For a long time there wasn’t much going on when it came to travel. Many young people now want to go out into the world again. There is great interest in school accommodations in English speaking countries, and places are limited in some places. Tasja Frenzel, head of international school programs at the nonprofit Carl Duisberg Centren, knows what families interested in leaving the country should know next year.
Expat news: In which countries can students currently be exchanged?
Frenzel: The USA, Canada, Ireland and Great Britain are currently open to travelers. The pandemic winners are Canada and Ireland. The Canadian school system is as attractive to exchange students as New Zealand or Australia, especially in terms of the possibility of school proposals and the choice of special subjects. As a result, Canada has become a popular alternative to accommodation downstairs.
Great Britain is also open again for school stays. However, due to Brexit restrictions, interested parties can only spend a maximum of six months in a public school with host family accommodation. Just like geographical proximity, Ireland is doing well with parents and students being assured of its unrestricted program offerings and EU membership.
Residency in New Zealand and Australia is not currently possible. Hopefully in the summer of 2022.
Expat news: What is the current status of the secondary school year?
Frenzel: In the USA, Canada, Ireland and Great Britain, daily life is now quite similar to what it was before the pandemic. However, the high demand in Germany is offset by fewer host families and program supervisors abroad. Many families and especially schools are becoming more cautious when accepting international students or their financial situation has worsened due to the pandemic – places are scarce. So anyone determined to travel must apply by the end of the year to leave the country in 2022. Rules and regulations can still change quickly. Flexibility and patience are still required. In the United States, school districts determine whether there is distance education, face-to-face learning, or both. Currently, most of the students there go to schools as usual. In Canada, Ireland and the UK, regular classes are back, too.
“It would be annoying if the flight didn’t take place due to a last minute rule change.”
Expat news: What applies to entry?
Frenzel: Some airlines only carry vaccinated passengers. Some airlines also require a current negative PCR or antigen test. Vaccination is a prerequisite for most providers in the USA and Canada programs. Quarantine is not necessary after entering at the moment, just a recommendation to stay home for a few days even with vaccination and then get another Covid test.
However, it turns out that most schools require vaccination. In Canada, since the end of October, unvaccinated people are no longer allowed to board or transfer at Canadian airports. Obviously, students must be vaccinated to participate in the programme. Since September 2021, an Electronic Online Travel Authorization (eTA) is sufficient for short stays of less than six months in Canada. We still recommend applying for a tried and tested study visa. It would be annoying if the flight did not take place due to a last minute rule change. Due to the pandemic, application processes have changed in some countries. So families should generally plan to delay visa processing.
Expat news: How did vaccination change the situation on the ground?
Frenzel: Vaccination can be important not only on arrival. Almost all schools in the United States require vaccination. Regardless of the program country, vaccination is highly recommended. We have found it difficult to find host families for students who have not been fully vaccinated. Even if a willing host family is initially found, it must be kept in mind that it can be difficult to change the host family. For programs in the USA and Canada, it can be assumed that Covid vaccination protection could become mandatory for all providers.
Irish schools also reported that they only vaccinated International want to accept. Recreational activities are more accessible for people with full vaccination status, there are no testing facilities in all countries and also get wellThe status is not automatic as in Germany with to feed equivalent.
Expat news: Why are boarding schools thriving?
Frenzel: Also this Boarding School Program Boarding School – very popular right now. Boarding schools provide families with more security because school and accommodation is a closed system. In Great Britain, one, two or three semesters can be taken in boarding schools even after Brexit, in the United States and Canada one semester or an entire academic year. Currently, students often stay longer than usual in Great Britain and North America and graduate there. There seem to be a few limitations. Schools work very closely with normalcy and always provide parents with comprehensive information.