Quarantine for Returning Erasmus Students Academic Year 20/21

If NUI Galway students on Erasmus returning to Ireland in the coming months face mandatory hotel quarantine upon arrival, the cost of quarantine will be paid for within the Erasmus scheme. For details of how to apply for this please contact Jodi Blumenfeld, outgoingerasmus@nuigalway.ie.The provision does not extend to students outside of the Erasmus programme. Please note also, this provision does not extend to students due to go on Erasmus this summer and from September for the academic year 21/22.

Student International Exchanges and Placements AY21/22

Our Study Abroad programme for the coming academic year is scheduled to commence from July this year with a combination of students whose travel was deferred last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, and this year’s students hoping to travel on study trips, traineeships and placements. You will know that the University has at every step since the start of the pandemic had student safety at the heart of our decision making. We have strived to facilitate student mobility wherever possible, carefully balancing our academic mission with student welfare and public health requirements. 

Despite the uncertain health and travel conditions that persist globally, we are pleased to report there has been some positive changes to the landscape that should help us facilitate more mobility in the coming year. Importantly, the Government recently has joined the European Commission in including education as a "reasonable excuse"​ for travel outside of Ireland. As always, our duty of care to you remains fundamental to our decision making around travel, which means that each study trip/placement will be reviewed carefully with respect to risk and experience, by you and your College. 

Our FAQs below provide further information and instructions on the approval process.

You should also consult with your College, School or Programme Coordinator for next steps. If in doubt for the correct contact please use the following: 

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, please contact your Programme Director

School of Business, cairnesconnect@nuigalway.ie

School of Law, lawstudyabroad@nuigalway.ie

Shannon College, deborah.ohanlon@nuigalway.ie

College of Science and Engineering claire.mitchell@nuigalway.ie (Science)

Can I get vaccinated in Ireland before I travel abroad?

A request has been made by the Irish Universities Association that the Government arrange for students undertaking mobilities abroad in September to be given advance access to the vaccination programme. There is no confirmed position on this at present. While this might result in such an opportunity for students, there are no guarantees and it may take some time. In the meantime we strongly advise you to speak with your GP explaining your circumstances and requesting that they consider recommending expediated vaccination for you on this basis.

You can refer to this letter‌ in approaching your GP.

Will outgoing Erasmus and International Student Exchanges and Placements be possible in academic year 2021-22?

Despite the uncertain health and travel conditions that persist globally, we are pleased to report there has been some positive changes to the landscape that should help us facilitate more mobility in the coming year. Importantly, the Government recently has joined the European Commission in including education as a ‘reasonable excuse’ for travel outside of Ireland. As always, our duty of care to you remains fundamental to our decision making around travel, which means that each study trip/placement will be reviewed carefully with respect to risk and experience, by you and your College.

I want to proceed with my study abroad/placement. What do I need to do?

Please contact your College/programme coordinator to progress this.

For your mobility to be approved you will need to:

  • With your College, research, complete and sign a Risk Assessment for your proposed mobility.
  • Sign and submit a Student Declaration outlining understanding of your responsibilities around due diligence, good public health practices, insurance, and finances.
  • Secure an insurance policy and understand where exclusions apply to Covid-19:
    • a private travel and medical insurance policy (for non-EU citizens or EU citizens travelling to destinations outside of the EU), or
    • a private travel insurance policy and a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (for EU citizens going to Erasmus destinations)
    • Attend a virtual Pre-departure Briefing (details to be provided)
    • Submit an Emergency Contacts with details of next-of-kin

I do not want to proceed with study abroad/placement due to concerns around the pandemic. Can I be offered alternatives at NUI Galway?

Yes, please contact your College/programmecoordinator as soon as possible. Opportunities for alternative pathways at NUI Galway may narrow without appropriate notice of their requirement and will be limited, for example, by course availability and timetables.

I do not want to proceed with study abroad/placement due to concerns around the pandemic in my scheduled destination country. Can I be offered alternatives at a different destination?

As a rule this will not be possible. There may be able to foresee a few exceptions to this but it is likely that these opportunities would appear as “cancellations” and therefore they are not predictable. Unfortunately, opportunities for alternative pathways at NUI Galway may narrow without appropriate notice of their requirement and will be limited not least as the start of the semester draws closer but by, for example, course availability and timetables.

My study abroad or placement opportunity is not available because the destination university or employer has suspended the programme due to the pandemic. What alternatives are available to me?

Access to mobility opportunities may still not be possible if the destination partner programme is not active for Covid-19 reasons (e.g. in the case of our Australian partner universities). Alternative programming at NUI Galway will arranged. As a rule alternative destinations may not be possible. If alternatives abroad are possible it is likely that these opportunities would appear as “cancellations” and therefore they are not predictable. Unfortunately, opportunities for alternative pathways at NUI Galway may narrow as the start of the semester draws closer and be limited in, for example, course availability and timetables.

I have been advised by the host university / employer that they will accept me on study abroad or placement but they are advising me not to come based on their assessment of the working/learning/living conditions there. Will this travel be approved by NUI Galway?

Given our partner’s assessment of their local environment, it is highly unlikely that NUI Galway can support you to travel in this instance. We will work with you to provide alternatives on campus.

