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Ongoing Updates for COVID-19 Response

March 4, 2020

Refer to this page for up-to-date news pertaining to the COVID-19 virus and how it is impacting APA students and home and host partner institutions. APA continues to monitor the WHO, CDC, US Department of State, and French Ministry of Health for updates and guidelines concerning the COVID-19 virus. Parents should refer to their child's home institution regarding policies specific to their school. 8/28/2020 APA is looking forward to welcoming the Fall 2020 cohort to Paris in a couple of short weeks! The US French Consulate has placed a priority on processing student visa applications - 100% of our cohort were able to successfully complete this process. While in Paris, students are required to maintain public health protocols pertaining to COVID-19 as set forth by the French government. Understanding this is a fluid situation, policies at this time include:

  • Practice social distancing of six feet / one meter
  • Use cloth face coverings (mandatory on public transportation, indoor settings including APA and partner university campuses)
  • Regular hand washing
  • Use of hand sanitizer when entering stores and other public places
All students have been provided documentation regarding the policies of the French government and APA and are required to abide by all rules. A copy of this document can be provided upon request. Please email usa@apaparis.com to receive a copy. A note about Spring 2021: At this time, we expect the Paris program to debut as planned. For Multi-Country: France, Morocco, Senegal - While this may change in the coming weeks, APA is in the process of crafting contingency plans to be able to adapt to changes in travel. Students should note that a tailored program staying only in France for the semester is plausible if current travel bans remain in effect. 8/13/2020 Some of our partner institutions in Paris have confirmed in-person instruction this fall. Our updates to the Fall 2020 semester have been updated. You can access the details here. It has also been confirmed that the French Consulate in the US is processing student visas. As of today, 100% of our cohort have scheduled visa appointments. In order to enter France, a negative COVID-19 test result is required. 7/14/2020 Update, 8/13/2020: These plans have been updated. The link below has been removed to avoid any confusion. Our plans for the Fall 2020 semester have been modified. The updates can be accessed here. 6/11/2020 Update, 7/14/2020: These plans are no longer applicable. To avoid any confusion, they have been removed. Additional details have been added to our modified Fall 2020 semester. They can be accessed here. 6/5/2020 Updates and modifications to Fall 2020 programs can be accessed here. The Online Francophone Summer program dates have been modified. The six-week courses will run June 22 - July 31, 2020. 5/28/2020 APA is working hard to clear the hurdles to have a safe, healthy, and memorable fall semester abroad. The French government began lifting its confinement protocols on May 11. APA expects to learn more regarding in-country higher education plans for the upcoming semester following this date. Modifications to Fall 2020 programs are in progress and will be made available when finalized. 3/24/2020 UPDATE: APA Online Francophone Summer courses are now available for students wishing to continue their academic studies virtually. More information can be found on the program page. Regretfully, APA has made the decision to cancel all Summer 2020 programs. Fall 2020 and Academic Year 2020-21 admissions to Paris and Multi-Country: France, Morocco, Senegal programs are rolling through June 30. 3/20/2020 Yesterday, March 19, the US Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, asking all US citizens to avoid international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. The Advisory instructs US citizens to arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period of time. APA has strongly advised students to follow the Advisory and take its warning seriously. While we will continue to help students find solutions as best we can, please note that APA will not be able to offer financial or medical support beyond May 3, 2020, the date at which the program officially ends. The APA staff remains available to help book travel arrangements or answer questions. We kindly ask that students notify us once they have booked their flight home and after they have arrived. Needless to say, APA will continue to arrange for online classes and language support and liaise with students’ French professors as needed. We will do our very best to ensure students’ learning experience is as fulfilling as possible. 3/16/2020 We have received information – unofficial at this point but which we believe to be credible – that France will be heading into total confinement for 45 days as of Wednesday 1am, local time. We cannot guarantee this information at this point but, in light of the increased restrictions imposed in Europe, we feel this is a likely scenario and one we want you to be prepared for. Should you decide that your student must return to the US before this measure is put into place, please let us know as soon as possible and what we can do to assist with travel arrangements. The APA staff continues to remain available to assist all students, those who have chosen to remain in Paris or return home. APA courses, customized language support, and complementary courses will continue online. Paris university coursework will also be completed remotely. 3/15/2020 Last night, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the closing of “non-essential commercial activity” until April 15. APA courses, customized language support, and complementary courses will continue online. Paris university coursework will also be completed remotely. Students have been advised to limit use of public transportation however, they can still walk throughout Paris and go to the parks while practicing social distancing and the hygiene rules as outlined by the WHO, French Ministry of Health and CDC. We would like to reassure you that APA staff is present and available for any questions or concerns and encourage our students to communicate with us at all times. Though the course of the semester has been very different from what everyone anticipated in the City of Lights, we admire the resilience and efforts of our students and faculty and will continue to strive to finish together. 