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Coronavirus Academics/Study Abroad FAQ

Academics

Will transfer credits be allowed?

For summer 2021 only, Pomona College will accept summer transfer credits for courses taken either online or in person, subject to the normal departmental approval process. After summer 2021, the regular policy will be reinstated, and only courses taken in person will be eligible for transfer credit.

Student Questions: Study Abroad

Is Spring 2021 Study Abroad proceeding?

After careful review, planning, and assessment by the Pomona College Travel Risk Advisory Committee, Study Abroad Committee, and Office of Study Abroad, the College has made the difficult decision to extend the suspension of study abroad through the spring 2021 semester.

Because study abroad has been disrupted this year due to the pandemic, Pomona College is partnering with several of our program providers to offer current juniors the opportunity to enroll in a remote internship or course delivered by our partners abroad this spring. Two of these courses are open to seniors and sophomores as well.

These innovative Global Partnership Courses offer a unique opportunity to engage with critical global issues and experiential learning across continents and borders. The course fees will be covered by Pomona College for spring 2021. Pomona College continues to be deeply committed to the value of study abroad, and the Office of Study Abroad staff is available to support students with plans to study abroad in a future semester. If you had been approved to study abroad in spring 2021 prior to this decision, please reach out to sabroad@pomona.edu to let us know if you would like to reapply for study abroad in a future semester, and study abroad staff will work with you on updating your Pomona and program applications.

Will Study Abroad be available in the 2021-2022 academic year?

Currently, the College is allowing students to apply for study abroad programs for fall 2021 and spring 2022. It is important to keep in mind that it will take significant improvement in traveling and public health conditions in order to move ahead with study abroad in the 2021-2022 academic year. Pomona College will make a final determination for fall 2021 study abroad on May 1, 2020, for programs beginning in June and July and on June 1, 2020, for programs beginning in August and afterwards. The College will make final decisions for spring 2022 study abroad in fall 2021.

As we continue to monitor and evaluate the viability of study abroad, the Office of Study Abroad will remain in close communication with study abroad applicants regarding timelines, decisions and situational updates.

Interested applicants should be aware that the College does not sponsor travel to countries designated with a U.S. Department of State (DOS) Travel Advisory at Level 4 (Do Not Travel) and is unlikely to sponsor travel to countries at Level 3 (Reconsider Travel). In addition, the College will not support study abroad in any countries with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel) and/or COVID-19 Travel Health Notice Level 4 (Very High). The Travel Risk Advisory Committee will assess and consider study abroad in countries with a DOS Level 3 Travel Advisory on a case-by-case basis. Any students approved to participate in programs in a country with a Level 3 Travel Advisory will be required (along with their parent/guardian) to sign a supplemental waiver to acknowledge and indicate acceptance of the risk involved.

Due to the fluid and uncertain nature of the pandemic and international travel, a change in circumstances and/or a change in Travel Advisory level may result in Pomona College withdrawing approval for study abroad at any time.

Will Global Partnership courses be available in the 2021-2022 academic year?

Pomona College will continue to offer a selection of Global Partnership Courses in the 2021-2022 academic year to eligible juniors and seniors. The Hindi language courses are also open to sophomores.

These innovative remote courses and internships offer unique opportunities to engage with critical global issues, languages, and experiential learning across continents and borders. Pomona College will cover the course fees for enrolled students. 

What should I do if I’m interested in Studying Abroad?

At this time, students will be allowed to proceed with applications, except to programs in countries with a U.S. Department of State Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Travel Advisory. While applications will be allowed to proceed for programs in countries with a U.S. Department of State Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) Travel Advisory or a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Warning Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel), final approval is contingent on sufficient improvement in health, safety, and travel conditions by the program’s decision date.

Students interested in applying for study abroad must attend an information session and schedule a meeting with a study abroad advisor to discuss their goals and interests for study abroad along with current risks; health, safety and travel considerations; and program operations.As ever, students with health or disability accommodation needs should plan in advance with a study abroad advisor and their program provider to learn about what current resources are and are not available at the programs and locations they are considering.

What factors will the College consider in making a decision about Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 Study Abroad?

Pomona’s Office of Study Abroad, Travel Risk Advisory Committee, Study Abroad Committee, and our program partners abroad continue to follow U.S. government advisories, local in-country advisories abroad, and other indicators to determine when to resume travel and international programming.

It is important to keep in mind that it will take significant improvement in traveling and public health conditions in order to move ahead with study abroad in the 2021-2022 academic year. Below is a list of some of the primary factors the College is considering along with resources to guide your own research.

  • U.S. Department of State Country-Specific Travel Advisories
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Country-Specific Travel Health Notices and COVID-19 Travel Recommendations
  • Ability to obtain a visa or study permit for the program (if required). Refer to information provided by the host country Embassy in the U.S.
  • Availability of sufficient and predictable flight operations.
  • Travel restrictions on entry (border closures, quarantine, proof of negative COVID-19 test, etc.). Currently, several countries are restricting entry to travelers, particularly those from the U.S. and other highly impacted countries. The U.S. Embassy sites have country-specific COVID-19 information pages with key information about local restrictions, travel information, quarantines, border status, and more. See also IATA and Kayak maps.
  • Ability and capacity for the local health infrastructure to support current or potential demands due to COVID-19, in addition to regular health care, as well as accessibility for study abroad students.
  • Local conditions in the study abroad country (lockdowns, restrictions on movement, availability of vaccines and progress of local vaccination efforts, prevalence and trajectory of local cases of COVID-19, access to COVID-19 testing, etc.. See Oxford’s Our World in Data for more information.

Will I be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to participate in Study Abroad?

As announced in the April 14 community update, all Pomona College students will need to be vaccinated (with exemptions for documented medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs). This includes study abroad students. It is important to be aware that in addition to Pomona’s requirement, certain programs, countries, and airlines may require vaccination for participation, entry, or travel, respectively. Students who are granted an exemption from Pomona College and students who have concerns about their ability to complete vaccination prior to study abroad should meet with an advisor to discuss these factors in the context of their study abroad program and host country.

What if I need to apply for a passport (new/renewal)?

Routine processing has resumed for U.S. passports. International students should check passport processing timelines with their passport-issuing country. If you do not currently have a passport or if your passport is expiring within six months after the end of your intended program, you should begin the application/renewal process as soon as possible. Keep in mind that in most cases, you would need a valid passport in order to apply for a student visa and to book a flight.

Am I eligible to participate in Study Abroad after a leave of absence?

Students on leave are not eligible to apply for study abroad. Students who have been on leave status must successfully complete one academic semester (fall or spring) of full-time coursework at Pomona before participating in a study abroad program. Due to the unusual circumstances of the pandemic, the Study Abroad Committee will consider requests for exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Petitioners must meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss their plans and must demonstrate to the Committee that the semester following the leave is the only feasible semester for study abroad in their case. Requests for exceptions must be submitted by the application deadline for the study abroad semester.

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