API’s Response to
API is a global operation with programs in 25 countries, and we continue to adapt and change our program offerings in response to the continued spread of the pandemic. We remain committed, as always, to our mission to lead advancements in global, experiential learning.
As we send students abroad in challenging times, we want our students, families, and university partners to be reassured that API is prepared to implement best practices to minimize risk on-site. API’s Student Success team is committed to guiding our international personnel to ensure that the best practices in risk management are employed by our teams around the world.
Some examples of the proactive measures we will have in place on-site to minimize risk to our participants include the following:
- Monitoring conditions in the local communities and healthcare sectors in the program sites.
- Ensuring that students are informed frequently about local conditions, restrictions and public health guidance in the host country.
- Requiring participants to follow local guidelines following a positive test result and providing individual support to those participants.
- Offering expanded insurance benefits that allow for reimbursement during a mandated quarantine period.
COVID-19 Policy & Informed Consent
Spring 2023 Core Programs
The global health pandemic inspired by COVID-19 has had a widespread impact on individuals, organizations, and governments around the world. Within this document, Academic Programs International, LLC (API) seeks to comprehensively outline our policies related to COVID-19. These policies are subject to change and possibly discontinuance with prior notice.
I. Vaccination Requirement
A. API strongly recommends and/or mandates that all participants have received a COVID-19 vaccine and booster prior to their travel, as directed by the CDC and/or a personal physician. Additionally, we also strongly recommend that participants ensure they are up to date with all routine vaccinations and any that are recommended for their particular host country: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/routine-vaccines.
API will also defer to and enforce any vaccination mandates issued by (a) State and local authorities, (b) colleges and universities in API’s global network, (c) the jurisdictions of the host countries, and (d) any other applicable authority. Due to the myriad of potential applicable mandates, the unpredictable future course of COVID-19, and the changing mandates, as well as the consequences of the imposition of certain restrictions while studying abroad for those participants who are not vaccinated, API’s participants should be fully vaccinated, absent the existence of an expressly permitted jurisdictional exemption (primarily for medical or religious reasons).
B. API will advise participants of specific in-country COVID-19 requirements for entry and local access. Participants should travel with their U.S. CDC card and/or electronic proof of vaccination.
II. Entry Requirements & Host Country Conditions
A. Some countries may require vaccination or testing prior to entry, and some may have a health pass system requiring proof of vaccination, boosters and/or negative test results in order to have access to local facilities such as museums and restaurants. API will endeavor to provide participants with the latest requirements for travel to the given country as well as conditions within the country; however, participants are required to monitor current conditions and restrictions independently. API reminds participants that host country entry procedures can change at any time, and should airline or country
requirements prohibit or delay an individual’s entry, the participant will be responsible for all related expenses and/or will be subject to standard withdrawal fees if participation is no longer possible. After arrival in-country, participants are required to follow all local guidelines and requirements, such
as testing or quarantine. All related expenses for testing and procurement of the local health pass, if applicable, are the responsibility of the participant.
III. Expectations of Participants
A. API recommends that participants use caution if traveling internationally. API cannot guarantee support to participants who are unable to return to the host country as planned due to COVID restrictions or a positive test result. Participants are responsible for understanding the entry requirements of the destination country, as well as requirements for returning to the host country.
B. Participants must abide by all local regulations that are being enforced by the local government of the host country or region. This pertains to quarantine requirements if exposed or COVID-positive, as well as gathering sizes, visitors to housing, etc.
C. API does not provide participants with masks or other personal protective equipment. Participants are responsible for bringing or purchasing their own masks and adhering to local protocols regarding the type of masks required in the local community.
D. Depending on conditions in the local environment, all participants, regardless of vaccination status, may be asked to submit a negative test result before being permitted into an API event or excursion.
E. If a participant is not able to participate in any aspect of the program due to a positive test, illness, quarantine, or any other reason, they will not be eligible for a refund of any costs associated with the programming or event.
