Ed Abroad Updates

International Travel Activities facilitated by the Education Abroad Office

On March 12, 2020, the BC provincial government announced a number of recommendations in light of the developing local and global situation regarding COVID-19. One of the recommendations made by the provincial health minister was to avoid all non-essential travel and to self-quarantine for two (2) weeks after returning from any international travel, even to destinations such as the US. In light of this announcement, VIU has decided to suspend all student and staff travel activities until further notice. As a result, all international field school, internship and practica activities planned for Intersession 2020 have cancelled due to the rapidly changing nature of COVID-19 in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff and community at large.

VIU is aware that many students participating in these activities planned to use the credits towards meeting graduation requirements. VIU has previously convened an Academic Continuity Advisory Committee to evaluate options to best ensure that students can still complete academic requirements that have been impacted by COVID-19. Field school leaders have been asked to prepare contingency plans in the event that programs were unable to travel internationally. Information will be provided in the days to come as it may vary by individual field school experience.

If you have already made purchases in preparation for the activity, we recommend that you contact the provider and to inquire about canceling flights, insurance, and other travel arrangements that you have already made. Please review the cancellation and refund policies of services you have purchased. Companies, such as airlines, are experience a high volume of inquiries at the moment.

We understand that this news will cause more questions than answers at the moment. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Please continue to refer to VIU’s institutional resource regarding COVID-19 (https://adm.viu.ca/health-and-safety/coronavirus-updates-and-information) for updates as new information becomes available.

Last Updated: March 13, 2020

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