Dear Fall 2021 Study Abroad Students, Parents, and Guardians,
We hope you all enjoyed a Happy Thanksgiving in the United States and at your study abroad program locations. I write to let you know that the Center for Global Education (CGE) continues to monitor news of the COVID-19 Omicron variant as student safety and well-being remain our primary concern. We continually monitor updates from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Zurich Insurance/Crisis24 intelligence reports, host country governmental health ministries, and our international education partners.
All of our active study abroad program sites were chosen based on criteria such as their robust COVID-19 protocols, on-site 24/7 emergency support, housing arrangements, and academic resources (the full COVID-19 protocol criteria can be viewed here: https://www.csbsju.edu/global/covid-19). Based on current information and these COVID-19 protocols, we continue to have confidence in the ability of our international program sites to support student health and well-being as well as continued academic programming.
While we have robust protocols and support in place at each program site, please note that CSB/SJU is unable to provide support to independent student travel after the end of the study abroad program. We cannot anticipate or forecast how the Omicron variant or quarantine rules within Europe will impact student independent travel. If a student tests positive for COVID-19 during their independent travels, they may be required to quarantine in-country and they will be responsible for securing accommodations. Should students decide to post-travel, we encourage students to purchase international medical and accident insurance for their independent travels as the current CSB/SJU international insurance policy only covers students to the end of the official study abroad program dates. (One option you may wish to consider is to explore “leisure travel extension insurance.” More information is available on our website at: https://www.csbsju.edu/global/before-and-while-abroad/before-you-go/medical-and-accident-insurance).
As always, please reach out to our CGE team should you have further questions or concerns.
Director, Center for Global Education
College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University