STUDYING ABROAD IN A PANDEMIC: HEALTH AND SAFETY AT AEF
Updated on May 1st, 2022
AEF was proud to resume on site classes as of Spring 2021, being one of the first institutions to welcome students back in Florence for a full semester. AEF has worked to create the safest environment for students, in compliance with the guidelines established by the Italian government, the Tuscan Region and the Comune di Firenze (national, regional, and local level). We continue to monitor the current regulations, adjusting all necessary protocols and procedures so that the highest standards of health and safety are maintained in place throughout the programs.
Our goal is to offer students the most meaningful experience, even in the unprecedented context of a pandemic. Studying abroad is the global experience par excellence: since its origins, the reason that encouraged young people to travel was the opportunity to see new countries and cultures, understand new habits and languages, open one’s eyes and mind to different ways of life.
We believe that this situation is an extraordinary opportunity to embrace this experience to the fullest, understanding its deepest meaning: learning the language, the art, the history, the music, while taking care of each other, developing cultural and human competences, and finally becoming real citizens of the world.
We have always invited our students not to think of themselves as tourists but rather as citizens of Florence. We renew our invitation even more powerfully now, in a moment when our city – symbol of the Renaissance – really becomes the place where a renaissance is possible. We will make it happen together, following some shared rules based on respect, flexibility, and responsibility.
Health and Safety Procedures and Covid-19 Risk Mitigation at AEF
AEF faculty and staff will give their full support to students in preparation for their departure. The Italian Government and Tuscan Region guidelines on Covid-19 safety and hygiene regulations will be duly notified to students.
Arrival in Florence
Welcome! Your experience in the city of Renaissance has just begun: Florence – with its streets, piazzas, and iconic beauty at every corner – will be your classroom, for a real immersion into Italian art and culture.
Requirements for Entry into Italy
Information for travelers from each country is available on the Ministry of Health website:
Covid-19 Green Pass Certificate
Having completed a vaccination cycle authorized by EMA is mandatory to access the school’s premises: AEF is a community based on respect and social responsibility, where each member is in charge of their own and everybody else safety. For this reason, each student will be required to fill in a form with the information about their vaccination cycle.
The obligation for wearing a mask indoors is lifted, with the recommendation to use them where there may be a contagion risk.
Wearing a mask is still mandatory within the school's premises.
Here you can find the current Covid-19 regulations:
We will now try to answer all of your questions about how your experience will take place, but if you have further questions or doubts, do not hesitate to contact us: we’ll be happy to answer!
Students may be subjected to quarantine, if they do not comply with the current regulations.
For more information, please refer to the Ministry of Health website:
For Study Abroad students from US programs: American University Programs that are part of AACUPI (Association of American College and University Programs in Italy) have recently signed an agreement with the Misericordia Health Centers and the Tuscan Region that guarantees an English-speaking physician to assist the students, who will also be responsible of a first evaluation of a Covid-19 case.
The student will be able to continue attending classes online, from the apartment, and will be constantly assisted and supported by the AEF staff.
AEF will follow the Italian government rules, applied in both public and private education system:
- Staggered entrance times to avoid gatherings;
- Temperature will not be taken by AEF staff at the entrance, but students are invited to bring a thermometer with them and measure their temperature if need be. It is extremely important not to go to school in case of a fever or any flu symptoms. In this case, students will have to contact the AEF staff, who will immediately call the doctor so that the Tuscan Region can start the health procedure to evaluate the case.
- In classrooms, students seats will be spaced at 1 meter apart (3.3 ft);
- It is mandatory to wear a mask within the school premises;
- Students are strongly encouraged to frequently wash their hands and apply hand sanitizer that will be available at school;
- Students and faculty are required to sanitize their seating at the beginning and at the end of each class;
- Natural outside air ventilation is another key factor for safety in the classrooms: windows will be kept open weather-permitting, and classrooms will always be ventilated between each class;
- At the end of class and in between classes, students will be required to exit the building in an orderly fashion, and avoid gatherings in the hallways and common areas (toilets, entrance, hallways, stairs, front-desk area, etc.).
Florence is not only the city where AEF is located, but it is a real classroom for many activities and lectures of our program. For lectures held on-site and museums visits, AEF will apply the Italian government rules in force. The same rules will be applied during field trips.
We know that one of the reasons why students want to study abroad is the opportunity to visit European capitals. In this specific case, it is more than essential that students behave responsibly: if you travel irresponsibly, you not only put yourself at risk, but all of the other students and the host community too. All program participants will be required to respect the Italian government and European Union rules on traveling and circulation between EU countries.
We recommend that students check regularly and only on officials references the current travel regulation:
Ministry of Health