COVID-19 Information for NUS Students

Frequently Asked Questions

SEP can resume to most countries, are there any countries where we cannot travel for overseas programmes?

Travel advisories are subject to change. Refer to ICA website for the latest updates.

Do I have to be vaccinated in order to travel for SEP?

You are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated to reduce the risk of suffering from severe complications due to COVID-19 infection. You will need to abide by the travel requirements imposed by the overseas destination. [Updated on 12 Sep 2022]

What other requirements do I need to fulfil in order to proceed with SEP?

The additional requirements include the completion of the Overseas Travel Preparedness (OTP) course on LumiNUS and registration with MFA. [Updated 12 Oct 2022]

Can I book my air tickets and confirm my accommodation once I receive the acceptance letter from my SEP host university?

Students should not make any travel or housing arrangements for their SEP before receiving the required visa(s) for their host country. Given the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, it is advisable to purchase air tickets from full-serviced airlines which have flexible amendment or cancellation policies. Please check the terms and conditions of your air ticket carefully and consider the following:

  • Does the ticket allow for date change?
  • Does the ticket allow for rebooking? What are the rebooking fees?
  • Does the ticket allow for a refund in the case of a cancellation?

With regard to accommodation, please check the terms and conditions of any housing lease carefully before signing. Be aware of the conditions or penalties associated with a change of check-in or check-out dates, or an early lease termination should the COVID-19 pandemic worsen and an early return to Singapore be required.

What if SEP to my SEP host country has to be cancelled? Will I be reimbursed for my expenses?

Students who opted to proceed with SEP will bear all costs and expenses incurred in the event that SEP has to be cancelled due to any prevailing law or regulations or government directive or advisory, health and/or safety concerns arising from the COVID-19 situation at the Host Country.

For expenses incurred, students should seek refund from the relevant parties:

1. If it is an expense that the SEP university mandated, please seek a refund from that university using the SEP cancellation email you received from your Faculty.

2. Other expenses such as airfare and accommodation deposits, please seek refund from the respective service provider.

Given the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, students are advised to purchase air tickets from full-serviced airlines and book accommodation which have flexible amendment or cancellation policies. Please check the terms and conditions of the air ticket and accommodation booking prior to purchase or signing of rental/leasing agreement.

Can I claim for expenses such as COVID-19 tests and quarantine incurred during the travel for SEP?

Students participating in SEP will be fully responsible for any medical fees, travel expenses, quarantine accommodation costs, COVID-19 tests or other costs related to the measures imposed at that point of time, both in the host country and Singapore in relation to COVID-19.

My SEP university is offering me the option of reading their courses online. Is this allowed?

If you are physically on SEP in the SEP host country/region, and your SEP university offers online/hybrid courses due to safety reasons, you may read these online/hybrid courses offered. In such cases, you will qualify for unit transfer/course mapping (subject to mapping approval of the course content by the faculties.  

Is virtual exchange allowed?

No, students are not allowed to participate in virtual exchange with the SEP university while remaining physically in Singapore. Mapping and unit transfer for such courses would not be permitted.  

The decision was arrived at by Provost's Office after consultation with Faculties as virtual exchange does not yield the same benefits as in-person exchange, whereby a student gets to experience a different academic environment, culture, and the opportunity to forge international friendships through interpersonal interactions via shared activities. 

What if I contract COVID-19 when overseas?

You should seek medical treatment, isolate yourself in accordance to the local advisories, notify and keep NUS as well as your SEP host university informed of your condition. 

NUS students on Official NUS Student Trips are covered by the NUS Student Travel Insurance Policy. Expenses for COVID-19 medical treatment is covered under the policy. Please visit for the Summary of Policy Cover. 

You are also strongly encouraged to purchase additional insurance coverage for overseas medical expenses as well as evacuation or repatriation expenses in the unfortunate event that you contract COVID-19.

How should I better prepare myself to travel for SEP?

There is a number of ways you can prepare for your SEP:

  • Keep yourself updated with the COVID-19 situation at your SEP host country through MOH, MFA, the SEP host country Embassy and SEP Host University websites
  • Complete the Overseas Travel Preparedness (OTP) course in LumiNUS at least 1 month before departure
  • Register with MFA or your home country’s diplomatic mission prior to departure
  • Download the International SOS app onto your mobile device and subscribe for email alerts of your SEP Host Country
  • Research and familiarise yourself with the border control measures applicable to you for entry to your SEP Host Country (e.g. quarantine and COVID-19 test requirements upon arrival etc.) and pre-book the necessary test or quarantine facility, if necessary
  • Attend the country/region-specific SEP Pre-departure briefing organised by GRO
  • Organise and prepare, in advance, the necessary documents (e.g. vaccination certificate, acceptance letter from Host University, accommodation booking confirmation/receipt etc.) for entry to your Host SEP country

Is travelling for SEP guaranteed now that MOE has granted approval for overseas programmes to proceed?

Although MOE has granted approval for overseas programmes to proceed, travel to countries currently classified as higher risk is not permitted.

The list of higher risk countries may be updated from time to time, affecting the country/region-specific travel advisory. The border control measures of SEP host countries are subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation in the country. Travel for SEP is therefore not guaranteed. 

Students are advised to monitor the travel advisories on MFA website and the SEP host country/region Embassy website or visa application centre website (for border control measure, visa issuance restrictions etc.) when planning for SEP travel.

My parents/guardian do not consent me to go on SEP, can I still go on SEP?

No, parent/guardian consent is one of the eligibility criteria to proceed. If you have not received the consent from your parent(s)/guardian, you will not be able to proceed with SEP.

Can I withdraw from SEP now?

We understand that students and parents may be concerned about the risks involved in travelling overseas during a pandemic. If you decide to withdraw from SEP, please inform your Faculty as soon as possible and await their advice.

Your Faculty SEP Coordinators

Your Faculty and Department SEP Coordinators are there to help. Please contact them with regard to resolving specific academic issues (alternative courses/programmes/etc).