At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring 2020 semester, CAPA quickly assessed and responded to all information as it became available. The CAPA team ensured that institutional partners and students were regularly and consistently informed and provided with the latest guidance and medical and public health resources. Effective communication was ensured through a combination of regular emails and messages through CAPA’s student portal, the Community, as well as through Town Hall sessions. In response to expert advice and local government health department regulations, students were self-isolated. CAPA successfully helped students return to the US to complete their programs remotely following the directives of the US Department of State and CDC. As in all matters regarding health and safety, CAPA’s partner universities in the US were kept informed of the status of all their students.
To learn more, please read our answers to frequently asked questions regarding our programs:
All students on our programs are covered under CAPA’s international world student health insurance policy which covers up to $100,000 in medical expenses*, up to $500 for lost baggage, up to $3,000 for medically related trip interruption, and coverage for accidental death or dismemberment, and repatriation. Enrolled students are given comprehensive policy details and instructions on filing a claim.
For questions on coverage, contact the CAPA Student Services Line at 1-800-793-0334.
*CAPA’s international student insurance reimburses for medical care up to $100,000. Students must pay out-of-pocket up front for medical costs and are responsible for filing a claim directly with the insurance provider within 30 days of the end of the program. In order to process a claim and receive reimbursement, we advise students to hold onto ALL receipts showing proof of the money spent on medical care so they can be submitted with the claim.
Note: CAPA reserves the right to change insurance providers or specific coverage at any time. However, coverage will not alter from the time an enrolled student receives the included policy information until the conclusion of their CAPA program.
Before going abroad, we advise students to speak with a doctor about his/her/their personal health, prescription drugs, and medical conditions that could be aggravated by conditions abroad (for example, asthma on dusty roads).
Students with a medical condition that is not visible, such as diabetes, epilepsy, drug allergies, etc., should inform study abroad program staff and travel companions and are advised to wear a medic alert bracelet while abroad. Early disclosure of any medical conditions that could impact a student’s program abroad will allow for careful planning by the CAPA team, ensuring the student is best supported during his/her/their time abroad.
Students with existing mental health issues should carefully consider whether studying in a different and unfamiliar country is right for them. This should include fully acknowledging that studying abroad can be emotionally challenging for a number of reasons, such as the disruption of existing support systems, missing family and friends, loss of a familiar and comfortable environment, the sharing of small spaces with new people, a sense of missing out on what is going on back home, and the ongoing need to navigate differences in customs, norms, values, perspectives, and ways of communicating in the host country, including in those countries where English is not the native language.
While CAPA staff are trained to respond to a variety of health and safety situations, it is important to note that they are not qualified psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors. However, staff are trained to provide students with appropriate referrals and guidance for gaining professional help while abroad. We recommend that students currently being treated remain in contact with their mental health professionals back home throughout their program, continuing counseling via phone/Skype or requesting a referral in-country, and if applicable, take sufficient prescription medication to cover the entirety of their program.
Students deemed to be a risk to themselves or to others will likely need to withdraw from the program and return home in the interest of safety.
Upon program arrival, students are provided with information on local doctors as part of the orientation pack. This information is also kept at the reception desk or staff office at every one of our centers. CAPA staff can advise students on the most appropriate options for treatment, including information on the nearest pharmacists, doctors, hospitals, and clinics. When disclosed, CAPA closely monitors any serious medical issues and provides additional support, such as working with the student and home campus on missed internship hours and class time, as required.
CAPA works closely with students with disabilities to provide a program experience that is thoughtful to individual student needs. We encourage students who are considering how a disability may impact their time abroad to reach out to a CAPA Admissions Advisor to discuss the experience in more detail. Students with special accommodations (for learning, living, etc.) on their home campus should meet with the disability services office, or comparable, to ensure that all documentation for these accommodations is shared with CAPA.
Through CAPA's Accommodations Fund, students may be able to access some financial assistance for costs related to additional travel, housing, or care expenses. Students should contact their Program Manager in Boston to find out more.
CAPA Guardian is CAPA's official study abroad safety app (available for download on Android and iOS devices) which is loaded with many useful features and resources to help ensure that all CAPA students have a safe and healthy time abroad.
Some of the CAPA Guardian app's features include:
In an emergency, CAPA staff can send notification to students. When students check-in, CAPA staff is informed of their safety, along with a location (provided students have switched on their location services) and time stamp.