Coronavirus and Study Abroad

Coronavirus and study abroad

Updated on Tuesday, August 18, 11:40am

The University of Northern Iowa's Study Abroad Center (SAC) continues to monitor developments globally around the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impacts on our study abroad programs and international travelers. We fully realize that the perception of the COVID-19 virus diffused by the media may be troubling for students and families, unfortunately, many of the news sources are not relying on the official channels​ such as the U.S. Department of State and Center for Disease Control (CDC). 

For more information related to COVID-19, please visit the main webpage ( ) to keep up-to-date.

What should travelers do?

COVID-19 has now been declared a Pandemic. We encourage travelers to be aware of advisories and advice identified by the CDC, US Department of State, and the World Health Organization (WHO). We recommend travelers know the symptoms and identify local healthcare resources in case services are needed. You can find local providers by contacting AXA-Assistance using the number provided with your travel insurance. If you have not already done so, download the AlertTraveler app that is provided to you, which will provide timely information about this and other safety concerns that may develop.  We would like to stress the importance of relying on credible information from these sources as the situation continues to evolve. 

All travelers are encouraged to practice preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:

  • Improve your immune system by getting enough rest (eight hours is ideal), exercising regularly, and eating healthy.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to avoid spreading germs.​
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Stay home from work, classes, social events when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.  
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.   
  • Travelers who feel sick with fever or cough or difficulty breathing should seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • For travelers returning from a Level 1 or 2 country, watch your health during travel and for 14 days after returning to the United States.
  • For travelers returning from a Level 3 or 4 country, stay home and monitor your health during travel and for 14 days after returning to the United States. 

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.   The CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.

Students with any health-related concerns or questions, please contact the Student Health Clinic at (319)-273-2009 opt.#1

More details from the UNI Student Health Center may be found at

Travel Restrictions & Suspension of Programs

The University of Northern Iowa and its Study Abroad Center have made the decision to cancel all study abroad Fall 2020 and Winter Break 2020.  This decision was not made lightly and our number one priority is the safety of all our students, faculty and staff. We continue to monitor the situation and follow advice from the CDC and the US Department of State, as well as the Iowa Department of Public Health.

SAC is committed to providing options that fulfill the best interests of our entire student community.