Skip to content

International mobility: overview of health instructions in universities

For the start of the 2021 academic year, international mobility is once again possible. If French students can go abroad, there are still several conditions to be met. And to complicate anything, know that the health rules differ according to the host country.

It has been a few months since the rules have been relaxed regarding international mobility. For the start of the school year, students can start flying to the four corners of the world again… or almost. After long months of waiting, Canada has just reopened its borders, the United States has also announced it for November, but countries like China, Japan and Australia remain closed.

Theoretically, students still have the opportunity to study anywhere in the worldassures Christine Fernandez, president of the network of vice-presidents of international relations (VPRI) of universities. In fact, we always favor mobility in Europe and in green countries.

Areas more or less at risk

Indeed, the countries are divided into red, orange or green zones, depending on the circulation of the virus. In the countries of the red zones (mainly in Latin America, Russia, Near and Middle East), the circulation of the virus is particularly active and the presence of the variants “worrying”, says the government. The circulation of the virus also remains active in the countries of the orange zone (Africa, Asia, Latin America, United States, etc.). Countries in the green zone are considered more secure, this is the case in Canada, Europe and Australia in particular.

This classification by zone can have an impact on your mobility. In red countries, reception conditions are stricter: you may be asked for more quarantine or an additional PCR test, for example. “It’s more complicated to go to a country in the red zone, but long stays are still possible”, warns Christine Fernandez.

Read also

The health pass, essential for traveling

Whatever your destination, the health pass, or green pass, becomes unavoidable. Europe has standardized the terms of travel on the validity or not of the pass. As a reminder, you must be vaccinated or present a negative PCR/antigen test.

But be careful, before leaving, double-check the terms of entry into the territory. For example, in Ireland, “one dose of vaccine for people who have already been sick with Covid is not enough to meet the criteria for full vaccination“, specifies France Diplomatie. Still in Ireland, the antigen test is not accepted. This is also the case in Canada.

Read also

More restrictions in foreign universities

If the borders have reopened, higher education establishments can still refuse to accept foreign students. According to the official, this may be the case in Canada, Russia and Asia. At the start of the school year, there were also problems with issuing visas, particularly for students who had to go to Canada. Since then, everything has been back to normal, but as Christine Fernandez, also vice-president of international relations at the University of Poitiers, says, some students have been forced to cancel their departure.

On site, the health instructions also differ from one country, region and establishment to another. Wearing a mask is, for example, no longer compulsory in Belgian Flanders and the United Kingdom. Conversely, the Swiss Grandes Ecoles and universities require a health pass to follow the courses. Ditto in some establishments in the United States. “You have to ask your host establishment for the terms and conditions concerning the health pass, advises Christine Fernandez. In general, we recommend to have a complete vaccination schedule before leaving.”

Also be careful to check if your vaccine is recognized in your host country. In Canada, a procedure allows you to recognize your European QR code. A device which has also been set up in France for foreign students. In the United Kingdom, the European Union health pass is also accepted.

A majority of face-to-face feedback

And for those who manage to complete their mobility, good news, the majority of classes have resumed face-to-face. “There are sometimes a few distance courses but it is more exceptional. All the students will sit on the benches of the university with the other students”, assures Christine Fernandez.

The president of the VPRI hammers it all the same: take good insurance when booking your flights, “last minute cancellations are always possible…“.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.