For over 40 years, BestSemester has run programs globally, making program decisions with the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty as the highest priority. We continue to do so amidst the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
What is BestSemester doing to communicate with current students, parents, and partner campuses?
We continue to provide frequent updates and support to students, parents, and partner campuses via email and our website.
How is BestSemester monitoring the situation and making decisions?
The CCCU and BestSemester continue to monitor the evolving updates on COVID-19 and are paying close attention to news and advisories coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the broader higher education and study abroad communities. We considered the following factors when we decided on Thursday, March 12, to conclude the residential component of our Spring 2020 programs early and shift to online programming through the end of the semester:
- The CDC recommendation for higher education institutions to consider bringing students home from study abroad.
- The WHO declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic.
- The State Department declaring a level three global travel warning.
- The unprecedented U.S. travel ban from Europe, many other countries banning travel, and the uncertainty of future travel restrictions.
- The global response of colleges and universities who are sending their students home and recalling study abroad students, as well as requests from many CCCU campuses for BestSemester to do the same.
Will the 2020 Oxford Summer Programme run?
We’ve shifted our Oxford Summer Programme to a virtual experience for summer 2020, giving students the opportunity to join Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford (SCIO) for a month of intellectual adventure. Students will discuss and debate in the company of like-minded peers from around the globe and experience Oxford’s famous tutorials or one-on-one meetings with experienced tutors (faculty) on subjects including literature, theology, philosophy, science and religion, psychology, and more. This program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students, who can earn up to six credits (we are also offering certificates of completion to those who are not currently pursuing a degree but have always wanted to experience Oxford). For additional details, click here.
Will your Fall 2020 BestSemester programs run?
As of right now, we are cautiously optimistic that we can proceed with our Fall 2020 BestSemester programs with increased health and safety protocols. However, given the uncertainty of the current travel climate due to COVID-19, we are also making alternative contingency plans for each program, and will make a final decision regarding fall programming by June 30 at the latest.
Are you offering refunds on the confirmation deposit for your Fall 2020 programs?
We typically require a $300 confirmation deposit with all applications to secure your spot on one of our programs, however right now we are allowing students to confirm their fall program participation without advanced payment of this deposit in light of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. After a final determination is made regarding program operations (on or before June 30), we will require payment of this deposit within three weeks to finalize your spot on our program. If you have already paid your deposit and the program you are planning to attend is cancelled, your deposit will be reimbursed. If you have already paid your deposit but then determine that you need to change your plans for any reason, we are happy to defer your application until Spring 2021. Please note that as long as our Fall 2020 programs are running as normal, we are generally not able to offer refunds on confirmation deposits.
I am leaving my program early. What is BestSemester’s refund policy?
We recognize that there are financial questions around prorated housing refunds. While we do not know all of the answers at this point, as they involve both campus and government responses, we will continue to work on this and will be in contact with you when a determination is made. We seek your patience and understanding as we resolve these issues.
I am a student who has returned to the U.S. from abroad. What precautions should I be taking as I return home?
We’ve included a variety of resources below for returning travelers:
- WHO recommendations.
- CDC resources about “Self-Quarantine”
- Guidance from the CDC for travelers.
- Guidance from the CDC on how to prevent the potential spread of disease in your homes
- A letter was drafted by one of our staff members, Avrey Hughes, BSN, RN, CCRN. This letter provides guidance for returning students on how to best protect themselves and their families.
I was earning academic credit with a practicum/internship, which I could not complete. Will I still earn my credits?
The CCCU, in coordination with the students’ sending campuses, will work with students to finish their semesters as best as possible given the experiential nature of the curriculum. Additional details for the teach out plan for each program and expectations for remote learning will be provided to students by their program’s specific director.
I have a disability/receive academic accommodations, and it’s difficult for me to complete classes online. What should I do?
BestSemester is committed to meeting the needs of every student. We recognize that each student’s needs are different, so please communicate any concerns you may have with your program director. They will work with you to create a customized learning plan to complete your coursework.
Please contact us at 202-548-5201 or [email protected] if you have any further questions.