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Updates on Fall 2020 Programs Abroad

OIE recognizes that this is a challenging time to think about study abroad opportunities, and we will share updates to our fall program and decisions via email to fall applicants and through the FAQs below.  At any time, we are happy to discuss any questions or concerns you or your family may have.  Simply reach out to with your name and contact phone number, and one of our advisors will be in touch!

The OIE is committed to provide safe, quality programming for our students this fall at our locations in Europe. We are therefore pleased to share the following updates:

St. John’s Programs in Rome, Paris, and Limerick: Though decisions on specific programs remain in flux, in order to remain flexible as countries re-open, we know that the semester program format will change: All programs will spend 90 days or fewer abroad, which will allow citizens of visa waiver countries, including the U.S., to maximize their time in Europe without the need to apply for a visa. We will also begin the semester abroad later, which provides time for each city to advance re-opening efforts prior to your arrival. Though we are still finalizing date, the new calendar will roughly mirror the following:
  • September: classes take place online from home (either in modular or semester format)
  • October- December: classes take place on site in Europe
Exchange Programs: we will be in touch on June 1 with a final decision, which we’ll made in coordination with our partner institutions around the globe.
Though we expect to gain more certainty in the coming weeks as reopening starts in each of our global locations, uncertainty remains. A few key details:

Consular offices worldwide are largely closed: as a result, students cannot apply for visas that would permit them to spend more than 90 days abroad within a given immigration zone. We have modified the semester abroad to accommodate this change, which also offers additional benefits that we’ve detailed above.

The Department of State has announced significant delays in issuing and renewing passports: if do not currently have a passport, or if your passport expires before June 16, 2021, once the agencies re-open, you’ll need to account for those delays as you prepare for a semester abroad

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Department of State have not changed their travel recommendations. At this point, St. John’s would need the CDC and DOS to clarify their guidance before finalizing programs.

OIE will also be running a health and safety risk assessment in accordance with updated guidelines from local governments abroad, U.S. agencies and St. John’s Public Safety for each of our locations abroad, before
Fill out the OIE fall 2020 interest survey. In order to make decisions with your feedback in mind, we’ve posted a questionnaire into your OIE portal, which we would like you to complete by Friday, May 22. This is a one-question survey that will take less than one minute to complete. Please log in to your OIE portal when you are ready to complete your survey.

Talk with Your Family. We encourage you to discuss your decision with your family and to review available resources such as this article from Diversity Abroad: “Is Study Abroad Safe?". We want you to make an informed decision and are available to help with any questions or concerns you or your family may have. We’d be happy to connect you with a study abroad advisor!

Remain Enrolled in NYC Classes. For the time being, students should remain enrolled in New York courses for the fall, and OIE will provide your study abroad CRNs on June 1, 2020. We are also available to assist you in understanding how to best set up your courses abroad to stay on track for graduation, and in coordinating any changes to your schedule with your advising dean. For registration concerns, please contact
Visiting students should contact their academic advisor at their home institution to determine how registration at your school will be handled for the Fall. Contact Lucy Amon ( with registration questions for courses abroad.
June 1: OIE will contact you regarding program decisions and the updated academic calendar. After June 1, we will be able to provide CRNs and assist with registration and any course selection you may need to make.

July 1: OIE will contact you with final program confirmation and the “greenlight” to purchase your international flight.

Do not purchase your international flight until you have received final confirmation from OIE on July 1, 2020. At that time, we will share an update with recommended arrival times and reminders for your program orientation.

Once you receive that “greenlight”, we strongly recommend that you research trip cancellation insurance to purchase with your flight. Be sure to confirm that your insurance will cover cancellations “for any reason” ... not all insurance does!

OIE will be available to assist you with any questions on international flights once it comes time to purchase!
Given these unprecedented circumstances, the OIE has loosened its semester program refund policy to allow students to make an informed decision about their own participation. Provided students withdraw by July 15, 2021, the study abroad program deposit charge will not be added to your account, and the $250 program deposit will be remain on your student account as a credit to offset other charges.
If you defer your plans to study abroad to spring of 2021, the $250 program deposit will carry over to spring 2021. You will not be required to deposit an additional $250.
If you neither withdraw nor defer by July 15, the semester program fee will be charged to your student account and the $250 program deposit will become non-refundable.  

For any questions on program deposits, please contact

Note: Visiting students from partner schools who do not pay a deposit will not be responsible for fees until July 15, 2020.
Students who carry a passport from the U.S., Canada, or the European Union will not need a student entry visa in order to participate in St. John’s fall semester programs in Europe. Students from other countries may require an entry visa and should contact for further assistance.

Students participating in programs through our exchange partner universities will require an entry visa. Currently, many countries are not processing student visa applications, so contact with any questions in the meantime.

International students must also be advised by the International Student and Scholars Services Office to verify that all their U.S. immigration documentation is in order for return to St. John’s after the study abroad program.
The University is tracking health and safety internationally and following updates from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and local governments abroad, including the ministries of health and education, in order to assess whether we can allow students to travel internationally at the end of September. St. John’s will be undertaking a thorough sanitation of each of its global sites in accordance with local requirements, and OIE will be tracking how complete or limited the openings continue to be in each country. We want to provide a safe and engaging environment where students may feel immersed in all that the local culture has to offer.

To help ease student concerns about life on the St. John’s campuses abroad, all students will be provided a single accommodation at our locations in Europe.
St. John’s has established several steering committees to assess the safe reopening of all of its programs and campuses, investigating the how and when. Though we are hoping this is not the case, there is the potential that some areas around the world will see spikes in virus cases locally. St. John’s is prepared to assist in all eventualities, which may include local shutdowns, travel restrictions, health checks, and self-isolation, as well as the most extreme case of bringing students home to complete their semesters online, as we did this spring.
OIE will contact you on June 1, 2020, with an updated schedule of courses abroad along with the CRNs. We encourage you to remain registered for New York courses until that time, and to investigate any online courses that may work toward some of your degree requirements.

After June 1, OIE can assist with any adjustments you may need to make to your schedule, in coordination with your academic deans.

For any registration concerns, you may contact

Visiting students: Lucy Amon will register you for your courses on June 1st, as long as you have completed all of your confirmation materials by May 26th. If your status is not “Confirmed” in your OIE portal, please contact her at for next steps.
If you’re a Queens or Staten Island dormitory students who would usually be living on the Queens dorms during the Fall 2020 semester and St. John’s cancels your study abroad program, the Office of Residence Life will work with you for accommodation on the Queens Campus. Confirming for a Fall 2020 study abroad program means that you should not have put down a housing deposit for the Queens Campus. For questions about dorming on the Queens or Staten Island Campus, please reach out to the Office of Residence Life at 718-990-2417.

Visiting students should contact their home institution Res Life offices for more information.