SIPN’s highest priority is the health and safety of our students and we are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Portugal.
We hope you will find these responses to frequently asked questions useful – otherwise, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +351 213 935 800 or +917 675 3442.
How is Portugal handling the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Portugal has been able to re-open most of society due to their early and austere response to COVID-19 in the spring. Due to the Portuguese people’s overall high trust in government, the country benefited from a high level of compliance with government-imposed restrictions and guidelines enacted to limit the spread of the virus in Portugal and Europe.
What does life in Lisbon look like right now?
Restaurant, Nightlife, and Events
Today in Lisbon, businesses, including restaurants and shops, are also open, but with somewhat reduced capacities, modified hours, additional cleaning protocols, and some new regulations. Certain events, gatherings, or activities may be on hold during your semester, but we think you’ll find life in Lisbon looking much like a typical semester. You can count on more details, resources, and recommendations for connecting with local community groups, teams, and clubs, after your arrival.
In Portugal, mask-wearing has become commonplace; masks are required almost everywhere (e.g., on public transportation, grocery stores, and bars/restaurants). As in the U.S., some locals wear a mask at all times in public, while others wear them only when required.
Can U.S. students enter Portugal?
Yes! SIPN has confirmation that students (Portuguese student visa carriers) can enter the country. While current border closures remain in place limiting tourism in the E.U., many European countries, including Portugal, have an exemption for students and other professionals. We will continue to closely monitor border policies, update guidance here as needed, and provide detailed instructions and documentation to enrolled students ahead of your departure for Portugal.
Will I need to quarantine or be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in Portugal?
Currently, so as long you present a negative test taken some time in the previous 72 hours of your entrance in Portugal, you will be allowed in the country without the need of self-quarantine.
Since COVID-19 is more prevalent in the U.S. than in Europe, please plan to be extra cautious in the 14 days leading up to your flight to Portugal — avoid socializing, working outside your home, and any personal travel during this period.
What if I need a new or renewed passport?
Apply now! All students will need a passport valid at least 6 months beyond the end of your SIPN semester. Passport processing can take several months in some locations due to COVID-19, though the Department of State anticipates returning to normal processing time this fall. U.S. citizens needing a new or renewed passport should visit the U.S. Department of State website to learn about the phased reopening of passport centers due to COVID-19 and start your application.
What can a SiPN student expect if studying abroad during COVID-19?
When will SIPN decide about whether Spring Semester 2021 edition is going to run or not?
Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for health, safety, and travel. We at SiPN will continue to monitor the situation before making any determinations about Spring 2021 Edition. We remain optimistic about the ability to offer a study abroad program next spring and encourage students to proceed with their applications. If study abroad for Spring 2021 is restricted, we will convey a decision by no later than November 25th.
After this date, we will only cancel SiPN Spring 2021 edition if local conditions change so dramatically in Portugal that we and/or our Portuguese partner universities cannot welcome students.
We will update this page and notify enrolled students of any changes we need to make as we continue adjusting to the changing conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will do all we can to hold a spring semester that looks like ‘normal’ as possible. Please bookmark this page to check back here anytime or contact us with any questions.
When should I buy my airfare?
Do not purchase airfare until you have been notified by SiPN Office that you were formally accepted by the program.
When you purchase an airline ticket, we strongly suggest that you consider fully refundable airline tickets and/or robust trip cancellation insurance (“cancel for any reason” coverage) and verify that the policy will cover cancellation due to pandemic.
We also recommend you purchase your flight directly through your airline of choice because it will allow you to work directly with the airline in case of any necessary changes.
What are the payments and refunds policy under these circumstances? What are my financial obligations should the program be canceled or if I decide not to go?
Given the current situation, SiPN does not require its students to submit a program deposit ($350) between Nov 10th and Nov 20th at the end of the pre-application phase.
SiPN´s Reimbursement plan in case of withdrawal of the program
Should I talk to my doctor about traveling during COVID-19?
Yes. If you have underlying health conditions that might put you at higher risk for infection or serious complications of COVID-19, talk with your doctor to decide if travel is advisable at this time and, if it is, how to manage your health abroad. Consult your healthcare providers to ensure you can bring any medication you’ll need, and to address any health concerns. Be sure you are up to date on all routine vaccines, including the seasonal flu shot.
If you have any questions about health support or accommodations available at SIPN, please reach out to us!
What will be required of me to be successful abroad during COVID-19?
Flexibility: As in the U.S., conditions, and recommendations are constantly changing as the public health community and leaders learn more about COVID-19. Just like on your home campus, SIPN will need to respond by adjusting recommended protocols, class schedules, field study or study tour destinations, etc., sometimes with very little notice. Please prepare to be flexible. At some point in the semester, you may need to stay home for a period of time as a result of illness, exposure, or a community lockdown; SIPN is prepared to support you through any of these scenarios.
Respect: You will find Portuguese approaches to COVID-19 different from those in the U.S. Take the opportunity to learn and ask questions while remembering to approach your local community with grace and respect.
Compliance: Any measures implemented to protect you and the community from COVID-19 are only effective if they are followed by everyone. Laws and guidelines regarding social distancing and other practices may be updated at any time – and whether or not you assess them to be effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, SIPN will require all students to comply with all local guidance. This may include monitoring temperatures, hand washing, wearing masks, hand sanitizing, social distancing, and cooperation with recommended COVID-19 testing and contract tracing processes. Failure to comply with these rules and precautions is a violation of the SIPN Code of Student Responsibility – but more importantly, we ask students to comply for the benefit of the community, even when no one is watching.
What if I, or someone else at SIPN, tests positive for COVID-19?
SIPN will support students in receiving the necessary testing and medical care, which is reimbursed through SIPN insurance, as well as academic support.
Any student who has been potentially exposed to a sick individual will be supported through the necessary testing and self-quarantine protocols, including the continuation of coursework from a SiPNtance. Sick or self-quarantined individuals will be isolated away from other students, and facilities will be sanitized per local public health standards.
What kind of health insurance does SIPN have, and if what is the coverage in case of testing positive for COVID-19?
ALL SiPN students are covered by AON Travel and Health Insurance that is tailor-made for students studying abroad. It provides coverage for everything from a stolen laptop, to lost luggage, to dental, emergency, and routine medical coverage.
With this insurance, the student will also be covered for medical expenses related to COVID-19 and, in case of medical repatriation (if the student cannot receive appropriate treatment in the host country – this is determined by a medical advisor); For travel and stay expenses for your parents in case your situation becomes life-threatening.