May 13, 2020
Brown Office of International Programs

To Brown Undergraduate Students: Fall 2020 Study Abroad


As you know, the novel coronavirus pandemic has had profound implications for the health and safety of individuals and communities across the globe. Last week, President Christina Paxson conveyed to Brown students that while the University will determine its approach to academic instruction for the Fall 2020 semester by July 15, some decisions about academic programs would be made earlier, based on factors such as limitations to international travel. We write today with an important decision about Fall 2020 study abroad.

Given the uncertain nature of the global health crisis’s continued effects on both public health and on travel between countries, Brown has made the difficult decision to cancel all University-sponsored undergraduate study abroad for Fall 2020. This includes all Brown and Consortium for Advanced Studies Abroad (CASA) programs, as well as all approved partner programs and others for which students had successfully petitioned.

This decision was made in consultation with Brown’s International Travel Risk and Assessment Committee in consideration of a number of factors, including student health and safety, evolving travel restrictions, cessation of visa issuances, restrictive entry requirements, and impacts on academic calendars around the world.

We made this decision now to ensure that all students who had applied to participate in a study abroad program have ample time to adjust their plans to continue studies at Brown for the fall semester. While no Brown undergraduates will be permitted to participate in any study abroad programming for the fall, the University is fully committed to assisting those who applied in revising fall plans and considering study abroad options for the semesters ahead — OIP has been directly in touch with each of these students already.

Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for health and safety and for travel, Brown will continue to monitor the situation before making any determinations about study abroad for Spring 2021. We remain optimistic about the ability to offer study abroad programs next spring and encourage students to continue exploring study abroad options during that semester. In the event that study abroad for Spring 2021 is restricted, we will convey any decisions with as much advance notice as possible.

A full set of FAQs about the cancellation of Fall 2020 study abroad programs is available on the OIP website:

We appreciate your understanding as we all continue to navigate the implications of this global health crisis.

Stay healthy and safe,

Brown Office of International Programs