I am unsure if I want to proceed with study abroad/placement as I am monitoring the pandemic in my destination country. When do I have to decide if I am going or not? 

Please consult your College/programme coordinator. 

In addition, please note the following timelines if you are a participant under Erasmus:

- the grant application deadline is likely to be late April, and you should be sure to make your application; you can cancel it at a later date if necessary.

- Erasmus packs (grant agreements, etc, also study abroad declaration) will be issued in the summer and you are required to return your signed grant agreement before you leave to go on Erasmus.

Please note that any financial commitment you make in planning for your mobility, for example in rent, flights, PCR testing, or mandatory quarantine, cannot be reimbursed by NUI Galway in the event that your travel is cancelled or curtailed.

I may be subject to mandatory quarantine upon arrival in my destination and/or return to Ireland. If this were to happen, can NUI Galway assist financially with the costs that may arise?

Unfortunately NUI Galway cannot assist financially if this happens. The costs of mandatory quarantine in Ireland at present are significant for example. We recognise this may pose a very serious financial risk for students. Close consideration of the current and emerging mandatory quarantine requirements at your destination and in Ireland should play a key part in approaching the risk assessment with your College.

What if I am approved for my programme or work experience abroad and the health / risk conditions deteriorate significantly in my destination at some point pre-departure?

If you do not wish to proceed due to concerns around the pandemic then all efforts will be made to provide alternative programme pathways for you at NUI Galway. As given above, opportunities for alternative pathways at NUI Galway may narrow without appropriate notice of their requirement and will be limited, for example, by course availability and timetables

In such instances any financial commitment you make, for example in rent or flights, cannot be reimbursed.

I want to secure accommodation abroad and flights as soon as possible. What happens if my travel is deemed no longer safe or cancelled by the partner and the money spent cannot be refunded?

In such instances any financial commitment you make, for example in rent or flights, cannot be reimbursed. You are advised to delay financial commitment as long as possible so that you can monitor conditions in your destination country and as time passes become more sure of the chances of safe travel.

Can I start a programme or work experience abroad remotely from Ireland for (e.g. enrol in a European university online programme)?

This is not advised and is not permitted if the programme will be solely taken from Ireland. Please consult your College/programme coordinator. Please note that Erasmus grants are not awarded for programmes solely undertaken online.

Can I take a programme or work experience abroad where the programme is solely or in part delivered online?

Please consult your College/programme coordinator. The educational and experiential benefits will vary depending on, for example, programme requirements, learning objectives, and destination. Analysis of this should be recorded and the mobility approved or otherwise in the Risk Assessment you will undertake in conjunction with your College.

What happens if I am studying or on placement abroad in Semester 1 and pandemic conditions deteriorate in my destination? Will I be called home? What if I want to come home?

You have a responsibility to familiarise yourself with, and follow at all times, current public health advice for the relevant jurisdiction during your there. You are required to monitor health conditions in your destination. If you request to return to NUI Galway for reasonable concerns about your health and welfare owing to the pandemic, then all efforts will be made to support your return.

It is possible in these uncertain times that health and safety circumstances may deteriorate dramatically from those originally assessed and where NUI Galway, in exercising its reasonable duty of care, is compelled to call you back to campus.

In these instances unfortunately it may be the case that opportunities for alternative pathways at NUI Galway may be narrowed at that stage given for example, course availability and timetables. All efforts, however, will be made to secure the best possible alternative back on campus.

In such instances any financial commitment you make, for example in rent or flights, cannot be reimbursed.

I understand I require a private insurance policy in order to undertake my mobility. What would be the minimum requirements of cover I should look for?

All students going on mobilities must source appropriate private travel insurance that includes cover for accidents, medical and emergency treatment, personal liability, cancellation /curtailment and repatriation. Students should ensure they are adequately insured in respect of their personal baggage, effects and money. The policy must be valid for the entire period of mobility. It is your responsibility to be familiar with the terms and conditions of your private travel insurance policy, in particular with regard to Covid-19. Many insurers have introduced strict conditions and in some cases exclusions in respect of Covid-19 and students should ensure they fully understand the breath of the cover and its limitations.  Students should read the policy documentation very carefully to understand the cover provided and the policy limitations.

The position on Travel Insurance Cover in the insurance market as a result of Covid-19 varies significantly from insurer to insurer. Some insurers have adopted stricter Covid-19 exclusions than others. One common thread is that Insurers will only provide cover for essential travel to countries where travel is approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). If travel is not permitted to a particular country by DFAT most private insurance policies will not provide any form of cover under the Policy.

I am a student of Shannon College due to undertake a mandatory hotel and/or language placement this coming year. What provisions are there in the event of hotel closure or international travel restrictions?

Students of Shannon College should note that hotel placements are mandatory and cannot be replaced by alternative pathways except where the hotel industry in Ireland and overseas are still closed. Additionally, international placements are required for Shannon College Year 2 Language Studies students. In the event that Covid concerns in relation to international travel are still current at the time of placement, alternative placements will be arranged in Ireland or home country until it is deemed safe to travel.

 

 

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