ACM Accreditation Process Update
The New England Commission of Higher Education has determined that the American College of the Mediterranean is eligible to proceed with an application for candidacy for accreditation within two years. A determination of eligibility is not candidacy or accreditation, nor does it indicate a likelihood of eventual accreditation. Questions about eligibility and the accreditation process should be directed to the President of the Commission.
The American College of the Mediterranean will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit April 18-21, 2021 for candidacy, by a team representing the New England Commission of Higher Education (formerly the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, NEASC).
The New England Commission of Higher Education is one of seven accrediting commissions in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis.
Accreditation is voluntary and applies to the institution as a whole. The Commission, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, accredits approximately 220 institutions in the six-state New England region as well as several American-style institutions overseas.
For the past year and a half, the American College of the Mediterranean has been engaged in a process of self-study, addressing the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation. An evaluation team will visit the institution to gather evidence that the self-study is thorough and accurate. The team will recommend to the Commission a continuing status for the institution. Following a review process, the Commission itself will take the final action.
The public is invited to submit comments regarding the institution to: Public Comment on the American College of the Mediterranean, New England Commission of Higher Education 3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100 Burlington, MA 01803-4514 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Public Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution.
The Commission cannot settle disputes between individuals and institutions, whether those involve faculty, students, administrators, or members of other groups. Comments will not be treated as confidential and must include the name, address, and telephone number of the person providing the comments. Public Comments must be received by April 21, 2021. The Commission cannot guarantee that comments received after that date will be considered.
February 8, 2021: Webinar with IAU-ACM Dean Aboubakr Jamai with CAREP Paris
January 31, 2021: INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS EXEMPT FROM NEW FRENCH BORDER CLOSURE REGULATIONS
Today, January 31, the French Government issued instructions about permitted travel during the border closure and students with a French long-stay visa (VLS) or international students coming for less than 90 days are still recognized as one of the exempted categories permitted to enter France, so long as an updated attestation form confirming their compelling reason to travel is completed and shown upon boarding, along with all other necessary travel documents. This announcement confirms that international students will be able to enter France as previously planned given that the travel exemption for students to enter France remains unchanged on the US and French government sites.
The full update is available on the US Embassy of France website here, and the relevant text is below:
January 31, 2021
On January 29, the French government announced the closure of its borders to all travel to non-European countries, except when compelling circumstances exist. The Government of France has now issued instructions about permitted travel during the border closure. The rules and required forms are available at https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Attestation-de-deplacement-et-de-voyage#from3, currently only available in French. The application and enforcement of these rules rest with the French government. The United Embassy plays no role in deciding who is exempt from the border closure.
For travel to France, different rules apply depending in whether the travel originates from within the “European area”, from the United Kingdom, or from all other countries, including the United States. For travel from the United States or any other country outside of the European area and the UK, as well as travelers present within the last 30 days in any country outside the European area or the United Kingdom, all travelers must fit into one of the following categories and fill out an attestation form available from the Ministry of Interior website affirming this. For U.S. citizens and all other non-European area and non-UK nationals, these categories are:
13. Students with a French long=stay visa (VLS), short stay visa (VCS) for studies or internships (but not VCS Concours), or students coming for less than 90 days who do not require a VCS, or students who are minor who can show proof of a place to stay in France;
All IAU-ACM students traveling to Aix from outside the European Union received this update via email and Microsoft Teams today, along with updated travel documentation needed to enter France.
JANUARY 19, 2021: IAU-ACM's Dean Aboubakr Jamai Quoted in Le Monde Article
Link to the full article below and an excerpt with Professor Jamai's quote here: "L'absence de perspectives apportées par l'éducation-la qualité de l'enseignement dans le public est médiocre, de la maternelle à l'université, et les jeunes diplômés sonl confrontés à un très fort taux de chômage - et le sentiment d'être les oubliés de la carte postale marocaine nourrissent la grogne sociale. Celle-ci s'entend dans les stades de footba11, seul véritable espace d'expression politique. "Le "printemps arabe" a été dédenché par des jeunes urbains sans emploi. Or cette catégorie a augmenté au Maroc depuis 2011. Cela explique le déploiement sécuritaire important dans les villes. Car la vraie menace subversive pour le régime, ce sont les soulèvements urbains 11," explique Aboubakr Jamaï, professeur à l'Institut américain universitaire d'Aix-en-Provence et ancien directeur du Journal hebdomadaire, titre réputé pour son indépendance et mis en liquidation judiciaire en 2010."
