Messages to Students Abroad - COVID-19



Safety Abroad FAQs   Western's COVID-19 Website



These important messages below have been shared with Western students who are currently abroad.
If you have not received our messages and need assistance, please contact
travelregistry@uwo.ca or call +1-519-661-2111 ext. 89309.

Financial Reimbursement Information

A financial reimbursement process is available for students who were participating in university-sanctioned international learning experiences in Winter term 2020 or full-year 2019-2020 and may have incurred additional travel costs or other expenses associated with an early departure. Some restrictions apply.

See our COVID-19 FAQ page, Financial Information Section for details and to download an expense claim form. 

 

March 25
Western International expense reimbursement process now available

Dear Students

As a follow up to earlier messages regarding financial support for Western students returning early from university-sanctioned international experiences as a result of COVID-19, please note the following update regarding financial reimbursement.

Financial Reimbursement Information

A financial reimbursement process is now available for students who were participating in university-sanctioned international learning experiences and may have incurred additional travel costs or other expenses associated with an early departure. Some restrictions apply.

Expense claims will be processed for travel between February 1 and March 31, 2020 and must be submitted no later than April 30, 2020.

The claim form and any receipts or documentation should be submitted by email to travelregistry@uwo.ca

Download Expense Form


Western cares about the safety, security and emotional wellbeing of our students. Please reach out to our International Learning team if you have questions or require support.

Visit international.uwo.ca/learning/remote or call +1-519-661-2111 ext. 89309.

Sincerely,
The Western International Team

 

March 18
Important Update to Students Abroad:
Government of Canada urges Canadian citizens to return home while they still can

Dear Students,

You are receiving this message because you are registered as being abroad through Western's Atlas portal, or you have entered information into Western's Travel Registry that indicates you may currently be abroad.

An updated travel advisory was released by the Government of Canada on March 15, 2020 recommending that travellers avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Western is strongly recommending that all students who are currently abroad make arrangements to return home as soon as possible.

As the Government of Canada has indicated within the updated travel advisory, new restrictions upon travel continue to be imposed by governments with little warning in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted as a result, and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada for much longer than expected.

Important Information

In his address to the nation on March 16, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressly instructed all Canadian citizens to return home while they still are able to do so. WestJet has indicated that it will be suspending all commercial international and transborder flights beginning Sunday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m., and it is anticipated that other commercial airlines may follow suit.

Western International is asking that all students currently abroad provide Western International with an update regarding their status and plans to return home by no later than Monday, March 23, 2020. Such information should be sent to travelregistry@uwo.ca

Students opting to remain abroad do so voluntarily, and may face increasing limitations on their mobility in the days to come.

Western International will be working with international students affected by border closures, including the March 18, 2020 closure of the Canadian border to individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, on a case by case basis.

Financial help for Canadians affected by COVID-19 outside Canada

Canada has announced the creation of the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad to help Canadians return home. For more information on this program, visit COVID-19: Financial help for Canadians outside Canada.

 

Western has also put some financial reimbursement procedures in place. See our COVID-19 FAQ page for details.

How to self-isolate:

Reminder: You will have to self-isolate for 14 days when you return to Canada. Download this important fact sheet and follow instructions carefully:

 

How to Self-Isolate

 

Contact Your Parents/Family

We strongly suggest you stay in touch with your parents/family regularly and advise them of any updates to your situation. We know many loved ones are worried about you.

Western cares about the safety, security and emotional wellbeing of our students abroad. Student Health & Wellness is providing a number of remote supports for students.

You can also contact us at travelregistry@uwo.ca or +1-519-661-2111 ext. 89309 if you need assistance of any kind.

Sincerely,

The Western International Team


 

March 15
Important Update to Students Abroad - COVID-19:
Information for Travellers Returning to Canada

Dear students,

You are receiving this message because you are registered as being abroad through Western's Atlas portal, or you have entered information into Western's Travel Registry that indicates you may currently be abroad.

As a follow up message to the recommendation we sent you on March 14, we are sharing some important information on returning to Canada below:

Instructions for Travellers Returning to Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada is asking travellers returning to Canada from abroad to:

  • Voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days after your return from travel outside of Canada.
  • Monitor your health for fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
  • Wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.

