Emergencies Abroad

News and Announcements

In the event of a world disaster or significant event that affects faculty, staff, or students, updated information will be provided here.

COVID-19 Updates for Travelers

May, Summer Education Abroad Programs Suspended: 03/17/20

The University of Minnesota has suspended all education abroad programs for May and Summer session programs starting before July 1, 2020. On March 15, the University of Minnesota required all students participating on spring semester programs to return immediately to the U.S. This mandate was precipitated by border closings and global airline flight cancellations. These actions went into effect on the order of governments and healthcare systems worldwide in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

On 3/10/20, President Gabel announced that all non-essential international and domestic travel by faculty, staff, and students for University purposes is prohibited. (Please note that staff travel between campuses for essential operations is still permitted.) The restrictions cover travel from March 16 through April 30. This prohibition will be re-evaluated on March 31.

All UMN Students Abroad Must Return to U.S.: 03/15/2020

On 03/15/2020 the University of Minnesota announced it is requiring all students abroad to return immediately to the U.S. This mandate is precipitated by border closings and global airline flight cancellations, which have been quickly changing over the past 48 hours. It is anticipated these changes may make it significantly more difficult for U.S. citizens and/or University students to return to the U.S. in the near future. These actions are going into effect on the order of governments and healthcare systems worldwide in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Students who are affected by this decision (and their emergency contacts) have been notified.

U.S. Ban on Travel from Europe: 03/11/2020

On 03/11/2020 President Trump announced a ban on travelers arriving from Europe. Also, the Department of State and the CDC raised their advisories to Level 3. As a result, the University is canceling all education abroad programs in Europe (including the United Kingdom and Ireland) and requiring students to return to the U.S. by March 20. The University is recommending that all faculty and staff traveling in Europe for University purposes should also return by March 20.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak in Italy: 02/29/2020

The GPS Alliance, in coordination with University partners, is closely monitoring the emerging public health concern involving the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and possible impacts on students, faculty, and staff.

In consultation with public health and international safety experts, the University of Minnesota has decided to suspend student travel and education abroad programs in Italy for the spring semester. Major factors were the raising of both the U.S. Department of State’s travel advisory and the CDC's travel health notice to a Level 3.

The University is advising against all faculty and staff travel to Italy for the foreseeable future. It is important that all travelers follow University policy and register their international travel.

There are no confirmed cases of the virus at any of the University of Minnesota’s five campuses. Students, faculty, and staff who are experiencing fever, cough, diarrhea, or shortness of breath should consider staying home and away from school or work to prevent spreading it to others. If those who are sick have recently traveled to an area with an outbreak or been in close contact with a confirmed case, they should contact their doctor or healthcare provider. Additional information can be found on the health emergency section of the Safe Campus website.

For more information and updates on COVID-19, please refer to the following resources:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak in South Korea: 02/27/2020

The GPS Alliance, in coordination with University partners, is closely monitoring the emerging public health concern involving the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and possible impacts on students, faculty, and staff.

In consultation with public health and international safety experts, the University of Minnesota has decided to suspend student travel and education abroad programs in South Korea for the spring semester. A major factor was the U.S. Department of State’s decision to raise South Korea’s travel advisory country-wide to a Level 3. Recent announcements of reduction in air service to South Korea may also make an exit from the country more difficult in the coming weeks or months.

Currently, the only travel restrictions implemented by the University of Minnesota related to COVID-19 are for China and South Korea.

This decision does not apply to faculty and staff travel; however, the University is advising against travel to South Korea for the foreseeable future. It is important that all travelers follow University policy and register their international travel.

There are no confirmed cases of the virus at any of the University of Minnesota’s five campuses. Students, faculty, and staff who are experiencing fever, cough, diarrhea, or shortness of breath should consider staying home and away from school or work to prevent spreading it to others. If those who are sick have recently traveled to an area with an outbreak or been in close contact with a confirmed case, they should contact their doctor or healthcare provider. Additional information can be found on the health emergency section of the Safe Campus website.

