SIT Statement on Program Completion, Financial Support, and Refunds

Announcement Date: March 21, 2020

The novel coronavirus has created an unprecedented global crisis that has seriously impacted every single one of us over the past few months. SIT is a nonprofit organization with infrastructure and a network of staff, faculty and families across more than 50 countries. All are part of the SIT community throughout the year and all are there to support you on your study abroad experience. Our campus in Brattleboro, Vermont, houses the admissions team who worked with you, our marketing group, IT specialists, librarians and all the other integral support for our academic programs. The strength of this group in Vermont and across the world means that we are now able to transition to the online experience. Those who would have taught you and cared for you are still with us and looking forward to working with you in this very different format.    

SIT is offering online completion of all programs, enabling students to earn full credit for the semester. We expect this to begin seven to 10 days after you arrive home. Students who choose to withdraw from a program are eligible for a refund according to our published refund schedule. If a student opts for "Early Departure" and leaves the program having completed some but not all the components, taking a grade of Withdrawal (W) in one or more courses, the student is not eligible for a refund. We know that choosing whether to withdraw or go online is a big decision for your academic and financial future, and each case can differ given that we have varying types of agreements with your schools. For that reason, we have set-up a support service to talk through your individual situation. Please contact SIT University Relations Manager, Meghan Devine ([email protected]).

SIT aims to reimburse change fees for students’ flight from the program location to their final destination if your program closed, and you left due to that closure. If you have needed to buy a new flight in these same circumstances, SIT also aims to compensate you up to $1,000. In case of ticket change or new ticket purchase, we will only reimburse for the same cabin level or lower than your original flight.

Please send all ticket change fee receipts or new ticket receipts and original and new travel itineraries to Lynn Meyer, SIT Budget Assistant: [email protected], within 14 days from completing travel (or 14 days from the date of this letter). In the subject line of the email please write: “[SIT country and program name]: airfare reimbursement.” Please note: We may ask for further information before a final decision on your reimbursement.

Unfortunately, if you choose to leave the program country after the end of all SIT Study Abroad program services on March 24, 2020, we are not able to offer reimbursement for any fees associated with leaving the country. If a student cannot leave the program country, then program services in that country will remain open and the student will ‘shelter in place’ until we can find appropriate travel home.

SIT regrets that we are unable to provide refunds for room and board or ISP stipends. This is an unprecedented situation. We have diverted funding to make sure you all get home because that was and remains our top priority. Our costs for the education of the class of spring 2020 will be ongoing; and many other costs have already been incurred and cannot be recovered. To develop and build out our immersive programs, SIT invests in salaries, program centers and other infrastructure, and non-refundable payments to stakeholders in our host communities. Your support services, for instance at Student Affairs or the Library, will continue. In addition, we are investing right now to ensure we have an online designer team working full-time for our undergraduates and providing trainings and additional support for your faculty across the world so that they can continue to teach. We understand that this is a frustrating time for you and we appreciate your consideration of the full picture.

If an individual student is experiencing serious hardship due to current circumstances, please talk with your academic or program director, who will connect you with SIT University Relations Manager Shun Yanagishita ([email protected]) to help problem-solve. For instance, SIT can collaborate with your home institution and/or look for other resources that might be available. We will do our best to make sure that no student suffers undue hardship during an already stressful time.

We also appreciate that you have needed to leave your amazing country and program before the completion of your semester. Some needed to leave very early in the program. We know that for many of you this was your only projected opportunity to spend time studying overseas. Please know that everybody at SIT very much wanted you to have this time away and were so excited to have you with them. We still want you to have that experience, if it is at all possible for you.

Consequently, for all students who complete the online continuation of their program at this time, we have prepared the following scholarships. You may choose between the following options:

Option 1

Each of you has a unique situation depending on your current class standing and your home institution’s policies on study abroad. But if pursuing another study abroad experience is possible for you, we hope you will consider taking advantage of a scholarship for a summer or semester program with SIT. There is no hurry! This scholarship is available to you during your undergraduate degree up until the summer after your graduation (from this summer until summer 2022).

