Forum Response to COVID-19: Advocacy, Programs & Resources

The Forum has been working diligently to provide support and resources to colleagues during these uncertain times. To date, we have published Guidelines for Conducting Education Abroad During COVID-19; initiated a tool to track program cancellations; offered a complimentary membership opportunity to individuals who have experienced COVID-19-related job loss; conducted numerous webinars focused on COVID-19 response; pivoted an on-site conference to a virtual format to allow for colleagues to connect and engage in critical discussions; and developed additional financial and program-related resources. We have advocated and will advocate on behalf of education abroad and the professionals in our field as the crisis continues to unfold.

Last Update: December 9, 2020

NEW! Guidelines on Conducting Education Abroad During COVID-19

The new Guidelines for Conducting Education Abroad during COVID-19 are now available, offering insights on how to manage partnerships, prepare students, develop contingency plans, and track changes in COVID-19 risks and safety protocols.

Whether you’ve been running programs in a limited capacity already, are looking ahead to plans to reopen programs in 2021 or need a framework for conversations with campus administrators involved in the decision-making, this resource can help.

Keep an eye on the Forum News for upcoming webinars and additional resources on this topic.


View the Guidelines


COVID-19 Program Status Tracker

The Forum is tracking information related to current and future program cancellations in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. We hope this information will be useful to the field as you all work to respond to this unprecedented global situation. We encourage you to submit your programs to be included on the list.

The tracker provides the following information:

  • Program closures/cancellations/moved to remote learning by Universities and Colleges
  • Program closures/cancellations/moved to remote learning by Education Abroad Program Provider Organizations
  • Which programs were not closed or cancelled due to COVID-19 during the Spring 2020 term
  • Which programs are still able to welcome students displaced from programs cancelled in upcoming terms


View the Program Status Tracker


COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Program: Individual Membership Opportunity

To support our colleagues during the COVID-19 crisis, The Forum invites education abroad professionals who have experienced job loss as a result of the pandemic to apply for complimentary individual membership. To qualify, the individual must have been employed by a Forum member institution in good standing at the time of separation, and separation must occur between January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020 for the individual to be eligible. Membership will begin on the date the applicant is notified of acceptance and will continue until June 30, 2021. Additional benefits and services may be available throughout this period, including Annual Conference scholarships, Forum Fellowships, and member rates to attend Forum events and professional development opportunities.


Apply Here


Call for Submissions: Learning from COVID-19

Over the coming months and years, our field will look back on this period in education abroad history to learn from it. As the field looks ahead to recovery and seeks ways to improve upon and perhaps replace established practices, sharing our experiences will be an essential tool for growth.

Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad invites practitioners and scholars of education abroad to submit case studies, think-pieces, and essays related to COVID-19 impact and response for immediate publication.


Find Out More


Conducting Education Abroad during COVID-19 Webinars

October 6, 2020: Developing Communication Plans that Can Pivot with You | Request Access to the Recording

November 4, 2020: A Seat at the Table for Education Abroad | Request Access to the Recording

November 11, 2020: Managing Crisis Response Across an Institution | Request Access to the Recording

December 2, 2020: Partnering with Students to Prioritize Health and Safety Onsite | Request Access to the Recording

Visit our Webinars page for more details.

Responding to COVID-19 Webinars

April 16, 2020: #6 Academic ContinuityWatch the recording | View presentation slides

April 9, 2020: #5 Refunds | Watch the recording | View presentation slides

April 2, 2020: #4 Virtual Exchanges and Summer 2020 (Ideas and Resources) | Watch the recording | View presentation slides

March 26, 2020: #3 Taking Care of Our Students and Ourselves | Watch the recording | View presentation slides

March 19, 2020: #2 Sharing Strategies and Updates (Part 2) | Watch the recording | View presentation slides

March 12, 2020: #1 Sharing Strategies and Updates (Part 1) | Watch the recording. | View presentation slides

Forum Advocacy

March 24, 2020: Virtual Town Hall Meeting, Advocating for COVID-19 Relief Bills | Watch the recording | View presentation slides

March 19, 2020: Call to Action! Contact government officials to request economic aid for international education

March 18, 2020: The Forum signs joint letter to Congress requesting assistance for international educational and cultural exchange community impacted by COVID-19

March 11, 2020: The Forum issues letter to the CDC in response to March 1 guidance

March 2, 2020: The Forum and Pulse issue a joint statement on COVID-19

Forum Guidance

Education Abroad Professional’s Guide to Online Global Learning

Refund Policy Examples for COVID-19-Related Program Changes

State level financial assistance for COVID 19: List by State

PPP Loan Forgiveness

  • Previously, the small business association has provided very little in the way of guidance regarding the inner workings of the Payroll Protection Program’s loan forgiveness. This information provides some important points to keep in mind as well as multiple suggestions that should prove to be helpful when securing the loan.
  • As a non-profit organization, you will have to meet a specific set of criteria in order to be eligible for a PPP loan through The Cares Act. This page compiles questions that you may have as a non-profit borrower as well as answers that should help guide you through the application process. In addition, it covers some of the finer points regarding loan forgiveness and loan deferral, particularly for non-profits.

External Resources

The Forum shares its members’ concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the efforts being made to prevent its spread. The Forum encourages members with international programs to familiarize themselves with guidance provided by the CDC and governments abroad. We have provided links below to direct you to the most up-to-date and reliable external resources, and will continue to add to this list as additional resources become available (newest additions appear at the top of the list).

Re-open EU: Interactive Tool for Planning Travel in Europe

Diversity Abroad: 2020 Snapshot Survey: Student Study Abroad Experiences During COVID-19

NAFSA Financial Impact Survey

IIE: COVID-19 Research and Infographics Portal

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine: Coronavirus Resource Center

Data 2x: Gender and Data Resources Related to COVID-19

International Transportation Air Association: list of travel and entry restrictions

WorldAware COVID-19 Risk Intelligence & Resource Center

The Italian Ministry of Education

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

CDC website


U.S. Department of State’s COVID-19 Travel Alert

International SOS

NAFSA Coronavirus Critical Resources

Federal Student Aid

The World Health Organization

Overseas Advisory Council (OSAC)

British Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Education New Zealand: COVID-19 information for students, agents and the international education sector