Temple in Spain welcomed study abroad students back to Oviedo during summer 2021 following the onset of the pandemic and is operating with COVID-19 protocols.
The following measures and guidance are in place to prioritize the health and safety of the Temple in Spain community. Given the changes brought on by the pandemic, your study abroad experience will differ from how you may have imagined it. We will provide updates specific to your term as you prepare to go abroad. Accepted students should wait to purchase flights until they have received their flight guidance from their program manager at Education Abroad.
Current Conditions in Spain
- Case numbers fluctuate. Vaccination/booster rates are high.
- Spain has been gradually relaxing many restrictions within the country and for entry into the country, though you should expect this to continue to change and for the possibility of some restrictions to be in place over the course of your program.
- As of April 2022, it is no longer mandatory to wear to wear a mask indoors or outdoors with certain exceptions. Wearing a mask is mandatory when travelling by plane, train or bus, as well as in all other public transportation, in select healthcare settings, such as hospitals or pharmacies, and is strongly recommended at all times for students testing positive for COVID-19 or identified as a close contact of someone testing positive for COVID-19 for at least the first ten days.
Spain has typically used a "traffic light system" for regional restrictions based on the epidemiological situation and risk factors in an area, including the seven-day and 14-day incidence rates, and the percentage of hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. Each category of risk level (extreme, high, medium, low and new normality) dictates travel restrictions, curfews, and business operations for the region, which in Spain are called Autonomous Communities. Oviedo is located in the Asturias region of Spain.
The Spanish Ministry of Health provides information about current conditions in Spain and since COVID-19 restrictions may vary widely by region, the health department websites of each of the Autonomous Communities in Spain provide local information. If applicable, you can also view information regarding individual restrictions in each region from the interactive map available on Spain's official tourism website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also include guidance on traveling to Spain and the US Embassy in Spain COVID-19 page provides general guidance on entry and exit requirements, as well as restrictions in place in Spain.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Temple in Spain and Universidad de Oviedo follow public health guidance and regulations from the Spanish Ministry of Health and consults with local health professionals to promote a safe, healthy environment. Universidad de Oviedo operates under very specific COVID-19 protocols, and our staff have further developed additional COVID-19-specific protocols to mitigate the risk of transmission in program facilities and to respond to possible and actual COVID-19 cases. The list below includes measures that may be in place during your program; details are provided to students closer to departure as protocols are dictated by the local conditions and regulations in place at the time the program is operating.
- Extensive pre-departure programming to prepare students for the semester
- Mandatory use of masks as dictated by Spanish authorities
- Limited capacity classes with physical distancing measures
- Hand sanitizing stations installed throughout campus
- Maintaining improved ventilation in campus buildings
- Contact tracing procedures in place
- Isolation and quarantine protocols in place
- Access to English-speaking medical support, including mental health support, available 24/7
As of October 15, 2021, Temple University requires all study abroad students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before attending Temple in Spain. Likewise, if more than 270 days (9 months) have passed since receiving the last required dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you will need to show proof of having received a booster to be considered fully vaccinated in Spain. If you do not anticipate being fully vaccinated and up-to-date with your booster before your intended term abroad, please consult our staff regarding your eligibility for the program.
Temple in Spain and Universidad de Oviedo arrange housing for all students on the program. Historically, the Temple in Spain program has strictly offered an immersive homestay program for all students and we are pleased to announce we will be offering the homestay program once again during spring and summer 2022. The University of Oviedo has confirmed our students would typically have their own room and bathroom within the home. During the pandemic, it may be possible to request a room in a residence hall or dormitory on the University of Oviedo’s campus, on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in this option, contact your program manager immediately to find out more. Students who opt into the dorms will be placed in single rooms with a private bathroom, and would charged a different fee as the dormitory housing is more expensive than the homestay housing option.
Please note that housing on overnight excursions, such as the orientation week upon arrival in Madrid, includes shared accommodation (typically doubles and triples) and shared bathrooms. Per Spanish regulations, isolation and quarantine are no longer mandated for the general population for asymptomatic or mild cases, and students will not be moved in such instances when staying in shared spaces (see Quarantine and Isolation section, below, for more information).
Quarantine and Isolation
In late March 2022 Spain entered a new phase of the pandemic in which in the general population, mild and asymptomatic confirmed cases will no longer go into isolation and close contacts will no longer go into quarantine. If you experience COVID-19 symptoms or receive a positive test result while in Spain, Temple in Spain will recommend that you stay in your homestay (or your hotel room in Madrid/Picos, in which students stay in doubles or triples) until symptoms improve, if applicable. For at least the first ten days after the initial exposure (for close contacts), positive test result or symptom onset (positive cases), students should take extreme precautions and reduce social interactions (particularly with vulnerable people) as much as possible, wear a surgical mask indoors and outdoors at all times and maintain good hand hygiene. The public health authorities may establish additional actions regarding the management of positive cases and/or close contacts when they deem it necessary in specific situations or areas.
