COVID-19 & Educational Travel

Our commitment to our travelers and their families

COVID-19 has changed so much about our lives—how we work, how we communicate, how we move around our communities, and how we think about the world. This has been a different—and difficult—year for every single one of us and we cannot express how grateful we are for the support and patience of our Group Leaders, as well as our travelers and their families, throughout these changing times. We want to make sure you know we’ve been closely monitoring the status of COVID-19 around the world and are working tirelessly to provide safety, flexibility, and value as we focus on the future of educational travel.

Last March, we led the industry in rapidly bringing travelers home as travel bans and restrictions were instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We went above and beyond federal, state, and international guidelines to get customers out of harm’s way. As soon as all travelers were home safely, we turned our focus toward amending policies and creating options that allow as many teachers and students as possible to still travel with us—when restrictions are lifted, and when they’re ready.

As we navigate these unprecedented times together, we know some of you have outstanding questions regarding your travel plans that have been or might be affected. We’ve gathered our policies and resources here so you can quickly understand all the options available to you. We have never stopped believing in the power of travel, and we truly hope you’re able to experience its benefits in the future—whether you choose to travel with your original group or on one of the many new, flexible experiences we’ve created in light of COVID-19. No matter what, we’re here to talk through your options in more detail or work through specific situations.

Reschedule travel for 2021 and beyond

Flexibility is one of our top priorities because we want to make sure that, when the time comes, experiencing the awe-inspiring power of travel remains a possibility for students.

We are excited to get back to traveling as soon as we can and we remain committed to providing flexible options for groups that are unable to travel this year. We have been in touch with affected Group Leaders directly to communicate all available options (learn more in the FAQs below). In the case that groups wish to postpone their program, we have made rescheduling programs as easy and simple as possible, and to protect the full investment our travelers made in their program, we’ve taken the following actions:

  • Any group originally scheduled to travel on a program in 2020 or 2021 that wishes to embark on the same itinerary at a later date can do so with no additional rebooking fees
  • As soon as your Group Leader selects a new date for your program, we’ll move all travelers to the new date—there is nothing you need to do
  • All details from the original program—optional extensions, Global Travel Protection Plan, rooming, upgrades, etc.—and money paid will be transferred into the new account
  • If an individual cannot join their Group Leader’s rescheduled program, they can choose from several options. You can find all the details below.

Options for individual travelers

We recognize that it might be difficult for some travelers to reschedule their program right now.

Any individual traveler who is unable to travel with their group’s rescheduled program can receive a COVID-19 Future Travel Voucher. Our vouchers provide a ton of flexibility: You can redeem them for all sorts of programs offered through EF’s wide variety of products. They’re also in the amount of all the money you paid towards your program—including non-refundable fees. And you have until September 30, 2023 to use them.

To understand all the options available with a voucher (including partial refunds), visit our dedicated Future Travel Voucher page and find groups that are already planning to travel and looking for travelers using the button below.
Find a group

Feel confident planning for the future

The world is always changing. And while our belief in the positive impact of travel is unwavering, it can feel hard to predict what life, here in the U.S. and abroad, will look like several months, a year, or even two years from now. That’s why we’re constantly adapting, enhancing, and expanding our policies: We’re doing everything we can to make planning for the future as flexible as possible.

We’ve also adjusted cancellation policies to help new customers book with confidence and give existing customers more time to decide about upcoming trips. We’re expanding the reach of our Peace of Mind Program, which provides groups flexibility to change the dates and destination of their programs in uncertain times. And we’re offering more options for individual travelers who want to purchase coverage that further protects their investment.

Get the details

We’re leading the charge on student safety

As the world opens and we all get ready to travel again, your health and safety will continue to be our top priority. With our extensive global presence, our best-in-the-industry experience coupled with our strong, long-established relationships with some of the largest airline, hotel, and transportation companies, global governmental agencies, and health organizations we are actively shaping new worldwide cleanliness and safety standards. In addition, we’re proud to have earned the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp—the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp for Travel & Tourism, designed specifically to address COVID-19 and similar outbreaks.

Learn more

Frequently asked questions

Resources for our community

This past month has been full of change. Here at EF College Study, our team has found support in sharing resources with each other and customers to help navigate the abrupt shifts we’ve all had to make in our daily lives.

Explore some of the resources we’ve compiled below—we hope you find them helpful for you and your communities and we are eager to hear what other content you might need during this time.

1. Resources for Mental Health
2. 5 Ways to Globalize Your Curriculum from Home
3. Top Tips for Teaching Online
4. Resources from EF's Educational Partners

The continued power of study abroad

Even in challenging times, we’re keeping our eyes on the future and how we can continue to open the world through education and accessible study abroad experiences for all types of learners. We’ll be here for you more than ever when you’re ready to travel again.

Have additional thoughts or questions?