3/13/2020 Yesterday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the country on the steps the government is taking to combat COVID-19. Included is the measure to close schools and universities starting Monday, March 16; courses will continue remotely. It is expected that all Paris semester students—those who have returned home and those that have made the decision to stay in Paris—will continue coursework in order for courses to be validated and credit awarded. Customized language support will continue either at APA or online via Skype. 3/12/2020 Last night, President Trump issued a Europe-to-US 30-day travel ban. This does not apply to US citizens or permanent residents. Last night, the US Department of State issued a Global Health Advisory change to Level 3: Reconsider Travel. In accordance with home institutional policies, many are requiring students to return to the US. This includes Barnard College, College of William & Mary, George Washington University, Southern Methodist University, Swarthmore College. APA is diligently working to prepare remote coursework and is assisting students to arrange for return travel to the US, if needed. Students should be prepared to experience delays at the airport. Upon returning home, students should be prepared to self-quarantine and practice social distancing for 14 days. The following schools have implemented their respective policies:
  • Amherst College (as of the evening of 3/11/20): we are strongly recommending that students in European countries except the UK book a flight home as soon as possible.
  • Brandeis University (as of 3/11/20): Students currently in study abroad programs should continue in their programs until otherwise notified.
  • Bryn Mawr College (as of 3/11/20): Students who are studying abroad should continue to follow the instructions of their host program.
  • Princeton University (as of 3/12/20): While the situation is still unfolding, we are asking that all travelers currently abroad in Europe and the U.K. return to their permanent residence as soon as possible.
  • Whittier College (as of 3/12/20): we recommend that our students in Europe strongly consider returning to the U.S.
  • Yale University: does not require repatriation.
Preparations are under way to provide mental and emotional support to student who are returning/have already returned home. French President Emmanuel Macron will be addressing the country at 2:00 pm EST / 8:00 pm (GMT+1). We will be watching his statement and will keep you up to date with his remarks. Thank you for your patience and calm as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 developments. 3/10/2020 Paris semester program: For the health and safety of self, other students, APA staff and professors, host families, and other parties, APA has made the decision to suspend all personal travel outside of France and to the indicated cluster zones within the country (Le Haut-Rhin, l’Oise, le Morbihan and Haute-Savoie) until further notice. 3/6/2020 APA has made the decision to cancel the Paris program's From Fauvism to the Contemporary Period (1900-1970) art history study tour to Barcelona, scheduled to take place March 19-21. 3/5/2020 Students have been advised to avoid travel to Italy. 3/4/2020 The following message was sent to all students attending Université Paris Dauphine: In accordance with the instructions and recommendations received from the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, here are the provisions that we invite you to comply with: Travel to only within the European Union and outside risk areas (Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto in Italy) is allowed. Risk zones (area where the virus is actively circulating) in France should be avoided: Department of Oise (Creil, Nogent-sur-Oise, Montataire, Villiers-Saint-Paul, Crepy-en-Valois, Vaumoise, Lagny-le-Sec, Lamorlaye, Lacroix-Saint-Ouen) - Department of Haute-Savoie (La Balme de Sillingy) – Department of Morbihan (Auray, Carnac, Crac'h).   We remind you of the daily instructions to respect:
      • Wash your hands regularly and / or use a hydroalcoholic solution 
      • Use disposable tissues and sneeze into your elbow 
      • Do not shake hands 
      • Contact the SAMU (dial 15) in case of symptoms (fever, cough, breathing difficulties) 
      • Stay at home if you are sick 
      • Do not wear a mask if you are not sick 
 These instructions are likely to change in the coming days and we ask you to be extremely alert. Additional information is available on the government website below: http://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus   With regards to the proper running of courses and examinations, this is not in question for the moment. There is no reason to be overly concerned if you follow the above recommendations. However, the University is evaluating solutions if the situation changes.  3/3/2020 The following information was sent to parents of APA students and US partner institutions: APA has a long-standing tradition of facilitating coordination between students and our host faculty and institutions in the event of personal sickness, civil unrest, and emergencies and will continue to do so now. The following measures have been taken:
  • All host university professors have been contacted to provide measures for students to continue coursework in the event of a university closure or repatriation. Faculty are attentive and responses are continually arriving.
  • APA courses will be audio-recorded, a note taker will be assigned, and powerpoints distributed in the event of student repatriation.
  • APA customized language support sessions will be organized via Skype in the event of student repatriation.
  • Students are required to sanitize/wash hands when arriving at APA offices and have been encouraged to do so at their host university campuses.
  • CDC travel health notices have been disseminated to students. They have been encouraged to communicate travel plans with parents.
3/1/2020

