News for International Educators Across Canada
June 2020
The light at the end of the tunnel;  
Join us for our school re-opening webinar series

It's been a tough few months in the international education sector, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Provinces are gradually easing restrictions and schools are making plans to restart either in the summer or in the fall. 

Over the long term, the prognosis for international education is bright. At a webinar session hosted by ICEF last week, 88 percent of international agents who participated in a poll believed that Canada will be more attractive to potential students once the pandemic ends. 

To ensure that the recovery runs smoothly, international educators must offer the highest standard of health and safety protocols. That's why we're concerned about the approach some programs are taking to the 14-day quarantine for students arriving (or returning to Canada). Read on for out take on this issue. 

You can prepare for re-opening by joining our webinar series. Risk management expert Dave Bird will be presenting on three topics: 
  • Risk Management in Quarantine Planning
  • Protect Your Organization with Solid Agreements
  • Emergency Planning under COVID-19

Please see below for more information and to register. 

Stay safe!

You're invited: Webinar Series
on Re-Opening under COVID

With students expected to return to Canada in the coming months, it's essential that international education programs take steps to protect the safety of everyone involved and to minimize liability risk. Therefore, we are offering three webinars to help organizations prepare. Join us for one, two or all three of these vital sessions.  

Risk Management in Quarantine Planning
Tuesday, June 23 at 1 pm Eastern (10 am Pacific)

All students returning, or arriving for the first time, will need to undergo precautionary quarantine. It's essential that you dictate the terms of this quarantine, rather than relying upon student due diligence. In this webinar, we will cover how to:
  • Safely transport a student from the airport to your facility
  • Establish a safe, secure, and diligently monitored quarantine
  • Protect host families, school staff and faculty
  • Respond to a positive Covid-19 quarantine test

A properly managed quarantine will be essential to ensuring the safety of everyone in your program. Be sure to attend this webinar to get started on the right foot.
Cost is just $49 plus tax. 

There are two additional webinars in the series. Click on the links to learn more and to register. 

Friday, July 17 at 1 pm Eastern (10 am Pacific)

Tuesday, August 18 at 1 pm Eastern (10 am Pacific)

These webinars will be critical to ensuring that you protect your organization, students and staff when you re-open. Be sure to attend! 
Quarantine protocols raise
concerns about protecting people
As international education programs make plans to re-open, effective quarantines will be essential to ensure that arriving (or returning) students do not spread COVID-19. Many organizations are taking a "hands off" approach to quarantine, allowing students to make their own quarantine plans. 

This is a mistake. 

Potentially, a huge mistake for the safety of students, faculty, homestay hosts and others involved directly in international education. If there is an outbreak, schools would have to close entirely due to the health risk - and the financial and reputation damage would be enormous. 

It all starts with the Canadian department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. It requires a 14-day quarantine, but leaves it up to each individual to develop their own quarantine plan. It simply indicates that those who are quarantined must have access to food and medications. 

Compare that to South Korea, which mandates self-quarantine and monitors each person's location through a phone app. Individuals must complete a self-diagnosis twice a day and submit it via the app. 

Diego Sanchez of Languages Canada told an ICEF webinar last week that the organization has developed a self-quarantine template for its member schools to provide to their incoming students. While this may meet the IRCC requirements, is it sufficient?

In international education, programs are dealing with students who are mostly in their late teens or early 20s. Simply asking a young student to self-isolate at a hotel or other facility is not realistic. It will result in many socializing with other students or going out to in public to shop or look around. We can't expect every student to respect the rules - especially given the lengthy 14-day isolation. 

Some homestay programs are asking hosts to supervise the 14-day self-isolation period when students arrive. For example, Canada Homestay Network has set up a complete protocol that both students and hosts should follow. While this requires hosts take on extra responsibilities, it does ensure that the quarantine is carefully monitored. This works!

Programs need to step up and ensure that every student's quarantine is safe for both them and for other students, faculty and staff members at your program. This will require strict protocols and supervision. It's the least we can ask to protect everyone involved in international education - and the general public.