As of December 1, 2021, roughly 45.7 million people in Italy were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, corresponding to 84.6 percent of the total population over 12 years of age. Italy is now expanding the number of people eligible for a booster vaccine to counter the 4th wave in the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, anti-pandemic measures continue to be in place including the wearing of masks indoors in all public places, the Green Pass certification of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative test to access workplaces, indoor dining, gyms, museums and theatres. For this reason, the average number of new infections reported each day in Italy is less than other European countries.
We, along with many other American universities, have successfully conducted Fall 2021 programming in Italy. This shows that with the necessary precautions and procedures in place, it is possible to create an optimal environment for onsite programming. Therefore, our plan is to provide onsite programming in the environs of Rome with excursions, lectures, and guest speakers. If for whatever reason, the ‘on-site’ version of the course is canceled, we will shift to the virtual version of courses that will be offered ‘at a distance’ from Rome or Italy. We successfully did this in the spring of 2020.
Please note that Gustolab International (GLi) takes our students and our world seriously. We believe our students are at the forefront of national and international trends stressing stewardship for our planet and ourselves. We are serious about learning and seek equally serious students eager to grapple with the complexities of understanding other cultures – and our shared world — through their study of food systems and sustainability.
To minimize risk, we are calling for a heightened sense of personal responsibility from all of our students.
We anticipate all students will:
- be cooperative in following our policies
- adhere to all rules and regulations in Italy pertaining to Covid-19
- stay informed and check the latest guidelines issued by health and government authorities as well as GLi
- recognize their obligation to engage seriously in all educational activities
- and to protect their own well-being, the well-being of fellow students, our staff and faculty, and the residents of Rome and Italy
Please note this is a dynamic situation with best practices, formal rules, and informal practices subject to change at any time. At GLi we assume all students will work with program management and staff to seek out and maintain best practices in public health. If you feel you cannot adhere to public health standards created by legal entities across Italy and the EU then please consider postponing this study abroad opportunity.
Gustolab international will comply with the directions of the Italian Government regarding the entry of international students and attendance at educational programs in Italy. Current procedures are in effect until January 15, 2022. Please contact Gustolab for updated policy statements.
Gustolab will require students to complete one of the following procedures to participate in its activities:
- Students may present a CDC White card or a EU Covid Green PASS indicating they are fully vaccinated. This will typically include the record of one or two Covid vaccinations, depending on the kind of vaccination. For the Italian government, the new time limit for a valid certification is 9 months. A booster will be needed beyond the nine-month period.
- Students may petition the Italian health authorities for an exemption to the normal vaccination requirement. This must be based on a medically valid reason explained by a medical professional in the student’s home country and translated into Italian by a professional translator or translation service. This will be presented to Gustolab’s Official Covid Doctor for approval. If approved, the student will also — throughout his or her time in Italy — be required to take Covid tests every 48 hours with negative results, to acquire the basic green pass which will allow access to school and public transportation but will exclude access to indoor restaurants or bars, museums, cinemas or theatres, gyms or sports stadiums.
As per GLi’s policy, all faculty and all staff will be vaccinated.
Please contact Gustolab International with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Students will be required to be flexible regarding academic scheduling because of evolving Covid-19 responses in Italy and the EU. Program dates and academic schedules will be announced once they are available. To learn more about the courses, visit our course catalog.
For our direct enroll programs, students will apply directly through Gustolab International. For customized programs, students will apply through their university study abroad office. They will also be responsible for working with their home university regarding credits and any eventual waivers for studying abroad. We will provide support where available.
In order to attend our programs, we will request that students sign a pledge and other documents regarding Covid-19 precautionary measures. The pledge is likely to be updated throughout the program. Your signature on the pledge reflects your agreement with all its aspects as well as understanding that GLi cannot eliminate all risks of contracting Covid-19, nor predict all related adjustments that may be required to protect yourself and your fellow students, faculty and staff.
Students will be required to obtain health and travel insurance to attend the program.
