IES Abroad COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Policy

Updated November 2, 2022

IES Abroad requires students participating in our study abroad programs, Customized & Faculty-Led Programs, and in-person internship programs abroad be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the CDC, unless they are granted a medical exemption by IES Abroad, or granted a religious exemption from their home college or university that is documented on university letterhead and sent to IES Abroad. 

According to the CDC, “Everyone, except those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, is still considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after the single-dose J&J/Janssen vaccine. Fully vaccinated, however, is not the same as having the best protection.  People are best protected when they stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations, which includes getting boosters when eligible.

Each of our host country governments determine which vaccines are approved, available, and the duration of efficacy (or validity) of each vaccine. IES Abroad strives to follow applicable laws and regulations. These laws and regulations can change with no notice. Additionally,

  • Each student’s vaccine status must comply with host country requirements.
  • In addition, IES Abroad students are required to follow their home college or universities vaccination requirements. 
  • Students will be required to share written documentation of their vaccination status prior to the start of their program.

IES Abroad will continue to monitor advice from the CDC and other sources regarding boosters, requirements from host countries, and the definition of fully vaccinated status in our host countries and regions. Students are advised, pre-departure, to look at the booster recommendations of the CDC, and to discuss with their doctor whether they should or can obtain a booster shot prior to their departure and the start date of their program or internship.

Students will be responsible for knowing and complying with vaccine requirements of locations where they travel independently. Students are responsible for researching and adhering to any vaccine requirements to re-enter their home country upon the end of their term abroad. Again, these vaccine requirements change regularly with little to no notice and students who are not up to date on requirements risk being unable to reenter their study abroad country after independent travel.

In addition to increasing protection for our students, faculty, staff, homestay family members, and community members in the host country and around the world, this policy aims to:

  • reduce the risk of contraction and transmission of COVID-19 and its variants;
  • reduce the risk of travel restrictions preventing our students from entering host countries;
  • help to reduce the risk of certain quarantine requirements for our students;
  • provide greater access for our students and interns to participate in events and more fully engage with the communities in which they are studying; and
  • acknowledge that some program components (e.g., field study, academic trips outside of the host country, internship, etc.) may not be possible without vaccination.

Exemptions from Vaccination

Students may request a medical exemption from the IES Abroad vaccination requirement for documented medical reasons utilizing a written IES Abroad form designed for this purpose.


We are monitoring the rapidly evolving developments on these dynamic issues very closely. As more country-specific information becomes available, IES Abroad will continue to update students and schools.

Contact Us At 800.995.2300