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FAQ for International Students Fall 2021

We are excited to welcome and welcome back many of our international students for the Fall 2021 Semester. We know that there are many questions related to UMBC’s vaccine requirements and travel processes. Please review these frequently asked questions and answers about COVID-19. Let us know if you have additional questions by emailing covid19@umbc.edu.

The Center for Global Engagement’s website has information on general travel, visa, and enrollment processes.

Which vaccines is UMBC accepting?
UMBC is accepting all vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This includes: Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna.

UMBC is also accepting vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO). This includes AstroZeneca and COVISHIELD and several others. Vaccines may go by additional names. Please refer to the WHO for a complete list. Additional vaccines may be accepted as WHO updates their approvals.

If you are fully vaccinated, please report your vaccine ASAP so we can determine if it is accepted by UMBC.

Will I need to quarantine when I arrive in the United States?
We will be following the CDC’s guidelines for international travel. At this time, unvaccinated individuals (this includes those who are partially vaccinated or those who are vaccinated with a vaccine not accepted by UMBC) will need to quarantine for 7 days when they arrive, and be tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after travel. This guidance may change as the health situation evolves, but we encourage you to plan to arrive at least 7 days before the start of classes in case you need to quarantine.

What if I don’t have a place to quarantine when I arrive in the United States? 
We do not yet have an answer to this question. We are working with campus partners to investigate possible solutions and will continue to monitor the CDC travel guidance. We also encourage you to consider making arrangements to quarantine upon arrival with friends and relatives in the U.S. We will provide more information when it is available.

What if I do not have access to a vaccine in my home country?
If you do not have access to a vaccine, UMBC will help you get vaccinated when you arrive in the United States. Until you are fully vaccinated (two weeks after your final shot), you will be required to symptom track and regularly submit a COVID-19 test. We will provide tests on campus. Provided you fulfill all monitoring and testing requirements, you will be allowed to live on campus and/or attend classes on campus.

What if I received a vaccination that is not accepted by UMBC?
If you received a vaccination that is not accepted by either the FDA or WHO, you will need to be vaccinated as soon as it is safe to do so after you enter the United States. At this time, according to the CDC, this will be 28 days after your last vaccination. In the meantime, you will be required to symptom track and regularly submit a COVID-19 test. We will provide tests on campus. Provided you fulfill all monitoring and testing requirements, you will be allowed to live on campus and/or attend classes.

What happens if I receive the first shot of a vaccine that is available in my home country but not in the U.S. (AstraZeneca, COVISHIELD)  but will travel to the United States before I can receive my second shot?
In this situation you are not considered fully vaccinated and you will need to get vaccinated with two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one Johnson and Johnson as soon as it is safe to do so after you enter the United States. At this time, according to the CDC, this will be 28 days after your last shot (Read the current CDC guidance). This guidance may change in the coming weeks as more information becomes available.  In the meantime, you will be required to symptom track and regularly submit a COVID-19 test. We will provide tests on campus. Provided you fulfill all monitoring and testing requirements, you will be allowed to live on campus and/or attend classes.

When you arrive in the United States, you will need to follow the CDC’s guidelines for international travel. At this time, unvaccinated individuals (or those who are vaccinated with a vaccine not accepted by UMBC) will need to quarantine for 7 days and test for COVID-19 3-5 days after travel. This guidance may change as the health situation improves, but we encourage you to plan to arrive at least 7 days before the start of classes in case you need to quarantine.

What if I receive the first shot of a vaccine that is available in the U.S. (Pfizer, Moderna) but will travel to the United States before I can receive my second shot. Will UMBC help me acquire a second shot? What documents do I need to bring with me to schedule the second shot?
Many locations in the United States are now offering second shot appointments so we believe this is possible. Please bring as much proof of vaccination as possible.

If I have access to a vaccine that is not approved by UMBC, should I take it? 
You need to make the decision that is best for the health and safety of you and your family. Regardless of whether or not you choose to be vaccinated, we will work with you to take the necessary and safest steps for you to enter our community in the fall. Vaccines are currently widely available to students in the U.S.