The health and safety of our candidates and students, staff and teachers are always our main priority at Best Programs and we are monitoring the COVID-19 crises daily. Given the increased attention around the COVID-19, we’d like to share an update on the precautions we are taking, in the form of this Safety Policy document.
Our Safety and Risk Management Team at Best Programs is monitoring COVID-19 on a daily basis. As a successful international education provider for transformational and experiential travel for more than 20 years, we’ve learned a lot about travel risks. Every year, we manage risks and questions related to travel, diet, well-being and health for hundreds of travelers. It’s normal to feel anxious about new risks when information is still developing.
We encourage you to reduce that anxiety by balancing media coverage with expert sources of information while you are considering travel plans. We here at BEST aim to take a measured approach combining most up-to-date information with personal choice, and offering ongoing flexibility with program payment and application deadlines. We rely on the expert advice of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and International SOS. We are also keeping a close eye on current trends in the student travel industry related to COVID-19. The FORUM on Education Abroad and Pulse, organizations made up of full-time international health and safety staff at US colleges, universities, and study abroad organizations have advised us to remind our students and parents that:
With the above in mind, our live, onsite programs in Spain, Cuba, Russia and Tallinn, Estonia will continue to run as scheduled for early fall and early winter start dates, with enhanced health and hygiene practices in place however for earlier participation we have online language classes and internships at a 50% discount which can be done from any location.
On May 23rd Spain’s Prime Minister announced that foreigners will be allowed to enter the country starting in July with no quarantine restrictions. This ruling is still in effect with certain restrictions and guidelines. Please check out this information to see what applies to you particularly. As of August 18th Americans are allowed entry in only specific circumstances.
To resume international flights and receive foreigners, Cuba will rely on the recommendations of international organizations such as the UNWTO and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the experience of other countries, which are implementing, as in Europe, “a responsible reopening”. As of August 10th there have been resurges in Cuba and foreigners are not allowed entry possibly until December.
As of August 18th Russia has a Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel. For detailed information see here. Bestprograms has converted its programs in Russia to remote internships and Russian language classes via Zoom or Skype until the borders reopen at the end of 2020 or 2021. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or see here.
Since the start of this evolving situation, we at BEST Programs committed to making decisions with a steady and calm hand. We have been focused on ensuring we are not succumbing to pressure to make quick decisions on behalf of our students, and instead allowing them, as adults, to make informed decisions on behalf of themselves. Because health and safety are central and vital to all that we do at BEST, we have been daily reviewing and communicating with our expert representatives the ground abroad. We will leave it up to each candidate and their family when to plan for traveling. (As of today, August 18, 2020, approximately 50% of our candidates have delayed their start dates while the rest are participating virtually. For more information see this page.)
BEST and its partners around the world are committed to remaining open for business in a safe and thoughtful way which best benefits our candidates’ carefully built programs and their future goals participating in said programs!
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the information above or our overall approach to health and safety.
Phone: +34 637543900