Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Amizade recognizes first and foremost that the health and safety of its participants, site directors, and community partners are the primary concerns of any Amizade-BCA program. We understand that many of you may have questions regarding upcoming programs or health and safety broadly due to coronavirus concerns.

This is a very fluid and rapidly evolving situation. At this point, we are balancing the need for caution with the understanding that we have much more to learn about the virus and its prevalence, as well as local and global responses. We remain in direct contact with our local site directors, community partners, and insurance providers. We are constantly monitoring global events and stay abreast of all relevant travel advisories and warnings. We encourage you to review CDC and WHO websites for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and locations that may be impacted. For a list of locations with confirmed COVID-19 cases, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html#map.

As a reminder, Amizade-BCA provides Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) international health insurance and emergency evacuation coverage to program participants, with costs for the services included as a part of the program budgeting process. In addition to providing accident and sickness insurance, the plan covers medical evacuation and repatriation as well as security evacuations if necessary.

Short-Term Global Service Learning Programs 

Colleges, universities and community partners with questions regarding upcoming global service-learning programs should reach out to their Amizade Site Liaison or to Rachel Helwig, Director of Health, Safety & Security for more information. We understand that you may have questions regarding postponing or canceling programs, and we will work with you to understand what is possible.

Semester and Summer Study Abroad Programs 

We are not anticipating major program changes or closures at this time but may adapt program excursions or activities as needed to reflect country-specific guidelines. At this point, host universities in all BCA+Amizade locations are continuing coursework as usual and are following their own country-specific guidance. Students are discouraged from traveling independently outside of program locations at this time due to possibilities for travel disruptions or quarantines in other locations.

General precautions and Reminders

The World Health Organization indicates that “standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.”

Local governments are also providing health guidelines and testing opportunities, depending on program locations. Semester study abroad students should stay in close contact with their Resident Directors and follow university and government guidelines for preventing transmission and staying healthy.

Again, we recognize that the health and safety of its participants, site directors, and community partners are the primary concerns of any Amizade program. Any changes to programming or activities will be made with participant and community well-being as the first priority.