The situation and the policies outlined here are fluid and subject to change; please refer back to this webpage on a regular basis for updates. Students will be given detailed information and instructions in their correspondence with Middlebury prior to departure and upon arrival in France.
As a reminder, students are asked to sign the Schools Abroad Health and Safety Pledge and to adhere to and respect both the Middlebury and School in France COVID policies as well as those determined by local and national authorities.
Current Situation in France
Updated April 22, 2022
- CDC Level: 3
- Department of State Advisory Level: 2
- Entry Restrictions:
- The French government reclassified the United States as a “Green - Low Risk - List Country” on March 13th.
- Fully vaccinated students coming from the U.S. need to have proof of their complete vaccination status.
- Fully vaccinated travelers coming to France from outside the EU are exempt from the testing requirement.
- Not fully vaccinated students coming from the U.S. (now a “Green List Country”) no longer have to have a compelling reason or “motif impérieux” in order to come (i.e. proof of your enrollment in a French institution of higher education) but still have to present negative results from a PCR taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure or antigen COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours prior to departure;
- In addition, both fully vaccinated and non vaccinated students will need to provide:
- proof of accommodation; and
- proof of enrollment at a French higher education institution and a long stay student visa.
- Mask mandate update : the French government lifted the mask mandate indoors on March 14th except in public transportation (bus, subway, train, etc.) : https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus .
- At this point, the program is running at all three of our sites (Bordeaux, Paris & Poitiers) this spring, and we are planning to offer them again in the fall 2022 semester.
In Bordeaux and Poitiers, the degree to which our students will have in person (hybrid and or remote) learning will depend upon the prevalence of the virus and the restrictions in place at the start of the first semester (first half of the month of September).
In Paris, we are offering both direct enrollment at our partner institutions and in-house courses. Language and elective courses are currently being held in person and the Middlebury School in France hopes to continue holding them in person provided the necessary health and safety conditions are still being met. However we have hybrid and fully remote scenarios ready to be put in place should we find ourselves obliged to switch to alternative modes of instruction/learning. Academic internships are also currently offered in Paris through our partner organization, EUSA, and are taking place in person and/or in a blend of in person and remote activity, depending on the situation and or location of the employer/placement.
The Middlebury School in Paris program center (the Madeleine Center or “Centre Madeleine”) has been reconfigured to comply with current French government health and safety protocols:
classroom space has been reduced due to social distancing measures, so course enrollment is capped;
course schedules are spaced from each other as much as possible in order to avoid excessive crossing and crowding of individuals;
and, finally, access to some of the Madeleine Center space previously made available to students for meals, independent and/small group work, studying etc. is limited and or restricted.
While it does thankfully appear that Covid-19 restrictions are easing, both in the US and in France, we continue to keep a close eye on the situation at home and abroad. The protocols we’ve outlined here are always evolving and are subject to change. More information about Covid-19 considerations will be provided closer to your departure.
- As of March 13th 2022 (and the reclassification of the U.S. as a “Green List Country”), no self-isolation period is required. Only non fully vaccinated travelers coming from “Orange/Amber List Countries” who test positive for Covid-19 upon arrival will have to self-isolate for a period of 7 days.
For information, countries are currently (as of April 22nd) listed by the French Ministry of the Interior as Green or Orange (‘Amber’), depending on the level that COVID is circulating and the status of dangerous variants in each country. Different travel requirements are associated with each group. https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Certificate-of-international-travel
Homestays (Bordeaux & Paris): We have identified host families who are willing to host students, and to keep them in the event they contract COVID-19. We have adopted COVID-19 protocols for both the host families and the students, which include detailed information on cleaning and disinfection responsibilities, social distancing, visitor policies, etc.
Housing in foyers will be an option next semester in Paris, but spaces will be limited. Foyers have established their respective COVID-19 protocols that they will make available to students once they have been admitted.
Middlebury Center Space
As indicated above, the Middlebury Center in Paris, le Centre Madeleine, has been reconfigured to allow for social distancing. Classroom space is limited and traffic flow within the center is indicated to avoid unintentional crowding.
Students will only have access to the center when they have classes. They are instructed to arrive no more than 10 minutes before class and leave as soon as class ends.
The center is cleaned and disinfected daily by a professional cleaning company and class schedules allow for regular, natural air renewal during the day.
Students may travel within continental France so long as no official restrictions are put into place by the government of France. Students are expected to respect all French regulations and respect health and social distancing rules at all times when traveling.
International travel is strongly discouraged and may be prohibited by the local government depending on the destination. There are requirements and restrictions regarding arrival in other EU countries as well as return to France. Students must inform staff if they intend to travel overnight, and students are required to fill out a detailed questionnaire to register all travel.
