March 24, 2020
After delaying as long as we could in making a decision about the upcoming summer sessions in Spain, we regret to inform you that we are cancelling both summer terms for 2020. The coronavirus crisis has grown steadily in Spain, and, as is true in the U.S., it is very difficult to predict when it will end. It is now apparent that it may take months to return to “normal.”
We know this announcement will likely upset students’ plans for the future, as we regard the opportunity of living and learning in Seville to be a life-shaping experience. But we do hope that you will be able to join us at some time in a future summer or semester term. At this point, we expect the fall term to take place as scheduled, and you might like to know that the Semana Santa celebrations, for which Seville is famous, as well as the Feria Festival that was cancelled in May, will both be celebrated in September.
We continue to trust God’s faithfulness to all of us in times of trial like this. As our president, Kurt Dykstra, has quoted many times during the recent turmoil, “Let us be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.“ My prayer is for God’s blessings on you and on the institutions you represent.
March 12, 2020
The whole world has been rocked by the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus disease. As recent events continue to transpire, Semester in Spain has acted in order to sustain the highest level of safety possible for our students. Below, you will find a detailed response to this situation:
- Classes will be suspended at the school in Seville, and all students will be directed to seek out a return flight home as soon as possible, in most cases by re-scheduling the return tickets that they obtained when they planned their study abroad experience in Spain. Staff members will give students all reasonable assistance in making arrangements to return home.
- Students will be asked to communicate with their home campuses about home campus policies regarding return from abroad to determine whether the home campus can or will accommodate the student in on-campus housing or whether the student should go home.
- Once students are home, SIS faculty members will continue to offer the classes on-line, either recorded or live depending on the nature of the course. This process will follow a regular schedule over the remaining weeks of the semester. Thus, students will be able to earn all the credits for courses in which they are currently enrolled.
We work hard to make the SIS experience a meaningful, even life-changing educational experience for students. As this health threat affects the entire world, I can assure you that the staff and faculty in Spain are especially alert to the added challenge for students who are far away from home while also feeling threatened. Our first concern is the health and safety of our (and your) students. Sometimes that means we must take decisive action in the face of overwhelming circumstances. We pray for the safety and well being of our students.