COVID Vaccination FAQs

Below please find answers to commonly asked questions for our high school and college study abroad, teach abroad and gap year program participants around COVID protocols and vaccination policies.

WHY IS CIEE MANDATING VACCINATION?

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Being fully vaccinated protects the health and safety of the local community, especially people at increased risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19. Ending the pandemic requires global cooperation and each individual should do their part unless unable to do so because of a bona fide medical or religious reason. Additional benefits include:

  • reducing the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks onsite and in your local host community which can disrupt the academic term;
  • allowing for a “return to normal” of study abroad activities you value;
  • allowing for greater comfort of your fellow students and CIEE staff who have extended networks they wish to protect;
  • reducing the opportunity for the virus to mutate whereby the variant might illude vaccines; and
  • showing respect to the local community with whom you are living that you value their safety

WILL I BE ADMITTED TO MY HOST COUNTRY IF I CANNOT GET VACCINATED?

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There is a strong likelihood most countries will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination. It is expected most - if not all European Union (EU) countries - will use a "Digital Covid Certificate" (also known as a "green pass"). Other countries will set their own policies for entry regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and it is your responsibility to know entry requirements prior to travel.

Be advised -at a minimum - countries may require unvaccinated students to enter a mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. This will be at a government-designated facility or hotel. The entire cost of the liability of the student and is NOT included in the CIEE Program Fee. Additionally, understand in government quarantine your academic experience may be challenged as dependable Wi-Fi cannot be guaranteed at the quarantine facility. As such, if you are unvaccinated consider arriving early to avoid academic or program disruption. During quarantine you are not owed any refund for time missed on program.

ONCE I AM VACCINATED DO I STILL NEED TO WEAR A MASK OR PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING WHILE ONSITE?

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You are required to follow all local laws and regulations related to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Understand laws abroad may differ than ones you are used to at home. It is hoped that vaccination campaigns expanding around the world in 2021 will decrease the spread of COVID-19 resulting in a relaxation of restrictions and mandates. Read the Student Covid Code of Conduct for additional details.

WHICH COVID-19 VACCINE SHOULD I GET?

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The following vaccines have shown significant scientific evidence in reducing or eliminating the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19:

  • Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine


Participants coming from outside the U.S. who don't have access to a vaccine that is fully approved, or approved for emergency use, by the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), and/or the World Health Organization, should check with their enrollment representative.

DO I NEED TO BE VACCINATED IF I HAVE ALREADY HAD COVID-19?

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Yes, you should still be vaccinated against COVID-19 even if you have already had COVID-19. In some circumstances, such as if you are unable to get the vaccine because you are within 8-12 weeks of a positive diagnosis, proof of recovery from COVID-19 illness and resulting immunity is acceptable in lieu of full vaccination. Case may be presented to the CIEE enrollment team.

WILL I HAVE TO SHOW PROOF OF VACCINATION WHILE ABROAD (EG – “VACCINE PASSPORTS”)?

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You will likely be asked for vaccine verification during your program – not just during travel but, depending on the guidelines in your host country, when you wish to gain admittance to certain locations such as museums or shops. Students will be required to upload a copy of their completed vaccination card to their application 14 days or more before a program begins, but we also recommend carrying a copy of your vaccination card while abroad.

SHOULD I BRING MY VACCINATION CARD ABROAD?

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Yes, you should bring your vaccination card abroad as you may be required to present it at various locations.  You will be required to upload a copy of your vaccination card as part of your CIEE application process, and this is a strong safeguard against losing it permanently.

Will CIEE staff, instructors and homestay families be vaccinated?

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Yes, all CIEE staff, instructors, and homestay families who are eligible for vaccination are required to be vaccinated no later than January 1, 2022.

For some high school semester or year abroad programs that run with a receiving organization, there may be different vaccination protocols in place. For these programs, you will be notified during the application process whether the program’s staff, instructors, and homestays families are required to be vaccinated.