CET continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as travel begins again and programs resume operation. Our COVID Playbook guides our decisions and program operations as we help students study abroad around the world.
We continuously monitor the situation in each of our locations, using every resource at our fingertips—overseas staff, contacts in the field, a wide array of news sources, local consulates, and the US Department of State. In some locations, we also maintain person-to-person contact with the US Embassy.
We use this information to keep students, parents, and partners informed about safety matters on our News & Alerts page. And when warranted, we take prompt action, like program relocation or evacuation. If the US Department of State recommends evacuation for any location, it is our policy to cancel the program immediately and bring students home.
Each program is managed by at least one resident staff member who speaks the local language fluently and has previous experience living in the region. Overseas staff members undergo a thorough and ongoing training which includes instruction and guidance for the prevention and management of on-site emergencies.
Many CET programs are also flanked by longstanding local partners, such as universities or educational organizations, the administrators of which support our on-site staff and assist in times of crisis.
Resident staff members maintain daily communication with our home base office in Washington, DC. Our DC office is staffed by study abroad professionals who have lived and worked overseas.
Since we launched in 1982, we have seen our share of crises, and this experience is safely in our back pocket as we face new situations. It helps us think through all possible outcomes, consider all unintended consequences, and choose appropriate actions. Crisis response may include restricting student movement until the storm has passed, relocating the program to another city (either temporarily or for the remainder of the program), or in extreme cases, canceling the program and evacuating students permanently.
As a part of the tuition fee, each student is provided travel health insurance through GeoBlue. We chose GeoBlue as our provider because the insurance is comprehensive and includes evacuation coverage for both individual medical emergencies and group non-medical emergencies, such as political uprisings or natural disasters.
On site, we make sure that students know the numbers to call and first steps to take in case of emergency. We also provide up-to-date information about local health facilities. In-network facilities bill GeoBlue directly so there’s no need to pay out of pocket. And through GeoBlue, you can also extend your insurance beyond the dates of the program for an additional fee, should you want to travel before or after the program.