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 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 took for students to study abroad this Spring. All Spring 2020 students, whether their SAI program has been suspended or not, are being given the option to return home if they feel it is important. We are making arrangements with all host schools to ensure that these students are able to complete coursework remotely.

For in-depth information about COVID-19, we suggest the following resources:

WHO  |  US CDC  |  US DOS  |   European CDC

Summer 2020 Programs
On March 31, 2020, we made the difficult decision to cancel all Summer 2020 programs with start dates prior to June 15, 2020. Programs with start dates after June 15, 2020 are expected to continue as normal. For the programs starting after June 15, we have extended all application deadlines, to allow students more time to make a decision about whether to study abroad. Additionally, we have revised our Summer 2020 cancellation policy so that students are not liable for program costs until 44 days before the program begins.

Fall 2020 Programs
We have extended all application deadlines for SAI Fall 2020 programs, to allow students more time to make a decision about whether to study abroad. Additionally, we have revised our Fall 2020 cancellation policy so that students are not liable for program costs until 44 days before the program begins.

COVID-19 Health & Safety Updates

March 31, 2020: Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all Summer 2020 programs with start dates prior to June 15, 2020. All programs with start dates after June 15, 2020 are expected to continue as normal.

March 18, 2020: All SAI Spring 2020 students have safely departed their host cities in Italy, Spain and France, to continue their studies remotely.

March 12, 2020 2:00PM PT: In light of last night’s U.S. government announcements, France’s expanding COVID-19 cases, and the French government decision to close all schools beginning next week, we are asking all SAI Paris Spring 2020 students to immediately make arrangements to leave Paris and continue semester coursework remotely. Students, parents, and home schools have been notified directly about this decision, and further details have been provided.

March 12, 2020 11:00AM PT: In light of last night’s U.S. government announcements, Spain’s expanding COVID-19 cases, and Barcelona host school decisions to move all remaining semester coursework to remote, we are asking all SAI Barcelona Spring 2020 students to immediately make arrangements to leave Barcelona and complete semester coursework remotely. Students, parents, and home schools have been notified directly about this decision, and further details have been provided.

March 11, 2020 8:30PM PT: We are aware of tonight’s U.S. Presidential Proclamation restricting travel to the U.S. from the Schengen Area. It is important to note that the travel restriction will not apply to any lawful permanent resident of the U.S. We have additionally just become aware of the US Department of State (DOS) and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel alert escalations. Our Italy programs remain suspended at this time. At the moment, our Spain and France programs are continuing to run while the SAI Safety Committee meets to discuss this evolving situation. We will provide further updates on March 12, 2020.

March 9, 2020: Italy’s Prime Minister has announced that the country will limit people’s movement throughout Italy to help curb the spread of Coronavirus. SAI suspended all our Spring 2020 Italy programs on March 2, 2020 and all students were given until March 12, 2020 to make arrangements to return home. SAI on-site staff will provide any necessary assistance to all students who are departing in the next few days, to ensure a safe return home.

March 4, 2020: We are continuing to monitor the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Europe. While we have suspended our Italy programs, the situation is different in Paris and Barcelona, and those SAI programs continue to run as normal. Suspending a study abroad program has enormous consequences, especially for students who have worked so hard to make this experience possible, and we do not take these decisions lightly. We will continue to monitor USDOS and CDC announcements for France and Spain to inform our decision-making.

March 2, 2020: Over the past 10 days, we have done our very best to take measured steps regarding our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Italy in order to determine the best decision for students in our programs. Unfortunately, Italy has become one of only a few countries that is a major source of health risk due to the virus, and we must respond accordingly. For this reason,  SAI has suspended all programs in Italy. We are asking all students to depart Italy and return home as soon as possible, but no later than Thursday, March 12, 2020. Students, parents, and home schools have been contacted directly with details.

February 29, 2020: SAI is tracking the recent USDOS Travel Advisory elevation to Level 4: Do Not Travel for two regions of Italy: Lombardy and Veneto. Due to this escalation, we are announcing the suspension of all SAI Milan programs, and are instructing students to return home as soon as possible. Milan is the only SAI host city that falls within this new level. Students, parents, and home schools have been contacted directly with details.

February 28, 2020: This afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and US Department of State have elevated the travel alert for Italy to Level 3: avoid/reconsider non-essential travel. SAI has contacted students, parents, and home school partners noting that we will not immediately be suspending or cancelling programs in Italy, but we are providing all assistance to those who wish to return home. Our decision may change based on continued conversations and evaluation.

February 27, 2020: We are continuing to monitor the evolving situation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Europe. We are currently working with all our partner schools in Europe to make contingency plans for students to complete coursework, should schools need to close. We are also working with students on a case-by-case basis who would like to depart Italy. The SAI Health & Safety Committee is in direct contact with students and their emergency contacts, as well as home Universities, with detailed status updates.

February 25, 2020: The SAI Health & Safety Committee is continuing to monitor the evolving situation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Europe. Milan schools remain closed until March 2, 2020, and all other SAI host schools are continuing as normal, with some choosing to suspend field travel and excursions. All SAI students have been made aware of the procedures to follow if they think they may have been exposed to the virus.

February 23, 2020: In light of the latest developments regarding the Coronavirus in Italy, all universities in Milan will be closed until March 2, 2020. Several small towns in Lombardy and Veneto have been quarantined and students may not visit them or the surrounding towns. Out of an abundance of caution, SAI discourages travel within the region of Lombardy and to the regions Veneto and Piedmont. Students should contact on-site staff with concerns or questions.

January 30, 2020: SAI is monitoring the CDC and WHO travel advisories regarding the Novel Coronavirus, originating in Wuhan, China. We are encouraging all SAI students to maintain good general flu season precautions to ensure their health as well as that of their roommates and classmates. Students should contact on-site staff if they have any concerns.

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.