IV. Program Operations
A. API will monitor a variety of resources to make decisions about where we will operate programs each session. The advisory levels assigned by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of State will be considered as important factors, but we will also monitor COVID-19 infection levels, vaccination rates and hospital capacity in the local community via Our World in Data, the World Health Organization (WHO), Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), as well as authorities within the host country.
B. API will abide by the public health regulations and recommendations of the local city or country with regard to mask wearing, distancing, group or gathering sizes, etc. These regulations will be followed in all aspects of the program, such as events, activities, group transportation, and office operations. API may elect to enforce additional measures if deemed warranted for the wellbeing of the group.
C. API will make every effort to protect the confidentiality of a participant diagnosed with COVID-19, but API may need to disclose the affected student’s name to the host institution and home institution, as well as other participants who may have had some form of close contact with the sick participant.
D. Given strict regulations regarding COVID-19, API on-site directors may not be authorized to accompany participants to hospitals. Most local protocols dictate that individuals who suspect they have COVID-19 and require in-patient care must be transported via ambulance and no others are
allowed to accompany them in the ambulance. E. In the event that personal illness, local conditions or travel restrictions prohibit a participant from
departing the host country as anticipated on the standard program end date, participants are advised that API will seek to be as supportive as possible with the extension of API housing and insurance coverage, but the costs involved will be the responsibility of the participant. Housing by
API beyond the program end date is not guaranteed.
F. Should a participant test positive for COVID-19, API will do the following:
- Provide the participant with access to medical care and the local protocols for isolation and recovery.
- Ensure that close contacts of the positive participant are notified and also follow local protocols. Close contacts of the positive participant may be required to quarantine even if vaccinated, depending on the local public health guidance.
- Assist in notifying the host university if needed.
- Vaccinated and unvaccinated participants may be housed together. Students with compromised immune systems may want to consider reserving a single room for added protection (subject to availability and a single room fee).
- API will inquire as to the vaccination status of eligible host families and provide status information to participants upon request. API cannot guarantee availability of host family housing for participants who are not vaccinated.
- If a participant tests positive for COVID-19, API will assist the participant in following local guidelines regarding quarantine. If separate housing is desired or required, API will help the participant access alternate housing in which to quarantine. The cost of the additional housing
will be passed to the participant. Housing, meals and travel expenses incurred during a mandated quarantine period are eligible for reimbursement through the CISI insurance plan provided to participants. In locations where quarantining is not required, API will recommend that students adhere to the CDC recommendation for quarantine following a positive test result. The positive individual and roommate will be advised to follow all local public health guidance, such as wearing a mask, when in public places or shared housing spaces. Participants will not be permitted to join group excursions or events until they have a negative test result or until they have completed the designated local quarantine period (or at least 5 days in the absence of a local recommendation).
- Any participant who wishes to proactively leave their API housing after potential exposure to COVID-19 may do so at their own expense, but they must make every effort to follow local health guidelines, such as limiting interactions with other people while moving to alternate housing and using a mask at all times.
V. Local Responses to COVID-19
A. Transmission rates for COVID-19 in a given location can increase at any time. Consequently, participants are notified that the host country may elect to implement control strategies at any time. These control strategies may include, but are not limited to, closing businesses that are considered non-essential, restricting movement via public transportation, suspending in-person classes, and/or requiring all residents and visitors to remain in their homes at all times other than when procuring food or providing for the elderly or infirm. Such outbreaks may lead to failures of the public healthcare system, as hospitals may reach capacity and not be able to serve all sick patients. Decisions regarding how care will be provided in such a situation are the purview of local health authorities, and API cannot control which patients will be granted care.
B. Insurance policies included in the API program fee do not cover the cost of early departures home, even if quarantine and/or shelter-in-place policies are enacted, unless a participant is hospitalized and it becomes medically necessary due to the immediate health risk for that particular participant. Should a participant choose to travel home early due to circumstances in the host country or for any other reason, all related expenses would be their responsibility or reimbursable based on a travel insurance policy purchased individually.
