Updated: April 20, 2023
Dear 2023 Students and Prospective Students,
All 2023 travel programs are scheduled to run. We do not anticipate canceling any 2023 travel programs based on COVID-19. (To find out your options if you are personally unable to travel for any reason, skip ahead)
We have been running programs continuously since summer of 2021 when our students’ tuition helped re-open two wildlife clinics and a sea turtle research project in Costa Rica among many other animal welfare and conservation success stories.
In 2023, we continue to provide the excellent experiences our students have come to expect from us while maintaining excellent health and safety standards.
We are proud of our students’ impact and we have shown that they can travel respectfully and responsibly at this time.
HOW WE ARE KEEPING YOU SAFE
We have kept our case number low by implementing the following safety standards:
COVID VACCINES ARE REQUIRED
“Do not travel internationally until you are fully vaccinated…. Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19.” – CDC, Aug 25, 2021
Since January 1, 2022, we have required all participants and faculty on our programs to be ‘fully vaccinated’ against COVID-19, based on US CDC guidance. We are unable to offer any exceptions to this requirement.
While Loop Abroad only requires that students be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, we strongly encourage students to be “up to date,” meaning you have received all the boosters recommended for you.
For folks who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, we are proud to offer excellent, accessible virtual veterinary courses, internships, and research fellowships.
Read “What happens if someone tests positive in my group?” below to learn how we use CDC guidelines to protect you, your group members, and our host organizations during your program.
COVID-19 CANCELLATION GUARANTEE
Please rest assured that if Loop Abroad cancels a program because of COVID-19 (or for any reason), students enrolled in that program will have the option to receive a full refund of any tuition they have paid to Loop Abroad.
Students will also have the option to move their enrollment to a travel program in another country (where possible), move their enrollment to a virtual program, or move their enrollment to a future summer if one of these options is better for them.
WHAT IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 RIGHT BEFORE MY PROGRAM?
First, you must report your test results to Loop Abroad. You won’t be able to join your program until 5 full days from the day of the positive test. That may mean changing your flight and making new in-country travel arrangements to get to your program site at your own expense.
We encourage you to purchase travel insurance that would cover these costs and/or cancellation for medical reasons, including COVID. These policies can be very affordable and can help you to recover your lost travel costs in such a case.
If you are not well enough to travel or you do not want to join the group late, you will not be able to attend your program. If you need to cancel within 35 days of your program start because you contract COVID, you would not be eligible for a tuition refund. Travel insurance that covers cancellation in the case of a medical emergency is strongly recommended.
I CAN’T JOIN MY PROGRAM. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I CAN DO?
This offer is valid for cancellation of travel programs between 35 days and 1 day before the program begins, when no refunds are available for participants cancelling their travel. Participant tuition must be paid in full for this offer to apply. One virtual package available per participant; non-transferable. A participant cancelling their enrollment more than 35 days prior is welcome to select this option over their refund if they so choose.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET SICK ABROAD?
Over the last thirteen years of study abroad, we’ve had lots of experience supporting students who need routine medical attention. Every program has 24/7 staff on-hand to help if you become ill and make sure that you can get medical attention.
If you test positive for COVID during your program (and you don’t have proof of recent recovery), you will need to isolate for 5 full days and then mask for 5 days after that. There may be additional requirements for severe cases or based on the rules of your program country or host, but these are the US CDC protocols at this time.
Read the latest CDC guidance on what to do if you test positive for COVID.
Please note that COVID-19 regulations are constantly evolving in each country and could change before your program begins. It is important that you ensure that you have appropriate medical insurance coverage should you need medical treatment abroad (which is a good idea even outside of COVID-19).
WHAT IF SOMEONE IN MY GROUP TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 DURING THE PROGRAM?
If someone in your group tests positive for COVID, you would need to test immediately if you have any COVID symptoms, wear a mask for 10 days, test on Day 6 even if you remain asymptomatic. There may be additional requirements for severe cases or based on the rules of your program country or host, but these are the US CDC protocols at this time.
Read the latest CDC guidance on what to do if you’re exposed to COVID.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact [email protected] any time. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you this summer!