COVID-19 Updates

The priority of the Office of Education Abroad is the health and safety of all of our students. Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 around the world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of State (DOS) travel advisories, and President Trump’s Proclamation on March 11, California Lutheran University is requiring all students to come home to their residence in the U.S.A. immediately from their study abroad/away program.

We are working with all of our students who are studying away/abroad to return immediately to their home residence in the United States. We will help them navigate various matters such as: return transportation scheduling, course continuity/academic credit, program recoverable cost, etc.  

Once back in the United States, students need to follow CDC guidelines for self-quarantining and are not eligible to use on-site campus resources such as the library and computer labs until they have completed the quarantine period.

All students currently abroad are reminded they have 24/7 medical care and travel risk management services available through EIIA/Europ Assistance at +1 (240) 330-1551 (collect outside of the U.S.), or via email .

The OEA staff team is here to assist the students. Questions should be directed to or call the OEA at 805.493.3750.


What communication has been provided to current study abroad students?

The Office of Education Abroad is in constant contact via email with the students currently abroad and the host university/program provider. As circumstances warrant, additional outreach is provided to students’ emergency contacts.

Will students be able to return to the Cal Lutheran campus if they decide or are required to return to the United States?

Following an abundance of precaution based on best practices for management of COVID-19, students who return to the United States prior to the end of their semester overseas are recommended to self-quarantine for 14-days to self-monitor for any symptoms. After a 14-day self-quarantine with no symptoms, students are invited back to campus to utilize all student resources (e.g., library, gym, cafeteria, etc.).

Will students lose their academic credits with the requirement to return to their permanent residence?

The Office of Education Abroad will work with each student and the respective program provider to explore options for completion of the academic curriculum. Various options can be explored (e.g., online instruction by the overseas faculty; online tutorial instruction by Cal Lutheran faculty; issuance of pass/fail credit; etc.). Cal Lutheran cannot guarantee that academic credit will be issued, but every effort to salvage the semester will be made.  

Do study abroad students qualify for the Pass / No Credit option now available for Spring 2020 courses? 

All spring 2020 study abroad students must complete their online coursework as designated by their host university. They do have the option to request the grading of one or more of their courses to be assessed with a Pass / No Credit option. Study Abroad students must complete the mandatory Pass/No Credit form before the end of the term at their host university. Please read the statement put out by Academic Services for more information.

Is there housing available for students returning to the United States?

On-campus housing at Cal Lutheran University is not be available for students returning prior to the end of the semester. Students who cannot find alternate housing should reach out to the Office of Education Abroad at or by phone (805) 493-3750.

Is there a flight reimbursement for early return?

Students opting to return from their program due to COVID-19 or based on Cal Lutheran or your program provider’s decision to close program, will receive support to return. Steps to determine support include:

1. Work with the travel insurance provider purchased when buying tickets;

2. Contact the airline for guidance on booking a new return (as many airlines are waiving fees related to Covid-19 itinerary adjustments)

3. Address needs with the program provider hosting your educational program for potential assistance; and

4. Provide Cal Lutheran documentation of modified flight expense not covered by Step 1, 2,& 3.

Cal Lutheran will automatically support up to $500 in students’ unrecoverable flight adjustment fees. Students can submit an appeal directly to the Office of Education to petition if additional expenses are incurred. [Note: Receipts will be required for reimbursement.]

What happens if a student decides not to return to the United States/permanent residence?

If a student decides to remain in country/program against Cal Lutheran’s wishes, they will need to complete, sign, and return a Release Waiver. In completing the waiver, they will take full responsibility for their decision to remain in country/program. While Cal Lutheran will always try our best to support our students, once closure of program is decided, our ability to do so may be limited and/or impossible to provide.   

If the student completes their coursework then grades will transfer back to Cal Lutheran as designated on their Course Approval Form. 

Are study abroad programs planning to operate in the summer 2020 term?

Due to the spread of COVID-19 around the world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of State (DOS) travel advisories, President Trump’s Proclamation on March 11, and Cal Lutheran’s travel policy, it is with great sadness that we inform you that the Office of Education Abroad at California Lutheran University is not approving any student to study abroad for summer 2020. 

 If you have booked a flight for your summer study abroad and bought travel insurance, please work with the travel insurance company to request a refund.  Otherwise, you should check with the airline to see if they are providing any refunds for your flight.   Also, please work with the provider/program to request refunds of any money deposited. 

 If you are interested in studying abroad for the fall 2020 semester, please let us know, and we will work with you on options.  If you are interested in studying abroad for the spring 2021 semester or for summer 2021, we can meet with you to help you find a program.  You can schedule an online/phone appointment by clicking here.   

We understand that this is very disappointing.  Please know that we have not made this decision lightly. Our priority is your health and well-being, as well as the common good.

Again, we recognize that this is disheartening news.  If you have questions, you can contact or 805.493.3750.

Are study abroad programs planning to operate in the fall 2020 term?

The spread of COVID-19 has caused uncertainty about the future, including study abroad.  As of now, the Office of Education Abroad still intends to offer our fall 2020 study abroad programs. However, we also recognize that the situation is constantly evolving, and if circumstances ultimately require us to no longer provide this opportunity, we will notify you as soon as possible.

Our priority is the health and safety of all our students studying abroad. Please know that Cal Lutheran and our study abroad providers are carefully monitoring the situation and updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. Department of State.

Registering for Courses at Cal Lutheran

We have worked with the Registrar's Office to allow students to register for fall 2020 courses, even if they plan to study abroad. This is an optional safeguard that ensures you are able to get your required courses at Cal Lutheran should the fall 2020 study abroad semester be cancelled.

We will set a deadline, still to be determined, when you must decide if you are studying abroad or not. If you are, we will put a study abroad hold on your account, and you will be dropped from your Cal Lutheran courses. If not, you will withdraw from your study abroad program and take your fall classes here at Cal Lutheran.

Education Abroad Course Approval

As you are aware, there are no in-person classes at this time, and department chairs are not holding in-person office hours.  Therefore, you will need to email the department chair the course or courses you would like to have approved, along with a brief description of the content. If you have access to the syllabus, we highly recommend you send that with your request. 

We will accept electronic course approvals from the department chairs.  Please copy when you request and receive your approvals. Faculty are extremely busy right now, so please be patient. We understand that approvals may take longer than usual.

The university recommends all students research and purchase a travel insurance policy that will protect their investment should unforeseen changes occur. Please read your policy carefully. 

How is California Lutheran University monitoring this situation on-campus?

Please visit the Campus Alerts webpage to read Cal Lutheran’s COVID-19 updates.