APA staff and partner universities abroad continue to work to ensure the safety and calm of our students as the spread of the COVID-19 virus develops. At this time, the CDC does not have a COVID-19 travel health notice for any APA program locations: France, Morocco, Senegal or Martinique.

APA continues to monitor both the CDC and French Ministry of Health for ongoing advisories and have informed our students of their recommendations regarding travel and to prevent the spread of respiratory disease. As a member of APUAF (Association of American University Programs in France), we are working together to distribute these official recommendations to all concerned parties. APA is currently working on providing options for students to continue their studies in the event of a university closure or required repatriation.

This morning, as APA was made aware of a change in a US partner institution’s protocol pertaining to the COVID-19 virus, we contacted all US institutional partners and requested their most up-to-date policies. APA is bound to the directions of each student’s home institution and will not contradict their order for students’ return to the US. Should you have a question about your child’s home institution’s decision, we encourage you to communicate concerns directly to the school and keep APA apprised of the status.

For 33 years, student safety and well-being has been the top priority at APA. Your child’s continuation and success abroad will be made in the best possible conditions. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience as we navigate this heath crisis together.

2/26/2020 The following message was sent to all Sorbonne Université partners: Epidémie de COVID-19 : recommandations Compte-tenu du caractère très évolutif de l’épidémie de COVID-19, les recommandations gouvernementales ont été mises à jour pour les personnes revenant de Chine (Chine continentale, Hong Kong, Macao), de Singapour, de Corée du Sud, ou des régions de Lombardie et de Vénétie en Italie. En conséquence, Sorbonne Université demande à tout membre de sa communauté de demeurer à son domicile dans les 14 jours suivant son retour d’une de ces régions. Au cours de cette période, toute personne pouvant justifier de son séjour dans une des zones d’exposition,
  • Sera considérée en travail à distance, s’il s’agit d’un chercheur, d’un enseignant-chercheur ou d’un personnel administratif qui s’est signalé à son responsable d’unité ou de service ;
  • Bénéficiera d’une dispense de contrôle d’assiduité, si elle est étudiante sur demande à son responsable de département.
En cas de fièvre ou sensation de fièvre, toux, difficultés à respirer :
  • Contacter rapidement le SAMU centre 15 en signalant le voyage ;
  • Eviter tout contact avec votre entourage et conservez votre masque ;
  • Ne pas se rendre directement chez le médecin, ni à la direction de la médecine de prévention, ni au service universitaire de médecine préventive et de promotion de la santé, ni aux urgences de l’hôpital.
Pour toute information, un numéro Vert (0 800 130 000), mis en place par le ministère des solidarités et de la santé, est ouvert de 09h00 à 19h00 sept jours sur sept. En raison de ses spécificités médicales, la faculté de médecine adopte des mesures particulières en liaison étroite avec les établissements hospitaliers auxquels elle est associée. Tenant compte des recommandations gouvernementales, Sorbonne Université demande aux membres de sa communauté de :
  • Reporter tout départ vers les zones d’exposition qui ne revêt pas un caractère essentiel ;
  • D’interrompre temporairement tout séjour dans une des zones d’exposition en attendant l'amélioration des conditions locales ;
  • Différer de 14 jours, période correspondant à la période d’incubation du virus, l’accueil des étudiants, chercheurs, enseignants-chercheurs et personnels revenant des zones d’exposition (Chine continentale, Hong-Kong, Macao, Singapour, Corée du Sud et régions de Lombardie et de Vénétie en Italie) dans les lieux collectifs.
Par ailleurs, le MEAE, dans la page des conseils aux voyageurs relative à l’Italie, mentionne les restrictions prises par les autorités italiennes dans 11 communes (Codogno, Casapusterlengo, Castiglione d’Adda, Maleo, Fombio, Bertonico, Castelgerundo, Somaglia, San Fiorano, Terranova dei Passerini et Vo Euganeo). Toute personne demeurant à son domicile dans les 14 jours suivant son retour d’une des zones d’exposition est invitée à adopter les mesures suivantes :
