COVID-19 Updates and FAQs

Summer 2021

We are excited to welcome students back to our Gonzaga in Florence (GIF) campus for the Summer 2021 term.

Gonzaga in Florence FAQs

The Summer 2021 program calendar has been updated. Students and faculty will arrive to Rome (FCO) on Wednesday, May 12th, 2021, departing from the U.S. on Tuesday, May 11th, 2021.


The group will travel by bus from the Rome airport to Florence on Wednesday May 12th, 2021. Orientation will take place in Florence on Thursday, May 13th and classes begin on Friday, May 14th. On Saturday, May 15th, in line with local regulations, GIF plans to arrange for students to get to know the city of Florence through a non-academic activity. Classes will continue Monday, May 17th 


Opening Tour has been revised to a Farewell Tour, spending two (2) days and nights exploring Rome as a group after final exams. At the end of the Farewell Tour, students will depart Rome to return to the United States. See the “Flight” section for more details about airfare arrangements.   


Students will be required to fly on a “COVID-test” flight to avoid the required initial quarantine period in Italy. Students will be provided documentation from GIF that will indicate their status as a student; students must carry this documentation with them on their journey to Italy. Students should ensure that this documentation is easily accessible in their carry-on luggage. More information will be provided in a follow-up message to committed students and families in the coming weeks. 


Gonzaga has identified specific COVID-test flights that students will be required to fly on. Due to the specific flight needs, all students/families will book their airfare through Gonzaga University's travel agent. In coordinating the group arrival to avoid the quarantine period, and to allow students to travel together from Rome to Florence, it is imperative that students fly on the specific flights identified through the travel agent and operated by Alitalia or Delta airlines. By utilizing the Gonzaga agent, should there be impacts or changes to travel, there is a dedicated staff and agency to assist.


The COVID-test flight will require proof of a negative COVID test within 48-72 hours of departure, with specific requirements depending on the departure airport. These requirements are also subject to change. The Study Abroad office and Gonzaga University travel agent will be in close communication in helping students understand testing requirements prior to departure. Depending on airline carrier requirements, travelers may be required to take a rapid antigen test or tests along their journey. More information about the COVID-test flights can be found here: and


Committed students will be provided further guidance on scheduling the required PCR COVID test prior to departure, closer to the program start. 


Students will only be permitted to travel within Italy during the program, following local laws on movement. Some phases of Italy’s approach to the pandemic allow for movement between regions, and other phases do not. As local regulations allow, GIF plans to run daytrips to fantastic locations around Florence, Tuscany, and central Italy.

Students should plan to return to the US on June 26th, 2021, when they must vacate their hotel on the Farewell tour. As of today (March 30th, 2021), tourism in Italy and much of Europe is not permitted and is very risky to partake in once the GIF program is over. These regulations could change in the coming months, though it is our strongest recommendation to return to the U.S at the end of the program.    

Housing: All students will live in single occupancy rooms, at no increase to the program fee. The three (3) housing (pensioni) for Summer 2021 sit within a 5 minutes’ walk of the GIF campus. It is important to note, not all rooms are identical, which is reflective of Italian housing standards. Most students will have a private bathroom, and in cases where a private bathroom is not possible, each student will only share with one (1) other student. Appropriate cleaning and sanitation will be maintained by our pensioni managers.  

Students will not be able to visit other students living in pensioni outside their own, but will be able to connect at the GIF campus both indoors and utilizing the new, beautiful outdoor courtyard. Students living in the same pensione can connect with each other in common spaces. No student can gather in another student’s room. Students will provide input for whom they live with in their pensione, and every effort will be made to accommodate these preferences.  


Meals: 11 meals per week will be provided. Students will receive breakfast each day (7) and lunch on class days (4). Pensioni may adjust meal schedules if needed. Dining in person, as well as restaurant and bar (i.e. café) hours of operation, will depend on local regulations and the phase Florence is in. Supermarkets and take-away dining options continue to be available should dining hours be limited.  


Immersion Activities/Opportunities/Day Trips: Immersion opportunities, activities, events, and day trips will be planned and coordinated as GIF is able within local regulations/permissions. 


GIF has a team committed to working to identify the COVID guidelines and protocols which will be implemented for the safety and health of students, faculty and staff during the program which will follow local health laws. Italian authorities have issued strict COVID-19 emergency decrees that make public health measures—mask wearing, testing, quarantine/isolation requirements, restricted travel, curfews, limits on social gatherings in public and private spaces, including homes---a legal obligation, enforced through hefty fines (up to 4000 Euro per infraction). 


