9/19/2022: UPDATED GUIDANCE – VACCINATION NO LONGER A REQUIREMENT:
Effective the Spring 2023 semester, vaccination will no longer be required for participation in Umbra programs. Restrictions for unvaccinated individuals may include extended quarantine (10 days) for unvaccinated who test positive, as opposed to 5 days for those vaccinated and positive. We strongly recommend students are fully vaccinated, as Italian health and safety laws are subject to change.
MORE UPDATES TO COME
In preparation for your study abroad experience, we ask that you upload proof of your vaccination status. Please carefully read the form below for details.
The form below must be submitted prior to your arrival date:
This policy is subject to change and is based on the understanding that vaccines are broadly available across the U.S. to adults of all ages, and that students in various international locations will also have access to the vaccine within the coming months. This policy is in line with the requirements of other AACUPI (Association of American College and University Programs in Italy) programs as well as broader Italian regulations.
Should you have any questions, or should you be an international student currently based in a country where vaccines are not regularly available, please view our FAQ below or contact your Umbra admissions advisor.
Why should you get vaccinated?
The CDC, among other health agencies, has agreed that the vaccines are safe and effective and studies have demonstrated that they prevent severe illness and death from Covid-19 (see links below). Considering the nature of study abroad, as an international opportunity for study and travel that is highly dependent on its host community, the Institute has made the decision to strongly recommend that all students be vaccinated in support of a safe & healthy experience for all involved. This includes protecting members of the host community and Umbra community who may be immunocompromised or experiencing other high-risk factors that keep them from receiving the vaccine.
In addition, it should be noted that Italian law no longer requires individuals to show a Green Pass to enter the country.
Where can I get vaccinated?
We recommend that you contact your doctor and/or local community healthcare center regarding your vaccination needs. That said, we are aware that many of our university partners are hosting vaccination centers and making other local resources available to their students. You are encouraged to contact them directly for details.
Please note that if you choose to not pursue vaccination prior to your arrival in Italy, then the Umbra Institute will not be responsible for assisting you in receiving Covid-19 vaccination(s) while you are abroad, should you change your mind or should Italy’s pandemic regulations change.
What is the deadline for uploading my documentation?
All students must submit the form above prior to their arrival in Italy.
Does the Institute recommend a specific vaccine?
The Institute is not a provider of medical care so all students are advised to ask their doctor which vaccine would be best for them. That said, we suggest that students ask their doctor if an EU (European Union)-approved vaccine could work for them. Currently, the EU has approved use of the following vaccines: Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Other vaccines are currently being reviewed by EU health authorities but have not been approved as of 21 September 2022.
Are faculty and staff required to be vaccinated?
Yes. In order to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our students, the Institute has asked that all staff and faculty be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with exceptions for medical reasons being allowed. Italy even allowed employees of educational institutions to be vaccinated early on in its vaccination campaign, recognizing the importance of health and safety in classrooms across the country. Please note that starting from August 31, 2022 it is no longer obligatory in Italy for faculty and staff in educational institutions to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Please note that laws might be subject to review.
If I’m fully vaccinated, do I still have to wear a mask and social distance?
Currently, no, regardless if you are indoors or outdoors. The Institute will provide specific details in this regard once you arrive as rules are changing quickly. Despite your vaccination status, you may still be required to wear a mask and social distance in Italy, as well as in various travel destinations you may be considering, throughout Europe.
We will continue to update students and partners as restrictions in Italy continue to change and relax.
Do I have to be vaccinated?
The Umbra Institute requires that all semester students be vaccinated against the coronavirus, with very limited exceptions. Regardless of your vaccination status, you must submit the form above to inform the Institute as your vaccination status will impact the arrival procedures that apply to you, as well as other guidance we may need to provide you while you are abroad.
Are there exemptions for people who’ve had a recent covid infection?
Yes. Students or visiting faculty who’ve had a recent coronavirus infection might be exempt from vaccination without being considered ‘unvaccinated’, so long as their infection took place within the last 6 months. Please submit proof of your recent infection through the form above. Our team in Italy can then review the document to make sure that it contains all details required for acceptance in Italy.
If I cannot be vaccinated, will I still have a full study abroad experience?
If you are unvaccinated, you will notice some differences in your overall experience. For example, arrival procedures will be different and as described in the form above. Not only that but only limited medical exemptions to the vaccination policy may be considered. These must be provided well in advance of your arrival in Italy so that our team can evaluate your exemption with Italian health authorities to determine if it will or will not be accepted broadly in Italy.
Private organizations/companies in Italy may still require that you be fully vaccinated and/or hold a recent negative covid test in order to enter their facilities, even though this is not a legal obligation under Italian law, for the summer. This is subject to review on a rolling basis and may be renewed as a legal requirement during the fall semester. It is an organization/company’s right to set their own internal policies and it is your responsibility to ensure that you comply should you engage with such an organization while abroad. This includes locations that you may be required to visit as part of a mandatory course field trip. Should that location require a Green Pass for entry, the Institute will communicate this to you and it will be your responsibility to secure the appropriate test, at your own expense, in preparation for the trip. You must then share that test result with the Umbra Institute so that the staff and faculty can facilitate your participation in the trip.
If I’m not vaccinated, can I still participate in field trips and activities?
Your participation in field trips or extracurricular activities could be impacted by your vaccination status as the Umbra Institute must follow and enforce all legal and health recommendations and requirements made by the Italian Health and Education Ministries, as well as the policies requested by our local partners. Meaning that if field trips or activities involve visiting a local business, food producer, school, or other agency or organization that requires all visitors to be fully vaccinated and/or to hold a recent negative covid test, then all students will be expected to meet this requirement or not attend the field trip or activity. The Institute will provide an alternative activity or assignment if vaccination is required for a trip or activity that is mandatory for a course, in instances when a student holds a medical exemption and there is no exception to allow them to participate through the use of a covid test. If only a covid test is required (for a field trip or extracurricular activity), then it is the student’s responsibility to secure the negative test result and share it with Umbra staff the day before the trip/activity so that their participation can be facilitated. This is to be done at the student’s expense. In the case of mandatory academic trips, failure to secure a negative covid test in a timely manner will not be considered an excused absence. Please review the Umbra attendance policy for more details in this regard.
You should know that the European Community currently uses a Green Pass. This allows freedom of movement, travel, and activity participation across the European Union. The Green Pass is meant to encompass individuals who have been vaccinated, recently recovered from an infection, or recently tested negative for Covid-19. However, individual countries will choose how to implement the use of the Green Pass and it is expected that vaccinated individuals will experience more liberty of movement with their Green Pass.
Important: CDC White Cards are considered a direct equivalent to the European Green Pass.
Will there be a full remote/virtual option for students who are not vaccinated?
Students are expected to participate in in-person classes in line with the Institute’s usual attendance policy throughout the semester. That said, the Institute has implemented all tools necessary to successfully offer its courses remotely, should a student be required to quarantine at any point in the semester, or should an outbreak push learning online.