Update: CEA Study Abroad Statement on COVID-19
The situation around the world has been rapidly changing in response to COVID-19, and we’ve seen some significant and drastic measures taken by governments across Europe and Latin America in the past few days. In the past 24-48 hours, several countries,
including France, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, amongst others, have announced land border closures, shut down restaurants and social gathering venues, and imposed confinement periods upon their residents to stem the tide of this illness.
In some cases, residents are restricted from leaving their homes except to buy food or medicine, travel to airports, and are required to carry a special permit or risk hefty fines.
What Does This Mean for CEA Study Center Programs?
CEA has already announced suspension of in-class instruction, and the move to remote/distance learning course instruction for all our Study Centers in Florence, Rome, Barcelona, Paris, Seville, Dublin, and Buenos Aires. Students
have or will receive additional details from their professors, and will be able to access course content, including any pre-recorded lectures on Moodle. These actions are meant to ensure academic delivery of coursework while providing options for
students that minimize the potential impact and exposure to our students, staff, faculty and local communities.
What about Courses at Local Partner Institutions?
The above information specifically relates to CEA Study Center programs. For students enrolled at partner universities at most CEA locations, these institutions have already announced
the move to distance learning course delivery, and have communicated or will communicate their course delivery plans, assignments, and means of assessments to students in the coming days and weeks. In most cases, lectures delivered remotely are asynchronous,
meaning students do not have to attend them in real-time, but can watch recordings in their time zones. There are some exceptions, and CEA is working closely with these particular university partners on solutions that do not cause undue burden on
There are some local partner universities who have yet to announce plans for remote distance learning as they look to their governments to impose measures to combat COVID-19 in their communities. CEA is also working closely with these universities to
drive a decision soon, and we will communicate updates as they become available.
Should Students Stay or Leave Their Program Location?
At this time, all students across all CEA locations have been asked to return to the United States as quickly as possible. The request to return home is necessary as governments
across CEA locations in Europe and South America close land borders, restrict movement, and impose confinement measures for their citizens. Additionally, airlines around the world are reducing their services, limiting routes, with the United States
restricting inbound international flights to only a handful of airports. Most students have complied with this request, and we are urging those remaining to do so as soon as possible.
Given these conditions, CEA staff are unable to offer students the same level of services and support we pride ourselves on providing, and that students, parents, and university partners expect. CEA staff across Europe are under the same confinement measures
described above, and in most cases would not be able to assist students if they need assistance with routine issues or a health and safety emergency.
What about My Housing?
In most locations, students have been given a deadline by which they should return to the United States, after which their housing will no longer be available to them. However, we also understand that due
to limited flight schedules and frequent cancelations, some students may not be able to leave their program location by the given deadline. We will work with each impacted student on a case by case basis, provided students book their return flights
within the coming week to avoid further travel restrictions.
Will the Study Center Stay Open?
Due to restrictions imposed by local governments, most CEA Study Centers and offices are now closed. CEA staff are working remotely from their homes, and available by email to students. In case of
emergency, students are urged to call the emergency phone number provided by our CEA onsite staff for immediate assistance.
Are There Any Refunds Available?
At this time, we are focused on assisting all CEA students to return home, and ensuring they access their course work remotely and with as little disruption or issues as possible. We will be turning
our focus to all the inquiries from students and families about any possible refunds in the weeks to come.
However, it is important to note that at this time the entirety of our students’ program fees have been paid out in the preparation and reservation of all that their program includes (tuition, housing, excursions, activities). Should we determine
in the near future that the financial situation has changed, we will follow up with another update.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented situation. This pandemic has impacted all operations, every vendor, every business large or small, and we simply do not have all the answers at this time. Our focus is to
assist the remaining students on site to return home, and enable our faculty and partner universities to deliver courses remotely to ensure that students receive their academic credit for the semester.
What If I Have Other Questions?
We anticipate that you will likely have many other questions. Students will continue to receive updates from our onsite staff with many more details and logistics regarding their remote/distance learning
coursework. We ask that you urge your students to reach out to onsite CEA staff for specific questions regarding their individual situation. However, please do not hesitate to reach out to the CEA US Headquarters staff for any general questions. Please
note that CEA is unable to provide assistance with booking return flights to students, or advising on any travel plans students or their families may have.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to help students navigate their study abroad experience under these circumstances together.