AU Abroad: Spring 2021 Frequently Asked Questions
What is the university doing about study abroad programs? 
American University’s goal is to run our programs if it is safe to do so. Unfortunately, this is a rapidly evolving situation that may warrant suspending or cancelling current or future programs. At this time, the University has suspended participation by AU students in all Spring 2021 study abroad programs. Students committed to a Spring 2021 program should follow guidance from the AU Abroad office or relevant academic unit or office at AU. 
What criteria does AU use to determine when it is safe to resume international travel associated with its programming? 
American University has implemented a comprehensive approach led by a cross-functional emergency response team to respond to the COVID-19 situation and support our community.    

This team continues to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation in the United States and around the world.  We continue to follow guidance of global, national, and local health and government officials. Any decisions regarding the continuation or cancellation of our study abroad programs will be made by the emergency response team in accordance with this guidance. 
What does it mean when a program is suspended? 
A program suspension means that a particular program has been temporarily cancelled for that term only.  If you have been notified that your specific Spring 2021 program has been suspended, this means it will not run for Spring 2021.  This suspension will not be re-evaluated, and the decision of AU is final. 
How do I know if my program has been suspended? 
You will be contacted by AU Abroad or your academic unit if your program has been suspended.  Please contact the unit directly with any questions. 
What about my health and safety? 
AU monitors health and safety conditions daily and works with our on-site staff to ensure compliance with local regulations, including COVID-19 precautions and protocols. The University is committed to ensuring students’ safety while on our programs and will update students regularly in the pre-departure phase. Specifics of entry requirements, testing, distancing, and other health and safety measures will be updated and shared with participants as procedures are finalized for each study abroad program. 

Do I get my money back if a program is suspended? 
Any student who has committed to a Spring 2021 semester study abroad program has the option to defer their study abroad program to the Fall 2021 semester.  If the student would rather withdraw completely from study abroad, they will receive a refund of their deposit back to the original form of payment. 
Can I defer my study abroad to Fall 2021?  
You may defer participation in your AU Abroad program until the Fall 2021 semester. Contact your AU Abroad advisor to notify us officially of your request to defer.  Your AU Abroad advisor will then work with you and your program abroad to arrange for the deferral of your application.  In general, many application materials can carry over to Fall 2021. Depending on the program, however, some items may need to be resubmitted.   

Students who want to defer for a study abroad program managed by a different academic unit or offices at AU should contact that unit directly for guidance. 
I’m not able to study abroad in a future semester. Can I still take courses through an AU Centers program in Spring 2021? 
Yes! Courses (including internships) from our AU Centers in Madrid, Brussels, and Nairobi will also be offered online by our faculty on the ground. You can enroll in these classes and learn from our overseas experts. See for more information and use EagleService to register for these courses on your Spring 2021 schedule. Please let AU Abroad know if you have any problems registering for one of our courses.  
If my study abroad program is being offered virtually, can I still participate and get credit at AU? 
If your program has procedures in place to offer a full semester of course work virtually, it may be possible to enroll in a full semester of coursework remotely.  If you choose to participate in a virtual study abroad semester, you do not have authorization to travel across borders to participate in the program.   

If you intend to take courses virtually with your study abroad program, you must enroll in a full-time course load with that program or partner. You will need to be approved by your AU Abroad Advisor to participate in a virtual semester abroad and you should contact your advisor directly with questions. AU Abroad will register you for your virtual full-time semester abroad. 

Also keep in mind that our AU Centers in Madrid, Brussels, and Nairobi are offering online classes, so if you’d like to take courses from an interesting international perspective, we encourage you to explore those options at 

Students planning to participate in a study abroad program managed by a different academic unit or office at AU should contact that unit directly for guidance. 
Can I take a leave of absence to participate in a program independently from AU? 
No.  AU Academic regulations don’t allow you to enroll in another institution during an official leave of absence. 
I received an AU Abroad Grant for Fall 2020 and now I am deferring to Fall 2021. Can I defer the grant as well?  
Unfortunately, no. You would need to reapply for the AU Abroad Grant for Fall 2021.