In response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, MISTI will provide the most up-to-date information to our students abroad and those who intend to participate in MISTI, D-Lab and the PKG Center programs abroad over the summer. Our top priority is student safety, and we continue to monitor developments and changes to MIT policies and will update this page with more information as it is available. MISTI Program Managers will also reach out to their students directly with country-specific details as this situation unfolds.


What steps are programs taking to ensure the health and safety of students?

Student safety is our top priority, so we will continue to monitor developments and any changes to MIT's policies and advise students accordingly. MISTI Program Managers are in constant contact with hosts and partners abroad and are monitoring the situation in their specific country. MISTI, D-Lab and the PKG Center will only send students abroad in compliance with MIT policy.

To support students through the current uncertainty, a new team has been created that will focus on coordinating and planning for non-academic or co-curricular summer opportunities including internships, UROP, MISTI, PKG, etc. The charge/mission of this team will be:

  • To support MIT students with clear and helpful advice, communication, and programming;
  • To coordinate Institute initiatives, communications, and decision-making; and
  • To make careful assessments and timely decisions about the status of MIT summer opportunities in light of the latest developments and evolving Institute and governmental responses.
What should I do if I am already abroad?

As the situation evolves, program staff will reach out to you as soon as possible with additional information.

Are MISTI programs still happening this summer?

Travel for Summer 2020 is suspended institute-wide.

Please be aware that the CAPD is available to help students make alternate plans for this summer, including one-on-one virtual meetings and job/internship opportunities available via Handshake (

Learn more about alternative MISTI programming this summer.

Can I do a MISTI internship independently?

No. Students may not independently seek or complete a MISTI-sponsored internship outside of the framework of the MISTI program. If a MISTI internship program is suspended, all MISTI-sponsored travel to that country is cancelled.

An internship is considered to be sponsored by MISTI when:

  • MISTI funds are used to cover all or a portion of the internship or
  • MISTI introduced the student to the host entity and/or made the placement or
  • The internship was made available to MIT students thanks to a partnership with MISTI

MISTI has suspended some summer 2020 country internship programs based on a thorough analysis of health and safety concerns in the country, U.S. and foreign government policies and approaches to dealing with the spread of the coronavirus, and the availability of high-quality host institutions. Although MIT students may choose to complete non-MISTI-sponsored internships abroad, MISTI strongly discourages students from traveling to countries in which MISTI has decided to suspend activities.

When will MISTI programs be reopened?

Considerations for re-opening a suspended program will include:

  • lifting of global travel ban
  • lifting of country-specific travel ban and downgrading of country-specific risk to level 2 maximum
  • absence of quarantine on US travelers by host country
  • validity of ISOS insurance in host country
Should I buy my flight tickets or secure housing?

No. At this time, no international travel and housing should be purchased until your program manager informs you otherwise.

Should I still apply for a visa?

This depends on the country you are traveling to. Please be in touch with your MISTI country-specific Program Manager or staff at D-Lab or the PKG Center.

Are there any opportunities for remote internships?

Students whose country programs are suspended may wish to complete their internship remotely. In such cases, if the host is willing, MISTI may facilitate remote internships. In some cases, MISTI country programs may be able to cover the costs related to such internships. Such payments would be in the form of a taxable stipend. Ideally, these internships would lead to an in-country MISTI internship in the future.  Hosts and students engaging in remote internships should follow guidelines for remote internships from the CAPD website. 

I have a grant from MISTI Global Seed Funds. May I receive an extension?

Faculty members and research scientists with active MISTI Global Seed Funds grants may be eligible for an extension based upon the length of disruption to their project. MISTI will reach out to impacted faculty with more details.