A full, printable version of the article may be found at this link.
JANUARY 15, 2021: UPDATE TO ACM STUDENTS
Dear ACM Students,
We are reaching out today with updated information regarding the new French travel regulations announced on January 14, 2021. Based on our interpretation of this new rule, IAU/ACM will be able to maintain our scheduled classes for the Early Start Program and regular term Spring 2021 students. You do not have to reschedule your travel and should plan to arrive as scheduled in Aix-en-Provence.
As you know, all students arriving from the U.S. must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test before boarding their flight. In response to the new self-isolation requirement, we will implement additional testing for arriving students during the first seven days in-country. All students will take a rapid COVID test 24 hours after arrival, and again three days after arrival. Seven days after arrival, they will take a PCR test. This will be at no additional cost to the student.
This additional testing during the first seven days in France, along with our already stringent sanitary barriers, will allow IAU/ACM to maintain in-person classes during the Early Start program and the first week of the regular term. Some extracurricular activities may be modified to increase sanitary precautions. We will inform you of these as information is available.
When not actively participating in IAU/ACM activities, students should follow all current restrictions, keeping outside contact to a minimum during their first week in France. If in a host family, students will be able to receive all meals (including lunch) from them during the first week. Students in independent living can shop for essential items at the local markets and grocery stores. Students can engage in individual exercise outdoors for short periods. Students should avoid informal social gatherings during the first week in France.
The newly-announced travel regulations only apply to IAU/ACM students arriving from outside the European Union after Monday, January 18, 2021. For those students already in France or arriving back into Aix from within the EU, you should still plan to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test from maximum five days before your first scheduled activity with IAU/ACM. More information about Early Start and orientation schedules will be forthcoming.
As restrictions and guidelines change, we will keep you apprised of any and all updates and if/how they may affect you. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to email@example.com.
We look forward to welcoming you soon to begin the semester with us,
Philip Breeden, Vice President of Administration
Leigh Smith, Dean of Students
JANUARY 14, 2021: FRENCH PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES NEW RESTRICTIONS
Prime Minister Castex shared an update on COVID-19 restrictions throughout France at a press conference on January 14. ACM students received the following email outlining these updates:
Dear ACM students,
We hope this email finds you well. We are reaching out with new announcements concerning the COVID-19 restrictions in France released by the French Prime Minister today. The updates are as follows:
- There is currently no new lockdown announced.
- Schools remain open, indoor sports are prohibited.
- The curfew of 18:00 (6:00pm) is extended to the entire country beginning Saturday, January 16th, for at least 15 days.
- Beginning Monday, January 18th, anyone arriving in France from a non-EU country must furnish a negative COVID-19 PCR test and commit to self-isolation for seven days.
The last bullet point contains a new travel restriction that all those arriving from non-EU countries must self-isolate for seven days upon arrival to France and then test negative for COVID-19 again. We are currently working with our staff, faculty, and host families to see how this new seven-day self-isolation period will affect our students arriving both on February 1st and February 8th (and those already in-country). We will send you more information about this as soon as we have it. Rest assured that you will still be able to travel to France on your scheduled day and participate in activities, even if virtually, for the first week of your stay in Aix-en-Provence.
Throughout this period, masks and social distancing remain mandatory along with other sanitary barriers. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
All my best,
Assistant Director of Admissions & Alumni Affairs
DECEMBER 11, 2020: ACM UPDATE ON COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS IN FRANCE, CONFINEMENT ENDS
Prime Minister Castex shared the following updates at the press conference yesterday concerning updated COVID-19 protocols as of December 15:
- Confinement ends December 15. You no longer need an attestation when you leave your home.
- Beginning on the evening of December 15, there is a new curfew running from 20:00-06:00. There is an exception for the evening of December 24 but no exception for New Year's Eve. You will need an attestation if you are out during the curfew period, showing you fall into one of the exception categories.
- The reopening of cultural sites is postponed to mid-January. This includes cinemas, museums, theaters, etc.
- Travel between regions in France is possible as of December 15. The authorities recommend no more than 6 adults at a time for family holiday gatherings.