Please note, in some situations students identified as mild or asymptomatic confirmed cases or close contacts may still participate in program activities (including classes, excursions, transportation, etc.) as long as they strictly adhere to all Spanish public health recommendations and guidance. Everyone should be prepared for this possibility and protect themselves and one another, especially in shared spaces.
Even though Spain has eliminated isolation and quarantine in most situations, if you test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as a close contact, you may still be required to isolate or quarantine. Positive cases will be reported to the local Spanish Health authorities to manage the contact tracing process and provide guidance for isolation or quarantine. Temple in Spain and Universidad de Oviedo will support the local health authorities to identify close contacts within the community. No personal information of the person that tested positive will be disclosed by the staff. If a student is informed by the health authorities that they have been identified as a close contact of a positive case, they must inform the Program Director immediately. If required to isolate or quarantine, students will have access to meal deliveries; from program staff, the staff at the dorm, hotel or from their host family. Medical support for symptom monitoring (including care in the event of an emergency) and access to tele-counseling for mental health support is available to all students.
Students who must isolate or quarantine will typically do so in their university-arranged housing (dormitories or homestays, or program-arranged hotels for excursions) and in most cases in Oviedo, everyone will have their own private bedroom and bathroom, regardless of housing type. However, while participating in overnight program-arranged excursions, such as orientation in Madrid, or Picos, students will be sharing buses, bedrooms and bathrooms with other program participants, some of which may test positive for COVID-19 during the excursion. Students are not likely to be moved to another room when staying in shared spaces, but instead would follow public health recommendations for masking at all times and maintaining distance when feasible.
Education Abroad prohibits travel outside of Spain for all program participants during the spring 2022 term due to the complications related to inter-country travel during the pandemic, regardless of citizenship, prior COVID-19 diagnosis, and/or COVID-19 vaccination status. We hope you view this situation as an opportunity to embrace Spanish culture and complete the program feeling more like a local than a visitor. Temple in Spain faculty are always eager to share the countless ways you can explore Oviedo and Spain to make the most out of your experience. Travel outside of Spain is a violation of program policy and will result in disciplinary sanctions. This policy is regularly reviewed and will be updated if conditions permit.
For terms beyond spring 2022, travel outside of Spain is strongly discouraged during the program. If you choose to travel, you do so at your own personal and financial risk. Pandemic-related travel restrictions and entry criteria can change with little notice, and traveling outside of Spain increases the risk of being unable to return as planned. Program faculty and staff are limited in their ability to support you if you experience an incident or test positive for COVID-19 outside of Spain. Absences due to travel delays are not excused and virtual classes will not be available if you are affected by a travel disruption.
We encourage in-country travel and hope you will use this opportunity to embrace Spanish culture and complete the program feeling more like a local than a visitor. The international travel medical insurance provided by Temple University is only valid for the duration of the program and cannot be extended for students who decide to travel independently outside of the program dates.
Student Conduct and Community Standards
As members of the Temple in Spain community, students, faculty and staff share the responsibility for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Temple in Spain policies and protocols, as well as those of the Spanish Ministry of Health, have been enacted to protect the health and safety of our communities. Noncompliance with these rules is a violation of Temple University’s Student Conduct Code. If you are found responsible for a violation of the Student Conduct Code, you could face serious sanctions, including dismissal from the program. Students dismissed from the program are responsible for the costs of their departure and will not receive any refunds for the costs of the program.
Passport and Visa Information
See the Temple in Spain Passport and Visa page for information about obtaining a passport and Spanish study visa in time for your program. If you plan to travel internationally prior to your program start date, please contact your Program Manager immediately, as your plans may impact your ability to obtain a visa, or pandemic-related entry requirements may vary.
Academic Continuity and Program Interruption
Temple in Spain courses are able to transition to remote learning if required due to the local COVID-19 situation during the semester.
Our decision to run the program considers how the COVID-19 situation may evolve during the semester. While we do not anticipate asking students to depart the program early, Temple in Spain has emergency plans in place to respond if the unexpected occurs. We advise all students to carefully review the change/cancellation policies before booking a flight (when instructed to do so) so they are prepared if a change does occur. Temple University is unable to assist with costs of departing a program early.
Prior to the program start date, you should monitor your health to ensure you are fit to travel. On the date you are scheduled to depart, do not travel if you have symptoms of illness or have tested positive for COVID-19; contact Education Abroad immediately for guidance. For summer 2022, we will accommodate late arrivals as we are able though all students must arrive in Oviedo no later than Sunday, July 3rd to successfully participate in the program. All passengers arriving in Spain from the US may be subjected to a health check at the airport, including a temperature check, document review and a visual assessment of their physical state of health so you should not consider traveling while ill. If airport authorities suspect you of having COVID-19, or any other disease that represents a public health risk, you will undergo a medical evaluation, and may be required to take a COVID or other diagnostic test before clearing customs.