L&LI COVID-19 Response

Fall 2021 Status

Semester programs are a GO! We are excited to be able to run the Fall 2021 semester.

Risk-Free Enrollment

Students can confidently enroll in the L&LI 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.

Ecuador COVID Policy Document

*Updated December 15, 2020
PDF DownloaD

Italy COVID Policy Document

*Updated February 1, 2021
PDF DownloaD

Fall 2021 Ecuador Semester Status

L&LI is confidently planning to offer the Fall 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. 

We 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:

  • 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

L&LI is uniquely positioned to continue operating amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Our projected enrollment for Spring 2021 is between 20-25 students. With staff members, the total program size is close to 30 people at our program events, in accordance with Ecuadorian law regarding large group gatherings.

Students are housed in 2-3 separate student apartments, splitting the cohort into smaller groups. If necessary, L&LI will limit gatherings to specific student apartments. Small class size allows for minimal exposure. The 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. Additionally, this session will articulate costs associated with the outlined policy and procedures below, as well as strongly encouraging students to purchase quarantine supplies and food.
  • Paper towel dispensers have been placed in the Education Center and also in each apartment bathroom, including antibacterial stations at each entry/exit point.
  • L&LI will provide students with a branded, close-fitting, washable mask for use in-country. Students should bring additional close-fitting, washable face mask(s). Current protocols in Ecuador require face masks in public. At a minimum, L&LI will require students to wear face masks in public, in class, at program events, and during travel.Students should wear masks whenever they are inside a building(except in their apartments or when actively eating or drinking). If Students visit other apartments, all students participating in the visit will wear masks.
  • L&LI owns contactless temperature guns, in apartments and at theEducation Center. L&LI staff, faculty, and students will take temperatures daily.
  • Additional cleaning of both the Education Center and apartments will be instituted beginning Spring 2021. Common areas and hightouch zones, like doorknobs, will be cleaned daily.
  • It is possible that symptomatic or positive students would not be able to attend trips and/or events. L&LI's program cost covers the cost of testing prior to traveling to Galapagos at the beginning and Peru at the end of the semester. In an effort to limit exposure and grant participation for all, L&LI students and staff will be expected to limit travel to and from the Education Center, to and from apartments, for10 days prior to these trips. In addition, all students will be expected to wear masks at all times in preparation for these trips.
  • 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.

Students presenting symptoms or contracting COVID-19

If a student has a fever, he/she will be expected to:

  • Return to and/or stay in the apartment (including during homestays)
  • Not attend classes, internships, or program events in-person until the fever subsides
  • The option to attend classes internships, and events virtually will be provided in these cases (via Zoom and/or other mediums)

In the event that multiple symptoms arise (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, as articulated by the CDC, WHO, and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health):

  • The student will be moved to a designated quarantine room and tested. A staff member, most likely the student's Resident Coordinator (RC). would provide care, as we always have, individually and intentionally until the student recovers. In the event that symptoms progress to the point of hospitalization, the student will be taken to the private hospital in Quito: Hospital Metropolitano for additional care. If admitted, as is the case in most hospitals, the student will not be able to be accompanied by a L&LI staff member.

If a student tests positive:

  • He/she will be expected to remain in isolation for 10 days post symptom start date. If a student tests positive, all students in the same apartment will be expected to quarantine for the allotted period of time in the apartment due to exposure. Specific quarantine rooms for students testing positive will be worked out in consultation with staff and will likely include an isolated room in the apartment or alternatives approved by L&LI staff. In the case that the student tests positive during homestays, the student will return to the apartments for the recommended period of time, as stated above.

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. 

*All medical costs and expenses incurred, including emergency room visits and testing, would be the responsibility of the student and his/her insurance. In the case that a student is required to return home early, it would be the responsibility of the student to cover the cost of flight changes and/or fees.

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 masks and regular temperature checks from all students and staff.
  2. Training and education on symptoms, social distancing, etc.
  3. Specific quarantine rooms for students testing positive will be worked out, in consultation with staff, and will likely include an isolated room in the apartment or alternatives approved by L&LI staff
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.