The situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing and we know that many students have questions about how it will affect their study abroad program. Below we have outlined some of the frequently asked questions regarding study abroad and COVID-19. The University of Guelph has also created an FAQ page for additional questions

Please review the FAQ section below that pertains to your situation:

UofG Students Studying Abroad

Global Affairs Canada has recommend that 'Canadian travellers return to Canada via commercial means while they remain available'.
In keeping with this information, the University of Guelph is officially advising all students, regardless of what country they are in, to return home. We understand that it may take time to book a ticket and take care of your departure arrangements but we urge you to rebook your ticket home as soon as possible.
Student safety is always our first priority.

If You've Been Formally Advised to Return Home (now includes all programs abroad)

Global Affairs Canada has recommend that 'Canadian travellers return to Canada via commercial means while they remain available'.
In keeping with this information, the University of Guelph is officially advising all students, regardless of what country they are in, to return home. We understand that it may take time to book a ticket and take care of your departure arrangements but we urge you to rebook your ticket home as soon as possible.
Student safety is always our first priority.

  • Check with your Profs and the international office there to determine if you can complete your host institution courses on-line or in some other way
  • Rebook your flight home. Have your flight itinerary number handy and be prepared to be on hold for quite a while. Flight may be difficult to get and prices may have changed considerbaly.
  • Check what you need to do to cancel your accommodation
  • Inform at your host institution you will be leaving
  • If you are not continuing classes, follow procedures to withdraw from your host institution. For more information on course credits see other FAQs above.

We know it is currently very difficult to book flights and to organize your return to Canada. If you have been formally advised to come home, it means that the situation in your area is worsening and you should leave as soon as is practical to avoid possible negative consequences such as quarantine, travel restrictions that make you unable to leave, and difficulty accessing health care should you require it for any reason. If you choose to stay against our advice and that of the Canadian Goverment, the University cannot be responsible for any consequences of that decision.

 You have a couple of academic options:
  1. If you can make arrangements with your host institution and professors to complete your courses from home (probably by distance), you can remain registered as ‘on-exchange’ at Guelph and transfer your course credits as usual (Note that CIP can invigilate exams back in Canada if that is required)
  2. If you cannot complete your courses, contact before April 29, 2020 and we will assist in arranging a tuition refund and withdrawal from the winter 2020 semester. After April 29, 2020 you will still be able to crop your courses, however, you will not be eligible for the tuition refund.

Notify CIP of your plans by sending an email to and let us know if you will complete your exchange courses by distance or if you want to drop all your courses and withdraw from your exchange semester. If you withdraw before April 29, 2020 you will receive a tuition refund but no credit for the courses you were taking on exchange.
Do not try to drop courses on WebAdvisor yourself, the Registrar’s office will take care of this for you provided you notify
Before leaving your host institution, please make sure that you settle all outstanding fees or issues including cancelling your housing. Also, using the appropriate channels, notify your host institution that you will be cancelling your exchange.
Please also notify once you have returned to Canada.

Should you decide to stay in your host country despite this advice, your GuardMe Tavel health insurance may not cover you. 
Also, GuardMe insurance has issued a communique outlining changes to your coverage which are triggered when a pandemic is declared. Please go to  read the information at the top of the page carefully to understand your coverage. 
You can also call the GuardMe COVID-19 assistance line to get information related to your specific situation: International Insurance COVID 19 Crisis Assistance Line
USA: +1-619-717-8549 (collect call)
Quote: Special Students CRC assistance 200227GRDME

Unfortunately, your accommodation arrangements are between you and your housing provider, but we have asked our partners to assist our students in obtaining any possible refunds and to advocate on your behalf where possible.

Each student who was required to return from a University study abroad program, early because of the COVID-19 recall of students will receive $1000 in financial assistance from the University. The Centre for International Programs has a list of these students and, if you qualify, the funds will be issued to you by direct deposit.

In addition, students facing unusual financial hardship because of this situation should contact and cases will be dealt with on an individual case-by-case basis. For these instances please keep receipts for such items as, ticket rebooking, flight change fees, accommodation cancellation penalties etc.

Students who received a University of Guelph travel grant to fund their academic travel abroad will not be required to return scholarships if their trip was cut short because of COVID-19. Students who received a travel grant, but did not depart Canada prior to the recall, can submit proof of non-refundable expenses related to their trip to and will be able to retain the amount required to cover those expenses.

Students Studying on Exchange at the University of Guelph

If you are returning to your home country early, please complete the following survey to inform us of your travel plans.

If you ahven't already done so, please complete this survey so that we know if you are leaving, have left, or are staying. Follow any instructions and updates given to you by your home university. Make sure to follow any residence protocols for moving out - see the Student Housing Services COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date information and FAQ's. If you live off-campus, ensure that your landlord knows that you are leaving and find out what implications there are for your lease or terms of rental.

Please inform the Centre for International Programs, through our survey, if you are planning to stay at UoGuelph until the end of the semester. Many on campus services have adjusted its service hours, please refer to the student services page for updated service hours.

