Covid FAQs for Spring 2021
As knowledge of COVID-19 develops around the world, so do the rules and regulations related to controlling the virus. Federal, national and local governments are regularly changing their approach and recommendations for how to avoid and 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.
- For Spring 2021 we are operating programs in Seville, Barcelona, and Alicante, Spain, as well as in Córdoba, Argentina. We are NOT operating programs in Havana, Cuba or San Juan, Puerto Rico. While our partner university in Córdoba, Argentina is currently offering virtual learning, we anticipate a reinstatement of in-person classes in time for our February 2021 start date
- 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.
- The Center has experience working with local students throughout July 2020 with no infections (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. We have the advantage of having enough space to spread out which classrooms we’ll use. We can also use our patio for at least 1 class per hour since Seville has a warm climate. All classrooms have windows, which will remain open in normal circumstances to provide better air flow
- SSA has arranged an IgG-IgM (rapid blood test) for all students upon arrival on-site
- If the initial result is negative, s/he proceeds to their 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 for Spring 2021, 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 by December 15th for all Spring 2021 programs at that time. Keep in mind that some of our partner institutions may make announcements prior to this date
We will only cancel a program after that date if the country prohibits 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
No, but always check with your airlines to be sure your routing will work
- Students must remain within the city in which they are studying, and must request to travel to other cities; travel to COVID hotspots will not be authorized by our Resident Directors
- Also, 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 Spring 2021 programs:
- We will make a final determination on whether or not programs will run by December 15; if we decide to cancel a program, we will apply any payments made (including the deposit) to a future program, or we will reimburse the full amount.
- Unless we cancel a program, the $500 deposit is always non-refundable.
- Full refund (minus deposit) for students who cancel before December 15, 2020 for any reason.
- If a student withdraws between December 15 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.
- There will be no refunds in case of program interruption once a program has started; students will be accommodated in their residence and tuition will be delivered virtually.
- Spanish Studies Abroad does not provide cancellation insurance, nor do we endorse any particular company. There has been an increase in interest in “cancel for any reason” policies, so we at least hope to help our customers research and consider this option.