DECEMBER 1, 2020: ACM UPDATE ON FRANCE'S SCHEDULE FOR LIFTING COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
President Macron announced last week France’s schedule for progressively lifting the COVID-19 measures in place. COVID-19 infections in France are decreasing, and if this trend continues, the spring 2021 semester will begin with very few restrictions in place. Below is a summary of the measures that most concern activities at IAU/ACM:
As of November 28:
- Stores can reopen with reinforced sanitary measures. All stores must close by 21:00.
- You will still need an authorization (attestation) when you go out.
Outside extracurricular activities are authorized. (IAU/ACM is examining if this change allows us to reschedule certain field-studies.)
Religious services are authorized with size limits.
Exercise is now authorized in a 20 kms radius of home for up to three hours.
Travel outside the region is still restricted.
If COVID-19 infections continue to fall, the next steps would be:
As of December 15
Confinement ends. You no longer need an attestation to go out.
- Travel between regions authorized.
- Indoor extracurricular activities are authorized.
- Cinemas, museums, and theatres reopen.
- Curfew from 21:00-7:00 (except on December 24 and December 31).
When number of new cases falls below 5,000 a day, the next steps would be:
As of January 20
- Restaurants can reopen.
- Gyms can reopen.
- Lycées can return to fully face to face teaching, followed by universities on February 3.
Throughout this period, masks and social distancing remain mandatory along with other sanitary barriers.
President Macron estimates that vaccines will be available in France by the end of the year, with priority going to frontline workers and vulnerable populations with increased availability in the spring. At the moment, he did not indicate that COVID-19 vaccines would be mandatory.
We are relieved that the COVID-19 situation continues to improve in France, and the distribution of the vaccine brings even more optimism as we all plan for an impactful, engaging spring 2021 semester in Aix-en-Provence.
NOVEMBER 3, 2020: ACM PUBLISHES SPRING 2021 COVID-19 PREPAREDNESS PLAN
IAU-ACM’s goal is to provide a safe learning environment for its students, faculty, staff, and administrators. While the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects will continue to evolve both in the U.S. and abroad, IAU-ACM is putting plans into place to best respond to the needs of its community. Through transparent protocols and measures, IAU-ACM aims to work towards a common goal of institutional preparedness that will inspire confidence for international travel amongst partner universities, students, and families. The plan assumes that international borders are open, travel restrictions have been loosened, and on-the-ground restrictions continue to ease. IAU-ACM will reevaluate and update the plan on an ongoing basis using the guidance of national and local government officials and health professionals in France.
Please find the latest version of the IAU-ACM COVID-19 Plan below:
NOVEMBER 2, 2020: ACM ADJUSTS J-TERM & SPRING 2021 CALENDARS
Due to the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic and continued lockdowns around the world, IAU-ACM has made the decision to move the J-Term Traveling Seminars to the month of May and to shorten the Spring 2021 semester in a similar manner to how the Fall 2020 semester was adjusted. We hope that by pushing the start date of classes back by a few weeks, we will see some improvement with the state of the pandemic and our ability to offer in-person and experiential programming to its full extent. The new Spring 2021 calendar is below:
Monday, February 1 – Early Start Program Arrival
Monday, February 8 – Arrival for All Other Students
Tuesday, February 9 – Orientation
Wednesday, February 10 – First Day of Spring Classes
Monday, May 3-Friday, May 8 - Last Classes/Final Exams
Housing and Financial Aid Awards have been adjusted accordingly and all students have been informed of these changes.
More details regarding the new May-term Traveling Seminars will be sent to students as details are solidified. All questions may be directed to ACM's US Office.
OCTOBER 30, 2020: ACM UPDATE ON LOCKDOWN IN FRANCE AND PROCEDURES FOR CLASSES
ACM would like to update its community regarding confinement measures in France that were announced on Wednesday, October 28th in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The confinement, which is set to last until approximately December 1, includes recommendations on remote instruction at universities, closures of bars and restaurants, and regional travel restrictions. These measures do not impact the existing guidance on entering France (where students are able to enter France with supporting documentation) or exiting France (this will not impact students’ departures).
While these measures may impact student mobility, they will not impact ACM’s commitment to supporting our students from both an academic affairs and student affairs perspective as our faculty and administration in Aix-en-Provence will continue with exceptional instruction (either in-person or remotely) and student support services to the IAU student body.
