Fall 2020 Program Updates

Parent & Family FAQs for Fall 2020 Study Abroad

Gonzaga is monitoring health guidance from the State Department, Centers for Disease Control, and from relevant foreign governments in order to make the best decisions possible.  Be assured that while we are hopeful and eager for our Zags to have a study abroad experience this Fall, their health and safety  is top priority.  


Gonzaga University will make a final determination on the status of Gonzaga in Florence (GIF) by late June.   Details will be communicated to students and families.  As this is an ever-evolving situation, circumstances are subject to change even after the decision date.  

Unless notified otherwise, we will proceed with Fall 2020 operating with the previously communicated modifications, and will continue to monitor the situation.  GU administrators are in frequent communication with GIF staff and are actively preparing contingency plans.


Gonzaga continues to communicate with our study abroad partners to determine the viability of each program. As program updates are available, they will be communicated to students and families.  At this time, we do not have a set date to decide on whether any or all programs will proceed or be cancelled. We continue to seek answers from our partner institutions as they consider regional information and make decisions.


Gonzaga in Florence: the application fee & program deposit will be refunded if the program is cancelled. 

Gonzaga sponsored programs: the Study Abroad office must work with our partners abroad as they have their own cancellation and refund policies.   

The Study Abroad Office will communicate the specific refund or cancellation policy to each program when details are provided.    If you would like further details regarding a program’s policy, please contact the Study Abroad office for more details, studyabroad@gonzaga.edu


Gonzaga in Florence: moved to July 1st, 2020.

Gonzaga sponsored programs: varies by program.  Please contact the Study Abroad office for specific information, studyabroad@gonzaga.edu.


As each student's housing needs and preferences vary, we recommend participants contact the Housing & Residence Life Office to speak about options and resources available to study abroad students for contingency planning.


Study abroad programs are creating contingency plans in the event a country experiences a spike in cases.  Likely, it will depend on the severity of an outbreak of COVID-19.

Plans could include increased social distancing measures, self-isolating, restrictions to in person interactions, move to remote learning, or even return to the US. As we will be working with many different institutions and country governments, contingency plans may be different, but the health and safety of students is our priority.

Gonzaga would use similar criteria as we did in February 2020 for decision making, should there be a spike in the virus.  Criteria included monitoring the Centers for Disease Control “Travel Health Level” for each country, and the considering the likelihood of imposed travel restrictions or border closures. We will also follow US State Department Travel Advisories.


We recommend against purchasing any non-refundable airfare until later in June.  We also recommend purchasing travel insurance. 

Should it be a student or family’s decision to proceed with airfare purchase, please take the following into consideration:

  1. Confirm a program’s start and end dates.Seek confirmation from the Study Abroad Office before purchasing.
  2. Booking through a travel agent or direct with an airline carrier.We would discourage booking from third-party sites (Expedia or Kayak) due to limited or unfavorable cancellation and refund policies.
  3. Review the cancellation policy.Will there be change fees if you need to revise the flight? What is the financial impact should the program be cancelled, or the student/family decides to withdraw participation?

Gonzaga in Florence FAQs

The Study Abroad Office will work with academic departments and the Registrar's Office to assist GIF students with enrolling in Main campus classes should Fall 2020 not run.


Students with valid U.S. passports will be able to arrive/depart to the Schengen Zone one day before or after the program dates. Students can be in the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days total, and the GIF is less than the 90 day limit.

Traveling in the Schengen Zone before or after the program in excess of the 90 day limit violates legal immigration status. 

Students are permitted to travel outside the Schengen Zone before, during and after the program. We recommend students count their days carefully to ensure staying within legal immigration status.  Students should also confirm entry and exit requirements or documentation needed for any countries they plan to travel to.


No, the virtual tourist visa is valid for 90 days within a 180-day period. Once students spend 90 days in the Schengen Zone, they must be outside it for 90 more days before they can legally re-enter.


To remain in legal immigration status, students can only spend up to 90 days in the Schengen Zone.

Parents and families are encouraged to attend GIF Family Weekend, which is Thursday, November 19th through Sunday, November 22nd.

If attending the Family Weekend is not possible, we also recommend consulting the GIF 2020-2021 Academic Calendar so that families can avoid visiting during midterms. .