ABOUT EL CASAL’S RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS
Monitoring sources of information on COVID-19
The health and safety of our participants has always been our highest priority, particularly now as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. Here in Barcelona we are closely monitoring the situation and consulting 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 evolving situation in Spain and preventive measures
The novel coronavirus has taken a huge toll on Spain, as you may know. But thanks to strictly enforced social distancing measures and the heroic efforts of health care workers, there has been a steady decline in the number of infected persons, in the reproductive number and in fatalities. We’re not out of the woods yet, but it is reasonable to assume that life will have gotten back to normal here by August, if not a bit sooner.
El Casal’s plans for Fall 2020: a revised calendar
Based on our assessment of the coronavirus situation, then, El Casal is confident that it can offer its Fall 2020 session. In order to allow for some wiggle room, we plan to start in the second week in October, rather than the second or third week in September, as we usually do. We would extend the program a little bit on the other end until about December 21st. This would mean a session lasting 71 days, instead of our usual 90-day session.
Tuition adjustments and payment deadline
The El Casal tuition would be reduced to reflect the shortened program calendar. We will also extend the payment deadline from July 15th until August 15th. The details of our payment, refund and cancellation policies and procedures normally accompany the Enrollment Agreement 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 and the El Casal program
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 visit more than one country and they may travel around to other cities or villages within those countries. El Casal is not a travel program, meaning that El Casal students are based in Barcelona—in the heart of the city– for the duration of the session. Everybody lives within proximity to one another and to us, the program leaders. Should it be necessary, 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
Each participant lives with an experienced and supportive host family here in Barcelona throughout his or her stay. We maintain regular contact with the families in order to help with your adaptation and to ensure your safety and well-being. El Casal is a small and agile program which facilitates face-to-face contact with us, the Co-Directors, on an almost daily basis and easy access to them 24/7, as needed.
Questions, concerns and information
Despite the worries and uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus situation, we here at El Casal look forward to providing an enriching and enjoyable gap year experience in beautiful, dynamic Barcelona and we believe that the time is right for such an experience.
If you’d like to know more:
Or phone us:
+34 647 873 390