Today, all IAU-ACM students in Aix-en-Provence received the following message from Dean Leigh Smith with further details regarding how this new confinement will affect our students and campus life:
We are now in a position to give you more detail about how we plan to proceed with classes and other activities for this period of confinement. As already planned, courses will be taught remotely this coming Monday, November 2. Apart from that…
- We plan to continue to offer our in-person classes with the option available to professors to teach remotely, in-person, or do a hybrid of the two (you will hear from your professors directly about plans for their classes).
- Manning Hall and CEF will be open Monday to Thursday from 9am-5:30pm, closed on Fridays (no evening library hours). The Friday courses in CEF and Manning have been rescheduled. Those students concerned will be notified individually.
- The Marchutz Studio will be open every day of the week but do keep in mind the importance of social distancing.
- Work-study hours will be put on hold except for the social media duties and some help with online communication.
- The CEF library will be open as a study space. We will not have anyone there at library reception so checking out books will be on the honor system. A form will be available at the entrance.
- We will be hosting a weekly Zoom check-in and will be turning to you for ideas about activities we could do remotely.
- We are preparing a letter for you that you will receive on Monday. For each time you come to or leave the IAU/ACM facilities for classes you should have this letter together with your duly completed “attestation de déplacement derogatoire”. In the form, you will check off the first box for “Déplacements […] un établissement d’enseignement ou de formation”
- Wellness Coordinator Pamela King will be emailing you about her hours of availability. She will not be on site but will have fixed hours of availability and can be reached at any time to set up virtual appointments.
Again, please do not hesitate to contact any of us for questions, thoughts, concerns. Attached is a list of staff contacts you may find the most immediately useful. We are available and would like to maintain contact in order to keep things as normal and as stable as we possibly can. For now, we will all have the weekend to reflect and gather our thoughts about these upcoming weeks. We will look forward to seeing you again in person starting next Tuesday.
Bon week-end à vous tous,
SEPTEMBER 9, 2020: ACM UPDATES FALL 2020 COVID-19 PREPAREDNESS PLAN & STUDENT GUIDE
ACM is thrilled to welcome students to its campus in Aix-en-Provence, France this Fall 2020 semester. ACM’s goal is to provide a safe learning environment for its students, faculty, staff, and administrators. While the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects will continue to evolve both in the U.S. and abroad, ACM is putting plans into place to best respond to the needs of its community. Through transparent protocols and measures, ACM aims to work towards a common goal of institutional preparedness that will inspire confidence for international travel amongst students and families. The plan assumes that international borders are open, travel restrictions have been loosened, and on-the-ground restrictions continue to ease. ACM will reevaluate and update the plan on an ongoing basis using the guidance of national and local government officials and health professionals in France.
Please find the latest version of the IAU-ACM COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and Student Guide below:
AUGUST 18, 2020: ACM UPDATES FALL 2020 HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
ACM has released the latest version of its COVID-19 Preparedness Plan using the most recent advice from Campus France and local authorities. Please find the latest version here: COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
MAY 29, 2020: ACM RELEASES FALL 2020 HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
INTRODUCTION AND GOALS
The American College of the Mediterranean (ACM)’s goal is to provide a safe learning environment for its students, faculty, staff, and administrators. While the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects will continue to evolve both in the U.S and abroad, ACM is putting plans into place to best respond to the needs of its community. Through transparent protocols and measures, ACM aims to work towards a common goal of institutional preparedness that will inspire confidence for international travel amongst students and their families. The plan assumes that international borders are open, travel restrictions have been lifted, and on-the-ground restrictions continue to ease. ACM will look to national and local government officials and health professionals in France to inform its plan moving forward and as such, the plan will be updated as needed.
1. Access to Testing/Protocols for Positive Tests/Exposure
Access to testing is paramount to providing a healthy and safe learning environment. To support safe entry and re-entry into the community, ACM plans to utilize testing in the following ways:
- For students: All students will be tested upon arrival, and thereafter upon showing COVID-19-related symptoms. If a student receives a positive test, ACM will enact quarantine and contact tracing protocols recommended by local health officials. Students who test positive will be able to continue their studies remotely, assuming their health allows them to do so.
