You are here

Travel Restrictions and Guidance

Last Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2020

Otis College recommends the suspension/cancellation of all planned international travel through the end of the spring semester, if possible. Domestically, on March 24 the White House advised anyone traveling from New York—now considered to be the epicenter of the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.—to self-quarantine for 14 days to help contain the spread of the virus.

Anyone who must travel is advised to regularly check the CDC Travelers’ Health website and the State Department website for the latest information and advice regarding their destination. Traveling to an area affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may also make it difficult to return to the U.S., or result in travelers having to self-quarantine upon their return. Otis College will assist travelers however we can, and students affected by these restrictions can contact Nick Negrete, Dean of Student Affairs, via email at or by calling 310-665-6967, as he will work in partnership with Academic Affairs and the Student Health and Wellness Center to ensure continuity of a student’s coursework and additional support while off-campus.

All currently scheduled International and Out-of-State Travel Study is cancelled. Local/In-State Travel Study activity will remain under constant review. No new Travel Study should be planned until further notice. 

Factors contributing to cancellations include:

  • Health and Safety risk—the CDC has declared a Level 2 travel advisory, globally
  • Unstable travel conditions—the current rapidly-changing situation surrounding long-distance travel greatly complicates successful travel study activity, including but not limited to air travel portions
  • Educational Viability—courses’ educational objectives are thwarted substantially by current travel-related and venue-specific conditions
  • Return-related complications—unpredictable but more likely than usual travel delays, possible medical needs outside the U.S., possible quarantine requirements upon return, etc., all of which are unknown and unpredictable at this time, semester schedule factors notwithstanding
  • Similar decisions/best practices—many institutions of higher learning have also been obliged to cancel similarly planned international travel with students, faculty, and staff, including most AICAD (Otis’s family of comparable independent art and design) schools.


Otis College leadership is truly saddened that affected College Travel Study plans must go unfulfilled this year, especially with so many years’ success behind the program. The current international and long-distance domestic travel environment is truly unique in the unprecedented challenges it poses for schools making such travel plans, and for the students who would have benefited from them in normal times.