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The Italy Center intends to reopen in September for the 2020-2021 academic year. The Italy Center will not look like it has in the traditional sense, as new health measures have been put in place allowing for social distancing and enhanced safety.  The health safety and well being of our students will remain our highest priority.

 

It is our expectation and belief that the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will lower their travel advisory warnings for Italy over the next several weeks, thereby, enabling study abroad planning and travel to Italy for the fall semester.  In the event the  U.S. Department of State does not lower the travel advisory before July 15th the Italy Center will need to cancel the Fall session.

 

Our application for the Fall 2020 semester remains open and interested students should apply by July 15, 2020.

 

Click here for the application.

 


 

SHC Italy Center  & COVID 19 – FAQs:
The information provided below is subject to change based on adjustments in Italian and United States regulations related to the Covid-19 pandemic. This site will be updated regularly to incorporate new information. 

 

What will the Fall Semester look like?

Students are to arrive in Bologna on Saturday, September 12 to participate in a weekend Orientation program. Classes will begin on September 14.  The first week of the semester will include a three-day tour to the beachside town of Rimini. Week one will offer a combination of classes and Orientation activities.   The Italy Center has designed a series of extended weekend tours all within Italy; students will be provided a total of 17 days of school-sponsored travel.  The school-sponsored tours will allow for a greater level of isolation as we will charter private busses and will be staying in hotels that provide safe distancing and other health measures in light of the Covid-19 requirements.  The semester is designed to give students a deep understanding of the richness of Italy, which will require extensive travel within the country. 

Our course listings for the Fall semester have been updated. Please see our academics tab for the full listing. Accepted students will receive an email on how to register for courses. Students are encouraged to list at least 2 alternative courses they can take from our listing. If an essential course needed for your graduation plan is no longer listed, please email us at italy@shc.edu

Students are required to return to the United States on December 6.  Final lectures and exams will be offered online ending on December 16.

 

Do students still need a visa for the Fall 2020 semester?

No, with the program dates for in Italy instructions changing to September 12 – December 6, students are allowed to enter Italy and the Schengen area on a 90-day tourist visa.  Students must still have a valid passport (6 months post reentry). International students that do not hold a US passport need to email us at italy@shc.edu to determine if any additional paperwork is needed. 

 

What airline do you suggest for arriving in Bologna?

We ask that students do not purchase any flights until given instructions by Italy Center. We will communicate with accepted students in early June providing details as to what airline one will take to land in Italy.  Based on availability and prices it is likely that students will need to depart from an airline hub on the East Coast (i.e. JFK, Newark, Philadelphia International).  In short, the group will convene at the airport and fly as a group to Bologna.  Upon arrival in Bologna, transport to campus will be provided. 

 

What are the general measures in place on the Italy Center campus to protect the community from COVID-19?

Italy Center students share the Camplus Alma Mater residence hall with Italian students. In addition to dorm rooms, the residence hall incorporates administrative offices, faculty offices, and classrooms. The Italy Center students live and take classes in one self-contained structure.  During the day the Italian students attend classes at the University of Bologna, which is located in the City’s historic center. 

The Camplus Alma Mater anticipates approximately 70 Italian students and 20 Americans will reside in the residence hall for the coming Fall semester. Health and safety measures are determined by the Italian Government’s Covid-19 safety regulations, which require consistent monitoring of employees’ health, social distancing, frequent disinfecting of public spaces, and communication of best practices to the community.

 

Will a student be required to be tested for COVID -19 before arriving in Italy?

Students are not required to be tested prior to entering Italy. 

As of early May 2020, the Italian Government mandates that those entering Italy are to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine period, in which they are to communicate with the local health authorities.  However, it is anticipated that this current mandate will be lifted prior to the Fall semester.

In the event a quarantine period remains in effect, the Italy Center is prepared to accommodate with minimal impact on the lives of our students.  In the event, the quarantine remains in effect students will take classes on-site in the residence hall and eat their meals in the cafeteria.  In addition, the quarantine period would allow the group to travel to the coastal town of Rimini where we will be the only guests in a hotel allowing the group to remain in compliance with the quarantine regulations.

 

Will students be required to use a contact tracing system? 