- For homestay hosts: All ACM hosts will be tested prior to student arrival, and thereafter only upon showing COVID-19-related symptoms. If a host receives a positive test at any point during the semester, the residing student will be removed from the homestay and placed in an alternative homestay, residence hall, or apartment. ACM will work with the host and enact quarantine and contact tracing protocols, as necessary.
- For faculty/staff/administrators: All ACM administrators, faculty, and staff will be tested shortly before the student arrival and thereafter only upon showing COVID-19-related symptoms. If anyone receives a positive test, they will be put into quarantine and ACM will enact contact tracing protocols recommended by local health officials.
- For outside vendors including internship agency personnel: Any outside vendors with whom ACM contracts for student services will be pre-screened. In the event any vendor tests positive, they will be removed immediately from contact with any ACM students and personnel and will follow local quarantine and contact tracing requirements.
Exposure: If, through contact tracing or other means, someone in the ACM community has been identified as having been exposed to the virus, ACM will engage in the following measures:
- Support testing of individual
- Enforce social isolation, including but not limited to: Temporary relocation of housing (hotel) and/or remote course delivery
2. Facilities Maintenance & Supporting Social Distancing
ACM will focus efforts on protocols that will help provide a safe learning environment for the entire community:
- Converting facilities to a low-density model, which includes:
- Conducting on-site orientation virtually, with small student groups entering campus on an alternating basis
- Limiting access to facilities to ACM students, faculty, staff, and administration
- Taking temperature of all students, faculty, staff, and administration prior to entry into facilities
- Desks in all classrooms will be placed six feet apart. Courses with higher enrollments will use larger classrooms. ACM will place a cap on course enrollments when needed to ensure adequate social distancing.
- Modifying course schedule to reduce course overlap/student traffic and to allow longer breaks between classes (for cleaning purposes)
- Restricting student capacity in common areas/study areas by removing chairs/tables to ensure proper physical distancing; Identify allowable occupancy to control workflow and/or establish maximum attendance.
- Placing markers on the floors to indicate appropriate social distancing
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), enhanced cleaning protocols, and reinforcing good hygiene
- ACM will enforce any local/national government PPE requirements for individuals in ACM facilities. Whether required or not, free PPE will be provided to all ACM personnel and students
- All building facilities will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily
- Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected between class sessions (class schedules will be modified to have longer breaks between classes and allow time for cleaning rotations)
- Hand sanitizers will be available in all facilities, including entrances, common areas, and classrooms
- Signage will be posted throughout facilities (reinforcing good hygiene, awareness of COVID-19 symptoms, protocols to follow, etc.)
3. Providing Clear Guidelines for Homestays/Housing
- With some exceptions, ACM will restrict the number of students per homestay to one
- ACM will pre-screen each host and require them to follow a set of guidelines for keeping their home clean and disinfected
- Hosts and students will be required to follow guidance on social distancing and PPE
Courses are designed with a flexible structure and are ready to go remote at any moment
4. Engaging and Flexible Academic Structure
To protect students, their peers, and others around them, ACM may prohibit students from traveling outside a certain geographic location or otherwise be subjected to local quarantine regulations upon return to campus. Additional policies, restrictions, and requirements may arise as needed
5. Updated Policies
6. Ongoing Communication with ACM Community
Paramount to this plan is the constant communication ACM pledges to execute as necessary, including contacting a student and their family in the event of a positive student test or positive host test. Likewise, ACM’s COVID-19 Plan and further updates to it will be available on this webpage. A PDF copy of this plan is available here.
APRIL 3, 2020: UPDATE ON CURRENT SITUATION
In an effort to bring our community up to date on ACM operations during the COVID-19 epidemic, we would like to share the following update. Our ACM students are either sheltering in place with host families or in independent housing in Aix-en-Provence, or have returned to the United States or their home country. ACM is heartbroken for our degree-seeking students who have left their program prematurely due to the current COVID-19 crisis. We are pleased that everyone that returned has transitioned safely to their respective homes and that by all accounts, everyone is healthy. Our present focus is on the completion of the current semester through our remote learning platform, which began on Monday, March 30th, and enabling the students to complete their coursework and their degrees on-time.