Program-sponsored activities (including the weekend excursion per semester) may be limited, depending on health and safety conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
With regards to tracking, all COVID-19 patients in France must provide a local doctor with the list of people with whom they have been in touch within 48 hours of the first symptoms. Local health authorities will contact every person on that list and require testing. The contact person or “cas contact” protocol is now the same for all individuals whether or not you are in a “vulnerable” or “high risk” category (ie anyone who is immunocompromised) and/or fully vaccinated.
- Contact cases do not need to self-isolate provided that they continue to take precautions, respect the “gestes barrières”, keep an eye out for symptoms that may develop and have negative autotest/antigen/PCR results on day 2 after last contact with the person who tested positive. See the website for French social security (assurance maladie) here for more details in French : https://www.ameli.fr/assure/covid-19/symptomes-gestes-barrieres-cas-con…;
If you test positive for Covid-19 today in France, a period of self-isolation of 7 days (7 days after the testing date) is required for all fully vaccinated persons. This period may be reduced to 5 days upon proof of negative results to an antigen test and if you have had no symptoms for the past 48 hours.
If a non-fully vaccinated person tests positive, he/she/they must self-isolate for a period of 10 days; this period may be reduced to 7 upon proof of negative PCR or antigen test and if the person has not had any symptoms for the past 48 hours.
In addition, the French government has developed an app called TousAntiCovid that uses Bluetooth technology to inform users if they are in close contact with a COVID-19 patient. The app does not collect personal identification information. Middlebury will require all students to download this app for use: https://tousanticovid.stonly.com/kb/fr
The government announced the suspension of the “passine vaccinal” or vaccine pass requirement as of March 14th as the Covid-19 situation is showing signs of improvement.
For more information (in French) on the vaccine pass, you can visit the French government website: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus/pass-vaccinal
Depending on the situation in France at the time, it may be necessary to make some curricular adjustments at any point in the semester, including soon after students have arrived. These changes will be communicated to students as soon as they are formed.
Courses can continue remotely if students need to return home before the end of the semester. There will be a short pause to allow students to travel and adjust to the time change, and then classes will resume remotely.
For the program in Paris with in-house courses, if a faculty member tests positive during the semester but can work remotely, then they will continue their teaching via Zoom. Their students and the program staff may be considered contact persons, in which case they do not need to self-isolate and can return to the Center provided that they:
- Monitor for symptoms
- Continue to respect the “gestes barrières”
- Take an autotest/antigen/PCR test 2 days after the last contact with the person who tested positive and have negative results.
Before the start of the semester, faculty will prepare work to be completed by students asynchronously during their absence in the event they test positive for COVID-19 and are not able to teach remotely.
For direct enrollment coursework, all of our partner institutions (Bordeaux, Paris & Poitiers) have Covid protocols in place for students, faculty and staff in order to ensure academic continuity in the case of absence due to self-isolation and/or the need to switch to hybrid (or full remote) instruction because of increasing spread of the virus either within the institution and/or at a regional or national level.
Internship arrangements can be made for Paris undergraduate students with EUSA, our academic internship partner. They may take place in person and/or in a blend of in person and remote activity, depending on the situation and/or location of the employer/placement.
Volunteer opportunities in Bordeaux, Paris & Poitiers can also be arranged, the conditions of which (in person, remote or a blend of the two) may vary depending on the placement.
€30 per day for delivered lunch and dinner (for meals not provided by the homestay families).
Approximate out of pocket costs of 45-50€ per RT-PCR test, €20-25 per antigen test, and 5€ per autotest. As long as a diagnostic test is ordered by a doctor or is obligatory in the French government’s “Testing, Tracking & Tracing” procedures, it will be covered by the GeoBlue international health insurance plan through Middlebury.
Students living in homestays, student residence halls, and foyers will be able to quarantine there.
Q What will students do if they are experiencing symptoms or otherwise believe they may have contracted COVID-19?
If a student is feeling ill or otherwise believes they have contracted COVID-19, they should get tested immediately and wear a certified mask at all times when in contact with others while waiting for the test results (usually 24 hours but it can be longer). Then:
If the results are negative, they can resume day to day activities provided that they take precautions, respect the “gestes barrières”, and keep an eye out for symptoms that may develop;
If the results are positive, a period of self-isolation of 7 days (7 days after the testing date) is required for all fully vaccinated individuals. This period may be reduced to 5 days upon proof of negative results to an antigen test and they have had no symptoms for 48 hours. For those who are not fully vaccinated, the self-isolation period is 10 days (after the testing date), reduced to 7 upon proof of negative test results (antigen or PCR) and in the absence of symptoms for the past 48 hours.
Program staff will be available for support remotely (e.g., Zoom, email) during the testing and or eventual self-isolation period.
Students who test positive should always alert people with whom they were in close contact within the past 48 hours. They should also contact the program staff to notify them and to share their contact journals so that staff may reach out to other students, faculty and/or staff who may have been exposed.
No. As is the case in the US, not all individuals are required to be vaccinated. It is possible that all members of host families, faculty, etc. will not yet have had all required doses and/or boosters.