The world is opening up again! What an exciting time this is for those who are eager to get back out in the world. This is also a time to be cautious and careful as the world still copes with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Universities and other program providers have had varying approaches to their COVID-19 policies. What’s been clear is that transparency plays a huge role. You deserve to be kept informed during these times, particularly regarding decisions that impact you and your plans to go abroad.
Continue reading for important information on AIFS Abroad and Global Experiences cancelation/refund policies, health and safety measures, vaccines, insurance options, and more. Know what to expect with confidence.
Cancellation and refund policy
We realize that there is ongoing uncertainty especially as country-specific COVID-19 policies continue to evolve. The decision to make a financial commitment during this time is one we want you to feel comfortable with -- that is why we have put new cancellation policies in place.
Firstly, it is important to understand that your intern abroad program deposit is non-refundable. This is due to the fact that staff members have worked with you through admissions, program advising, and placements. As well as, work with you for professional development, career coaching, and more to understand you and find the right internship for you.
Should you choose to withdraw from your intern abroad program, eligibility for a refund and the amount of the refund will be determined based on:
- Withdraw more than 60 days from the program start date and receive a 100% refund (excluding deposit)
- Withdraw between 30 days and 60 days from the program start date and receive a 50% refund (excluding deposit)
- Withdraw within 30 days from the program start date and refund for recoverable costs only (excluding deposit)
See the “program cancelled” section below for more information on if we cancel a program.
Expanded health and safety measures
Each country is handling COVID-19 in their own way. We are dedicated to working with our overseas staff and partners to ensure thorough health and safety protocols are executed and followed on-site.
Much of our physical distancing protocols are being developed according to the governmental guidelines in each country and with our institutional and employer partners. This takes into account how many participants are allowed for social events, how many can be in accommodations, how many at a specific host company, and whether or not wearing masks is mandatory.
As vaccinations continue around the world, evidence collected by a variety of health organizations indicates that fully vaccinated people are less likely to be infected without showing symptoms and therefore potentially less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others.
Requiring the COVID-19 vaccine is something AIFS Abroad and Global Experiences has discussed in great depth. In an effort to keep our participants, staff, and host communities safe, we will be strongly recommending vaccinations for our summer 2021 participants and requiring them for our fall 2021 participants and beyond.
We will continue to monitor the information from our host countries and advise participants as entry protocol changes. Recent news suggests that some countries may be opening to fully vaccinated individuals to travel as tourists this summer, removing the need for quarantine on arrival, and requiring proof of vaccination for entry.
All participants on any AIFS Abroad program (study abroad and internship) are covered by a very robust Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) travel and medical insurance as part of their program inclusions. There is no extra cost for this coverage.
Is additional insurance available? Yes -- for an additional fee, participants can take out CFAR/IFAR insurance which covers cancellation/interruption “for any reason”. Participants have the option of purchasing additional trip cancellation or interruption insurance which allows them to protect their intern abroad program.
We have been working tirelessly to continue to run on-location programs where we can keep our participants, staff, and the communities safe.
If we decide to cancel a particular intern abroad program based on the country's COVID-19 status, we will continue to work with you to find the best solution and offer:
- Refund everything except the deposit
- Move you to a future program
- Switch to a virtual internship
In most cases (especially if you need an internship to graduate), we will help switch your internship to a remote setting. Our virtual internship program will allow you to still gain international work experience but from the comfort of your own home.
If you are not ready to travel right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an ideal time to start considering which intern abroad program is right for you and your career goals. Starting the process early allows you plenty of time to:
- Land one of our top internships (as we place interns on a first come first serve basis)
- Apply for scholarships
- Research about your host location
We feel confident that travel returning to normal is on the horizon and we hope you are getting excited to have your own intern abroad adventure as soon as possible! Apply for an international internship today.