ANNOUNCEMENTS & COVID19 UPDATES

OVERVIEW

KEI is closely monitoring the health and safety conditions, travel restrictions, and in-country requirements at each of our program locations. This page provides program-specific cancellations and updates. KEI sources of information include, but not limited to, the US Department of State (DOS), US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), embassies and health ministries of the host countries, KEI partner institutions abroad, KEI’s insurance provider, KEI onsite staff, and in-country media sources. This page is updated as new information becomes available.

KEI works closely with our partner universities abroad. Therefore, policies and procedures established by those universities will apply to KEI program participants. This may include quarantine upon arrival, wearing a mask, daily temperature checks, health checks, using a university mobile app, agreeing to tracing policies, maintaining physical distance, and limited in-country travel.

KEI communicates directly with program participants via email, our WhatsApp groups, and our pre-departure virtual meetings. We endeavor to inform students of program updates as soon as they are available. We remain available for additional questions that students, parents, or partner institutions may have regarding program operations.

KEI Guarantee
KEI’s primary concern is the health and safety of our program participants. Rest assured that KEI will not operate programs in locations that are deemed unsafe. If KEI cancels any Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, or Summer 2023 program on any day prior to the start date or a student’s home university suspends study abroad at least 4 weeks prior to the start date, students will receive a full refund of money paid toward the enrollment deposit and program fee. We want students to feel secure in their decision to study abroad without unnecessary concern for their health and fear of losing money if a program is canceled.

Program Re-opening
While we are excited to restart programs, we are cognizant of the challenges of operating in a constantly changing environment. KEI’s goal is to provide a safe environment for our program participants and staff. In determining program re-opening, the KEI Health & Safety Committee (HSC) considers the following:

  • Can US citizens travel to the host country and return safely?
  • Can students successfully complete the program?
  • Can the program be altered to mitigate risk?

Download the KEI Guidelines for Reopening Programs for more information.

KEI Program Status
The table below indicates which programs KEI is planning to run in 2022. Note that programs may be canceled due to COVID19-related circumstances such as heightened risk and travel restrictions. Refer to the country tabs for the most updated information. Note that information is available only for programs that will be offered. Due to the fluid nature of COVID, students should check for updates frequently. Students should have a backup plan in case their program is canceled.

LOCATION WINTER & SPRING 2023 SUMMER 2023 FALL 2023
AUSTRALIA: Gold Coast Planning to Offer Not Applicable Planning to Offer
CHINA: Beijing Planning to Offer Planning to Offer Planning to Offer
COSTA RICA: San Jose Planning to Offer Planning to Offer Planning to Offer
ENGLAND: London Planning to Offer Planning to Offer Planning to Offer
FRANCE: Paris Planning to Offer Not Applicable Planning to Offer
IRELAND: Dublin Planning to Offer Not Applicable Planning to Offer
ITALY: Florence Planning to Offer Planning to Offer Planning to Offer
KENYA: Nairobi Planning to Offer Planning to Offer Planning to Offer
JAPAN: Tokyo Planning to Offer Not Applicable Planning to Offer
PERU: Lima Planning to Offer Not Applicable Planning to Offer
PERU: Cuzco Not Applicable Planning to Offer Not Applicable
RUSSIA: Moscow Not Offered Not Offered Pending
SCOTLAND: Edinburgh & Galashiels Planning to Offer Not Applicable Planning to Offer
SPAIN: Burgos Planning to Offer Planning to Offer Planning to Offer
THAILAND: Bangkok/Salaya Planning to Offer Planning to Offer Planning to Offer
UAE: Ras Al-Khaimah Planning to Offer Not Applicable Planning to Offer

Program-Specific Information
KEI will provide students with an Entry & Visa Guide specific to their program location after they enroll in the program. KEI updates the guides regularly to ensure the most accurate information. If you would like to request an Entry & Visa Guide prior to enrolling in a KEI program, email info@KEIabroad.org with your request.

Q&A

COVID-19 has caused major disruptions to people’s lives, education, and study abroad plans. KEI has been inspired by so many of our students who, despite the challenges, are eager to engage the world and broaden their horizons.

KEI has worked hard to make programs as safe as possible while maintaining the academic, cultural and social integrity of the education abroad experience. We also adopted a more flexible approach that minimizes academic disruptions and financial risk. We expect students to be flexible and adaptable as well since KEI protocols may be modified as local and international COVID policies change. Students will be informed as soon as possible of any changes that affect them and their program.

