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Spring 2021: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions - Part 1

Oct 22, 2020 10:00:00 AM / by Cara Pizzorusso

Our CAPA team has put together this list of your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pertaining to study abroad in 2021. From COVID-19 precautions to health insurance, independent travel, and more, learn more about the plans we have in place for Spring 2021.


Spring 2021 FAQs (1) - FEATURED IMAGE

Part 1: Health & Safety

In this post, we’ll answer frequently asked questions related to COVID-19, housing, health insurance, mental health services, independent travel, and more. Continue reading to find out CAPA’s health and safety policies and practices for spring 2021. Stay tuned for part 2, where we dive into answers to frequently asked questions related to programs & policies, academics, and internships.

Health & Safety

How will co-curricular and cultural activities be adapted to comply with local guidance on COVID-19?

All activities will follow local social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines. Group tours and excursions will allow for, or be altered to comply with, the local government’s policies on social distancing or be replaced with local activities. Students will be notified at least 48 hours in advance if an activity is not able to move forward as usual due to COVID-19.

Will you require daily temperature checks?

CAPA anticipates daily temperature checks will be required and this will be confirmed closer to the start of the program and is subject to change at any time based on local guidance. Students should also bring their own thermometers to test outside of the study center.

Will CAPA provide PPE or cleaning/sanitizing supplies for self-use?

CAPA will issue two face coverings on arrival for all students and students will be required to conform with all local guidance and regulations regarding the wearing of face coverings at all times. CAPA may also impose restrictions beyond local guidance, including in CAPA housing and study centers. Face coverings must be washed regularly and CAPA recommends students bring or purchase additional face coverings to supplement those from CAPA.

How is CAPA tracking the presence of COVID-19 in the city, country, and region?

CAPA uses a variety of data sources including but not limited to:

    • Government reporting in each program location
    • CDC Travel Notices
    • US Dept of State Travel Advisories and Border information
    • IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map
    • Worldometer Case Data
    • IMHE COVID-19 Projections
    • Statnews COVID-19 Tracker for 7-day averages

How does CAPA communicate to important stakeholders (home institution, parents) in cases of emergency?

In event of a medical emergency, CAPA contacts the student’s emergency contact. CAPA updates the Notices page of the website with any program changes or situations impacting entire programs. Our Parent Webinar (link) is another resource.

CAPA keeps home institutions informed of anything impacting their programs or students at all times.

How is COVID-19 covered under CAPA’s Health Insurance Policy?

If a student contracts COVID-19 while abroad, all medical expenses are covered. If a student has to return home due to contracting COVID-19, they can claim up to $3,000 for trip interruption coverage through CAPA insurance, and CAPA will assess whether there are any other recoverable costs on a case by case basis.

Does CAPA plan on facilitating testing of students or contact tracing while on-program?

CAPA is monitoring new developments and availability in testing in each location, which is changing regularly, and will follow local guidelines and best practices. CAPA will ensure all students and institutions have clear information on COVID-19 testing prior to our program cancellation deadline so students and institutions can make their decisions about participation based on this information prior to any penalties. However, at this stage, it is likely that there will be regular testing of all students, with additional testing for those with symptoms. CAPA will need to be informed of all test results in order to take any necessary steps to protect the rest of the community. CAPA will respect US confidentiality where it does not conflict with local regulations or where it is not superseded by the interest of public health and safety. In the event this information needs to be shared CAPA will endeavor to receive permission from the students in advance of any communication with other. Any students who have concerns about testing or the sharing of their results should reconsider participation in the program.

What housing policies are in place related to COVID-19?

To reduce the risk of the spread of the virus, the following protocols have been developed at CAPA housing:

    • CAPA will house a maximum of two students per room and 4-6 students per apartment. CAPA will offer single rooms within a shared apartment for a supplemental fee.
    • A thorough cleaning will be carried out in all student housing prior to arrival. These protocols will also be followed on a weekly basis where weekly cleaning is included.
    • Students will be given clear guidance on cleaning and disinfecting their living space to reduce the spread of the virus (this is applicable even to those who have a weekly cleaning included as daily hygiene to reduce the spread of the virus within the housing will be the responsibility of the students).
    • All housing will be provided with disinfectant spray and other cleaning products for students to use.
    • Posters will be provided in housing outlining the key guidance, with the addition of the guidance for how students can reduce the spread of the virus in their housing through good hygiene and social distancing.
    • CAPA is not offering homestays in Spring 2021.
    • No visitors are allowed within CAPA housing, this includes students who are staying in separate apartments within the same building. Parties and indoor gatherings, including with one other person from outside the apartment, will be treated as a major breach and result in serious action, potentially up to dismissal from the program.