It is our goal to help support all students in this transition, and in an effort to do this we would like to remind the community of the following resources:
Wellness Support & IAU/ACM Weekly Connection Circles
Although students may not be able to physically access IAU/ACM facilities, we continue to offer support. This includes wellness and administrative support. If students would like to connect with the Wellness Center in Aix, they may contact Anabelle Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or +33 (0)6 75 00 55 83 (text messages or WhatsApp). If students are ill or need other support, they may contact Dr. Leigh Smith at email@example.com or Philip Breeden at firstname.lastname@example.org (or Dr. Ignasi Perez in Barcelona at email@example.com). Our students' health and well-being are of the utmost importance, and we urge them to connect with the resources available.
Every Friday at 6:00pm CET (there is also an option on Tuesday nights/Wednesday mornings at 12:00am CET), students will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with IAU’s Wellness Coordinator, Arianna Zabriskie, via Zoom. The goal of these ongoing sessions is to create a safe space for students to share their experiences of returning home or remaining abroad, discuss challenges in adjusting to academics online and life after being abroad, offer students resources and techniques for stress management, and to provide a space for students to connect with one another. Students will receive a weekly email invitation to register for these sessions. Students can also register HERE at any time.
Participating in and Following Along with the #IAUQuarantineSeries
IAU and ACM have started the #IAUQuarantineSeries, where staff, administrators, and students who are currently abroad create posts on their experiences while living under these unique circumstances. In our global community, quarantine is now a shared experience, no matter where one is located, and the posts are meant to reflect on meaning and beauty that one finds while under confinement. The series continues to evolve as the current situation abroad evolves, and we encourage students to share their experiences. If any students would like to contribute (which we would love!), we encourage them to send any photos/videos and accompanying captions to Rose Guth (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can post them. We can also simply repost some student posts/stories currently being shared as long as we are tagged in them.
Staying Connected with IAU/ACM
Although students may not be taking courses on the physical campus anymore, ACM is here for them and encourages them to consider us a resource as they navigate this new experience. If students experience challenges in regards to remote learning, we ask that they please engage with their professors to collaborate on developing a plan of success. As a reminder, remote courses started up again via the remote learning platform (Teams) on Monday, March 30. If students have questions or concerns about their coursework, they should not hesitate to contact their professors so they can offer support. The remote learning format is new for everyone involved, and maintaining open and ongoing communication between students and professors is important throughout this transition.
Graduation & Summer 2020
We do not foresee that the graduation ceremony previously scheduled for May 8th will take place as planned due to the current situation. There are currently ongoing discussions about when we can reschedule the ceremony, but it will likely be sometime in late July or early August. We will inform graduating students as soon as we have more information about this so that they can make plans.
In addition, the calendar for Summer 2020 courses has been rescheduled as follows in the hopes that a later summer session will be able to run. We advise students to please work with your academic advisors and deans to discuss your summer courses and degree completion plan with regards to this new schedule. Of course, we will continue to monitor the situation and will make adjustments as needed.
6-credit Summer Program
Arrival Day for Summer Students
Wednesday, July 1
Thursday, July 2
First Day of Classes
Friday, July 3
Saturday, July 4
Bastille Day - No Classes
Tuesday, July 14
Last Day of Classes
Thursday, August 6
Friday, August 7
Departure to U.S.
Sunday, August 9
Please do not hesitate to contact ACM with any questions you might have—we are here for you!
MARCH 19, 2020 UPDATE: US STATE DEPARTMENT ISSUES LEVEL-4 TRAVEL ADVISORY
Today the U.S. State Department issued a new global travel advisory due to the growing uncertainty of international mobility amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This Level-4 warning advises all U.S. citizens to avoid international travel. The full statement can be found on the State Department’s website. In this travel advisory, the State Department calls on “U.S. citizens who live in the United States [to] arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.”
ACM asks students to keep us informed if this affects their plans to stay in France and Spain at this time. ACM will continue to support our students whether they decide to remain in Europe or return to the States. As always, we are available for any questions. Contact information is below.
Dean Leigh Smith
Vice President Philip Breeden
For Housing Matters, please contact Fleur Arella and Margaux Hofstedt:
Mobile phone : +33 682 59 64 51
Email : email@example.com
Mobile phone : +33 687687018
As a reminder, the ACM emergency number is 00 800 1957 1958 (on the back of all student IDs). Otherwise, within France, you can call the SAMU (service d'aide médicale urgente) by dialing simply 15 as another source of information.
