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Regular version of the site

How to Get Refunded for Your Cancelled Student Mobility Programme

Detailed answers to students’ questions

© Daniil Prokofyev

In early March, HSE University introduced measures against the spread of COVID-19. All academic mobility programmes have been cancelled. The University administration has prepared instructions on how to get refunded for your expenses.

1. What can I do to get my mobility costs refunded?

Without any delay, contact your service providers (airline, dorm, etc.) for a refund. If the provider refuses to give you a refund, obtain written confirmation from them stating that they will not give you a refund.

If the provider has reason to deny you a refund, HSE University may reimburse the costs incurred by you, pending the decision made by a special committee in the cases described below (see Question 2).

2. In what cases will HSE reimburse the costs for a cancelled (or interrupted) international academic mobility trip?

You can apply for reimbursement for a trip that has started or was planned to start before June 30, 2020 if the university (department, programme) had officially confirmed before the programme start date that your costs would be reimbursed fully or in part (except for grant payments that you have received before the trip).

This means that the university will fulfill its obligations of reimbursing your costs, regardless of whether the trip was cancelled or interrupted.

In particular, this applies to international academic travel by students of all campuses as part of the following types of mobility:

  • Academic and student exchange programmes with partner universities;
  • Internship programmes organized or supported by faculties and doctoral schools;
  • Mobility as part of double-degree programmes;
  • Participation in academic competitions and academic events.

The costs will be reimbursed by the department or programme budgets that originally approved the financial support for your trip. Reimbursement requests will be reviewed by department and programme heads with consideration of recommendations by the special committee.

When a student applies for reimbursement of these expenses, they must confirm that they have requested a refund from the service provider (airline, dorm, etc.), and that the refund has been either partially granted or denied.

3. What costs may students apply to have reimbursed?

Any costs that were previously approved to be covered by the University (or department or programme) qualify for reimbursement.

Generally, this includes coverage (full or partial, depending on what the original financial support agreement stipulated) of the following expenses: visa and consular fees, tickets, medical insurance for international travel, pre-paid accommodation, and university registration fees (if applicable).

In addition, the following costs may also be considered: penalty for the return ticket that was supposed to be used for the return flight at the end of studies, and purchase of a new ticket for pre-term return to Russia for programmes that were interrupted due to coronavirus protection measures.

4. How do I apply for reimbursement and what documentation do I need to submit?

If your case is one of those listed in the answer to Question 2, you may contact the Centre for International Student Mobility at  international.study@hse.ru (if you are an undergraduate or master’s student), or the Doctoral Programmes Office (if you are a doctoral student) at eviktorova@hse.ru. In your email, indicate the amount you are requesting to have reimbursed and provide details about the costs. Attach the following scans to the message:

  • Photos/copies of documents (including digital ones) confirming your payment of the costs;
  • Copy of HSE University’s decision on financial support for you;
  • Copy of the host (partner university) invitation;
  • Documents (including digital ones) that confirm the service providers’ refusal to refund the costs (air companies, hotels etc).

To have your request considered, submitting photos or copies (scans) of documents will suffice. If you get a positive decision on the reimbursement, you will have to provide the originals of the documents, which will serve as the basis for the money transfer.

5. What is the deadline for all reimbursement applications?

You must apply before June 30, 2020 (if this term is not prolonged by further decisions, depending on the developing situation with COVID-19 infection).

6. If the payments were made by a third party’s bank card (i.e., parents or other relatives), what additional documents will be needed for reimbursement?

If the previously made decision on financial support for your trip allowed for reimbursement of such costs (including following the general regulations of the programme), no additional papers will be needed.

As your request is processed, you may be requested to submit a written confirmation from your sponsors (parents or other relatives) that the payments have been made for you (you will receive the form to fill out). In this case, this confirmation is also necessary for the reimbursement.

7. If I am an international student and I apply for reimbursement, will any additional papers be needed?

No, they will not, because you already are an HSE University student, and the university’s administration has your personal data.

8. How long will it take to process my reimbursement application?

It will take about two weeks.

The Centre for International Student Mobility or the Doctoral Programmes Office will send your application to the department or programme head who made the initial decision on your trip’s financial support.

After your submitted documents are reviewed at this stage, the relevant department or programme head will forward the application to the university committee that considers COVID-19 protection-related cost reimbursement. The committee meets weekly.

9. How will the money be reimbursed?

The money will be transferred to your MIR card within 5 work days after your papers are submitted to the Accounting Office. All payments in cash have been halted as part of COVID-19 protection measures.

10. Are there any reimbursement-related limitations for students who pay full tuition costs?

Reimbursement for academic mobility is considered based on previously made financial support arrangements, and is not related to whether students study on a fee-paying or budget-funded basis.

11. I have won an Endowment Fund scholarship for participants of academic mobility programmes in the spring semester of the 2019/2020 academic year. Will it be paid out?

If you already left for a partner university, started studying there, and sent a confirmation to the HSE Student International Mobility Office, the scholarship will be paid in full, even if you had to cut your studies short and return to Russia.

If you did not leave before the restrictions were imposed, the right to receive a scholarship is reserved for you to participate in a mobility programme in the future.

March 23