COVID-19 Safety

Updated June 20th, 2022

 

Covid-19 has caused a worldwide challenge that created new dynamics for travel and study abroad. Throughout this pandemic, our programs have remained open in every country where it was safe to do so. We continually monitor Public Health advisories and adjust as needed. While we take very seriously creating the conditions for academic success, we prioritize the safety of our students and staff. And by God’s grace, we have been able to offer life-changing experiences in safe environments. However, our commitment to safety is only made possible when our students understand their part in contributing to others’ safety. Because this is a serious matter, refusing to comply with the COVID-19 protocol of the host campus can result in the expulsion of the student. We all have the opportunity (and responsibility) to do the best we can to keep each other safe. This is our commitment to our students and our expectation of them. 

Even though most of the countries are now moving into a status of restriction-free countries for visitors, sudden restrictions or health requirements are still possible. Therefore, for a safer, easier and convenient study abroad experience, ACA continues to strongly advise ALL interested students to get fully vaccinated before departing to their ACA program. Otherwise, in the face of sudden restrictions, unvaccinated students may not be allowed to participate in cultural tours or other program activities. Restaurants, hotels, museums, etc would be required to immediately comply with state mandates and might start requiring full vaccination for entry, as they did just a few months ago. In addition many countries still currently require full vaccination before entry in their territory. Sometimes a negative Covid test may be presented in lieu of a vaccination card, but keep in mind that Covid testing facilities abroad may not be conveniently located, appointments may prove difficult to schedule and any resulting inconveniences and financial costs of transportation and test fees are the responsibility of the student. Therefore unvaccinated students, are taking the risk of missing out on activities and/or incurring in extra costs and inconveniences. 

Here are some guidelines:

BEFORE YOU GO

Annual Flu Shot

Receive an annual flu shot, if available.

COVID-19 Vaccines – Strongly Recommended

Be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Check Latest CDC Recommendations For The Host Country

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

https://youtu.be/rZvmgOkkDqA

Negative COVID-19 Test

Check with your airline, if you need to get tested for COVID-19 before departure. If yes, bring your test result with you to the airport. You may be required to show it before boarding your flight and to the Border and Customs agent upon arrival at your destination.

Don’t Forget To Pack:

  • Several masks (including N-95 model) – at least two or three for your trip, in your carry-on. Some airlines only allow passengers to board, if wearing N-95 masks.
  • Wear a mask at all times – at airports, in public transportation, inside planes, including bathrooms. This applies to your trips, but primarily to your international travel from the US to your program abroad.
  • Hand sanitizer – bring enough for the whole duration of your trip and use it frequently.
  • Thermometer – pack a thermometer for any necessary personal temperature monitoring. 
  • Smartphone – to use in conjunction with daily monitoring and contact tracing. You should have an international data plan at departure (not required for the entire duration of the program) to enable you to contact your program director and ISOS in case of an emergency. Not all international airports offer free Wi-Fi. Provide your program director with your cell phone number before your departure. Not only is it needed for emergency alerts from your program director or host country’s CDC, but also some countries may require students to download a Corona app to monitor exposure to the virus.

AFTER ARRIVAL

Possible Covid-19 Testing Upon Arrival

Regardless if you are fully vaccinated and already presented a negative Covid-19 test before boarding, you may be required to be tested again for Covid-19 at your arrival airport. There may be fees for this test, so make sure you carry a credit card or a couple hundred dollars with you. 

Health Screening

Health screening may take place at your destination airport and upon arrival to the host campus. They may reoccur throughout your stay as needed. 

Isolation/Quarantine on Campus

Isolation/quarantine means you must remain strictly separated from others. You may be required to quarantine whenever fear of exposure to the virus presents. Your program director will give you guidance about how courses will be conducted remotely during that time.

Reduced Contact on Campus: in Dormitory, Cafeteria, and Classrooms

Our campuses abroad are complying with WHO and their government guidelines. Social distancing is required on campus.

Face Masks Required

All students must arrive with face masks and wear them on campus if requested, and during program activities. 

Frequent Hand Washing

Students should wash their hands as frequently as possible.

Health Monitoring

Keep monitoring your health throughout your program, and do all you can to stay healthy. Make it a new habit. 😊

COVID-19 Testing for Symptoms or Exposure

Students must immediately seek staff assistance to secure COVID-19 testing if they believe they have symptoms or have been exposed.

Contact Tracing

You will be required to participate with any contact tracing guidelines of the local community, potentially including mobile apps. Your program director will expand on this, if applicable.

Visitors on Campus

Before making plans with your family or friends, check with your Program Director if visitors are allowed on campus and in the host country. 

Immune Compromised Individuals

ACA supports and will do our best to accommodate immune-compromised students. Please share your concerns with ACA before applying.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Suppose you are feeling symptomatic at any time during the duration of your program. In that case, you must immediately isolate and notify your Program Director, who will assist you in securing medical attention.

Online Courses When Isolating

ACA is an immersive experience and not an online program, but online courses will be offered to students in isolation until they can resume classes in person.