Last updated 03.27.2020
HECUA has been vigilantly and constantly monitoring the very fluid conditions of COVID-19, including tracking updates from the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, the US Department of State and other credible sources.
Amid these challenging circumstances, we want to reiterate that student safety and wellbeing is our top priority. HECUA staff in the US and abroad are working constantly to respond in thoughtful and responsible ways to maintain our students’ health and safety as this situation unfolds. We are carefully evaluating and monitoring this global situation for our students in the US and abroad.
We have made the following decisions in careful consultation with university partners, and per the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and the US Department of State.
As of Friday, March 27th:
- Beginning Monday, March 23rd HECUA US programs transitioned to online learning.
- All students from HECUA’s programs abroad from Northern Ireland, Ecuador and New Zealand have returned safely to the United States. We are developing a transition to online learning within the next two weeks; we are committed to ensuring each student can complete the course and receive academic credit and grades.
- HECUA has extended the application deadline for our Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 programs abroad to April 15th (rather than March 15th). All recruitment is continuing for programs abroad and in the US, at the same time, we are developing contingency plans, should any of those programs need to be placed on hiatus.
- HECUA staff in St. Paul, MN will be working remotely effective Wednesday, March 18th through at least April 30th. This decision to work remotely will continue to be evaluated and monitored. Staff continue to work regular hours and will be available via email and phone.
While circumstances continue to change, our commitment to our students has not. While these decisions are being made with student physical wellbeing and safety as top of mind, we recognize that these decisions to protect students’ physical health may present other challenges to a student’s emotional and mental wellbeing. We are committed to working with students and their home institutions during this time to minimize disruption to education. We will do our best to be flexible, understanding, and responsive to students’ needs as they emerge, in collaboration with the students’ home institutions.
For Prospective Students: The deadline to apply for Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 abroad programs is extended to April 15th. HECUA continues to monitor the viability of offering summer programs for our sites in Trinidad (Panyard Politics) and Jackson, Mississippi (Race in America). We continue to recruit for our Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 semester programs in the US and abroad and will be in touch with students interested in applying to these programs.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
Student well-being is our top priority.
Please note that effective April 16, 2019, HECUA has a new 24/7 Emergency Line: 651-287-3317.
Every call will be returned promptly by an on-call HECUA staff member. This line replaces the previous 24/7 emergency number.
Anonymous Report Hotline
Please use this hotline to anonymously report any concerns about HECUA staff, faculty, board, programs, or activities.
Safety and Security Abroad and Off-Campus
Safety is a primary concern for all who are involved in HECUA programs. As we know firsthand from events in the United States, conditions anywhere can suddenly change. Having policies and procedures in place is critical for addressing and responding to whatever challenges come up. We realize that student participants, family members, academic advisors, faculty members, the academic institutions that send and receive students, and the homestay families who host them depend on HECUA to monitor the programs and to ensure their safety. That’s why safety and security are at the center of our daily work. Staff in St. Paul and faculty and staff abroad constantly track the political and physical circumstances at all HECUA sites of activity. Staff and faculty monitor information provided by the U.S. Department of State about all sites outside the U.S., and our local partners at those sites provide us with updates about any situation with the potential to affect program participants. State Department Advisories and Announcements refer to areas within a country and do affect decisions about if, where, and how to run a HECUA program within a country. We subscribe to updates from the Department of State and to daily reports from media outlets that are based in and cover sites outside the U.S. We also rely on the contacts and judgments of our resident program directors, who are themselves deeply anchored within local communities and closely connected to local institutions. Home-stay families, some of whom have hosted HECUA students for years, also provide students, program directors, and HECUA administrators with another set of perspectives on both ordinary life and unfamiliar events and can offer strategies and support as students encounter the previously unknown, whether big or small. If information from the above sources indicates unreasonable risk for HECUA students, faculty, or staff, then a team made up of member institutions’ study abroad professionals, faculty, and legal counsel will consider alternatives that may include restricting movement of those in the program, changing the program site, or even canceling the program. Changes will be made with as much advance planning and communication as possible, but if necessary, HECUA will always take immediate and unequivocal action to ensure safety. Following the guidelines of the Association of International Educators and The Forum on Education Abroad, HECUA has in place, as do our member institutions, a written Emergency Action Plan for managing events and ensuring safety should any event occur that affects or threatens the safety or health of any individual or group involved in a HECUA program.
Student health care is provided through the medical insurance included in the cost of every HECUA program. Our plan through Seven Corners provides up to $250,000 worth of coverage for each student, and 24-hour support services in all the countries where we operate programs. To learn about details of the Seven Corners coverage plan, or to learn more about the plan in general, please contact HECUA Student Services office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 287-3311.