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for Advisors

Health & Safety

COVID-19 Response

Study Abroad Advisor/Faculty Zoom Sessions: Join APA for 30-minute bi-weekly Zoom calls to receive the latest updates regarding news from our program host sites as well as information pertaining to COVID-19.  Sign up for a one-time session or attend recurring meetings, these Zooms run every other Thursday at 3:00 pm EST through May 6, 2021.

APA continues to monitor the CDC, US Department of State, and host country Ministries of Health for updates and guidelines concerning the virus.

Summer 2022 programs in Dakar, Rabat and Paris plan to host students on-site. Fall 2022 programs in Paris, Dakar and Multi-Country: France, Morocco, Senegal plan to host students on-site. All Spring 2023 programs will run on-site. Please refer to APA’s COVID-19 up-to-date page for further information.

Our students come from all corners of the US and across the globe. Some are well-seasoned international travelers while others may be stepping on to an airplane or living in a city for the first time. Because of this, all information is thoroughly reviewed to ensure that students understand our health and safety initiatives. Students are expected to comply with the host country’s laws and regulations.

All students on all programs must meet the Essential Eligibility Criteria. These points have been developed based on our 30+ years of experience in the field and best practices as outlined by the leading education abroad organizations of which APA is a member: Gap Year Association, Forum on Education Abroad, NAFSA, and APUAF.

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Safety Procedures

APA takes numerous steps to inform and advise students to take a proactive approach to their safety. Topics are addressed during a pre-departure orientation as well as the first day of on-site orientation.

In addition, students are required to comply with the following initiatives:

  • Sign up for the US Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) notifications for their host country and encourage their parents/guardians to do so as well.
  • Should students decide to travel personally while on the program, they are required to submit to the site director where they are going, the dates, where they will be staying, and who they will be traveling with.
  • One of APA’s first visits when students arrive for their program term is to take them to a cell phone agency to purchase a SIM card with a host country telephone number for an easy and affordable way to keep in contact.

Emergency Procedures

In the event of an emergency, APA’s first priority is for on-site staff to make contact with students and ensure they are in a safe place. As this information is relayed to our US colleagues, they will call the students’ respective emergency contact listed on file.

Institutional partners who have participating students on-site will be contacted once the student’s emergency contact has been notified. Repatriation must be included under a student’s insurance coverage in the unlikely event an evacuation is needed.

Physical, Mental, & Emotional Well-Being

It is our goal at APA that every student has a safe and supportive study abroad experience. When a physical, emotional, or mental health concern is disclosed to us, APA is able to proactively work with the student to create an individualized plan that will meet their needs without sacrificing the study abroad experience.

When an institution provides a student with academic or other accommodations, APA asks for verification from the respective office so that we may determine if an adequate level of assistance will be available while abroad. Past plans have included securing English-speaking specialist doctors, classroom accommodations for learning differences, weekly therapist appointments, and handicap-accessible homestays.

Medical Insurance, Prescriptions & Immunizations

All students must provide their own medical insurance with international coverage when participating on an APA program. Proof of this coverage must be kept on file with APA in case of emergency.

If a student requires a prescription while abroad, it is the student’s responsibility to make sure they are properly prepared. This may be an advanced supply, a prescription to be refilled while abroad, or an alternative. Be sure to contact the embassy of the host country to make sure the medication is permitted. APA is happy to assist with this process.

Prior to departure, the student is responsible for receiving the required immunizations for the host country as outlined by the Center for Disease Control.

Read more about health information abroad on the US Department of State website.