There is no question that 2020 has been a troubling year for world travel. As we are reaching the middle of the year, many students have been left to wonder, “What do I do now?”. The Summer travel season, often the only time some choose to, or can, travel, has been dramatically shortened by Covid-19. Major Universities have moved their Summer and even Fall classes online, completely cancelling the campus experience.
The recent news that most countries are easing restrictions and opening up borders is sure to bring a smile to your face. There is also news of spikes in coronavirus cases in some US states and some countries. This means a lot of uncertainty when it comes to an internship abroad or a study abroad program for 2020. Several major educational institutions are wary of sending students abroad and have canceled their own abroad programs for the entirety of 2020. Some are unwilling or unable to adapt due to pressure from parents, cost analysis and an aversion to risk for their entire student body, often times in the tens of thousands. This has left a lot of individual students who want to go abroad in limbo with no other plans for the rest of the year and a possible loss of the only time they can go abroad.
Should I go Abroad now?
Our position is twofold:
1) Now is not the time to back off, it is the time to keep going, even if that means in a modified way. Sure you will have to wear a mask, and sure some things may be closed or have a longer wait time. Just like home, but you won’t be home: you will be travelling and in another country and culture. And from where we stand, that is a much better position to be in…after decades in this industry and having lived abroad and travelled extensively, all of us here in the front office, we just kinda know this.
Adelante Abroad has always been about the Traveler, not the Tourist. Our programs are not like a vacation, by design. Long before covid, we expect, and train, our candidates to live differently abroad: vs. invading our cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Oaxaca, Quito, Vina del Mar, Montevideo); you will dive into the culture by interning at a locally run company, you will live like a local NOT in a dorm surrounded by foreigners, rather in an apartment building with regular families and couples as your neighbors; you, like locals, will go each day to your company / work assignment, go shopping, to the gym, make friends, learn, unchaperoned and likely uncomfortable sometimes, because that is where a true traveler finds their place.
And 2) If you have to take classes virtually because your university has opted to close, why not do it abroad? Ramp up your resume at the same time and become fluent in Spanish while you take those 4 online classes instead of sitting in your bedroom at home.
Practically speaking, due to the complete stoppage of travel for the past months, housing is widely available, internet speeds and Wifi are faster due to less traffic, flights are cheaper than they have ever been and, from an Intern Abroad, perspective, companies as they slowly open back up are sending us signals that they want our foreign interns to begin a new the cultural and professional exchange. From a Study Abroad perspective, Fall in Spain, will be less crowded at our participating University in Sevilla, and the semester has also been shortened so no Student Visas are required. Similarly, many universities here in the US have planned for a shorter Fall 2020 (e.g. once a student returns home for Thanksgiving break they don’t return until January 2021)
While many in the Study Abroad industry feel that there will exist a pent up wave of demand as students who have missed out due to covid realize that they can get abroad now, we don’t see it like that. Based on conversations and just knowing our industry really, really well, it is more likely to be the certain unafraid, intrepid and informed traveler, like all of us here at Adelante HQ, that will travel now. The rest based on fear or looking for that vacation-feel, will wait a long time to plan any travel.
How can I go abroad?
Adelante Abroad provides independent Internships and study abroad programs in six countries. As an independent company operating since 1999, we are not bound by roadblocks that major universities are unwilling or unable to accommodate. All Adelante Intern Abroad programs have rolling start dates and are on schedule, with common sense modifications and government mandated safety precautions in place, starting in August 2020. So if you want to get abroad, starting in August, or September or October, apply using our free Online Application Form. We know times are weird so all deadlines are extremely flexible (for example we are taking applications now, and ongoing, for August 1 start dates)
The Adelante Study Abroad in Sevilla, Spain, program has also extended the deadline to apply for Fall 2020, to end of July.
What countries and programs are available?
You can choose from any number of internship or work assignment sectors from medical, architecture, veterinary, psychology, winery, etc. If you need to, you can earn academic credit for your contact hours abroad in your Adelante apprenticeship.
