Update for Students Studying in New Zealand
Dear Students and Families,
On March 19, 2020, The US State Department Issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel. The advisory states, “In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.” In light of the new advisory, while we are not revising the guidance we issued on March 16, 2020, we do recommend that students and families carefully consider the new State Department warning. We will continue to monitor the situation and will communicate with you on a regular basis to provide any updated information we receive from our partners in New Zealand, the State Department, or other relevant sources.
At this time, our partner institutions in New Zealand have committed to providing student support throughout this global pandemic, and will work closely with Champlain College on a plan of action should students have to extend their stay in New Zealand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If AUT or NMIT suspend operations, we have assurances that they will work to retain housing for international students until departure. However, it is important to note that housing is provided through external partners who will be making their own decisions in response to the pandemic, and therefore cannot be guaranteed by Champlain, AUT, or NMIT. We also cannot guarantee that housing or other support would be available in New Zealand if you are unable to travel home at the end of your program, or what such housing would cost if it is available.
Students have health and travel insurance which was mandated by the government of New Zealand and arranged for through the host institution. There are certain limitations to coverage in the case of epidemics. You should contact the insurance company directly to understand your coverage. We’re happy to help with advice but we can’t control the specifics of those policies.
As a reminder, we encourage you to follow CDC and WHO guidelines for health and safety precautions to reduce risk factors. Following the global trajectory, the number of cases in New Zealand is likely to increase significantly in the coming days, along with other measures including increased restrictions on social activities and group sizes.
We understand these are difficult times, and we are being faced with some deeply personal decisions. The Office of International Education is available to help navigate any questions or concerns.