CUPA Health Protocols and Support
The CUPA program has implemented a full set of protocols to ensure support and assistance for our students and to create the safest environment possible at the CUPA center, in host families, at the Paris universities and at any other site where students take courses or participate in activities. Please note that because French government regulations/ recommendations continue to evolve, our protocols will be updated regularly. We will communicate changes to both students and their home universities on a regular basis and will provide updates on our website.
The CUPA program staff is available 24/7 to assist, advise and accompany students if they have any concerns, whether they be related to Covid-19 or to any other motive. All students complete a health self-disclosure questionnaire once accepted into the program and the program director follows up with students to address specific needs, and will provide resources, information, and advice, and set up initial appointments with a health professional or therapist at the student’s request. Students with conditions that may make them at higher risk for contracting the Covid-19 virus will be encouraged to discuss their health and travel plans with their personal doctor at home, and to bring pertinent recommendations to the attention of the program director so that resources can be set up in advance.
We are particularly committed to providing oversight and accompanying students and all the members of the CUPA community in order to optimize Covid-19 prevention, and to make sure testing and treatment are readily available. Once in Paris, students are assisted with making medical appointments; if preferred, students will be referred to anglophone practitioners. Virtual consultations and in-person appointments are readily available with little wait time as are same day house-calls.
Students, staff, and faculty are required to comply with all applicable COVID-19-related policies and directives. This includes CUPA policies, the policies and recommendations set by the French government and protocols established by their home universities regarding health while on study abroad.
CUPA requires and expects students, staff and faculty to take all necessary measures to keep themselves and the community safe. This may include testing, pre-arrival quarantine, quarantine and travel restrictions once in Paris, and isolation and contact tracing as directed by CUPA, healthcare providers, and local and State officials. Social distancing and face covering is currently mandatory though protocol may change depending upon the current situation.
Pre-departure and while traveling to France, we expect students to follow all health and safety precautions. They should take the most direct flight possible, physically distance from other travelers, wear a face covering, and practice frequent and proper hand hygiene. Depending upon current government guidelines and at the discretion of the program, students may be asked to quarantine for a specific period. The current quarantine duration upon arrival to France is 7 days.
An in-depth meeting on safety/emergency (held via Zoom) must be attended by all students before arrival; a second meeting is held during orientation once students are in Paris, reviewing protocols in France and CUPA-specific protocols.
At the present time, we feel very strongly that a homestay with a CUPA host family is the safest, most comfortable living arrangement for students. CUPA students are the only study abroad or other non-family member residing with a host family. Home stay residencies are single-occupancy bedrooms. Whenever possible students are housed in families who can provide a private bathroom, however bathrooms are sometimes shared in certain host families. CUPA families follow a strict protocol to ensure the best possible sanitary conditions in their home. This includes regular disinfection of all areas in the home, and respect of recommendations (hand hygiene, etc.).
While independent housing has always been an option for CUPA students whose universities do not have a homestay requirement, we currently prefer students to live in CUPA homestays and require students to petition to do independent housing. We will examine requests to opt out of a homestay on a case-by-case basis. The home university is also consulted for additional approval of the student’s independent housing request.
Along with the cultural and linguistic enrichment a homestay provides, we consider that as long as there remains considerable risk to student health due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the strong support system offered to students by their hosts, the possibility to remain in the family’s home if quarantined, and the interface between student, host family and CUPA, will all contribute to a student’s healthy and successful experience abroad.
Students must sign a code of conduct related to program rules (academic, health and safety, sexual harassment, discrimination…). Students who do not respect program or government protocols, and/or who engage in high-risk behavior, are subject to dismissal from the program.
All members of the CUPA community are expected to respect recommendations and requirements set forth by all appropriate health officials regarding quarantine, isolation and contact tracing requirements. Should they experience symptoms of COVID-19 or if they feel ill for any reason, they are obligated to consult a health provider for further evaluation and instructions.
Even if asymptomatic, students, faculty or staff who have been in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, or believe they may have been in contact, who experience symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 (or are awaiting test results) must not come to the CUPA center or any other academic site (universities, art or dance studios, etc.) or participate in co-curricular or student life activities, until they have been tested and can prove they will not be a source of exposure.
Parameters for socializing outside of the student’s immediate circle (CUPA community, host family or roommate) will be based on government guidelines and restrictions, and additional rules may be implemented at the discretion of the program director. Rules will be revised as conditions improve or evolve.
As responsible members of the CUPA community and as respectful visitors to France, students are required to report any known risk of contact with a person testing positive or ill with Covid-19. Regular updates on conditions in the homestay (or other housing arrangement) and weekly individual check-ins with the Program director or Associate Director are carried out either in person or via Zoom to help students ascertain risk and to keep program staff informed.
All travel plans must be vetted by the program director. Travel projects that do not follow sanitary recommendations and regulations, such as adequate social distancing, or limitations on gatherings, will not be permitted. CUPA’s guidelines concerning student travel will be updated on a regular basis as conditions evolve in France and in Europe.
Currently train travel in France is entirely refundable for any reason and most accommodations have flexible cancellation policies, however, policies are constantly evolving. Should students wish to book travel without flexible cancellation policies, they should be aware that they will be solely responsible for any fees incurred if they must cancel travel plans whether because of new travel restrictions put into effect either by the French government or by CUPA.