated, get tested 3-5 days after travel and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.
UofSC considers the following factors and metrics when determining where the University can support student travel. Faculty are encouraged to consider these same factors when making decisions about where and when to travel.
- On-site connections and support systems, including support if the traveler must quarantine or isolate
- DOS advisory level and information
- CDC COVID-19 Travel Health Notice level and information
- Recent case rates (daily new case rates per 100,000 people – 7-day rolling average)
- Daily positivity rate
- Vaccination rate
- Hospital capacity and infrastructure
- Whether U.S. travelers are allowed to enter
- Commercial air availability
- Quarantine and isolation procedures and protocols
All students traveling for a university-related reason must be registered with the Education Abroad Office. If you are traveling with a student, please contact the Education Abroad Office