What is your policy for independent housing requests in light of COVID-19?

CAPA follows its US partner universities’ policies for independent housing. If the student’s home institution allows it, CAPA would require students to sign a non-CAPA housing waiver and to strictly follow CAPA rules regarding face coverings and social distancing.

Will your organization permit guests (including parents/guardians) to visit students at the start of and during the program?

To reduce the number of contacts and opportunities for transmission within the student population, we discourage parents and other guests from travelling to see their student while the global pandemic is ongoing.

To reduce opportunities for transmission, parents will not be able to enter student housing or the CAPA Center, nor share a hotel room or any other accommodation with their student. They must fully practice social distancing, quarantine measures and any other guidance in place at that time.

A student could travel to the program location with their parent(s) and self-isolate with them for the full period of any government-mandated quarantine, but they will be unable to move into CAPA accommodation until the full quarantine period for the students arriving on the program dates is completed. Any costs for non-CAPA housing in such cases is the responsibility of the student and there is no refund for any nights in CAPA housing that cannot be used. Please note visa regulations may limit early arrivals in some locations.

How is CAPA handling any applicable government mandated quarantines on arrival?

a) Students will be asked to avoid using public transport and to travel to their accommodations via a private cab. Social distancing and rules on things like face coverings will need to be observed. CAPA can provide information to students on how to book a cab prior to leaving the US. CAPA staff are not able to meet students at the airport.

b) There will be minimal in-person interaction on arrival at the housing, and students will immediately enter their accommodations and will not be able to leave at any time during the quarantine period. Students will not be allowed to visit students in other apartments within the same building or leave for exercise or shopping or any other reason. CAPA staff will provide information to students on how to access food delivery services and other important resources.

c) Students will be introduced to CAPA staff and their roles in their program location prior to arrival through an online webinar. Full details on how to contact staff for support during quarantine will be provided.

d) In addition to thorough pre-departure guidance, an on-site arrival orientation will take place live but be carried out virtually.

e) >An appropriately socially distanced meet and greet activity will be provided once the quarantine comes to an end.

f) Staff will not be able to visit the students in-person during the quarantine.

g) All CAPA support services will remain available in a virtual format, including official student advising office hours. Students will also still have access to CAPA’s 24/7 emergency phone and CAPA Guardian app during the quarantine period.

h) Students will be provided with information on what to expect during and after quarantine, so they are always aware and prepared for what comes next.

i) All classes will be held remotely and all contact hours will be met as normal.

j) Syllabi will be adapted to take into account the quarantine, particularly in regard to the dates of field studies and other assignments that may be impacted.

k) Virtual My Global City activities from all of CAPA’s global city locations will be made available to students during the quarantine as will ideas for ways to engage virtually with other CAPA students outside their apartments.

l) CAPA will ensure there is a plan in place for individual interns which may include starting placements remotely or utilizing projects agreed with home campus to make up internship hours lost during quarantine. Each plan will vary based on the internship site, the program location, and local regulations.

m) Cleaning services, where this is included, will not be allowed during the period of quarantine and students will be provided with guidance on apartment hygiene, appropriate social distancing measures, and use of face coverings.

Will students be required to obtain visas to travel abroad this spring?

This depends on the location. Please contact your Program Manager for more information.

What types of mental health/counseling is available to students while participating in the program?

CAPA has identified mental health professionals in each program location to which students can be referred. Students will also be advised on any phone and online services available in their program location.

Students with mental health issues are strongly encouraged to continue all medications and contact with their existing health care professionals in their home country while abroad. They should also be aware of the challenges most students experience when studying abroad in an unfamiliar environment and assess whether that is the right choice for them.

What are the public health entry requirements for each country?

CAPA continually to monitors entry requirements, which can change at any time and advises based on what is in place at the time of travel, e.g. quarantines, visas.

How will CAPA inform students of the local requirements related to COVID-19 (e.g. face masks)?