We believe deeply in international education and look forward to assisting students with their education abroad plans. Below are answers to general questions related to COVID and education abroad. Click on the country tabs for location-specific information.

PROGRAM: Why are some KEI programs not being offered?
KEI will only offer programs in locations that meet our three basic principles:

  1. Students must be able to travel to the host location and return safely.
  2. KEI’s partner university and residence have implemented policies and procedures that mitigate risk to students as well as faculty and KEI staff.
  3. KEI’s partner university is planning to offer classes in person or using a hybrid approach.
  4. The host country is managing the COVID19 pandemic in a way that allows students to successfully complete the program.

PROGRAM: What are my options if my program is canceled due to COVID?
You have 3 options if KEI cancels a program or your university cancels support for study abroad in your program location.

  1. Withdraw from the program and receive a refund according to the KEI refund policies (see next questions).
  2. Switch your enrollment to a different program (during the same term of study) that is being offered and supported by your university.
  3. Defer your enrollment to a different term of study.

PROGRAM: What if my university cancels support for studying abroad?
When a university cancels support for study abroad, it usually means that students will not be able to have their courses abroad pre-approved for credit transfer and students will not have access to their financial aid for study abroad. We recommend that students register for courses at their home institution in case of program cancellation and/or your university cancels support for study abroad. Refer to How can I mitigate financial risk? for more information.

You have several options if your university cancels support for study abroad in your program location.

  1. Withdraw from the program and receive a refund according to the KEI refund policies (refer to What are my options if my program is canceled due to COVID?).
  2. Switch your enrollment to a different program (during the same term of study) that is being offered and supported by your university.
  3. Defer your enrollment to a different term of study.
  4. Participate in the program without your university’s support. KEI does not recommend this option for most students since they will not have access to financial aid and credit pre-approval. For students who do not rely on financial aid and do not need credit pre-approval, this may still be a viable option.

ACADEMICS: Will my classes abroad be in-person or virtual?
KEI will not offer programs in locations where we know far in advance that our partner university is offering all classes virtually. Thus, all offered programs are based at universities that plan to use in-person and/or hybrid instruction. However, due to uncertainties with COVID, it is possible that a university may switch to an all-virtual mode near the start of a program or during the program. In such cases, KEI will continue to offer the program. We understand that online coursework can be unattractive, but you will still be able to explore the host country through cultural and social activities.

ACADEMICS: Will I be able to complete my courses if the program is canceled and I have to leave the country?
Yes. All KEI partner universities will allow students to complete coursework remotely.

FINANCES: Am I eligible to receive a refund if my program is canceled due to COVID?
KEI’s refund policies are described in detail on the Policies & Procedures page. For programs offered during Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, and Summer 2023, KEI has modified its refund policy as follows: If KEI suspends a program on any day prior to the program arrival date or a student’s home university suspends study abroad at least 6 weeks prior to the arrival date, students will receive a full refund of the application fee, enrollment deposit, and program price. We want students to feel secure in their decision to study abroad without unnecessary concern for their health and fear of losing money if a program is suspended.

FINANCES: Am I eligible to receive a refund if I decide to withdraw from a program that is not canceled?
If you decide to withdraw from a program that is not canceled by KEI and your university did not cancel support for study abroad, then the regular KEI withdrawal and refund policies would apply.

FINANCES: How can I mitigate financial risk?
Due to the uncertainties with travel, KEI recommends students consider CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) and IFAR (Interrupt For Any Reason) insurance. CFAR is a policy that protects your purchase before you depart for your KEI Abroad experience. IFAR is a policy that protects you from the day of departure until the end of your program. Note that CFAR and IFAR insurance is different and separate from medical insurance coverage which is included with KEI programs.

We also recommend that students register for courses at their home institution in case of program cancellation. In our experience, most universities are allowing study abroad students to enroll in courses during their planned semester abroad. Whenever possible, students should remain enrolled in courses at their home institution until their KEI program commences. Students should be mindful of withdrawal deadlines at their home university to avoid paying unnecessary tuition and fees. Students should also consider having backup housing arrangements at their home university.

HEALTH: What are KEI’s health and safety protocols with respect to COVID?
KEI has a COVID management plan for each of our program locations:

  • COVID-compliant airport pick-up and transfer to housing.
  • Access to quarantine housing upon entry (assuming quarantine is required).*
  • Information and assistance on meal delivery, if quarantine on arrival is required.
  • Access to masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies according to country and location-specific standards.
  • COVID-safe transfers for KEI activities and field trips.
  • Access to accommodation if isolation is necessary due to positive COVID test or exposure. *
  • Access to COVID testing. *
  • Medical insurance that covers COVID-related illness.

