Center for International Education




Despite previous COVID-19 pandemic related restrictions on student, faculty and staff international travel, the University of Mary Washington (UMW) is allowing students to pursue their studies outside the US, on approved education abroad programs as determined by the Center for International Education (CIE), during the 2021-2022 academic year (winter, spring, and summer terms). This decision has taken into account the improved health and safety conditions in several countries, greatly expanded access to COVID-19 vaccines, and careful planning.

Approved education abroad programs included in this exception are study abroad on exchange and partner programs, UMW faculty-led programs, undergraduate research, internships, and volunteer programs.  All international travel during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic requires a favorable review of local health, safety, and security conditions and operational viability, individual student plans, and vaccination mandates.  Should conditions worsen, the University and/or CIE may deem appropriate to impose restrictions on international travel.

Whereas students, faculty and staff participating in approved education abroad programs are no longer restricted from international travel for the 2021-22 academic year, international travel remains subject to the current established guidelines and approval protocols set by the Center for International Education and associated partners.


As per the Return to Campus—Fall 2021 plan, all students, staff and faculty planning to physically access the UMW campus must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2.), or must submit a waiver for health or religious reasons.  Students, faculty and staff engaging in any UMW approved education abroad travel are subject to the University’s vaccination requirement and any other entry requirements imposed by program location(s).

Approved format(s) for proof of vaccination for entry into a given country may vary. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that every traveler take all the necessary steps to obtain their state-held electronic record while safeguarding their white CDC vaccine card provided on vaccination.

Students, faculty and staff granted an exception to the UMW vaccination requirement on medical or religious grounds for study, live or work on campus at UMW should understand that it is highly unlikely that exceptions can be accommodated in an international program.

Electronic Records

The CDC maintains a list of state immunization record services, including the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Immunization, which houses the Virginia Immunization Information System (VIIS).

  • Any student who is vaccinated in Virginia will, regardless of residency (Virginian or non-Virginian), have a record of the vaccination with VIIS.
  • Visit and click on “Need a copy of your vaccination record?”. You will receive an electronic copy of your record that includes a QR code (available as of 9/17/2021)
  • Non-Virginians who did not receive their vaccines in Virginia should follow the instructions for their state’s record service to request their records.
  • Most doctors are able (and expected to) enter immunization records in their state database.  Any student who has trouble with their records can try contacting their primary care provider for help in getting a vaccination recorded in their state’s system.

Paper Card

  • Treat your COVID-19 vaccination card with care, as you would a driver’s license, passport, or credit card.
  • Take a picture of your vaccination card and store it on your phone. Make paper copies just like for your passport: leave one copy at home, and keep one with you in a secure place away from the original while you travel. Here are some additional tips on keeping your vaccine card safe.
  • If you lose your COVID-19 vaccination card, the CDC provides instructions for who to contact to try to secure a replacement (scroll down to, “If you have lost your vaccination card…”).

Changes in Guidance

Guidance continues to change rapidly, so continue to refer back to this page and to guidance from your program provider, host country, airline, the CDC, and other resources.

NOTE ON PASSPORTS: For students planning to participate in education abroad in a near future term, be advised that there are significant delays in passport processing.  The latest statement from the US Department of State mentions that expedited processing will take up to 12 weeks. Regular processing up to 18 weeks. If you need to renew or apply for a new passport, you should do so as soon as possible. More information about US Passports and the application process can be found at the Department of State Passport website.


Students with questions should contact the Center for International Education ( or work directly with their Education Abroad Advisor.


Last edited September 17, 2021. Updates are made frequently and supersede previously presented information; page content is current as of the date listed here.




Education Abroad

Dreaming about study abroad? Ready to increase your self-confidence and cross-cultural skills while enhancing your resume? CIE offers a wide variety of UMW Faculty-Led Programs and seven Exchange Programs. You can also intern, volunteer, conduct academic research, or choose from a host of UMW Approved Programs offered by both education abroad providers and international universities. UMW students can study abroad for a semester or academic year, over the summer, or during the spring and winter breaks to earn academic credits toward their graduation requirements. You can get there from here! We can help.

International Services

Welcome International Students and Visiting Language Coordinators & Instructors! CIE issues I-20s and DS-2019s to our F-1 and J-1 visa applicants, assists with pre-arrival preparations, and serves as your point of contact for any questions you may have. CIE is responsible for programming the International Arrival and Orientation services to assist you with practical matters about life in the U.S., employment eligibility, and maintaining your visa status. We also organize a variety of on and off-campus events that provide opportunities to experience American culture and facilitate cross-cultural experiences with the UMW students.

Follow CIE

Get connected! Follow us on social media to see photos, updates, and stories from UMW students studying all over the world – and don’t forget to get pro tips from UMW Abroad veteran travelers on our Peer Advisor Blog.


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