CAPA will inform students in pre-departure, orientation, and in-country through ongoing communications and reminders using email and the CAPA Community online portal.

Will CAPA limit students’ independent travel?

Students will be provided with regularly updated guidance on travel and other free time activities in line with government advice on reducing the spread of the virus. It may be necessary to restrict independent student travel or certain activities to reduce the risk within the CAPA community. This advice can change at any time based on government guidance or CAPA’s own risk assessment. Students should thus not book travel in advance and be prepared to stay within their global city. In cases where students have not followed the guidance in regards to travel or free time activities or any other guidance related to reducing the risk of spreading the virus, students will be required to be tested and to self‐isolate for 14 days at their own expense, even if they are not showing symptoms. This may also lead to disciplinary actions including dismissal from the program with no refunds.

What happens if a student has symptoms of COVID‐19?

CAPA will follow standard protocols as set forth by governments and health officials. Following is an example of how we would respond at our centers as of the publishing date of this FAQ:

a) The student should stay at home and not attend the center or their internship site and inform CAPA immediately on the emergency phone.

b) The local public health officials will be contacted in collaboration with CAPA staff, and their guidance followed.

c) It is likely that the guidance will indicate that the student needs to be self-isolated and CAPA will make those arrangements. CAPA will cover the costs of the accommodations unless the student has been found to have broken any regulations or protocols, in which case the student will bear the cost.

d) CAPA students and faculty will be informed that there is a student who is self-isolating; students and faculty who share housing or classroom space with the student who is self‐isolating will be informed that the student was in one of these groups with them. Names will not be released.

e) Public health authorities will advise whether any students or faculty who were in contact need to be self‐isolated and tested. For example, the Track and Trace system in the UK will contact those to which this applies.

f) CAPA staff will check in regularly with the student via Zoom.

g) The Home Institution will be kept informed by the Boston team.

What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

CAPA will follow standard protocols as set forth by governments and health officials. Following is an example of how we would respond at our centers as of the publishing date of this FAQ:

a) They will be required to follow the public health guidance in place at that time which is likely to include self‐isolation for a specified period. As above, CAPA will make these arrangements and cover the costs if the student has not been found to have broken any regulations or protocols.

b) CAPA students and faculty will be informed that there is a student who has tested positive; students and faculty who share housing or classroom space with the student who has tested positive will be informed that the student was in one of these groups with them. Names will not be released.

c) Public health authorities will advise whether any students or faculty who were in contact need to be self‐isolated and tested. For example, the Track and Trace system in the UK will contact those to which this applies. CAPA will do the contacting for location where such a system is not in place, following the guidance of the Public Health authorities.

d) CAPA staff will check in regularly with the student via Zoom.

e) The Home Institution will be kept informed by the Boston advising team.

Can CAPA guarantee access for private/single-room housing that may be used for self-isolation?

Students will be housed in suitable accommodations for isolation where needed. During pre‐departure, students must agree that in the event they are advised to self‐isolate before or after being tested for COVID‐19, these details can be shared in full with CAPA staff and their home institution. The minimum details deemed necessary will be shared with other students, faculty, and the local government (e.g. the UK has a track and trace system in place in which all residents and visitors to the UK must participate). CAPA will respect US confidentiality where it does not conflict with local regulations or where it is not superseded by the interest of public health and safety.

CAPA will provide and cover the cost for housing for self‐isolation if a student is advised they need to do so by the local health authorities while in‐country, unless the student has broken and protocols or regulations designed to minimize risk (CAPA must be provided with this guidance directly by the local health authority to confirm all details are followed). Students will not be able to leave the self‐isolation location for any reason until the date outlined by the local health authority. CAPA will provide information on access to food deliveries that the students can arrange at their own cost, in the same way that food and groceries would be at the student’s own cost in their regular housing. Every effort will be made to limit CAPA staff travel to the place of isolation to reduce their risk of exposure and that of the students and staff with whom they work. If the students are well enough, they can continue their courses remotely, otherwise an excused absence will be obtained based on information from the local health authorities.

Note that the student would cover that cost of self-isolation housing, if they do not adhere to all CAPA regulations related to COVID-19 such as travel and social distancing restrictions.

Do you have additional questions or want to learn more about CAPA programs? Contact us at 800.793.0334 or through our website at capa.org/contact-us.

Topics: International Education