COVID-19 Policies & International Student Arrival | Dear Angela

Dear Angela,

We are so excited to meet our new international student but feel a little confused about the policies around COVID-19. Do you have any more information on your policies?

For many Student Development Managers, the arrival season is the most exciting one of all! We are about to meet the kids whose journey we’ve followed from application to interview, to school selection, to host matching and all the way through travel arrangements. We’ve communicated with many on WeChat and are counting the days until we get to greet them either at the airport or at the host family home in person.

Of course, this was all pre-COVID-19, and the circumstances have drastically changed. Don’t get us wrong, we are ecstatic that the borders are open to students and welcome kids in our country and our schools again. We’ve so missed their company and energy! The problem is that advisories and rules keep changing and are still different from state to state, and even the most experienced staff members are in a position of having to answer “I don’t know” quite frequently. It’s both a humbling and frustrating experience. The best way to look at it is that we are making 100% of the decisions moving forward as a company while having only 50% of the information. We are doing the best we can and ask that you be patient with us. When a friend asked the other day how things were going this matching season, I described us as a bunch of ducks swimming in a peaceful and beautiful pond. On the surface, they glide relaxed and confidently, but look below the surface, and you’ll see the continued movement of their webbed feet churning to stay afloat and in control …

The bottom line is that there are still lots of questions, but this is what we do know:

  • Rest assured that Cambridge will follow the recommendations as set by the CDC in terms of quarantine and testing.
  • Students will need to be tested between days three and five after arrival. Now is an excellent time to find testing places in the area. The student will be responsible for the cost of testing.
  • If your student is fully vaccinated (which means TWO weeks have passed since the last dose was administered) and had a negative test result, quarantine is no longer required.
  • Unvaccinated students with a negative test should still self-quarantine for seven days.
  • As is the case in most communities, some of the Cambridge staff, school faculty, and administrators are vaccinated and feel comfortable being around the arriving students, while others are still cautious because of loved ones who may be more vulnerable to the virus. We ask for an understanding of everybody’s position.
  • Students are being asked to self-quarantine in a hotel or with a family member, but if you are comfortable having a student quarantine at your home, please let your SDM know. Some students may have already reached out to you about this.
  • When your (vaccinated) family is fine having the student quarantine in your home, please make sure your SDM has a release form on file for you.
  • The SDM assigned to your school will likely be extra busy this arrival season, so please give them plenty of notice for assistance needed.
  • Some of the kids will come to the US vaccinated with the Chinese  Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines. The WHO has given emergency approval for these vaccines for the US.
  • As of this publication, Chinese kids still have to be 18 to be vaccinated, so the younger ones will not have had the opportunity to get the vaccine and may be interested in obtaining it once here. Your assistance in finding a vaccine clinic will be appreciated.
  • Now more than ever, reiterate proper hygiene practices with your student. Stress the importance of washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer when soap and warm water are unavailable.

Please reach out to your SDM with any questions or concerns. We continually receive training with updates on changes and will do our best to help and support you during this unprecedented arrival season. As always, we thank you for opening your home to these wonderful kids and appreciate all that you do for them!

Check out our homestay blog for more information on Cambridge Network as a residential provider, tips for hosting, and our host testimonials. If you’re interested in hosting an international student, please fill out an inquiry form!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *