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COVID-19 FAQ for Outbound Exchange Students

Last updated on June 1, 2021

I have committed to participate in study abroad, can my program be cancelled?
To mitigate risk for students and families the UH Mānoa and/or the program provider/host institution may cancel or alter global programs at any time.

What happens if my program is canceled during the second application process?
MIX will work with students to identify a second choice program. After May 30, 2021, students will have the option to: defer their participation in their nominated program to Spring 2022 or a future semester or withdraw their participation.

How can I better inform myself about travel recommendations?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring COVID-19 risk in each destination and making travel recommendations. To prepare for your travel, you must regard CDC’s travel recommendation for your country up until the date of my departure and throughout my travel. I have accessed and read the link, COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.

Where can I find travel information for my destination?
The Department of State Safety and Security Alerts provide Travel Advisories for all destinations.

I have a chronic illness and/or health concerns, is it recommended to travel during the pandemic?
The CDC recommends that travelers who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 avoid all nonessential air travel at this time. If students need to take extra precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), students should consult with their treating physician.

What kind of complications should I anticipate when pursuing an exchange opportunity during a pandemic?
Pandemic complications such as travel bans, border closures, quarantine restrictions, and visa suspensions may impact students’ ability to successfully and safely participate in global programs. If there are subsequent COVID-19 outbreaks, the country or area in which my UH Mānoa-sponsored program is taking place may unexpectedly close borders, return to strict social distancing, require quarantine, and restrict travel, which could prevent your return to the US for an indefinite time.

What should I consider when booking flights?
If a student’s global program requires them to purchase airfare, MIX strongly urges students to purchase fully refundable airfare, and/or consider travel insurance, which will reduce their financial losses if their program is canceled or interrupted.

If I commit to exchange, what am I financially responsible for?
All costs associated with your program, including any charges due to the pandemic, including, but not limited to, costs for country entry requirements such as quarantine, COVID-19 testing; re-entry requirements if students choose to travel outside their host country, costs incurred to comply with a host country regulation related to COVID-19 not listed herein or known beforehand.

What happens if I withdraw from my program after confirming my participation?
Student accounts in STAR will be charged the $30 application fee and $50 program fee. Students will be required to send notice immediately to the MIX office and Partner University. Any fees and costs associated with the exchange that the student paid for such as airfare, housing deposits, etc will be the responsibility of the student to acquire refunds for. MIX cannot provide refunds for any deposits made.

Can there be changes to how my study abroad program is delivered due to COVID-19?
In response to the local environment or situation, the mode of instruction on a program may change before or during a students program, i.e., some or all of their program may need to shift to virtual or hybrid classes; date changes may take place; students may be required to depart the program site and move to another designated location to complete the program; students may be required to return to the US to complete the program remotely. MIX will communicate these changes to impacted students.

What happens if the instruction for all, or part of my program is delivered remotely?
Tuition and/or mandatory program fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the global program.

My Fall program hasn’t been cancelled yet but I’m concerned that it might be. Can I enroll in UH Mānoa courses just in case?
Students who are enrolled in a MIX program for Fall 2021 are required to provisionally enroll in Fall courses at UH Mānoa, in case your study abroad program does not proceed as planned.

How long can I stay in my provisional UH Mānoa courses for Fall?
Students can remain in their provisional enrollment for Fall through July 30. At that time, if a student’s exchange program has not been cancelled, they will need to decide to confirm their Fall UH Mānoa courses or to continue with MIX as planned. If a student is continuing with MIX after July 30, students will be required to enroll in the IS-099 CRN in STAR. MIX will email all participants with their CRN.

What happens if my MIX program is cancelled after July 30 and I’ve dropped UH Mānoa Fall courses?
The Registrar will do their best to assist students with late enrollment into available courses. However, we cannot guarantee that students will be able to enroll in their original course choices. Enrollment will be subject to availability.

What if I may need on-campus housing for Fall 2021?
Students who need to secure Fall housing on campus should contact UHM Student Housing Services as soon as possible to discuss their options. Their email is

Can I defer my participation to Winter/Spring 2022?
Yes. We encourage you to consider deferring your participation application to Winter/Spring 2022 if the program allows. Students should discuss their course plan, including studying abroad in a future term, with their academic advisor. We have made the process for deferring to spring simple – please complete this Winter/Spring 2022 Deferment form.