For more information and updates on COVID-19, please refer to the following resources:

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak: 02/25/2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads to more countries and the chance for misinformation expands, we know that travelers may be fearful. We want to emphasize that the University of Minnesota has implemented NO travel restrictions related to COVID-19 except for travel to China. The situation is evolving rapidly and the University continues to monitor developments and respond appropriately.

If you are currently abroad for University purposes:

  • We strongly advise you to consider potential consequences of deciding to travel outside of your host city. Situations and conditions in your host city or the city you are visiting could change while you are traveling and make returning to your host city difficult. If you do choose to travel, you should notify your program or UMN contact before leaving to share destination and contact information.
  • The CDC does not currently recommend the use of face masks for the general public. See the UMN coronavirus information website for more information on how to protect yourself from contracting the virus.

If you have international travel planned later this year:

  • There is no need to alter travel plans at this time.
  • The University continues to monitor the situation and will make decisions and further suggestions if the situation changes.

For more information and updates on COVID-19, please refer to the following resources:

Coronavirus Outbreak in China: 01/28/2020

The GPS Alliance, in coordination with University partners, is closely monitoring the emerging public health concern involving the coronavirus and possible impacts on students, faculty, and staff.

In consultation with public health and international safety experts, the University of Minnesota has decided to suspend student travel and education abroad programs in China for the spring semester. A major factor was the U.S. Department of State’s decision to raise China’s travel advisory country-wide to a Level 3, with Hubei Province remaining at a Level 4. In addition, the CDC has raised its alert level for China to a Warning Level 3 (their highest level) and has recommended against travel to China. There is also growing concern that travel restrictions could expand and make an exit from China more difficult in the coming weeks or months.

This decision does not apply to faculty and staff travel; however, the University is advising against travel to China for the foreseeable future. It is important that all travelers follow University policy and register their international travel.

There are no confirmed cases of the virus at any of the University of Minnesota’s five campuses. Students, faculty, and staff who are experiencing fever, cough, diarrhea, or shortness of breath should consider staying home and away from school or work to prevent spreading it to others. If those who are sick have recently traveled to Wuhan or been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, they should contact their doctor or healthcare provider. Additional information can be found on the health emergency section of the Safe Campus website.

For more information and updates on the coronavirus, please refer to the following resources:

U.S. Executive Order on International Visas and Immigration: 02/01/2017

On Friday, January 27, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a new Executive Order temporarily suspending issuance of visas and other immigration benefits to nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, among other related immigration orders. The University of Minnesota is offering assistance as needed to nationals from those countries and to travelers affected by the policy changes.

The University of Minnesota does not plan to restrict University travel or withdraw travelers from these countries at this time. However, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and post updates via this website.

We encourage travelers to continue their activities as normal, but until more is known, we caution against travel outside the U.S. for those from countries specifically listed in the Executive Order. Those who have concerns about their legal status should consult with the GPS Alliance International Health and Safety team (or the appropriate education abroad office, for study abroad students) before traveling outside the U.S.

The University of Minnesota urges all University travelers to register their international travel as required by University policy, so that we may continue to provide assistance and support for all international travel.

Further, the University of Minnesota recommends that all travelers register with the U.S. embassy in the country they are visiting via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the embassy’s most recent health and safety updates during your time abroad.

Earthquake in New Zealand: 11/14/16

The University of Minnesota has accounted for and is providing any needed assistance to all U of M students who were in New Zealand during the earthquake on November 14. Currently, the University has nine students from across our five campuses in New Zealand for University purposes, and all are safe and continuing their activities as planned.


View archived news and announcements.


GO SAFE iconProgram health and safety information
is available at GO SAFE.

News & Announcements

Tracking Experiences with Customs and Border Protection

The University's Immigration Response Team would like to hear about your experiences with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when entering the United States. This voluntary reporting will help us understand how students and staff might be affected by CBP inspections, including searches of mobile devices. The form is for anyone who wants to report an experience, including immigrants and international students and scholars as well as U.S. citizens.