For students who remain in Barcelona, they may contact Dr. Ignasi Perez, IAU Barcelona Center Director, at +34 696 96 44 55 (mobile) or Ignasi.firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARCH 19, 2020 UPDATE: ACM CONTINUES TO MONITOR THE COVID-19 SITUATION
ACM continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation on its campuses in Aix-en-Provence and Barcelona. On Thursday, March 19, Vice President Breeden sent the following message to all students remaining in Aix-en-Provence:
Dear IAU/ACM Students in Aix:
First, I want you to know that IAU/ACM staff and teaching personnel are available for you at any time. You are not alone during this confinement period. We will be in regular contact with you and you should never hesitate to contact us. We will get through this period together, with solidarity, creativity, and generosity.
I want to update you on how we are managing access to Manning Hall for the confinement period.
As of Friday, March 20, we will move to an appointment-only system for access to Manning Hall. If you need to come to Manning Hall for any reason, please make an appointment by contacting:
Dean Leigh Smith
Vice President Philip Breeden
During this time, the Wellness Center Director Annabelle Martin remains available. You can contact her at any time at email@example.com or 06 75 00 55 83 (text messages or WhatsApp)
For Housing Matters, your contacts remain Fleur Arella and Margaux Hofstedt
Mobile phone : +33 682 59 64 51
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile phone : +33 687687018
As a reminder, the ACM emergency number is 00 800 1957 1958 (on the back of your IAU student ID). Otherwise, within France, you can call the SAMU (service d'aide médicale urgente) by dialing simply 15 as another source of information
Our amazing Alumni Fellows are here for you as well. They are also in confinement but are available at:
Lastly, the U.S. Embassy put out a renewed health and travel alert today, March 19, which I share below:
Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Paris, France (March 19, 2020)
Event: France has confirmed cases of COVID-19 throughout the country. U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are strongly urged to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available. As of March 17, 2020, all European Union external borders, including those of France, are closed. U.S. citizens may still depart France to return to the United States, but travel across the Schengen area’s internal borders will be significantly restricted.
On March 16, 2020, the Government of France announced measures to minimize contact and travel. A containment system has been put into effect throughout France. If necessary, travel is permitted in the following cases:
- Between home and work when telework is not possible;
- To make essential purchases in authorized local shops;
- For health reasons;
- To care for children or help vulnerable people; or
- Brief movements near or around one’s residence for individual exercise or pet care.
Travel to the airport is also permitted. If you must travel for one of these reasons, you must carry an attestation (the form with an English translation is available on our U.S. Embassy COVID-19 webpage).
Due to reduced staffing, only emergency American Citizen Services are available at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and Consulate General in Marseille. Very limited visa services for those who qualify for an exception to the Presidential Proclamation restricting travel to the United States are available in Paris.
Actions to Take:
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information on the disease.
- Dial 15 for emergency services in France if you have severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing. Do not go directly to an emergency department, doctor’s office, or clinic.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in France.
- For information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information regarding foreign countries’ quarantine requirements and other global impacts.
- Have a plan to depart from France that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
- Check with your airlines or cruise lines regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions affecting travel to the U.S.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
American Citizen Services Unit
4, avenue Gabriel
75382 Paris Cedex 08
Telephone in France: 01 43 12 22 22
Telephone from U.S.: (011 33) 1 43 12 22 22
U.S. Consulate General Marseille, France
+33 (1) 43 12 22 22
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
France Country Specific Information
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
MARCH 16, 2020 UPDATE: FRENCH GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES NEW RESTRICTIONS ON MOBILITY OF CITIZENS
On Monday, March 16, French President Emmanuel Macron announced new restrictions to minimize contact and travel in France. A containment system is in place throughout the country starting Tuesday, March 17 at 12:00 p.m., for a minimum of fifteen days. Travel is prohibited except for exceptional cases, which can be found in detail on the French government's website.
All ACM students in Aix-en-Provence received the following message on Tuesday, March 17 from IAU Vice President Philip Breeden:
Dear ACM Students in Aix:
If you are receiving this email, it means our records show you are staying in Aix en Provence at this time. I wanted to make sure you received this latest update on our status (see below), so I am taking the liberty to send it to your personal emails as well. Although social gatherings are now banned for at least two weeks, this message also helps you connect with each other in this challenging moment.