The Italian Government appears hesitant to introduce a tracing system where citizens’ movement can be traced.  At this time there is a lively debate in Italy as to how the Government can best assure safety, limit the spread of the Coronavirus, and simultaneously respect citizen’s privacy.  A tracing system will be tested on a smaller scale early this summer and the question of using tracing or no tracing devices will become clear by mid to late summer. 

 

Can a student have a single room?

There are a limited number of single rooms.  There will be an additional cost for a single room of $1000 above one’s current room cost for the fall semester.   Students with a prior medical history will be given priority for a single room. Please email us at italy@shc.edu if you would like to request a single.  The remaining students will share a room with one other American student in the Italy Center program.  There will be no triple rooms for the Fall semester. 

 

Can students use the gymnasium, community, kitchen, and various other parts of the building that are normally open to the community?

Yes, Camplus Alma Mater policy allows students to use the fitness room one person at a time. Students are to sign up for a one-hour time slot at the reception desk.  Students are asked to disinfectant the equipment following use.  The receptionist provides sanitizers.  In addition, Camplus offers the use of a kitchen, computer lab, and study rooms.  Rules regarding social distancing and cleaning one’s station are displayed throughout the building. 

 

Are non-Italy Center students allowed to enter the Residence Hall?  

Upon entry into the Camplus Alma Mater Residence hall guests will be required to check-in at the reception desk and their temperatures will be taken.  No overnight guests are allowed.  All visitors are to comply with social distancing requirements while on campus.  

 

Do I need to bring a mask and gloves to Italy?

The Italy Center will have masks and gloves readily available for students. However, you may wish to pack one or two masks for your flight to Italy. 

 

What happens if a student is showing signs of the Coronavirus?

A student who is showing signs that indicate he/she may have the Coronavirus will follow the protocol in place as determined by the Italian department of health.  In short, a paramedic team arrives from the hospital to the Camplus residence hall to assess whether or not a student needs to be tested or taken to the hospital’s COVID 19 care facility.  The Italy Center staff will facilitate communication and translate when needed for the student. In Bologna, the majority of patients when visited by the COVID 19 paramedics are asked to remain at home on bed rest until fully recovered. 

 

Can the Italy Center provide a self-isolation room in the event a student needs to be quarantined from the rest of the community?

Yes, the Camplus Alma Mater Residence hall has ready isolation rooms in the event a student needs to remain in the building but no longer be in contact with staff or residents. The vast majority of young people who have tested positive for the Coronavirus do not enter the hospital but remain on home rest.  In this case, a student will remain in one of the isolation rooms of the Camplus building.  The Camplus & Italy Center staff are equipped with the proper PPE protective clothing allowing food to be delivered to the sick student.  The Italy Center staff will have ongoing correspondence with the sick student to closely monitor the situation.  The sick student will remain isolated from the broader community until cleared by Italian health professionals to re-enter the life of Camplus. 

 

How trustworthy are the hospitals in Bologna?

Bologna is fortunate to have some of the top medical facilities in the country.  The University of Bologna is home to the first medical college in the Western world founded in the year 1088.  As a result, the City has a long history of providing high-quality care.  During the peak of the Coronavirus outbreak (mid-March) the Bologna hospitals did not run short on beds, ventilators, or PPE equipment.  Bologna’s facilities were able to handle the crisis in ways that neighboring cities and regions were not.  

 

If students are asked to return home to the United States before the end of the semester how will this be implemented?

The Italy Center Administration relies on guidance from the United States Embassy pertaining to American citizens’ safety while in Italy.  In addition, the Center for Disease Control sets clear guidelines pertaining to health risk.  The decision to return students will be informed by these sources.  In the event of a second wave of the Coronavirus reaching a level of risk indicating students must return, students and parents will be well informed in the weeks and days leading up to the decision.  The key to the success of handling a return is frequent, clear, and ongoing communication with partner institutions and parents.  

 

If the semester program is cut short what type of financial reimbursement will be made available?

In the event students are required to return to the United States by either the Director of the Italy Center or their home campus Global Engagement staff reimbursement for meals and housing are as follows:

September 12 to September 30:    50% refund

October 1 to October 31:                  30 % refund

November 1 to November 30:        15% refund

December 1 forward:                        No refund  

 

If you have any other questions, please contact us at italy@shc.edu