Option 2

SIT is an accredited college and offers full-time and part-time graduate degrees. Given the complications you may have taking another study abroad experience at this time, we wanted to offer you something for your future. We are extending this scholarship opportunity to all SIT masters programs. Please see below for the discount rate we are applying specifically for our spring 2020 undergraduate students. You may choose either one of our Global Masters programs which allows students to complete a master’s degree in up to three countries over 12 months full-time, or a part-time low-residency program over 24 months. In some cases, it may be possible for you to return to the country of your study abroad program through one of our master’s degrees. This scholarship will be available to you for the next three years (for all MA degrees starting from fall 2020 until degrees starting in fall 2022 inclusive).*

SIT Scholarships for Spring 2020 Study Abroad Students

SIT will offer scholarships to students (up to one scholarship per student) who have had their spring 2020 SIT semester abroad experiences cut short by COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions and who have continued their program to completion (defined as 12 to 16 credits). Scholarships will be available for the next two years for select SIT summer and semester programs. You may also choose to use your scholarship for the next three years for one of SIT Graduate Institute MA programs. Please contact [email protected] to utilize your scholarship. Scholarship percentages and estimated average amounts are as follows:**

SIT Study Abroad semester programs open for scholarship

  • Senegal: Hip-hop, African Diaspora and Decolonial Futures
  • Malaysia and China: International Relations and New Economies
  • Portugal: Sustainability and Environmental Justice
  • Spain: Policy, Law, and Regional Autonomy in Europe
  • Jordan: Refugees, Health, and Humanitarian Action
  • Jordan: Geopolitics, International Relations, and the Future of the Middle East
  • Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights
  • Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples
  • Indonesia: Arts, Religion, and Social Change
  • Argentina: Transnationalism and Comparative Dev in South America
  • Bolivia: Multiculturalism, Globalization and Social Change
  • China: Health, Environment, and Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Chile: Comparative Education and Social Change
  • Cameroon: Development and Social Change
  • Czech Republic: Arts and Social Change
  • Ecuador: Development, Politics, and Languages
  • Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans
  • India: Sustainable Development and Social Change
  • India: Public Health, Gender, and Community Action
  • Kenya: Global Health and Human Rights
  • Mongolia and Siberia: Nomadism, Geopolitics, and the Environment
  • Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management
  • Morocco: Field Studies in Journalism and New Media
  • Mexico: Migration, Borders, and Transnational Communities
  • Nepal: Development, Gender, and Social Change in the Himalaya
  • Panama: Tropical Ecology, Marine Ecosystems, Biodiversity Conservation
  • Rwanda: Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding
  • South Africa: Social and Political Transformation
  • Senegal: Global Security and Religious Pluralism
  • Switzerland: Banking, Finance, and Social Responsibility
  • Tunisia and Italy: Politics and Religious Integration in the Mediterranean
  • Tanzania: Zanzibar: Ecology and Natural Resource Management
  • Uganda: Global Development Studies
  • Vietnam: Culture, Social Change, and Development
  • Samoa: Social and Environmental Change in Oceania

SIT Study Abroad summer programs open for scholarship

  • Indonesia: Biodiversity and Conservation in Bali and Borneo
  • Argentina: Art, Memory, and Social Transformation
  • China: Community Health and Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Colombia: Building a Culture of Peace
  • Jordan: Counseling and Humanitarian Action Internship
  • Kenya: Public Health in the Tropics Internship
  • India: Agroecology and Food Security in the Himalaya
  • India: Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Practices
  • Panama: Community and Nongovernmental Organizations Internship
  • South Africa: Social Justice and Activism Internship
  • Jordan: Engineering and Design for Sustainable Environments
  • Jordan: Intensive Arabic Language Studies
  • Madagascar: Traditional Medicine and Healthcare Systems
  • Morocco: Arabic Language and Community Service
  • Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalaya
  • Panama: Marine Ecology and Blue Carbon Conservation in the Pacific and Caribbean
  • South Africa: Education and Social Change
  • Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy (Summer 2)
  • Tanzania: Climate Change and Sustainability, Mount Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar
  • Uganda and Rwanda: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Lake Victoria Basin
  • Vietnam: Nongovernmental Organization Internship

Please note that your institution may have policies about how scholarships are applied so we are happy to speak with you further about this. Please contact [email protected] for questions about this scholarship.

SIT Graduate Institute programs open for scholarship

  • Master of Arts in Climate Change and Global Sustainability (Iceland, Tanzania and global practicum)
  • Master of Arts in Development Practice (Ecuador, Malawi, Uganda and global practicum)
  • Master of Arts in International Education (Chile, Vietnam and global practicum)
  • Master of Arts in Global Health Policy, Administration and Management (Kenya, India and global practicum)
  • Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Management (Jordan, Uganda and global practicum)
  • Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations (Washington DC, Switzerland, South Africa and global practicum)
  • Master of Arts in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management (part-time, online with brief residencies in Vermont)
  • Master of Arts in International Education (part-time, online with brief residencies in Vermont)
  • Master of Arts in Peace and Justice Leadership (part-time, online with brief residencies in Vermont and South Africa
  • Master of Arts in Sustainable Development (part-time, online with brief residencies in Vermont and Mexico)
  • Master of Arts in TESOL (part-time, online with brief residencies in Vermont)

*Subject to successful admittance to the program as per the individual program requirements

**All programs are subject to availability

This scholarship has no cash redemption value.