If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days:

  • Continue to isolate yourself from others
  • Immediately call a health care professional or public health authority; and
    1. Describe your symptoms and travel history
    2. Follow their instructions carefully

In addition, if you return from Italy, Iran, or Hubei province (China) you will be asked to contact the public health authority in the province or territory where you live or are staying within 24 hours of arriving in Canada and to provide your contact information.

How to self-isolate:

Download this important fact sheet and follow instructions carefully once you return home:

 

How to Self-Isolate

 

Contact Your Parents/Family

Regardless of whether you are staying in your current location, or returning to Canada, we strongly suggest you stay in touch with your parents/family regularly and advise them of any updates to your situation. We know many loved ones are worried about you!

Financial Reimbursement

This is a challenging time and many of you have questions, including some about financial matters. Western is working on financial reimbursement procedures for students who incur incremental costs as a result of early departure.

  • Please check first with your Airline, Travel Agent, Travel Insurance provider or Credit Card to see if changes can be made without incurring additional fees.
  • If not, book another ticket or cancel your flight and book with another airline if needed.
  • Some support for accommodation fees that are unable to be waived will also be available.
  • Retain all documentation for travel and accommodation expenses. Western is developing a travel expense claim process that will be available to you in the coming days.  

Detailed information is available on our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you want to leave now but are unable to make arrangements because of financial barriers, please let us know ASAP via email to travelregistry@uwo.ca or by calling +1-519-661-2111 ext. 89309

Academic Accommodations

Many partner universities are delivering the remainder of the term and examinations online. We are also working with Faculties to make every effort to arrange academic accommodations and alternatives for students where possible. Please contact your department or academic counsellor when you return.

Your safety continues to be our top priority. Our team is here to provide whatever support possible, and International Learning Coordinators can be available for zoom or skype calls for both those who remain abroad, and those returning home.

Take care,
The Western International Team


March 14
Important Update to Students Abroad - COVID-19:
Western recommends you return to Canada

Dear students,

You are receiving this message because you are registered as being abroad through Western's Atlas portal, or you have entered information into Western's Travel Registry that indicates you may currently be abroad.

Due to the global travel advisory issued by the Government of Canada on March 13, Western is now recommending students abroad return to Canada and encourages students to make arrangements to return as soon as possible.

However, please be advised, individuals returning to Canada may be required to self-isolate for 14 days or follow other prevention measures.

Global Affairs Canada has provided the following advice for travellers currently outside of the country:

  • Find out what commercial options are still available to return to Canada. Consider returning to Canada earlier than planned if these options are becoming more limited.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient finances and necessities, including medication, in case your travels are disrupted.

For those who plan to leave, please take the following steps:

  • Call your airline to reschedule flights or book new travel arrangements. Several airlines are waiving cancellation or change fees in light of the COVID-19 situation.
  • Check your travel insurance to see if any coverage can be applied to expenses.
  • Cancel your accommodation and communicate with your provider to understand any penalties or final steps that need to be taken.
  • Inform your host institution or organization.
  • Inform your parents/family and arrange for any transportation once you return home.
  • Follow any preventative measures in place for travellers in your current location.

For those who are unable to leave their current location or choose to stay:

  • Closely monitor updates from your host institution or organization and follow recommended precautions.
  • Familiarize yourself with government sources of information in the country where you are located and with Government of Canada public health information.
  • Register with Canadians Abroad, a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you in case of an emergency. Others holding international passports should check with consular services in their home country for similar registries.
  • Review your medical insurance policy for information related to COVID-19. Restrictions or exclusions may be in place that you will need to be aware of.
  • Download the International SOS Assistance App, and login with Western’s membership number (27AYCA539479) to receive updates about your location and access important health, travel and security information.
  • Contact International SOS at any time for assistance, whether emergency or not.
    Phone: 1-215-942-8478 (collect calls accepted)
    Email: philadelphia@internationalsos.com

If you are not currently registered in Western’s Travel Registry*, please complete this process soon as possible.

* Travel Registry Access

Western International will provide assistance if needed. Please contact travelregistry@uwo.ca or 519-661-2111, ext. 89309.

Your safety is our top priority. Western will work with our partner institutions/organizations, Faculties and the Office of the Register to help you navigate any academic concerns.

Please take care of yourself and let us know if there is anything we can do to support you at this time.

Sincerely,
The Western International Team