Are there any travel restrictions to interning abroad?
- Spain – Adelante Directors (Madrid, Sevilla, Barcelona) in Spain have notified that as of July 1st 2020, Spain has the green light to welcome international students. This means that airports and flights are open and available; that there are no 14 day quarantines; that Stage 4 has been approved due to ongoing lowering of Covid cases so language schools, and all other remaining businesses besides “essential services businesses” are open; our Tier 1 housing is widely available NOW. As one of the most popular travel destinations, this is good news for anyone who wants to intern abroad in the Fall.
- Uruguay- Concretely these companies have outlined their interest in offering from July, include Europe– twice-weekly flights to Spain with Iberia and Air Europa; USA and Central America – four weekly flights to Panama, a popular route to the US. Visitors will be asked to download Uruguay’s Coronavirus App onto their phones–one per family group. Passports will be scanned and the place of origin and residence registered, to keep track of passengers who arrive from places where contamination levels are still high (such as the United States)
- Chile – Officials have extended a ban on the entry of nonresident foreign nationals in the country until at least June 30. For passengers quarantine is mandatory, they must specify upon arrival where they’re going to spend the 14 days.
- Ecuador- has opened air travel on June 1st and is expected to open all land borders on June 30th. As of now, 14-day quarantine on arrival is in place, expected to be lifted by July 1. A thermal scan will be done by personnel of the ministry of Public Health upon arrival.
- Mexico- Tourists can travel to select Mexico cities by plane. The state of Quintana Roo (Cancun) is greeting tourists in limited numbers. Los Cabos plans on reopening on June 15 with limited occupancy.There doesn’t appear to be a mandatory quarantine once you arrive in Mexico and don’t display possible coronavirus symptoms. However, you can anticipate a temperature screening and personal interview upon arrival. Traveling while symptomatic may require you to self-quarantine or return to the United States.
Even through some Latin American countries currently are figuring out airport and border openings and new requirements, you are still encouraged to apply as all indications show they are expected to ease up heading into Fall.
Do I get academic credit from my university?
Since Adelante is not an academic institution / university, we cannot generate transcripts for your internship hours. However, every candidate since 1999 who has needed to receive credit has gotten it, through their own university. Most universities will offer academic credits through your major, or as an elective or as an assigned class “Internship 401” for example. If not, check with your study abroad or career offices on campus. In a 3 month program you will conduct 240 hours in your field of study in an international internship experience.
Can I Intern Abroad while taking my virtual college / university classes?
YES. Some of you are having to take your Fall 2020 semester courses online, and we invite you to do that with us, in Spain, concurrently with your internship program. We guarantee 24/7 access to Wifi in your centrally located housing. This option, again historic and likely to never be repeated, means you receive school credit, taking classes virtually, as required, and also gain relevant, real world international work experience, to ramp up your resume – a stronger position, we think, than taking university classes from your home. A significant second end result of doing this is you return home speaking Spanish – yet another thing to add to your resume that you couldn’t possibly do if you stayed home.
When would Adelante Abroad cancel or suspend a program?
At Adelante Abroad, we aim to maintain standard operations for the remaining Summer (August), and all Fall 2020 terms that are still running. Since the start of this evolving situation, we have expressed our student-based focus and commitment to guide our decisions with a steady and measured direction through this global event. We will cancel a program if one of our program countries either closes entry to United States or has prolonged interruptions to services provided.
What if my Adelante Abroad Intern or Study Abroad program is cancelled prior to my departure from the US?
Like most companies in education abroad industry, during this time we are committed to extreme flexibility for both applications and payment deadlines as the situation unfolds. If any program is canceled prior to departure, accepted students will be given the option to either:
- Be granted a deferral by Adelante Abroad to a future program session;
- Receive credit toward another available Adelante Abroad program country
(In this case, students are subject to any and all policies and qualifications required of the new program).
So don’t wait for “what ifs” to ruin you Fall experience. Get abroad and gain valuable experience by interning or studying abroad.
Everyday COVID safety tips to follow.