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Skidmore College
Off-Campus Study & Exchanges

Frequently Asked Questions - Spring 2023

The webpage is dedicated to common questions or concerns related to current global events. If you're looking for more general information on off-campus study, you can visit our general FAQ page

This page was updated as of  November 18, 2022

No. The deadline to study off campus for spring has passed. We will begin accepting applications for fall semester programs in December.  Please check the deadline page for more information or contact our office for assistance.

No. Skidmore only allows you to apply to one program. Instead of applying to a lot of different programs, we want you to frontload your decision making process and then apply to your first-choice program. Most programs admit as many qualified applicants as apply, so if you meet the eligibility requirements and have a complete application by the deadline, most likely, you’ll be accepted. However, there are some programs that have space limitations or are considered competitive. For these programs, early applications are strongly encouraged. Most programs review applications on a rolling-basis, so the sooner you apply the sooner you’ll receive a decision. Please contact OCSE at or your program directly to get more information about the competitiveness of your program. 

At this time the Department of State (DOS) is experiencing delays in receiving passport applications due to unprecedented mail volume and other COVID-19 impacts on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). 

For many study abroad programs you need your passport months ahead of your actual departure date in order to apply for a visa. If you aren't sure if you need to renew your passport, check the expiration date and make sure it is valid for 6 months after the end date of your program.

Skidmore, like many program providers, will utilize the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as our primary source for health, safety and security assessment of locations. However, we also monitor and receive updates from multiple risk management organizations and advisories from overseas governments. We also have the benefit of receiving real-time information and updates from onsite program staff.

We then assess program viability based on information received on public health infrastructure, societal restrictions, transportation infrastructure, political instability, travel restrictions and emerging security risks. At this time, we must also consider the number of COVID-19 cases and the impact that the virus has had on health facilities and their capabilities to provide patient care.

Monkeypox cases are on the rise and it is spreading faster than previous outbreaks of the virus.  Currently, the United States has the most cases worldwide.  While the virus is concerning, at this time there is no need for alarm.  It is important to know that anyone can get monkeypox, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation. During the current outbreak, monkeypox has spread primarily through sexual contact. However, monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease and sexual contact is only one of the many ways the virus can spread. You should be aware of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox and what precautions you can take to protect yourself and prevent infection.

Feel free to visit the WHO and/or the CDC websites for additional information on monkeypox. You can also read more on Skidmore's Health Services website.

Skidmore follows the guidance of the US Department of State (DOS), as well as monitoring the guidance of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and local government restrictions and guidance. Typically, students are required to petition to travel to and study in countries, regions and areas that carry a DOS Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or Level 4 (Do Not Travel) Travel Advisory, CDC Travel Health Notice/Recommendation 3 or 4. 

The International Study Risk Management Team (ISRMT) will review all countries carrying a Level 3 and 4 Travel Advisory and/or Travel Health Notice/Recommendation and determine which countries and programs will be open to students.  If the ISRMT determines that study in or travel to a particular country is not approved for students, OCSE will notify the affected student(s) of the decision. At that time, OCSE will work with student(s) on alternative plans.

If your program is canceled, please contact OCSE at to discuss your options. Depending on when your program is canceled, there may be time to switch your application to a new program. 
Maybe. It will depend on the timing. You should be able to switch your application as long as the program you’d like to switch to is still accepting applications. If your program is canceled late in the semester, it may not be possible to apply to another program. You could also consider deferring for a semester. Please contact OCSE to discuss switching your application. 
No.  Students approved to study off-campus will not be able to register for housing on campus as a back-up option. 

No.  Students approved to study off-campus will not be able to register for on-campus classes as a back-up option. 

Yes. Students can make this payment online via electronic check or credit card through the Bursar's e-bill system. There is a 2.75% fee for utilizing a credit card. Please email for payment instructions.
Yes. If Skidmore cancels off-campus programs for fall 2022, we will refund all deposits.

Skidmore and NY6 Exchange programs – If you were to withdraw from your program, the $500 confirmation deposit will not be refunded. 

Approved Programs – Refunds of the confirmation deposit will depend on the program provider’s refund policy and dates. However, there could be non-recoverable costs, in which case we would not be able to refund the deposit.

Once accepted into your program you will be given a deadline, typically two weeks, by which you must confirm your participation. However given the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic many program providers are being flexible with their confirmation of acceptance process. You should contact your program provider to determine their deadline to confirm your participation or withdraw from your intended program.

