Health and Safety Updates from Oxbridge

For more than 35 years, Oxbridge Academic Programs has provided comprehensive support to students and their families as they prepare for and participate in academic programs on leading college campuses and in some of the great cultural centers around the world. The health and safety of program participants is at the core of everything we do—as such, we made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 programs. If you were signed up for a program scheduled in June, July, or August 2020 and have additional questions, please contact us by email (admissions@oxbridgeprograms.com) or phone (1-212-932-3049).

Oxbridge is supported by WorldStrides, a global educational travel organization with more than 50 years of experience. Along with our WorldStrides teammates, we continue to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) with the support of our medical and risk management partners. While many things remain uncertain, we are working with our many partners to update our procedures and to plan safe and enriching programs for 2021.

Our New Normal: A Team Approach
At the beginning of the pandemic, WorldStrides assembled a cross-functional team we call our Back to Travel Task Force. Its focus is on planning for 2021, actively working to identify how to safely organize and run our programs under new circumstances.
The Back to Travel Task Force leverages decades of experience across our company to assess the safety of our host cities/campuses; stay abreast of site, border, and campus openings/closings; understand new protocols and regulations from our partners; and create additional training and detailed safety plans to manage the risk associated with COVID-19. The Back to Travel group is informed by the CDC and WHO guidelines as well as the guidance of The George Washington Department of Emergency Medicine team, who staff our Doctors on Call program. We are also closely monitoring the evolving approaches of different educational communities, as well as the travel industry, and will continue to update our plans as new information on COVID-19 comes to light.

What to Expect in 2021
While pieces of how exactly we will host programs are still evolving, when you join us in 2021, you can expect the same incredible faculty, experiential learning, and extracurricular activities for which Oxbridge is famed. You can also expect the full support of our global team. Circumstances are constantly changing, so some of the protocols detailed below may change, too. They will also likely differ slightly from program to program and city to city. Here are some adaptations we're discussing to promote participant safety:

  • Hygiene: Depending on the timing/location of your program, we will provide you with supplies that will meet and maintain the highest hygiene standards available for the duration of the program.
  • New Protocols: In consultation with our Medical Director, Dr. Neal Sikka of The George Washington University Department of Emergency Medicine, we’re closely reviewing our health and safety protocols. As always, we’ll stay on top of requirements from local and national health organizations in our host cities.
  • Training: We are developing comprehensive COVID-specific training for our staff on our new protocols, which include updated safety briefings for students, staff, and faculty; breaks for frequent sanitizing; adjustments to the dayto-day program logistics to ensure continued safety; and detailed protocols in the event of sickness.
  • Adjusted Schedules: We're in close contact with the campuses and other sites we visit and will adjust your schedule to maximize your experiences each day to account for new rules on capacity management, social distancing, masks, and more. 
  • Partners: We are reviewing the steps our partner universities and campuses are taking to ensure they maintain the highest cleaning protocols and, together with them, are establishing new guidelines to help keep participants safe.

    Our Promise to You
    As in the past, we are committed to providing the highest level of care and support for our program participants. We’ll continue be there every step of the way, on everything from packing guidance to medical concerns. We will also remain in constant communication with any affected student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) should a medical situation arise during the program.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How are you making decisions about when and where to support programs?
Our team, in coordination with the WorldStrides Health and Safety Team, has been actively monitoring the impact that COVID19 is having on the communities in which we operate programs; the CDC’s guidance for travel, events, and schools; and our partner campuses’ reopening plans. This includes continuous communication with our many partners about changes and closures that may impact our ability to deliver enriching programs. Location-specific guidance from university and health officials, paired with more general guidance related to events and travel, is helping us define guidelines we can follow to help make our future programs as safe as possible.

Will I need to wear a mask?
If masks are required, Oxbridge will provide them for our participants and staff. Participants will need to follow any campus, local, state, and/or national guidelines as well as any site-specific requirements for face coverings, including on the airplane and inside any cultural site or venue.

Will I have my temperature checked?
Potentially. Based on the timing/location of your program, it is possible that program staff will facilitate temperature checks each morning to ensure all participants are feeling well. There may also be temperature checks at the airport and at certain sites prior to entry.

What happens if a participant has COVID-19 symptoms during the program?
If a participant feels ill with symptoms of COVID-19 (which include fever, chills/aches, shortness of breath, coughing), our team will immediately facilitate movement of the participant to a location where they can safely be separated from others while simultaneously engaging a local medical facility and/or our U.S.-based medical partners to consult on the next steps, testing, and treatment. We would then, as required:

  • Establish and coordinate communication between the participant and the family
  • Facilitate transportation for the participant to a local medical facility
  • Coordinate quarantine arrangements for the participant, in consultation with local health authorities
  • Arrange for transportation for a family member to join the ill participant, if needed
  • Provide guidance to the group to reduce the risk of additional exposure and coordinate testing

Oxbridge will provide the resources necessary to facilitate the recommended treatment, including an isolated, chaperoned location for the participant to recover and arrangements to return home at the appropriate time.