If you are unable to leave residence due to extenuating circumstances (for example, due to current government travel restrictions), you must submit a Move- Out Extension Form as soon as possible. Follow the instructions given on the Student Housing Services COVID-19 website.

Note that since March 17, 2020, many of the UofG employees will be working by distance, including the Centre for International Programs staff. However, you can still reach us through email or Microsoft Teams (you can search for UoGuelph employee through the chat function by entering their name). If you need your learning agreement or departure form to be signed, you can email the forms to your EAA. For general inquiries, please email

Exchange students are able to complete their course credits, even if they choose to leave early, by completing their courses and exams (if required) online. As of Monday, March 22, course content will be delivered in alternate formats and exams will be given in modified formats. For more information about these academic changes, see the Academics COVID-19 FAQs. If you have any questions, please be in contact with your course instructors for updates on courses and assessments. 

The last day of class and the last day to drop courses is extended to April 9. You can drop your courses by logging into WebAdvisor. If you choose to drop all your courses, please let your Education Abroad Advisor know.

We will be sending out your post-exchange grade report (via email) to the exchange coordinator at your home university after the semester is finished. They should expect to receive the post-exchange transcript by the end of January/early February if you came for the Fall semester, and by the end of May/early June if you came in the Winter semester or the Academic Year.

If you also want your own copy of the transcript, you can order the transcript by faxing the request form to Student Client Services.

See the updates send by Student Housing Services to all students living in residence for instructions.

See the update that was sent to all students living in residence for information. The refund amount will be deposited to your U of Guelph student account and should show within 2 – 6 business days after your move-out date. If you don’t see the refund on your account, please e-mail Housing Business Operations.

If there is a credit on your WebAdvisor account, you can email Student Financial Services from your email account to request a refund. Make sure to indicate that you are an exchange student and have returned home. Student Financial Services will e-mail you a form to fill out with your bank account information in your home country, and they will then send your refund to you by wire transfer. U of Guelph charges a $30 fee for sending a wire transfer, plus there may be other fees you may incur from your bank.

Questions about meal plan refunds can be directed to Kim Zinken and will be decided on a case by case basis

UHIP coverage for eligible members remains unchanged. Visit the UHIP COVID-19 FAQ for more information.

If you are here on exchange, UHIP covers you until April 30, 2020. If you are unable to return home before that date because of travel restrictions, please contact as soon as possible..

Students should follow the Ontario Ministry of Health guidelines, here.

If students are required to visit an assessment centre for testing, bring your UHIP card and a claim form. Claim form can be found here.

In Guelph, the COVID-19 assessment clinic is located at 65 Delhi Street. For more information pertaining to UHIP coverage please visit the UHIP FAQ page.

UofG Student Departing in the Fall or Winter

There will no longer be a cancellation fee for students who cancel their Fall 2020 exchange for any reason.

We will let your host university know that you have been selected to go on exchange, and you should follow your Host University Application Instructions document in the shared folder we previously provided. Host university applications that are completed on paper can be scanned to your Education Abroad Advisor by the deadline indicated on your Host University Application Instructions.

Deadline will be extended, please wait for further instruction

We are currently working out a process with the Program Counsellors for approving the courses on your EPCS form via distance. The deadline will be extended and we will update you about how to get the form signed by your Program Counsellor as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can begin researching which courses at your host university you are interested in taking. Review the instructions for selecting courses in the Exchange Pre-Departure Guide found in the shared folder we provided.

Now due by July 10

We will now only be accepting payment of your $80 Exchange Fee in the form of cheque or money order, which must be mailed to the Centre for International Programs to be received by July 10. Please make cheques payable to University of Guelph-CIP and mail to:

Dimitra Stefopoulou | Financial & Information Coordinator
Centre for International Programs | University of Guelph
University Centre South Level 3 | 50 Stone Rd E
Guelph, ON | N1G 2W1

Do not send cash in the mail!

Scheduled for March 23rd, is now cancelled.

The mandatory Safe Travel Essentials Presentations scheduled for April 1 & 2 are cancelled. Instead, the presentations will be given in an alternate form via distance at some point over the summer.

Must still be completed by June 19


We are working on answers to other issues related to exchange students and will be updating this FAQ website as soon as we have more information.

Additional Questions


Please note that the CIP office is working remotely until further notice. If you need to get in touch with members of our office please see the contact list here.

For Guard.Me

If you feel the COVID-19 situation in your location is escalating and you require advice or assistance, please call the COVID-19 assistance line: International Insurance COVID 19 Crisis Assistance Line
USA: +1-619-717-8549 (collect call)
Quote: Special Students CRC assistance 200227GRDME

This number will provide you with assistance related to:

  • When and how to seek medical assistance
  • General health and safety advice given your current location and travel situation
  • Coordination of  insurance benefits if you have a claim
  • If required, the crisis assistant will make arrangements for/coordinate evacuation and execute transport