Travel policy of Ghent University for students

Ghent University puts the safety of its students and staff above anything and wants to ensure that as much international mobility as possible takes place safely and responsibly.

EarthUGent framework

The Education and Examination Code 2021-2022 Article 46 §4 says .” All Ghent University students who spend part of their study programme abroad (e.g., taking up course units at a foreign institution, an internship, research in the context of their Master's thesis or a compulsory study trip) must register as exchange students in Oasis before the deadline (as stated in the application procedure). Students who do not receive funding through Ghent University for their stay abroad must also complete this registration. Students without registration in Oasis before the first Monday of the month preceding the month of departure cannot be allowed to spend part of their education abroad. In exceptional circumstances (e.g., for security reasons or for reasons that hinder the academic activities abroad), the university board has the right to withdraw this permission to spend part of the study programme abroad or to oblige students who are abroad to return. Academic recognition is not guaranteed for students without permission and no support is provided by Ghent University for the study stay abroad. Academic recognition cannot be guaranteed for students who have not registered their study abroad, or who have not registered it on time, nor can the regular supervision by Ghent University of the study abroad be guaranteed.”

General safety framework

UGent bases its travel approvals/refusals on formal and informal government advice, country information and other international sources and takes these elements into account:

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  1. The overall safety situation (e.g., political situation, disturbances, etc.)
  2. The general health situation (e.g. Ebola, COVID-19, ...)
  3. Nationally or regionally severe measures or events, resulting in major restrictions on movement (e.g. prolonged general strikes, lockdown, ...)
  4. The entry restriction for certain nationals/residents into a particular country/territory
  5. The academic on campus offers at partner institutions/internships (e.g. online classes only, university strikes, ...)

In general, students do not travel to countries/regions with a negative travel advice ("non-essential travel is strongly advised against").

However, students may be eligible for an exception if their exchange/internship is essential (if without the mobility study time extension is at risk), as in the case of:

  • an internship/training component that is mentioned in the curriculum as compulsory abroad without being able to offer a full alternative in Belgium and/or another safe location. For this, a travel risk assessment must be made. Contact the FCI officer at your faculty for this.
  • Structural semester study mobility (e.g., Erasmus Mundus)
  • Students going to their home country (nationality).

Timing of the decisiontime

  • Students with an exchange application with mobility (study= taking courses) receive(d) information in due time.
  • Students with an exchange application for internship, research master thesis, fieldwork,... will receive a positive or negative decision from the Team Actueel on the first Monday of the month preceding the month of departure. 
  • If an exchange application has received a negative travel decision, it is final.
  • The security situation is closely monitored and if the security situation for a certain region/country changes, permission to leave can still be revoked up to the day before departure.

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Information on travelling

Travelling is still subject to many restrictions that are either COVID-19 related or related to the overall safety and security.

The website of the Belgian FPS Foreign Affairs and the website Re-Open EU will guide you and give detailed information per country. Check this carefully before you leave!!! Check also travel advices from other countries and your own country if you are not a Belgian national.

There is still a negative travel advice for non-essential travel to most third countries for non-vaccinated travellers.

A number of countries also still do not admit Belgian (or other) nationals. The entry conditions and applicable measures for the country of destination are described in the travel advice of the FPS Foreign Affairs and through this IATA tool