COVID Updates

COVID-19 Updates for YYGS Students and Families

Updated as of October 12, 2023

Please know that there are no COVID-19 vaccine requirements to apply to the YYGS 2024 residential program.

Given the ever-evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and Yale University’s policies regarding vaccination and isolation, we encourage all students to apply to YYGS, and if offered admission, check this webpage for YYGS’ current COVID-19 policies. The updated policy at the time of decision release will help students and families decide whether to accept or decline the offer of admission.

YYGS policies may change, and our rules follow Yale’s most updated visitor policy by the start of the program.

As of November 2023, if any person at Yale tests positive for COVID-19, there is a required isolation period of five (5) days. Given that it is not possible to isolate for 5 days and to participate in our in-person program, YYGS currently has a vaccine mandate to mitigate the chances of being sent home due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Last year’s vaccine mandate resulted in fewer than 5 out of 1,800 students testing positive for COVID-19.

At this point in time, all participants must have received at least one dose of a CDC-approved vaccine for COVID-19. Our hope is that the Yale university isolation mandate will be relaxed by June & July 2024, and if the isolation period was relaxed (for example, if asymptomatic students could still participate while wearing a mask), then YYGS would be able to relax its vaccine mandate.

Common Questions

Do I need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to participate in YYGS 2024?

Yes. Students must be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are offered admission to YYGS 2024 and you accept, then you will be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination for COVID-19 by March 4 (Early Action) or May 5 (Regular Decision) in order to enroll in YYGS.

If I am unable to be vaccinated for COVID-19 for any reason, then can I participate in YYGS 2024? Will YYGS grant any exceptions to this COVID-19 vaccine requirement?

No. For YYGS 2024, unfortunately we are not able to accommodate students who are unable to provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19. Students must be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  We may change this policy in future years, but during our first year returning to campus, there will be no exceptions to this requirement.

If I am not vaccinated for COVID-19, but I can prove I had COVID-19 and took an antibodies test, then can I participate in YYGS 2024?

No. For YYGS 2024, we will only admit students who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What are the travel requirements in order to attend YYGS on Yale University’s campus in New Haven, CT, USA?

Please review all of our YYGS Residential webpages, including Visa & ESTA and Arrival & Departure information. As noted on our Financial Aid webpage, while YYGS is proud to be one of the only pre-college programs that provides need-blind financial aid to domestic and international students to offset the cost of tuition for over 600 students, there are limited travel Scholarships available due to the legal and logistical limitations of working with globally diverse families. Over 95% of all YYGS participants fundraise for, pay for, and coordinate their own travel to and from the program.

Thus, all students are responsible for researching and following the requirements for travel between their country and YYGS in the United States (both to access the United States to begin the program, and in order to return to their country after the program ends). We recommend asking an adult to help you with researching this information, and using websites such as the CDC International Travel webpage.

Will I need to test for COVID-19 prior to departure and/or upon arrival in order to participate in YYGS 2024?

No, our program will not require testing for COVID-19, but you will need to follow all requirements for travel between your home community and YYGS in New Haven, CT, USA. For example, if travel requirements state that you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID test in order to board a plane to travel from your country to the USA, then you will need to follow this requirement, and you are solely responsible for arranging this testing. YYGS is unable to assist with any travel-related plans other than providing a letter in support of application for a B-2 visitor visa.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 prior to departure for the program?

If you test positive for COVID-19 in six or more (6+) days prior to departure to the program, we ask that you please isolate and follow the advice of your physician in order to regain your health to be able to travel to and participate in the program. If you are then healthy enough to be able to travel to the program (and able to follow travel requirements between your home community and the United States), please wear a mask both during your travel and once you arrive on campus, notify our Health Staff as you arrive and register, and then you will continue wearing a mask until you test negative on a rapid test (as provided by our staff). If you are not able to regain your health in order to be able to travel to and participate in the program, then please follow the guidance below for students who test positive in five (5) or fewer days prior to departure to the program.

