L&LI COVID-19 Response

Spring 2021 Status

Ecuador semester is a GO! The country is open to visitors and we are excited to be able to run the Spring semester.

Italy semester has been cancelled due to an extension on the Italian State of Emergency.

Risk-Free Enrollment

Students can confidently enroll in the L&LI Ecuador semester knowing that they have until 14 days prior to the program start date before a financial commitment to L&LI becomes non-refundable.

Updated Procedures

New student training on how to live safely and abide by local mandates. L&LI is providing additional supplies, space, and equipment.

Full COVID Policy Document

PDF DownloaD

Spring 2021 Ecuador Semester Status

L&LI is confidently planning to offer the Spring 2021 semester in person with adjusted operating procedures in light of the pandemic. We are continuing to monitor that status in Ecuador and based on all of the trends, we anticipate the country will continue to be open and safe for students.

As of the drafting of this policy, the status of COVID-19 in the Andean region of Ecuador, where the L&LI program operates, has remained steady. The country of Ecuador has utilized various measures to combat the virus and, as the initial need for broad lockdowns has begun to subside, more targeted policies are being used in an effort to balance managing the virus while also re-opening the country. 

Will will continue to give regular updates on the status of Ecuador in the coming weeks and months to enrolled students and their home institutions.

Factors that would lead to L&LI canceling the Spring semester in Ecuador:

  • US State Department travel advisory to Ecuador at a Level-4.
  • The country of Ecuador is not open to foreign visitors.
  • Student mobility around Quito and the country/region is significantly limited due to quarantine measures by the Ecuadorian government.

*Please note that as a program we do not recommend international travel to students who are in a group that is designated as high-risk for COVID-19.

Risk- Free Enrollment

Currently, L&LI has a 30-day cancellation policy where there is no financial penalty for withdrawing 30+ days prior to the semester start date.

For the 2020/2021 school year, L&LI will adjust this to a 14-day policy. Students and institutions will have the flexibility to make a withdrawal decision with no financial penalty up until the 14th day prior to the semester start. This will allow students and institutions to make informed decisions with the most up to date information as it relates to COVID-19 and Ecuador.

*Please note, your institution may have other financial check-in deadlines. Be sure to check with the study abroad office at your university.

Updated Procedures

Updated in-person policies for Quito, Ecuador

Living and Learning semester program in Quito, Ecuador is uniquely positioned to continue operating amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Our projected enrollment for Spring 2021 is between 10-20 students. With 7 staff members, the total program size is below 30 people at our all-program events, in accordance with Ecuadorian law regarding large group gatherings. Students are housed in 2-3 separate student apartments with less than 10 per apartment. This allows for gatherings such as chapel, trips, and events to remain under 30, and if necessary, limit gatherings to specific student apartments which would remain under 10. Small class size allows for minimal exposure. The 1:2 staff to student ratio ensures that students are very well cared for. 

Additionally, L&LI will be making the following adjustments to our normal operating procedures:

  • During Orientation, students will have a specific session in regards to steps to prevent infection and spread. This session will specifically cover hand washing before and after each entry and exit of a new location, education on symptoms to be looking for, social distancing, etc.
  • Paper towel dispensers have been placed in the Education Center and also in each apartment bathroom, including antibacterial stations at each entry/exit point.
  • Students will bring a washable face mask for use in-country, particularly on public transportation. 
  • Travel in-country and to Peru (e.g. buses, flights, trains, etc) will require students to wear face masks. 
  • Current protocols in Ecuador require face masks in public. Depending on requirements from the Ecuadorian government, at a minimum, L&LI will recommend students wear face masks in public, in class, and at program events. 
  • One bedroom in each apartment to be a designated quarantine room in the case of symptomatic students. 
  • L&LI owns two contactless temperature guns, one for student activities and gatherings, and another for entry to the Education Center. L&LI staff will take temperatures and if students have a fever, they will be expected to return to the apt/quarantine room.
  • Additional cleaning of both the Education Center and apartments will be instituted beginning Fall 2020. Common areas and high touch zones, like doorknobs, will be cleaned regularly. 

Students presenting symptoms or contracting COVID-19

  • Students presenting symptoms will be asked to stay home and not attend events, including classes and internships. If a student tests positive, he/she will be expected to quarantine.
  • In the event that multiple symptoms arise, specifically shortness of breath (procedures specified by the WHO/CDC/Health Departments of both the US and Ecuador), the student will be taken by a staff member to the clinic/hospital to be tested. A staff member (most likely the students’ Resident Coordinator) would provide care, as we always have, individually and intentionally until the student recovers. 
  • All medical costs and expenses incurred, including emergency room visits and COVID testing, would be the responsibility of the student and his/her insurance. 
  • It is possible that symptomatic or positive students would not be able to attend program trips, events, and excursions; students will be expected to remain in quarantine until symptoms subside.

In the event of a second spike

  • If a second spike occurs, we would make decisions (ie: Spring 2020) to ensure student safety. 
  • In the case of a smaller outbreak or hotspots around Ecuador, L&LI will quarantine our students in apartments, following the policies and procedures laid out by governing authorities for a specific period of time. 
  • L&LI also asks for additional flight information for students during the orientation and onboarding process. We strongly encourage students to purchase round-trip airfare and trip insurance.
  • L&LI has proven to be an adaptive program in crisis and specifically in regards to distance learning and will do so, if necessary, again. 

FAQ About COVID-19

These Q&A will help you get all of your details in order and plans in place.

Will we be able to travel outside of the city of Quito? To the Amazon, Galapagos, and Machu Picchu?

Inter-provincial travel is open in Ecuador is open. This means the program excursions to the Ecuadorian Amazon and Galapagos Islands is a GO!

Currently (Oct 2020), the country of Peru (and Machu Picchu) remains closed but current news sources expect the country to reopen in November 2020. Check back here for updates.

What extra steps do I need to take when traveling to Ecuador? 

Take a COVID-19 test within 10 days of travel to Ecuador to be show upon arrival; wear a face mask and wash hands regularly while in transit.

What is life like in the city of Quito right now?

Things in Quito are settling in to a New Normal. This includes wearing masks in public, a city-wide curfew of 11pm, and certain group activities and team sports remain limited. Business are open with adjusted operating procedures such as socially distant tables, temperature checks, and disinfectant mats upon entry.

What extra precautions is Living and Learning taking for student safety?
  1. Requiring regular temperature readings from all students and staff.
  2. Training and education on symptoms, social distancing, etc.
  3. Providing an extra room in each apartment for quarantine needs
Will I be able to go to my internship?

Yes! Internship sites are open and local transportation is moving. Some sites are allowing in-person interns, while others are granting access for remote interns.

Will I be able to participate in the homestay?

Yes! Most of our Ecuadorian families are welcoming students with (metaphorical) open arms. L&LI desires to keep and continue investing in this part of the program. Still, students should be ready to adapt to a potentially different homestay experience than past semesters.