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ABOUT EL CASAL’S RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS

El Casal’s Fall 2020 Gap Year in Barcelona
About El Casal’s Fall 2020 Gap Year program in Barcelona

Monitoring sources of information on COVID-19

Here in Barcelona we have closely monitored the pandemic situation from the outset and we consult the CDC, WHO, International SOS, The US Embassy and Consulate in Madrid and Barcelona and the Spanish Ministry of Health. We are also working with our local partners and our host families in order to assure a worry-free time in Spain.

The situation in Spain and preventive measures

The novel coronavirus has taken a huge toll on Spain, as you may know. But thanks to the strictly enforced social distancing measures and the heroic efforts of health care workers, there has been a dramatic decline in new cases, in the reproductive number and in fatalities. Once the rate of infections began to level off, the country instituted an orderly, phased-in re-opening of the economy.

Testing for COVID-19 is widespread and easily available. The Spanish health system is on track to have 70% of the population vaccinated by the end of August 2021.

El Casal’s Fall 2021 session

We fully anticipate going forward with our 90-day Fall session session which will begin in mid-September and end in mid-December.  You may reach out to us via email for application and calendar details.

El Casal students may travel to Spain subject to certain conditions.  Please read the following information carefully

El Casal students can travel to Spain for a 90-day period without a student visa. As students, you are not subject to the travel restrictions currently in place for tourists.  Here is what you WILL need to enter Spain (in addition to a valid passport, of course):

  • The result of a negative RT-PCR test (also referred to as COVID-19 RT-PCR) performed within 72 hours of your departure. This is NOT the antibody test nor the quick antigen test. You should check with your doctor or with local health authorities now in order to plan for the timely administration of the PCR test. The PCR test result document should be the original, not a photocopy. An electronic copy downloaded to your phone will not suffice, so bring the original paper copy. The result must show:
  1. Your first and last name
  2. Your passport number
  3. The date of the test or the date of the result
  • A letter from El Casal stating that you are enrolled in our program. I’ll forward this to you at a later date.
  • A document known as the Formulario de Control Sanitario, or Spain Travel Health Form. This form has a QR code and will be used for contact tracing. You’ll submit it to Spanish authorities after debarking the plane at the airport, along with the results of your negative PCR test. The following link explains the Spain Travel Health Form in a video.

Tuition payment deadline and refunds

The details of our payment, refund and cancellation policies and procedures normally accompany the Enrollment Agreement –following acceptance– and both documents are sent to everyone who has applied and been admitted to the program. If you’d like to know more about those policies now, just send us an email.

Travel, student support, emergencies and the El Casal program

El Casal has developed an Emergency Action Plan to respond to epidemics and health emergencies, natural disasters and other situations which might affect the safety and health of our participants. The plan is available in the El Casal Manual which all admitted students and their families receive. You may also request a copy at any time via email.

Travel, including international travel, involves a certain amount of risk. If you’ve done any research, you know that many gap year programs involve a lot travel. Some programs visit more than one country and they may travel around to other cities or villages within those countries. Though there is some limited overnight travel, El Casal has never been primarily a travel program, meaning that El Casal students are based in Barcelona –in the heart of the city– for the duration of the session. All participants as well as the program directors live in Barcelona. There is quick and convenient access to hospitals and dispensaries by means of the city’s modern public transportation services.

Host families and on-site Directors

All participants live with experienced host families throughout their stay. We maintain regular contact with the families in order to help with our students’ adaptation and to ensure their safety and well-being. El Casal is a small and agile program with face-to-face contact with the Co-Directors on an almost daily basis and easy access to them 24/7.

If you’d like to know more:

Or phone us:

+34 647 873 390

Or phone us:

+34 647 873 390

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