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Covid-19 and International Travel

 
 
Over the past half century, global tourism has grown exponentially. It has never been easier to connect with people around the world and learn about their culture and language.

NRCSA has been working with people of all ages and backgrounds for more than 52 years to arrange immersion experiences around the globe.

In that time we have had to deal with natural disasters, illnesses and accidents, political and social upheaval and economic downturns in many countries. Dealing with these events has given all of us at NRCSA insights to face the current challenges.

While the situation with Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has changed the international landscape, we are looking forward to traveling again.

Some reoccurring questions include:

1. When will it be safe to travel?

Oh, how we wish we had a crystal ball that could help us see the future! Alas, we cannot predict exactly how long this pandemic will continue. Since we work with so many countries around the world we are able to see what worked and didn't in a variety of places. That said, we understand that one cannot necessarily compare the response and result in one place with that of another since the world is a tapestry of so many wonderful differences. This makes comparisons quite difficult. Generally, the expectation is that some areas will open sooner, while others will take longer.

The answer then, to - When it will it be safe to travel - is we do not know for sure. But, trust us, it will be safe again!

As always we suggest that people check for updates on the CDC:
https://www.cdc.gov/

And, WHO website:
https://www.who.int/

If you are unfamiliar with the statistics site, https://www.worldometers.info/ you may want to take a look. It has lots of interesting facts and data.

Another resource for US citizens considering travel is https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html
Nearly every country has a similar resource for its citizens, so be sure to check with the appropriate officials and health experts before you finalize your travel plans.

2. What should I do about my upcoming NRCSA trip?

We know that this situation has interrupted travel planning, and we totally understand. Given the uncertain times, we are here to work with you to see what is best in regards to postponing, canceling or changing locations. If you have not already spoken to us about your NRCSA trip and have questions, please contact us and we will be happy to provide you details specific to your program.

3. How do I plan for future travel?

It is important to have something to look forward to and planning for future travel is a great way to keep our eyes on the prize. NRCSA has always invited people to start dreaming and planning as far as 5 years in advance.

If you have any questions, we are here to answer them and take care of any of your preplanning needs. If you have questions before registering, please let us know as travel restrictions are changing rapidly so we are often able to be more flexible than normal with registrations and deposits.

4. How might travel change in the future?

This is a difficult question to fully answer as experts have proposed, and are experimenting, with several of possible changes. Cancel for Any Reason insurance is recommend for all students who are worried about changes that could occur while or just before going abroad. Most, if not all, countries offer a free service for citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest Embassy or Consulate. While it is always recommended, many people do not register with their embassy or consulate while traveling. As we are learning from this pandemic, those who registered generally received assistance more quickly.

Benefits of enrolling include:
1. Helping family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.
2. Receiving important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
3. Allowing the embassy to contact you in case of a natural disaster, civil unrest, or other extenuating circumstances.

5. What are some things we have learned as a result of this?

Flexibility is a crucial aspect of any type of travel and always has been. Flights get delayed, connections missed, wallets lost....We need to be prepared for bumps in the road, because there are almost always twists and turns on our journey.

We cannot control everything. Yes, that has always been true and always will be, but this experience has highlighted it in ways we had not imagined before. We recommend being carefully when purchasing air tickets and make sure you they have a clear policy for changing/cancelling the ticket with major penalties. Again, we recommend Cancel for Any Reason insurance for any of our students who are worried about last minute changes/cancellations.

NRCSA is working with our current and future program participants to help make the planning process smooth and as stress-free as possible. Feel free to contact us at study@nrcsa.com if you would like to discuss how we can help!

 



National Registration Center for Study Abroad
P.O. Box 1393    Milwaukee, WI   53201   USA
Tel: (414) 278-0631    Fax: (414) 271-8884    E-Mail: study@nrcsa.com
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