This page includes all updates related to SAI’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). For all SAI Alerts, and SAI health & safety resources, please see Alerts.
The SAI Health and Safety Committee is continuously monitoring the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Europe and worldwide, and we are keeping all current students, parents, and home schools up-to-date on decisions and recommendations via email. We are weighing each decision we make very carefully, and keeping in mind our student safety, as well as the large efforts, both financial and otherwise, it takes for students to study abroad.
For in-depth information about COVID-19, we suggest the following resources:
Beginning January 1, 2022, SAI will require all students studying abroad to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We have carefully weighed this decision, and ultimately made the policy adjustment in response to host country requirements, and in recognition of the importance of a high quality study abroad experience for our students. Please reach out to SAI Admissions with any questions.
If you would like in-depth information about how a study abroad experience with SAI looks right now, please contact SAI Admissions; we would love to speak with you!
We are running a majority of our programs in Fall 2021, while keeping a careful eye on the safety and security of our students. We will continue to closely monitor the evolving health situation, and will make adjustments as necessary. We have revised our cancellation policy, as well as application and payment deadlines, to allow for maximum flexibility (see Fall 2021 Program Policies). Finally, we have put in place procedures for Fall 2021 on-site programs to ensure the utmost care regarding the health and safety of our students (see below).
We expect all Spring 2022 on-site programs to proceed as normal. We will continue to closely monitor the evolving health situation, and will make adjustments as necessary. We have revised our cancellation policy, as well as application and payment deadlines, to allow for maximum flexibility (see Spring 2022 Program Policies). All students attending SAI Spring 2022 programs are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Finally, we are continuing our updated policies in Spring 2022 on-site programs (see below) to ensure the utmost care regarding the health and safety of our students.
We expect all Summer 2022 on-site programs to proceed as normal. All students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend Summer 2022 programs. Finally, we are continuing our updated policies in Summer 2022 on-site programs (see below) to ensure the utmost care regarding the health and safety of our students.
The advent of the novel coronavirus has caused international education organizations worldwide to adjust their programs and to revise their crisis management procedures. Accordingly, SAI has committed to a series of robust measures to maximize student well-being during the upcoming terms. Following are the additional steps that SAI is taking to ensure student health and safety for on-site programs (Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Summer 2022):
- The SAI Health & Safety Committee has created a detailed checklist that is used to determine whether on-site programs will operate. The checklist ensures that the proper health and safety services are available to US citizens abroad, and that our programs are able to welcome students in a safe manner.
- Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have carefully monitored the health advisories issued by various key public agencies, including the U.S. Department of State (USDOS), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and host country health agencies. We will continue to take such advisories into account as we make decisions about our on-site programs.
- We have collected host school policies on health directive compliance, and will communicate this directly to students.
- Starting January 1, 2022, we are requiring all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This requirement was enacted in response to host country mandates, and in recognition of the importance of a high quality study abroad experience for our students.
- We offer a starter kit for students upon arrival with hand sanitizer and surgical face masks. Our offices are equipped with the required equipment and safety gear, including hand sanitizer for employees and guests and masks for our employees to ensure everyone’s safety.
- We are offering a number of additional pre-departure resources to students, including a health webinar, a travel safety checklist, and a virtual orientation, so that students arrive in-country fully prepared.
- We are asking all students to sign a housing agreement that covers, among other things, cleaning, health, and compliance with national health and safety mandates.
- All SAI housing includes a monthly professional cleaning service. Additionally, all SAI housing will include an initial supply of proper cleaning materials for students to thoroughly sanitize their home.
- If an initial quarantine is required upon arrival in the host country, we are prepared to offer students virtual course delivery during that time, as well as assistance with groceries and necessities.
- We have reworked our SAI Viva Experience activities to offer more social distancing-compatible events that are in open spaces and outdoors. For indoor activities, we are implementing pre-screening steps and requiring mask wearing. We are replacing the overnight excursion (where applicable) with additional culturally-relevant day trips.
- We are requiring all students to arrive in-country with a smartphone that has a data plan that functions in the host country. Video chat capability is important for the duration of the SAI program, as it allows SAI staff to see students when and if they are unable to see them face-to-face.
- We strongly discourage any travel outside the host country while on the SAI program. A quarantine may be required upon arrival and return from the destination country, at the student’s expense. We can provide resources for students who want to experience the various regions of their host country.
- Students who have COVID-19 symptoms will be directed to contact SAI, who will help them follow host country guidance for testing and follow-up care, if needed.
- Students are asked to sign an updated SAI Code of Conduct. As part of the Code of Conduct, we expect all students to comply with any host country mandates and any imposed restrictions regarding health and safety.
- We will continue to monitor health advisories (USDOS, CDC, WHO, and host country) throughout the term. Should there be a resurgence of COVID-19 in the host country that compels us to suspend our on-site programs and send students home, we have put in place plans to ensure continuity of coursework through online learning. SAI is in regular contact with students’ home institutions regarding academic continuity and policy alignment.
- If the COVID-19 situation in the host country requires that SAI suspend or cancel the on-site portion of a program, with students completing their coursework virtually from home, SAI will provide refunds for recoverable costs. Please note that unused services may be recoverable, while tuition and rent are not.
Edited: September 2021
For information on our standard health and safety measures, see Health & Safety.