What considerations will Carleton use in making its decisions about program operation in Fall 2021?

Carleton will go forward with Global Engagement Programs only when we are confident that we can deliver a high-quality program that adheres to local and national regulations of the host country, recommendations from the U.S. Department of StateCenter for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), and Carleton policies and protocols for off-campus study.

The three protocols Carleton uses to evaluate operation of any off-campus study program are:

  1. Direct threats to the health and safety of program participants
    • Examples: war or terrorist activity, infectious disease outbreaks, natural disasters, etc.
  2. Feasibility of program activities including travel, fieldwork, and cultural immersion
    • Examples: restricted travel on site, certain activities not possible or limited, resources on site strained or scarce
  3. Availability and access to emergency resources on site
    • Examples: adequate healthcare, evacuation services, alternative travel and lodging arrangements, etc.

When will international borders reopen to international travelers?

It’s difficult to forecast how long the process of reopening will take as each country will apply its own criteria and timeline. We are cautiously optimistic that borders will be open well in advance of the scheduled in-country arrival dates for the Fall 2021 Global Engagement Programs.

How should I proceed with travel arrangements to my program location?

Carleton will advise program participants in May and June 2021 about recommened routes for reaching your destination. When directed to move ahead, we highly recommend that you purchase airline tickets that allow for a change of dates.

Which documents will I need for my travels?


You must have a passport that is valid for six months beyond your program’s end date. If you are a U.S. citizen but do not have a valid passport, you should apply for your new passport or renewal during the fall of 2020. Due to COVID-19, the processing time for passports is much longer than it used to be.


  • Schengen Area (Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe): U.S. citizens may travel within the Schengen area for 90 days without a visa. Students carrying passports from other countries should contact Carleton Global Engagement Programs about requirements.
  • India (Buddhist Studies in India): Applications for Indian visas are not currently being accepted. Carleton will inform students when to apply. The Indian visa application process generally takes three weeks.
  • Tanzania (Ecology and Anthropology in Tanzania): Students will enter Tanzania on a tourist visa. A Tanzanian tourist visa can be obtained at the Arusha airport upon entrance. The tourist visa will be changed to a student visa while in country.

What precautions is Carleton taking to create safe on-site environments for program students and staff?

The precautions listed below will be practiced on all Carleton Global Engagement Programs. Additional precautions will be implemented on a program-by-program basis. You can find more information on our health and safety protocols for specific programs.

  • Students, faculty, and staff are trained in handwashing multiple times per day, as well as sanitizing program spaces with disinfectant.
  • Public areas such as dining areas, classrooms, and meeting spaces are sanitized at least once daily.
  • Students, faculty and staff do not touch common food sources or share eating implements.
  • Social distancing is maintained in shared common spaces such as dining areas, meditation halls, classrooms, research spaces, and lounges.
  • Wearing of masks by students, faculty, and staff in accordance with recommendations from local medical and public health professionals.
  • Coordination of health and safety practices with program providers who provide services such as accommodations, homestay coordination, transportation, excursions, and guest lectures.

What will happen if a student or staff member becomes ill while on the program?

A student or staff member who becomes ill will be isolated from the group until the cause of the illness can be determined.There are many causes for illness, and it is important to exercise an abundance of caution at this time. Carleton’s emergency medical insurance provider (CISI), the emergency medical services provider (AXA), and local medical professionals will be consulted to determine the best course of action.

How would a delayed start affect my travel dates?

Were Carleton to change the schedule for one of the Global Engagement Programs, it would most likely be to the start date. A delayed start date may be necessary to increase confidence that all the conditions for operating a safe and robust program are in place. A delayed start date may require you to start your coursework remotely to ensure that you and your fellow students get the most out of your on-site experience.

If the program begins but then must be cancelled due to an outbreak of COVID-19, what support will Carleton provide?

Carleton has contingency plans for a variety of scenarios. These plans include:

  • Housing, meals and mixed-mode instruction in the event that the program is required to shelter in place;
  • Opportunity to complete your coursework remotely to ensure that you can earn the expected academic credit;
  • Administrative and on-site support and $300 allowance for change-of-date fees in the event of a required early return.