Students must take into consideration many factors that could influence their decision to study abroad, including individual risk tolerance. Students’ participation on a study abroad program remains optional, and the CGE recommends that all students seek out any information related to safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in host countries prior to applying for, accepting a place in, and going on their study abroad program.

Helpful resources to consult include the Department of State Travel Advisories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Diversity Abroad’s Travel Culture & Diversity Destination Guides, news reports about your country of destination, and many others.

Please visit the CGE’s Health and Safety page to learn more about steps students should take prior to studying abroad.

War in Ukraine

The Center for Global Engagement is closely monitoring the evolving situation in Ukraine. Student safety is our number one priority, and so due to the conflict, the CGE cancelled the Russian in Moscow study abroad program. At this time, we do not foresee additional safety concerns for our other program locations for our current and upcoming terms, and we anticipate running programs as scheduled. The CGE will continue to consult the Department of State Travel Advisories, as well as seek guidance from other partners within education abroad including external affiliates (CIEE, for example), national organizations like NAFSA and the Forum on Education Abroad, and our international partners. Should the situation change, the CGE will notify students of travel concerns as soon as possible.

Read more about JMU’s statement in response to the Ukraine crisis.


The health and safety of our students, faculty leaders, and partners abroad remains our top priority. The Center for Global Engagement will continue to monitor public health advisories, travel regulations, and guidance from fellow institutions surrounding COVID-19 and international travel.

Due to increased access to vaccines, ever-increasing information about how COVID-19 spreads, declining COVID-19 numbers globally, and increased health and safety measures, the CGE remains confident in the ability to allow students to travel on study abroad programs. The CGE has implemented several policies and procedures to lower risk and add to the success of each program and student experience during a global pandemic.

The directors of each study abroad program have received our Risk Mitigation Procedures document, have been trained on these procedures, and have made programmatic changes to reflect the updated policies. Prior to students committing to these programs, all students must sign an Assumption of Risk document within their Terra Dotta application that outlines specific COVID-related considerations.

One such consideration is the requirement to be fully vaccinated. This requirement is key to maintaining the safest possible experience for our communities and the communities we encounter on a JMU study abroad program. This policy will remain in effect through the summer 2022 term.

Passport Requirements

Current passport processing times continue to be delayed, so please allow yourself ample time to submit your passport application. Please also check that your passport will be valid at least 6 months after the end of your program.

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