Withdrawal & Cancelation policy
Please also note that GLi will continue its normal student withdrawal and cancelation policy.
CANCELATION DUE TO COVID (ONSITE PROGRAMS ONLY)
GLi is committed to serving our students and will not plan to cancel our program. For onsite programs, if students will not be able to attend courses in person (for example, if circumstances deteriorate in Italy), GLi will shift to online instruction and work towards completing the academic program. Co-curricular aspects of the program such as excursions and onsite activities that require in-person attendance will be canceled and will be replaced with online activities where possible. In case of cancellation of the onsite portion of our programs, student fees dedicated to prepaid onsite expenses will be reimbursed as possible (depending on refunds from vendors, events, or services). After the beginning of the program, no refunds are possible on housing. Other onsite expenses can be refunded if not already spent on behalf of students This calculation will be done following the cancelation of the onsite program. If our onsite program switches to virtual instruction, participants are required to
- have reliable access to a laptop/computer with audio capabilities and a functional webcam
- have reliable access to internet/WiFi
- be available for the synchronous (live) lectures. Students who would like to attend but may be unable to attend all synchronous sessions can inquire with Gustolab International about alternative programming.
- available at least for 20 hours/week (for the internship)
- use the virtual learning environment provided by GLi
- adhere to all program guidelines
- make all relevant payments prior to the beginning of the virtual program.
Additional policies may apply.
SPECIAL EXCEPTION: STUDENT PROGRAM WITHDRAWAL POLICY FOR COVID-19 RELATED ISSUES (ONSITE PROGRAMS ONLY)
A student may submit a request for program withdrawal until 30 days before arrival if they contract Covid-19 and are unable to participate in the program. In this case, a full refund (including housing fee) will be provided. For any requests for withdrawal between the start date – 29 days before the start date, a refund will not be provided. However, if a student contracts Covid-19 before arrival and wants to submit a request to still participate in the program with a delayed arrival (after the program start date), their request should include a proof of negativity to Covid-19 along with a doctor’s note stating his completely recover and authorize the travel and the projected date of arrival in Italy. GLi will respond. This type of request can be sent at any time before the start date and typically will be approved and all funds will be allocated for the program.
Before departure, we will require students to attend 3-5 days of a mandatory pre-departure orientation online as an introduction to the program and Covid-19 procedures. Our practice is to keep students updated on the requirements they need to fulfill by email. During the pre-departure period and the semester, our practice is to keep students updated by email. We also communicate by phone calls, SMS, WhatsApp, and related applications.We will also use social media.
Students will have to enter Italy for “study reasons”, even if they come without a visa. This is because non-essential travel (i.e. tourism) to Italy from most non-EU countries (including the United States) is not recommended; only essential travel is allowed and includes students, businesspersons, EU residents, and relatives of Italian citizens. The student’s travel reason should be demonstrated when entering the Italian border by showing supporting paperwork. This means that the student needs to have a document from the home university stating their status as a student attending a program and a document from the hosting institution. Our students will receive more information about this after they are admitted to our programs.
European regulations state that U.S. nationals are exempt from the requirement to be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders of the Schengen Member States for stays of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period, notwithstanding the possibility of having country-specific amendments to those Annexes in particular circumstances.
If the student plans to stay in Italy (or another Schengen country) for longer than 90 days or is not a U.S. national, they will have to apply for an entry visa at an Italian consulate in the U.S. or country of residence. Students should be mindful of potential delayed processing times for visa applications and resulting delays in travel planning.
Arrival & Welcome
On arrival day, students will receive a group transfer from the Rome Fiumicino airport (suggested airport of arrival) to their accommodations in Rome. Students will receive a welcome kit including a disposable mask.
Upon arrival to Italy, they will receive an orientation (online in the case of the quarantine obligation or in person in case of quarantine).
Moving around the city & free time
Students will face disciplinary measures for failing to comply with measures implemented by GLi. They may be removed from class until they comply and may face further punitive action, up to removal from the program and may face consequences according to the Italian legal system.