What’s on the Horizon for Study Abroad?
From where we’re standing 2021 is shaping up to be a much better year for study abroad than the last! After a year of difficulties presented by Covid, 2021 offers a light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, study abroad will still require precautions and safety protocols, but everyone is much better prepared for it this time around.
So what’s on the horizon for study abroad in 2021?
A huge milestone in the latter half of 2020 was the news of the Covid vaccine and its distribution across major countries thus far. The vaccine is being administered across Spain as you read and this is a very positive step forward for the Spanish population and for study abroad. What’s more, the quality, reliability and efficiency of testing have all improved, making it easier to measure infection rates and better control the virus. It’s a step in the right direction and a green light for those wanting to feel safer when studying abroad.
Extra Travel Requirements
Travel to Spain now requires a negative PCR test result and a health questionnaire to be presented upon arrival. These entry requirements increase control and safety for visitors, which although create a bit of extra work, are essential steps in terms of welcoming international travel once more at a lower risk for all.
You can surely expect protocols and safety plans at your study abroad destination. Language schools, internship placements, university lecture halls and volunteer/ work organizations will all have Covid protocols in place. Management of the virus is far superior to last year and study abroad organizations as a whole are much more prepared when it comes to dealing with cases, tests and hosting students. Students can trust in the protocols and feel more secure and certain of a safe environment to learn and work in.
From the beginning, Spain has been very pro-active in its approach towards dealing with the virus. One of the first European countries to go into lockdown, followed by a 4-phase plan and multiple regulations later – Spain continues to act responsibly in the face of the pandemic. When you study abroad here, you will notice this. The mandatory use of face masks at all times in public places and the offering of hand sanitizer at the entrance of every store are some of the measures you’ll notice right away. The 10pm curfew here nationwide and the closing of bars and restaurants at 5pm are other regulations you’ll need to get used to. Nightlife no longer exists but in comparison to other countries, Spanish citizens are are still able to get outside, enjoy nature and the city, meet up with friends and family (limited capacity), and live somewhat normally – all while keeping to the safety measures. With so many fatalities in the last year, Spanish citizens are respectful of the rules and you will notice this responsible attitude when studying abroad in Spain in 2021.
This is the date when U.S. universities and study abroad agencies are resuming their study abroad programs. As mentioned, things are a lot stricter and more regulated than 2020, so this bodes well for the year ahead. Spain is allowing US citizens to travel without a Visa if their study abroad program lasts for less than 90 days. This hopes to create a smooth transition and bring more international students back overseas.
If you are unsure of Visa procedures, please contact us for updates and policy changes. The best advice we can give you is to apply for your Visa well in advance to make sure you avoid delays and so you can definitely make your trip this year!
Lastly, it’s important to remember the personal steps you’ll have to be aware of:
Wearing a mask at all times – It’s essential in Spain and very important to keep yourself and others at lower risk.
Hand sanitizer – Sanitizers are located at the entrance of every store and are mandatory to apply before entering.
Keeping social distance – Not a set rule but definitely an unwritten one! Two meters is expected when lining up, when in a crowded place and in general when meeting new people and having a conversation.
Video meetings and classes – If outbreaks are to occur and self isolation is recommended, then video meetings and online classes will be provided to make sure students can continue with their programs and not waste any time.
At EUROACE we are offering a 10% discount on ALL study abroad programs booked for 2021. If you need any more information on our programs or on this offer, please get in touch here!