C. Travel restrictions could be implemented at any time and without advance warning by the host country and/or the participant’s home country. Should travel restrictions or local quarantine requirements necessitate that a participant stay beyond the established end date of the program, API will endeavor to extend housing contracts where possible. The insurance that API includes for participants can provide some reimbursement of costs (lodging, meals, travel) associated with a mandated quarantine period.
D. Each host institution or internship provider will have unique measures in place to promote social distancing, and API will not have the ability to change those measures. Participants are advised that they may be required to wear masks when in classrooms or office spaces.
VI. Program Disturbances and Cancellation Policies
A. Given this potential for periodic outbreaks of COVID-19 around the world, API participants will be expected to behave as a local person would in the event of such circumstances (e.g., respecting local shelter-in-place restrictions). Outbreaks may necessitate suspension of in-person classes or in-office work for interns.
B. No refunds will be offered to participants if classes or internship work shifts to a remote or virtual format.
C. If API or a host university cancels or suspends a program after the program start date, or if a participant’s home university moves to recall participants from programs abroad after the program has begun, participants will not be eligible for any refund of program costs. Participants are advised that should API move to cancel a program after the program start date out of concern for participant safety, the cost of early departure, including modifications to original travel plans and housing in the home country during the original program period, will be the responsibility of the participant. Where available, API has provided our recommendations regarding insurance products that can be purchased via our insurance provider to offer greater financial protection should programs be interrupted once participants are abroad.
D. In the event that a participant voluntarily withdraws their participation, the COVID cancellation policies will apply.
VII. Risk of Contracting COVID-19 and Related Protocols
A. API cannot guarantee that participants will not contract COVID-19 while abroad. Even participants practicing all recommended API and local disease-prevention protocols remain at risk of contracting the illness. If API becomes aware that a participant is deliberately endangering the wellbeing of the API or host community by flagrantly disobeying the rules outlined here, or those provided by local health authorities or by the host institution, API will move to dismiss the participant from the API program. Additionally, API reserves the right to take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety
and well-being of its participants.
More COVID-19 Resources and Information
We are excited to continue to offer immersive virtual opportunities for language immersion, entrepreneurial labs, as well as the option to study virtually from faraway places! Learn more about our program options in our program finder.
Public Resources and Websites
In addition to the CDC and State Department recommendations, API is monitoring information from WHO, the GHS Index (https://www.ghsindex.org/), DOMO Coronavirus tracker (https://www.domo.com/covid19/daily-pulse/), and IHME projections (https://covid19.healthdata.org/spain).
Mass updates affecting an entire group or program site will be posted to our website (www.apiabroad.com) and blog (https://apiabroad.com/blog/).
Financial Considerations and Cancellation Policies
Any on-site programs that API must cancel prior to the start of the program will offer full refunds of program fees to the affected students.
Students who withdraw from on-site Winter/Spring 2022 programs for personal reasons, or due to university cancellations, will be subject to the COVID-19 cancellation policies.
Students enrolled in programs for Summer 2022 and beyond are subject to API’s standard cancellation policies.
No refunds from API will be provided to students if a program is cancelled or suspended after the program start date.
The API Blog
We have provided ongoing updates on our response to the global pandemic and is a great resource for students and families.
Have questions? We are available in a number of ways:
- Chat with us. We have a team available via chat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday.
- Email us. You can reach our team sending a note to [email protected]. If you have a financial question, reach out to [email protected].
- Call us. We are available via phones, you can reach us 1-512-600-8900 or toll free at 1-800-844-4124 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST Monday through Friday.
If you have already applied and been accepted to an upcoming API program, you can reach out to your Program Manager. They will have the most up-to-date information regarding your specific program. Should your program be cancelled due to COVID-19, we will work to do so 61 days prior to the start date and we will notify you as soon as possible.
We encourage all students interested in going abroad to continue to apply to our programs. We are actively monitoring the global situation and will be in touch with any of our students should any changes occur.