After careful consideration and extensive planning, Temple in Spain welcomed study abroad students back to Oviedo following the onset of the pandemic during summer 2021 and will continue operating with COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-2022 academic year.
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 not purchase flights until they have been directed to do so by Education Abroad.
Current Conditions in Spain
Spain currently uses 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 vary widely by region, the health department websites of each of the Autonomous Communites in Spain provide local information. 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.
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. If you do not anticipate being fully vaccinated before your intended semester 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 2022. The University of Oviedo is working with close to 100 self-reported fully vaccinated families for placements, and our students would all have their own room and bathroom within the home. During the pandemic, we are providing the option for students to choose between living in a homestay or in a residence hall or dormitory on the University of Oviedo’s campus. Students who opt into the dorms will be placed in single rooms with a private bathroom. Students in the dorms will be charged a different fee as the dormitory housing is more expensive than the homestay housing option. More information regarding costs for the dorms and COVID protocols in each housing type will be shared with Spring 2022 participants as details become available.
Quarantine and Isolation
If you test positive for COVID-19 during the program, you will be required to isolate. If you are identified as a close contact of a someone who tests positive, you will be required to quarantine. Positive cases will be reported to the local Spanish Health authorities to manage the contact tracing process. 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.
Students who must isolate or quarantine will typically do so in their university-arranged housing (dormitories or homestays) since everyone will have their own private bedroom and bathroom, regardless of housing type. If necessary, students may be moved to a different room, but it is unlikely. All students will have access to meal deliveries; from the staff at the dorm 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.
Education Abroad strictly prohibits travel outside of Spain for all program participants during the program due to the complications related to inter-country travel during the pandemic, regardless of citizenship, prio 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, including possible dismissal from the program.
If you choose to travel after the program concludes, you do so at your own personal and financial risk. The international travel medical insurance provided by Temple University ends at the completion of the program and will not be available to students who decide to travel independently.
Students will also have the opportunity to travel with the group as part of the program and we are happy to report that we are planning to return to Madrid for orientation during spring 2022. The weeklong orientation in Madrid has been a cornerstone of the Oviedo program and we feel confident that we can return to Madrid this spring while keeping student health and safety at the forefront. Education Abroad and International Risk Management will continue to monitor the conditions on the ground in Madrid and Oviedo from now until departure and have devised an immersive back-up orientation plan to take place in and around Oviedo in the event conditions in Madrid change.
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.