Can I defer my participation to Fall 2022?
Yes, though you may have to update your MIX application as provisions in it may change. You will not be required to submit a new letter of recommendation, and you will still receive priority consideration for your nominated Partner School.

Is getting a COVID-19 vaccination a requirement for study abroad?
Yes. All Outbound participants will be required to complete the COVID-19 Vaccination Verification questionnaire that will be sent to students by August 1, 2021.

Where can I get a vaccination?
For further guidance on where you can obtain the vaccine, please see the University of Hawaii Vaccine FAQs website.

Will exemptions be available for Study Abroad?
UH Mānoa’s COVID-19 Vaccine Policy indicates reasonable accommodations for medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccination will be considered. Details about how this will be done, and how students can obtain medical exemptions, will be forthcoming. Updates will be made available on the University of Hawaii Vaccine FAQs website. In addition to UHM’s Vaccine Policy requiring vaccines, immigration policies around COVID-19 are evolving country by country and proof of COVID-19 vaccination may be required to enter certain countries. Countries can update their requirements at any time.

I have questions and concerns about the vaccine requirement – can you help?
Yes, we are here to support you. Please contact us at if you have any concerns about fulfilling this requirement.

What if I do not comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for study abroad?
Students who do not complete the COVID-19 Vaccination Verification in their study abroad portal by the August 1, 2021 deadline will be withdrawn from their study abroad program.

Cancelled Exchange Programs

My program has been cancelled, what costs will be waived by MIX?
In the event that a students program is cancelled, MIX will waive or reimburse the following costs:

  • MIX $30 Application fee
  • MIX $50 program fee

Students are responsible for all other costs, including:

  • Flight changes
  • Passport and visa charges
  • Immunization costs
  • Application fees

Can I study abroad on a non-MIX/UHM-approved program?
Students who pursue non-MIX/UHM approved study abroad programs are considered to be independent students, as they are required to take a leave of absence from UH Mānoa, and study abroad without university support. Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, students are strongly discouraged from studying abroad independently. We anticipate many programs will make the decision to cancel in-person study abroad programs and the timing of decisions may make it challenging for students to return to campus. Border closures and country-specific quarantine requirements are expected to continue for some time and may change without notice. If you choose to pursue study abroad independent of MIX please be aware that:

  • You must take a leave of absence from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa during the regular academic year and study abroad as an Independent Student without university support.
  • Many overseas partners and program providers may not allow non-approved MIX students to study on affiliated MIX programs.
  • Students who choose this option follow the regular university process for withdrawing from the university.
    MIX highly encourages students to meet with their academic advisor prior to making the decision to study abroad independently to better understand how their academics will be impacted by studying abroad on a non-MIX-approved program.

If I participate independently in my program that was previously approved by MIX,, can I still receive MIX credit and grades?
If UH Mānoa makes the decision to cancel exchange programs due to health and safety concerns, it means that University’s affiliation with the program abroad is suspended and MIX cannot support students on the program, even if the program was previously approved and the provider or university abroad is continuing. MIX cannot provide academic, financial, health, and safety support or resources to students who study abroad independently while withdrawn from the University. MIX highly encourages students to meet with either our outbound advisor or their academic advisor prior to making the decision to study abroad independently to better understand how their academics will be impacted by studying abroad on a non-MIX-approved program.

Withdrawing from MIX

Students and families may make the difficult decision to withdraw from their exchange program prior to departure for a variety of reasons. Students who wish to voluntarily withdraw from off-campus study after confirming participation in the program with MIX should contact as soon as possible.

How do I withdraw from MIX?
To formally withdraw, students need to email with their intent. It’s important to formally withdraw from the exchange program because it allows MIX to:

  • remove students from our system
  • update their program provider/host institutions of their withdrawal
  • ensure they are not billed in the future for any costs they are not responsible for

Students and families can contact us anytime if they have any lingering questions about withdrawing at

Can I defer my program participation after I withdraw?
Students who withdraw may not defer their application to a subsequent term, but they may re-apply. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their intent to withdraw with to be certain they fully comprehend the academic and financial implications prior to making their decision.

Can I defer my program without withdrawing?
Yes, to defer your exchange program at any point, email as soon as possible.

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