  • Portez un masque chirurgical lorsque vous êtes en face d’une autre personne et lorsque vous devez sortir ;
  • Lavez-vous les mains régulièrement ou utilisez une solution hydro-alcoolique ;
  • Travailleurs/étudiants : dans la mesure du possible, privilégiez le télétravail et évitez les contacts proches (réunions, ascenseurs, cantine...) ;
  • Surveillez votre température 2 fois par jour ;
  • Surveillez l’apparition de symptômes d’infection respiratoire (toux, difficultés à respirer…) ;
  • Evitez tout contact avec les personnes fragiles (femmes enceintes, malades chroniques, personnes âgées…) ;
  • Evitez de fréquenter des lieux où se trouvent des personnes fragiles (hôpitaux, maternités, structures d’hébergement pour personnes âgées…) ;
  • Evitez toute sortie non indispensable (grands rassemblements, restaurants, cinéma…).
  • Les enfants, collégiens, lycéens ne doivent pas être envoyés à la crèche, à l’école, au collège ou au lycée, compte tenu de la difficulté à porter un masque toute la journée.
Les épidémies suscitent des inquiétudes. Ne nous laissons pas emporter par des réactions irrationnelles ou discriminantes à l’égard de qui que ce soit. Nous vous rappelons que sont à votre disposition : 2/25/2020 The following French Ministry of Health message was shared with students. In addition, they were given the WHO COVID-19 link to monitor and were encouraged to double-check their US Department of State STEP accounts to ensure they are receiving notifications. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public https://step.state.gov/ Le ministère des Solidarités et de la Santé français rappelle les recommandations suivantes pour les personnes revenant de Chine (Chine continentale, Hong Kong, Macao), de Singapour, de Corée du Sud, ou des régions de Lombardie et de Vénétie en Italie. Dans les 14 jours suivant le retour  :
  • Surveillez votre température 2 fois par jour ;
  • Surveillez l’apparition de symptômes d’infection respiratoire (toux, difficultés à respirer…) ;
  • Portez un masque chirurgical lorsque vous êtes en face d’une autre personne et lorsque vous devez sortir ;
  • Lavez-vous les mains régulièrement ou utilisez une solution hydro-alcoolique ;
  • Evitez tout contact avec les personnes fragiles (femmes enceintes, malades chroniques, personnes âgées…) ;
  • Evitez de fréquenter des lieux où se trouvent des personnes fragiles (hôpitaux, maternités, structures d’hébergement pour personnes âgées…) ;
  • Evitez toute sortie non indispensable (grands rassemblements, restaurants, cinéma…).
Travailleurs/étudiants : dans la mesure du possible, privilégiez le télétravail et évitez les contacts proches (réunions, ascenseurs, cantine...) ; Les enfants, collégiens, lycéens ne doivent pas être envoyés à la crèche, à l’école, au collège ou au lycée, compte tenu de la difficulté à porter un masque toute la journée. En cas de signes d’infection respiratoire dans les 14 jours suivant le retour :
  • Contacter le Samu Centre 15 en faisant état des symptômes et du séjour récent en Chine (Chine continentale, Hong Kong, Macao), de Singapour, de Corée du Sud, ou des régions de Lombardie et de Vénétie en Italie.
  • Evitez tout contact avec votre entourage et conservez votre masque.
  • Ne pas se rendre chez son médecin traitant ou aux urgences, pour éviter toute potentielle contamination.

Pay it Forward: New Scholarship Partnership with STA Travel

April 16, 2019

Airline tickets are often a student's most expensive personal purchase relating to study abroad. Factor in the time of year, departing airports, and dynamic pricing and an international flight can easily cost four figures. Yet, it is something that every student in every cohort needs. In our effort to lessen the financial gap, APA has partnered with STA Travel, the world's largest student and youth travel company, to create an exclusive scholarship fund. (more…)

APA Joins George Washington University FOFAC Program

February 6, 2019

APA is proud to join the Focus on Fall Abroad Community (FOFAC) program at our valued partner institution, George Washington University. Eligible GW FOFAC students who participate on a Fall Semester 2019 APA program will receive a $1,000 scholarship to offset pre-departure expenses such as flights and French student visa application fees. (more…)