Students will be expected to participate in surveillance testing during the program. Should a student experience signs, symptoms or exposure to the coronavirus, GIF has a dedicated physician and clinic students should utilize. Students will also be enrolled in CISI insurance for the program, which will include coverage for COVID related care. Students will be asked to continue monitoring and reporting their health status and COVID19 symptoms or contacts. Additionally, GIF anticipates having 2 staff members serving as contact tracers. 


In the event a student tests positive for COVID, by Italian law it must be reported to the local health authority who will then coordinate the quarantine and requirements. If a student needs to self-quarantine or self-isolate, this can be accommodated in the pensioni. Discussions are underway surrounding the specifics of coordinating this and once confirmed will be shared with committed students and families.


The GIF campus building will only be to accessible to GIF students, faculty and staff by ID. 


Students will sign an additional Acknowledgement of Risk to participate on the GIF Summer 2021 program. More information will be provided in a follow-up message to committed students and families prior to departure which will also include further updates and expectations surrounding the GIF Code of Conduct. 

Face to face teaching is expected for all courses, though students should be prepared to move online should circumstances change. Classrooms in Florence have been arranged to meet social distancing requirements per local health authorities. GIF has added two covered, climate-controlled outdoor classroom spaces to accommodate larger classes. GIF has upgraded the internet capacity and technological infrastructure to accommodate remote teaching.

Vaccination for COVID-19 is not required to attend the GIF Summer 2021 program. Per Gonzaga University’s communications, students are encouraged to get vaccinated as they are eligible within their region/state phases. Students receiving a 1st vaccine dose should ensure that the 2nd dose is administered prior to departure for the GIF program. We are not able to accommodate students arriving late due to waiting for their 2nd dose. Students will not be able to get vaccinated in Italy. Italian school and education workers are eligible for vaccination in Italy and many members of our GIF staff and faculty are already fully vaccinated.  


Fall 2021

Applications are being accepted for Fall 2021, though circumstances and programs are subject to change. Refer to the list of programs for deadlines and further details. As more information is available, this page will be updated.

General FAQs

The date a student can withdraw from their study abroad program will vary by the specific program.

  • For GIF, please contact Erin Schultheis
  • For all other programs, please contact your study abroad advisor directly or email to confirm the withdrawal and refund policy for your specific program.

At this time, we strongly recommend not purchasing airfare until instructed to do so by the Study Abroad Office. Program dates for all programs are subject to change.


The Study Abroad Office continues to remain in frequent contact with all our study abroad partners and institutions about the status of the on-site programs.  As new information and updates are available, they will be shared with participants. Circumstances on-site at our study abroad locations may dictate cancelling a program by the host institution or Gonzaga. 


Although we hope to offer study abroad experiences during Summer 2021 and Fall 2021, the reality is that to offer those programs, Gonzaga and our partner institutions abroad may have to make necessary modifications due to COVID-19.


Please consult your healthcare provider to ensure you can bring any medication you’ll need, and to address any health concerns. If you have underlying health conditions that might put you at higher risk for infection or serious complications of COVID-19, talk with your doctor to decide if travel is advisable at this time and, if it is, how to manage your health abroad. Be sure you are up to date on all routine vaccines including the seasonal flu shot.


Flexibility: As in the United States, conditions and recommendations abroad are constantly changing as the public health community and leaders learn more about COVID-19. Just like on Main campus in Spokane, GIF and our partner institutions will need to respond by adjusting recommended protocols, class schedules, field study or activities, etc., sometimes with very little notice. Please prepare to be flexible. At some point in the semester, you may need to isolate for a period of time as a result of illness, exposure, or a community lockdown.

Respect: As a Jesuit institution, we must live out our values of mutual respect and support for one another. Taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection (or any other spread of disease) is a shared responsibility. You will find your host country’s approaches to COVID-19 may be different from those in the U.S. Take the opportunity to learn and ask questions while remembering to approach your local community with grace and respect.

Compliance: Any measures implemented to protect you and the community from COVID-19 are only effective if they are followed by everyone. Laws and guidelines regarding social distancing and other practices may be updated at any time and GIF and our partner organizations abroad will require all students to comply with all local guidance. This may include monitoring temperatures, hand washing, wearing masks, hand sanitizing, social distancing, and cooperation with recommended COVID-19 testing and contact tracing processes. Failure to comply with these rules and precautions could be a violation of Gonzaga’s or the program’s Code of Student Responsibility or Conduct. We ask students to comply for the benefit of the community, even when no one is watching.