*Quarantine and isolation housing and COVID testing are not included in the KEI program fee.

HEALTH: Does KEI require COVID vaccination?
KEI does not require COVID vaccination, but we STRONGLY STRONGLY encourage students to be fully vaccinated prior to traveling abroad. KEI also STRONGLY encourages eligible students to get booster shots of the COVID vaccine. Note that some KEI partner universities abroad and some host countries may require vaccination, in which case students must be vaccinated to participate in the KEI program.

HEALTH: What if I am not vaccinated for COVID?
Students who are not fully vaccinated will have to deal with many barriers when it comes to traveling to and within the host region. Some countries require quarantine on arrival or a considerably longer quarantine for unvaccinated travelers, which adds unnecessary inconvenience and expense. Unvaccinated students may not be able to participate in some or all of the KEI cultural activities and field trips as a result of local COVID regulations. Many businesses, stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, and government agencies abroad are now requiring proof of vaccination. And, unvaccinated students may incur an additional single-occupancy housing cost if KEI cannot find a roommate/suitemate who is willing to live with an unvaccinated student.

If you are not planning to be fully vaccinated by your program departure date, call KEI to discuss possible restrictions and options for your intended program. 

HEALTH: Do I need a COVID booster?
KEI does not require a COVID booster, but we do SONTRGLY encourage eligible students to get a booster. Many countries are requiring or planning to require a COVID booster to be considered fully vaccinated. So be prepared and get the booster prior to your program.

HEALTH: Is the KEI staff vaccinated? Is the host university staff vaccinated?
KEI staff in the USA and abroad is fully vaccinated. Our partner universities abroad have their own vaccination requirements, but most of the academic and support staff have been vaccinated. Students will inevitably come into contact with people who are unvaccinated. This is one of the reasons we are strongly encouraging students to be fully vaccinated.

HEALTH: Will I live with vaccinated students?
We do not believe in segregation, including segregation based on vaccination status. However, we also understand legitimate health concerns about living with someone who is unvaccinated. Since we expect that 99% to 100% of program participants will be vaccinated, it is highly unlikely (but possible) that you will be living with an unvaccinated student. If you have strong concerns about living with an unvaccinated student, call KEI to discuss options. We will do everything within our means to facilitate a healthy study abroad experience for you.

TRAVEL: Will I have to show proof of vaccination while I am abroad?
It depends on the host country, but for most countries, the answer is YES. Many businesses, stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, and government agencies abroad are requiring proof of vaccination. Make sure to bring your CDC Vaccination Card with you. We also advise you to get a QR code for your CDC Vaccination Card.

TRAVEL: When should I book my airline ticket?
Students should purchase their airline tickets when KEI confirms the arrival and departure dates for the program. Students will be notified by email when program dates are confirmed. KEI strongly advises students to purchase a flexible-class ticket that allows for changes in travel dates. As an alternative, students can also look into purchasing travel insurance from the airline, CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason), and/or IFAR (Interrupt For Any Reason) insurance.

TRAVEL: Will I need to quarantine on arrival?
This will depend on the program. KEI will inform students if the host country requires quarantine on arrival. Due to the changing COVID regulations in most countries, KEI tries to set program arrival dates that are mindful of possible quarantine requirements and changes. However, it may be necessary to modify travel dates in the event a country implements, changes, or removes quarantine requirements. Refer to When should I book my airline ticket? for more information.

TRAVEL: Will I be able to travel to other regions/countries?
Exploring other regions and countries is a big part of the study abroad experience for many students. KEI does not restrict independent travel in the host region as long as the intended destination is relatively safe, students follow travel and local regulations of the host countries, students inform the KEI Onsite Director of their plans in advance, and maintain regular contact with their KEI Onsite Director while traveling.

TRAVEL: Are there any requirements for returning to the USA?
On June 10, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rescinded the Order titled “Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19 for All Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving in the United States from any Foreign Country.” Hence, students are no longer required to show a negative COVID test result to enter the USA. However, there is a possibility that CDC may change its policy. For the most updated information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html.

PROGRAM: Where can I find specific information for my program location?
Since many countries change entry requirements and COVID regulations regularly, KEI will provide students with an Entry & Visa Guide for their program location after they enroll in the program. KEI updates these guides regularly to ensure the most updated information. If you would like to request an Entry & Visa Guide prior to enrolling in the program, email info@KEIabroad.org.