If you test positive for COVID-19 in five (5) or fewer days prior to departure to the program, then you will need to reach out to our staff to review your situation and whether or not you will be able to participate in the program.

These situations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, as they are heavily dependent on a range of individual circumstances. For example, you could be asymptomatic but you won’t be able to meet your country’s travel requirements to get to campus in time, or you could be very concerned about your health currently but you anticipate no issues with traveling to campus and you are asking if you could arrive one day late.

Our goal will always be to assist you and your family as best we can, and we appreciate your patience and understanding of the challenges in navigating these issues so close to the program’s start date. If a student needs to withdraw from YYGS due to COVID-19 concerns in this manner, then partial refunds for paid tuition will be considered as part of this case-by-case review.

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 after arrival at YYGS 2024 (at any point during the program)? (UPDATED)

As an official program of Yale University, YYGS is required to adhere to Yale’s visitor policy. This includes Yale’s isolation guidance policy, which currently requires all those who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate for a minimum of five (5) days. Unfortunately, as a two-week academic enrichment program that relies on in-person interactions with peers, faculty, and staff, participation in YYGS is simply not possible if one has to isolate for more than 24-48 hours. Thus, if you test positive for COVID-19 and have to adhere to this isolation policy, then YYGS would place you in isolation, work with your parent/guardian to coordinate your early departure from YYGS, and you would not be eligible for a Certificate of Completion. YYGS will work closely with students and families who have health or financial concerns related to a mandated early departure due to positive COVID-19 diagnosis.

Yale’s visitor policy and isolation guidance has shifted several times in response to CDC guidance and the ever-evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain hopeful that restrictions may ease, and specifically that the isolation policy might adjust to better accommodate our two-week academic enrichment program that has the most globally diverse student population possible. However, families need to be aware that currently we are bound by Yale’s visitor policy and Yale’s isolation guidance policy until further notice.
Lastly, please note that students always have the option to request a free rapid test for COVID-19 if they have reason to believe they were exposed and/or if they are experiencing symptoms. However, students will not be required nor asked to test for COVID-19 unless they present obvious possible symptoms at any time during the program, in which case they will be connected with our Health Staff and provided with a free rapid test.

Please note that YYGS provides Health Insurance for all participants who request it (domestic and international).

How will the YYGS community take “preventative measures” and “assume a basic level of exposure risk” during the program?

Given our short, two-week program length, YYGS has a very strict attendance policy (whereby students cannot arrive late, leave early, nor miss time during the program) because the heart and soul of the program lies in the interactions among students, faculty, and staff across a range of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

Thus, every member of our YYGS community (students, families, faculty, and staff) is responsible for their own actions leading up to and during the program, and returning to an in-person program on Yale’s campus means that we each need to try to do all that we can to stay safe and healthy in order for this globally diverse community to flourish. Our globally diverse nature assumes a basic level of exposure risk simply by bringing together this many people from a range of communities all over the world.

Where possible, we strongly encourage everyone to limit possible COVID-19 exposure prior to and during the program through a combination of isolation, wearing a mask, and making healthy choices.


While YYGS is excited to host residential sessions on Yale University’s renowned campus, we recognize the varied challenges this endeavor presents for our globally diverse community. The goal for YYGS 2024 is to offer a residential program that emphasizes giving participants full access to and engagement with Yale’s resources, faculty, undergraduate, and graduate student communities. To maintain this access while keeping our community safe, YYGS students, families and staff members will need to take preventative measures, plan for travel requirements, and assume a basic level of exposure risk in order to participate.

For any students with concerns about these risks for any reason, we understand and encourage you to consider if YYGS is the right choice for you at this time. We want our students and their families to feel safe and comfortable with their decision to attend YYGS, given the seriousness of COVID-19.

For additional questions related to our COVID-19 policies, please contact us directly.