SAI COVID-19 Updates

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:

WHO  |  US CDC  |  US DOS  |   European CDC

Program Updates

Summer 2020
On April 20, 2020, we made the difficult decision to cancel all on-site Summer 2020 programs. We are, however, offering virtual program options to students who would like the opportunity to have an international experience from home. Students who had completed an application to SAI Summer 2020 on-site programs have the option to defer their enrollment to a future SAI term, enroll in a virtual Summer 2020 program, or receive a refund.

Fall 2020
We have extended all application deadlines for SAI Fall 2020 programs, and have revised our Fall 2020 on-site programs cancellation policy so that students are not liable for program costs until 44 days before the program begins. Additionally, we have put in place new procedures for Fall 2020 on-site programs to ensure the utmost care regarding the health and safety of our students (see below).

We have made the decision to cancel on-site Fall 2020 programs in Paris, France, although some virtual course options may become available shortly. No other programs are affected.

Spring 2021
We expect all SAI Spring 2021 programs to proceed as normal. We will continue to monitor the evolving health situation, and will provide updates, as necessary. Please contact SAI Admissions for specific questions or concerns.

Policy Updates

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 academic year.

Following are the additional steps that SAI is taking to ensure student health and safety for Fall 2020 on-site programs:

  • The SAI Health & Safety Committee has created a detailed checklist that will be used to determine whether on-site programs will be reopened for the upcoming fall term. 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 work toward reopening our on-site programs.
  • We are collecting host school policies on health directive compliance, and will communicate this directly to students. 
  • We are securing enough cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and face masks for students and staff to use.
  • We will be offering a number of additional pre-departure resources to students, including a health webinar, and travel safety checklist, and a virtual orientation, so that students arrive in-country fully prepared.
  • We have revised our housing policies to offer private room housing for all students in Fall 2020. We have additionally eliminated the option of family homestays in Fall 2020. These steps will provide housing that is compatible with social distancing.
  • We will be 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 will include 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 daily.
  • 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 social distancing-compatible events that are in open spaces and outdoors. We will not be offering an overnight excursion in Fall 2020.
  • We will require all students to arrive in-country with a smartphone that has a data plan that functions in the host country. Video chat capabilities will be important for the duration of the SAI program, as it will allow SAI staff to see students when and if they are unable to see them face-to-face. 
  • We are strongly discouraging any travel outside the host country while on the SAI program. A minimum 14 day 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 Coronavirus symptoms will be directed to contact SAI, who will help them follow host country guidance for testing and follow-up care, if needed. 
  • Students will be 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 Fall term. Should there be a resurgence of the Coronavirus in the host country that compels us to shut down our on-site programs and send students home, we have put in place plans to ensure continuity of coursework through online learning.

Please note that we have extended our Enrollment Cancellation Policy for all Fall 2020 programs to allow for maximum flexibility (see here). For information on our standard health and safety measures, see Health & Safety

About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.