International Students

Travel restrictions and CDC guidance

Read the CDC guidance for international travellers’ entry to the United States.

If you travel internationally, you should become thoroughly aware of all travel restrictions and guidance that may impact your travel back to and from Madison. Global travel restrictions may change, so you are highly encouraged to monitor conditions and guidance both before and throughout any travel.

Each U.S. embassy website offers a COVID-19 page, and this is a good starting place to access updated information. Although the embassy’s webpages are specific to traveling U.S. citizens and permanent residents, it will provide good information for others as well. Reviewing the destination country’s foreign ministry website and reviewing its many COVID-19 related links is also highly advised.

Frequently Asked Questions

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I am an international student traveling to Madison from outside the United States – do I need to test for COVID-19 before leaving?

Due to frequent changes, please review the CDC COVID Travel Guidelines for the latest information.

Last updated 7:57 PM, August 26, 2022

If I was vaccinated for COVID-19 outside of the United States, do I need to get or can I get a U.S.-based vaccine?

This depends on the type of vaccination you received and whether you completed the series.

For recipients of FDA-authorized vaccines

  • If you had two doses of Moderna or Pfizer or a single dose of Johnson and Johnson, you have completed the series.
  • If it has been more than 2 months since you received a Johnson and Johnson dose, you should get a booster shot.
  • If you are 18 or older and it has been more than 5 months since you completed your initial dose series of Pfizer or Moderna, you should get a booster shot. Learn more about booster shots.
  • If you are immunocompromised, you should get an additional dose if you received Moderna or Pfizer. Anyone initially vaccinated with Johnson and Johnson at least two months ago should get a booster of either an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) or Johnson and Johnson.
  • If you received just one dose of Moderna or Pfizer, you should seek a second dose as close to the recommended timeframe as possible (28 days for Moderna, 21 days for Pfizer)

For recipients of WHO-approved vaccines listed for emergency use

  • If you completed a vaccine series, you are considered fully vaccinated.
  • If it has been more than 5 months since you completed your initial dose series and you are 18 or older, you should get a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • If you completed just part of a series, you should seek a complete, FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series. You should wait until it’s been at least 28 days since your last dose to begin an FDA-authorized vaccine series.

For recipients of non–WHO-listed or FDA-authorized vaccine

  • If you received all or part of a vaccine that is not currently authorized by the FDA or granted emergency use listing by the WHO, you should seek a complete, FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series. You should wait until it’s been at least 28 days since your last dose to begin an FDA-authorized vaccine series.

You must receive all recommended doses of an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed COVID-19 initial vaccine series to be considered fully vaccinated. At this time, a booster shot is not required.

Last updated 11:33 AM, February 23, 2022

Where and when can I be tested?

Campus PCR testing is available on weekdays by appointment only at 333 E. Campus Mall. Appointments can be made through the MyUHS app or the MyUHS web portal. Check the testing website for more information, including test site hours.

Campus is also offering at-home antigen testing kits for fall semester to current employees and students. More information can be found on our testing page.

Public Health Madison & Dane County maintains a listing of local testing locations.

Last updated 10:58 AM, August 18, 2022

Can my family member or friend who is traveling with me to Madison get tested for COVID-19 on campus?

No. UW–Madison is only able to offer COVID-19 testing on campus to current students and employees. Family members can find off-campus testing options through Public Health Madison and Dane County or by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website for a list of community and private providers, including pharmacies.

Find more information about off-campus testing options on our testing webpage.

Last updated 2:48 PM, August 18, 2022

What kind of COVID-19 testing is being offered on campus?

Campus is offering a PCR nasal swab test for COVID-19. Results from campus testing can be used to satisfy most travel requirements. Campus is also offering at-home antigen tests to students and employees. More information about this complementary testing strategy can be found on our testing webpage.

Last updated 2:39 PM, August 17, 2022

Where can I find more details about my test results, including official documentation of my results for travel or other purposes?

To find more details about your PCR test, including information to help you interpret results, log into your MyUHS account and find “UHS Health Record” on the left-hand side of the web page, or in the drop-down menu on mobile. Navigate to “Laboratory results” to find your COVID-19 test with more details, including test date and a full interpretation of the results. Or, on the MyUHS homepage, after logging in, scroll down to “View lab results” to find a list of your COVID-19 test results and click on the result to get more information. You can print the report as documentation of your PCR test result.

Last updated 12:24 PM, January 20, 2022

How long does it take to get test results?

Individuals should expect to receive their campus PCR test results within 48 hours, although in some instances results may not be available for up to 72 hours. At-home antigen tests provide rapid results within 15 minutes.

Last updated 2:35 PM, August 17, 2022