April 23, 2021

On April 20th, the Department of State announced its intention to align with the CDC ratings. This resulted in almost 80% of countries moving to State Department Travel Advisory Level 4.

We expect that this has initiated renewed conversations on campuses across the U.S. regarding study abroad plans for summer and fall. We are pleased to share that Arcadia Abroad is moving forward with its plans to run summer and fall programs.

It is important to note that this Department of State announcement does have small rays of hope embedded in it that are worth sharing with decision makers on your campuses:

  • The Department of State has made clear this shift is not due to changing conditions on the ground but rather an alignment with the CDC advisory levels.
  • The Department of State makes clear that these advisories should not be used as a single decision making tool and should not be a trigger for starting up or closing down programs.
  • OSAC has made clear that the Department of State will review CDC data weekly (as opposed to every 4-6 months) and adjust advisories accordingly.
  • In addition to the CDC criteria of incidence rates and case trajectory, the Department of State takes into consideration the availability of commercial transportation, entry restrictions for U.S. citizens, and availability of COVID testing 72 hours prior to departure.

The Arcadia Abroad Health and Safety team will continue to monitor conditions and trends focusing on:

  • the ability for free movement in and out of the host country, as well as resumption of predictable flights,
  • the status of community transmission of COVID-19, availability of testing, and contact tracing,
  • local governmental plans, recommendations and and progress toward reopening in each country,
  • in-country efforts to mitigate spread, including local restrictions and recommendations, and
  • government advisories and advice from our security assistance company, International SOS.

Arcadia is excited to build safe and engaging experiences for students during the summer and fall. To help prepare them, resources are be made available around:

  • all-modes orientation to accommodate any mandated quarantine,
  • entry requirement and arrival guides, including current travel requirements, airport reminders, and day-of-travel tips,
  • advising sessions covering topics such as local reentry timelines, local life, reminders about the COVD vaccine,
  • current country conditions.

Finally, Arcadia will soon provide additional resources to partner institutions, including entry requirement guides, through its advisor portal to help partners follow the same trends and data points Arcadia is tracking, and to provide access to the same resources that students have been provided. These tools are designed to help partners both advocate for and drive decisions on their campuses.

Anyone that would like to discuss Arcadia Abroad's approach or address any questions or concerns they may have should reach out to Lisa Donatelli, Chief of Operations, Risk Management and Compliance at to schedule a call.  And anyone interested in exploring a domestic option for students should consider Intern Philly.