Refunds of the confirmation deposit will depend on the program provider’s refund policy and dates. If your program is cancelled, you can choose to have the deposit refunded or defer your application to the following semester and move the deposit to that term.

Students should confirm the dates of their Skidmore program with the OCSE Program Manager or with the approved program provider for your domestic or international approved program before moving forward with any airline purchase.

It is advisable that students purchase changeable or refundable flights.  Furthermore, it is strongly recommended that students book their airfare with a travel agent and/or travel specialist group. These professionals provide an extra level of support that booking directly with airlines or an online travel site does not. 

As you may be aware, the airline industry is still recovering from the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This has resulted in staffing shortages which in turn leads to flight delays, flight cancellations, delayed luggage, etc.  In an effort to navigate such situations it may be prudent to purchase travel insurance.  Skidmore is unable to assist with the cost of changing your ticket, purchasing a new ticket or providing funds for delayed/lost luggage.

Before purchasing a separate travel insurance policy, you should check with your credit card company to determine if any travel services (i.e., trip cancellation & interruption benefits and/or lost luggage or baggage delay benefits) are provided when purchasing airfare.  A travel professional can also assist in acquiring a travel insurance policy.  They can help you determine what situations are covered under the policy, as well as understanding the airline's policy about flight changes. 

If your flight is cancelled or significantly delayed and will impact your planned date of arrival or time of arrival, please be certain to notify your Skidmore Program Manager or approved program provider staff. 

As for the appropriate timeframe to apply for a visa(s), please consult your program to determine if a visa is necessary and when you should begin the visa application process.  It may not be possible to wait to start applying for your visa since it will depend on the country’s visa process and the program start date.  

Please note that Skidmore is unable to refund any fees for flights or visa applications if your program is cancelled.  

Many government entities, as well as program providers may implement requirements for your country of study and/or program.  These requirements can include but not be limited to providing a negative COVID-19 test, generally a PCR test, within 72 hours of requested entry into your country of study, as well as quarantining upon arrival.  Moreover, as COVID-19 vaccines have been developed and are being administered these governments and/or your program provider may stipulate that students be vaccinated against COVID-19, in order to enter the country and/or participate in an off-campus study program. 

Skidmore College has required that all students studying at the college as well as off-campus be fully vaccinated, as well as received a booster shot against COVID-19.  While a student may be granted a religious or medical exemption from the vaccination requirement while studying on campus, the exemption may not apply to an off-campus study program.  Students that are not fully vaccinated and boosted or have a vaccine exemption should contact their Skidmore Program Manager or approved program provider staff to discuss the COVID-19 vaccination policy, as well as the vaccine requirements of their country of study. 

It is important that you consult your program to determine the specific requirements for entry into your country of study and what COVID related costs will be your responsibility to bear.

Furthermore, at the conclusion of your program there may be requirements for entry back into the United States or your home country.  In some instances, a negative COVID-19 test is required for entry.  It is important that you research, understand and prepare to comply with these requirements.  Students must plan to obtain and pay for this testing in your country of study.  Information on testing locations can be found on the U.S. Embassy website or your program provider may be able to assist you in locating a testing site.

It is important that students be prepared in the event their test results are positive.  Students will likely be responsible for securing and paying for quarantine accommodations until they are cleared to travel home, as program housing may no longer be available to them.  

As of 12:01AM ET on June 12, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will no longer require air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight.

However, the CDC will periodically reassess the need for a testing requirement based on the latest science, COVID-19 variants, and evolving state of the pandemic, and may reinstitute this measure if necessary to protect the public’s health.  Therefore it is advisable that you consult with your program provider or the CDC website closer to your date of departure.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, your program may have limitations on independent travel in order to maintain the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff. It is important that you discuss independent travel directly with your program. We ask that you also bear in mind that many governments will have travel restrictions in place for entry into their country. These prohibitions have been instituted in an effort to protect their citizenry and minimize the potential spread of COVID-19. You should check your country of study embassy website for restrictions before embarking on your independent travel.
Yes. OCSE has created pre-departure orientation modules that will be sent out to students in the months leading up to departure (Novevember/December).  All accepted students will also have access to  our pre-departure handbook in your MyOCSE portal, under “learning content”. Your program provider will also offer some sort of pre-departure meeting or materials, so please keep an eye on your email. If you would like to schedule a meeting to discuss your pre-departure questions, please email