COVID FAQs for Spring 2021

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COVID FAQs for Spring 2021

Covid Adjustments and FAQs

As knowledge of COVID-19 develops around the world, so do the rules and regulations related to controlling the virus. National and local governments are regularly changing their approach and recommendations for how to lessen the impact of the virus, and so we must all be flexible and prepared to make adjustments as necessary. It is in everybody’s best interest to make those adjustments and so, while the following notes are in effect today, they will change as necessary for the wellbeing of our students, families and staff and to comply with regulations.

  • JANUARY, SPRING, MAY 2021: Spanish Studies Abroad has cancelled all in-person study abroad programs up to and including May 2021. 
  • ONLINE COURSES JANUARY THROUGH DECEMBER 2021: because of other program cancellations, Spanish Studies Abroad has developed a series of month-long online courses in spanish language, culture, teaching, business, etc. A range of challenging and exciting three-credit courses is offered every month and are reasonably priced. 
  • Fall 2021 in-person study abroad programs are scheduled to operate as usual; as mentioned above, this is subject to change for health and/or logistical reasons.
  • SUMMER 2021: Spanish Studies Abroad will only operate in-person programs in Alicante, Spain. Please review program options here.
  • All our partner institutions have protocols in place that adhere to strict local regulations, including distancing, group size limitations and interaction, heightened sanitizing, mask-wearing everywhere except in the home, etc.
  • Our Center in Seville has successfully worked with local students throughout this past year (daily temperature monitoring, providing sanitizer for hands and shoes, masks required, 6’+ distancing, reduced occupancy, use of outdoor patio and larger classrooms, etc.)
  • The Center follows FECEI (Federación Española de Centros de Enseñanza de Idiomas) protocols per the info sheet below, including a COVID-19 response coordinator on-site to ensure compliance with strict local regulations
  • All housing in single rooms will be guaranteed, with one student placed per household
  • Class sizes will be limited, classrooms windows remain open in normal circumstances to provide proper air flow
  • These protocols are subject to change without notice according to national and local guidelines
  • SSA has arranged an IgG-IgM (rapid blood test) for all students upon arrival on-site
  • If the initial result is negative, the student proceeds to the homestay; if the initial test result is positive, the student will be given a more exhaustive PCR (swab test)
  • If the PCR test is negative, the student will proceed to their homestay
  • If the PCR test is positive the student will follow doctor’s orders, including possible quarantine; in this case, Spanish Studies will provide lodging in a private apartment with internet access from where the student will be expected to follow most classes online. A tutor will be assigned to help the student navigate the coursework during the isolation period, two meals per day will be catered, and breakfast will be kept in the apartment. Once students have successfully quarantined, they will proceed to their homestay and continue the program normally.
  • The above quarantine conditions will also apply in case a student becomes infected with COVID-19 once on site.
  • So as not to increase our fees, SSA has made internal adjustments, including eliminating some overnight and day-long study visits and has put those fees toward a COVID Response Fund that will cover the additional costs associated with testing, extra cleaning, isolation room and board, tutoring resources, etc.
  • Unless health personnel determine otherwise, people who have followed the recommendations for distancing, sanitizing, etc. do not have to be quarantined simply because they have been near a person known to be infected with COVID-19
  • See current CDC interim guidelines here
  • Spain: No, you are only required to isolate and quarantine if you show COVID-19 symptoms at any time; this may change at any time per local regulations.
  • Argentina: Yes, currently, 14 days in your residence upon arrival are required; this may change at any time per local regulations

Yes, these are all in-person classes; if the pandemic requires, we will move to on-line delivery of coursework

This will depend on our host institutions; they are responsible to make a decision to go on-line, according to local protocols and regulations; in that case, we will work with students to facilitate the process

SSA will make a decision to run or cancel programs taking into consideration a combination of US and host-country health and safety authority recommendations as well as logistics and demand for a program.

We are continuously monitoring the global health situation and considering recommendations of US and local health authorities, and will make a determination several months before a program start date. Keep in mind that some of our partner institutions may make announcements prior to this date.

We will only cancel a program close to the start date if the host country changes regulations to prohibit foreign students from entering immediately prior to the program start date.

  • For Spain: Most programs are under 90 days and thus do not require you to obtain a specific student visa prior to traveling. We will provide you with a letter certifying your full-time enrollment status and insurance coverage, which you will need to present at the airports. Students who plan to be in-country for over 90 days (eg. Integrated Program students) must speak with their SSA representative about the need for a visa. 
  • For Argentina: US citizens enter with their passport and apply for a student residence permit once classes have started
  • Students must consult with our Resident Director prior to travel to other cities; travel to COVID hotspots will not be authorized.
  • Keep in mind that airlines may cancel flights between specific European cities, and that national, regional and local governments may limit travel to/from specific destinations

Refund Policy for In-Person 2021 programs:

  • We have adjusted our refund policies to help you feel comfortable applying to and paying for our in-person study abroad programs.
  • Should Spanish Studies Abroad cancel a program, we will apply any payments made (including the deposit) to a future program, or we will reimburse the full amount paid, including the deposit.
  • Spanish Studies Abroad will issue a full refund (minus deposit) for anyone who cancels a program for any reason, up to 60 days before the start of the program.
  • If a student withdraws between 60 days prior to the start of the program and up to the program start date, we will refund 50% of tuition fees; students will forfeit all other fees.
  • No refunds will be issued for withdrawals after the program start date. Unless Spanish Studies cancels the program, the $500 deposit is always non-refundable.
  • There will be no refunds in case of program interruption once a program has started; instead, students will be accommodated in their residence abroad and tuition will be delivered virtually with assistance by Spanish Studies professors and staff.

Cancellation insurance

  • Spanish Studies Abroad does not provide cancellation insurance. Since there has been an increase in interest in “cancel for any reason” policies, we offer these links to help you research and consider this option. Please note that Spanish Studies does not endorse any particular company. 

Covid protocols for Spring 2021

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