Dear Spring 2022 Embedded Study Abroad Students, Parents, and Guardians,
The Center for Global Education (CGE) wanted to send this update in regards to your Spring Embedded program. CGE continues to follow COVID-19 updates from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Zurich Insurance/Crisis24 intelligence reports, and host country governmental health ministries. CGE continues to have confidence in the ability of our international education partners to support student health and well-being abroad, so CSB/SJU is continuing to move forward with Spring 2022 embedded programs. However, the COVID-19 Omicron variant has created some potential testing challenges and program changes for short-term international programs that we need to highlight:
- Pre-Departure and/or Arrival COVID-19 testing: The program country you are traveling to may require you to take a COVID-19 test before you depart the U.S. or immediately after your arrival into the program country. If you test positive for COVID-19 you may be delayed in traveling to your program country, or in the event you test positive upon arrival in the program country, you may have to self-isolate in your program accommodations. In the event of testing positive due to COVID-19, your program instructor will provide virtual instruction/ and or other accommodations to enable you to complete the course and still earn credit for the course. Please note that in this event, CSB/SJU will be unable to refund your program fee as this money will already have been paid to our international program providers. The CSB/SJU International Medical and Accident Insurance covers medical emergencies, but it does not cover your program fee if you are delayed (or unable) to participate in the program due to a positive COVID-19 test. You may wish, on your own, to investigate additional trip Cancelation/Interruption insurance that might cover these events.
- Return to U.S. COVID-19 testing: Before returning to the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control requires all travelers to take a COVID-19 test 24 hours before their return flight. Your program will help coordinate this return COVID-19 test for you, but please note that this test will range in cost from $50-$250 depending on the location. In the event you test positive, the U.S. requires that you self-isolate in your program country until you recover or test negative for COVID-19 (typically 6-7 additional days). In this event, your program will provide you a safe accommodation (with access to food and support) while you self-isolate in the program country. These additional accommodation costs (when you are delayed in return to the U.S.) will be covered by the CSB/SJU International Medical and Accident Insurance policy. Please note that on-site support will be provided to you, but it will not be CSB/SJU staff in all cases.
- COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster shots: CSB/SJU requires all students to be fully-vaccinated in order to travel on school-sponsored international programs. Further, as of March 1st, booster shots will also be required for all eligible students.
As part of your international program registration, CSB/SJU asks that you acknowledge that you have read and understand the above points by completing the COVID-19 testing acknowledgement form found in your CSB/SJU GLOBAL PORTAL. on or by Thursday, January 20th.
While we remain confident in the ability of our international education partners to support student health and well-being abroad, we know that some of the testing requirements (or potential program changes in the event of a positive COVID-19 test) might lead you to reconsider a short term international education program.
Please note that tomorrow is the last day for add/drop for the semester and if you do change your mind about your spring embedded 2022 study abroad program, CGE will waive all cancelation fees until 1:00pm on Thursday, January 20th. Cancelation requests must be sent via e-mail to our office. After this time, the short-term program cancelation policies will apply.
At this time, we still ask that you do NOT purchase flights until your CGE program manager/director connects with your program about preferred arrival times and preferred flight schedules for the program dates of your program.
Please feel free to contact with your program manager with any questions or concerns.
Center for Global Education
College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University