In this fast-changing situation, please let us know if you decide to return to the U.S., or for any other matter that we can help you with.
In this two week period you should be limiting your movements as much as possible. This is not only for your health, but for the health of your host families and others around you. Your movements should be limited to outings for:
- food and medical necessities
- short outings for exercise
Do not come to Manning Hall unless it cannot be avoided. Please call first and have an attestation with you. We can help you fill out an attestation if you need it.
Do not hesitate to contact me or anyone on this email for assistance.
Dear Students :
The new movement restrictions announced by the French government on March 16 mean we must adjust our posture at our Aix-en-Provence campus. We remain available to any and all IAU/ACM students with questions and concerns. Effective immediately our posture is as follows:
Most IAU/ACM staff are working from home and accessible via email and phone. Beginning Tuesday, March 17 we are closed to the public and will institute a minimum admin presence in Manning Hall, 8 rue de Littera, from 12:00-17:00, Monday to Friday. We will do this as long as we have IAU/ACM students present in Aix, and movement restrictions permit. Students who need to access Manning Hall should make an appointment by calling the central number: +33 0442230282 to ensure they can access Manning Hall. Such visits should be kept to a minimum, particularly for the next two weeks.
For students returning to the U.S. rest assured that the new French border restrictions will not prevent you from returning to the U.S., although you should expect delays and disruptions as airlines continue to change their schedules.
The necessary attestation for coming to Manning Hall is here. The Health Guidance is repeated below. In addition, French Health authorities have warned against the use of anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen if you are diagnosed with COVID-19.
Key personnel and their phone numbers are below.
Dr. Jessica Calhoun
Assistant Dean of Admissions and Alumni Affairs
Dr. Leigh Smith
Dean of Students (in Aix-en-Provence)
+33 6 82 59 64 48 (mobile)
Professor Philip J. Breeden
Vice President of Administration
TEL: +33 (0) 442 217 630
MOB: +33 (0) 783 285 795
Fleur Arella: Mobile phone : +33 682 59 64 51 Email : email@example.com
Margaux Hofstedt: Mobile phone : +33 687687018 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a reminder, the IAU emergency number is 00 800 1957 1958 (on the back of your IAU student ID)
Otherwise, within France, you can call the SAMU (service d'aide médicale urgente) by dialing simply 15 as another source of information
- Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid close contact with people who show flu-like symptoms or who suffer from acute respiratory infections (bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.)
- Do not touch your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing, and cough in your arm, not your hands
- Do not take antibiotics or antiviral medication unless prescribed by your doctor
- Clean surfaces with alcohol or Clorox disinfectants
- Use a mask only if you think you're sick or if you are assisting a sick person
MARCH 14, 2020 UPDATE: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY RELEASES NOTICE OF ARRIVAL RESTRICTIONS
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has outlined a new process for the arrival of American citizens after visiting certain countries in Europe. The entire article can be found on the DHS website and states the following:
"Effective for flights taking off at 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, March 13th, Americans returning from all restricted countries will now be required to travel through the following 13 airports:
- Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
- Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
- Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
- Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
Upon arrival, travelers will proceed to standard customs processing. They will then continue to enhanced entry screening where the passenger will be asked about their medical history, current condition, and asked for contact information for local health authorities. Passengers will then be given written guidance about COVID-19 and directed to proceed to their final destination, and immediately home-quarantine in accordance with CDC best practices.''
ACM students returning to the U.S. from their respective programs should keep this information in mind when booking/rebooking their flights.
MARCH 13, 2020: UPDATE ON ACM OPERATIONS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
There have been significant changes in France over the past 24 hours. Yesterday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced additional measures to combat the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic, including ordering that all schools and universities in France close as of March 16 until further notice. In keeping with our contingency planning, ACM will move to a fully remote teaching posture for all students, whether they return to the U.S., their home country, or remain in Aix-en-Provence. ACM offices remain open and ACM will continue to provide administrative services and housing for students who remain in Aix-en-Provence.
ACM continues to advise all students in the strongest possible terms to avoid travel outside of France at this time, unless it is to return to the United States or their home country.
The health and safety of ACM students remain our top priority. We encourage students to become familiar with the World Health Organization’s suggested safety precautions, which include:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
- Maintain at least 3 feet (1 meter) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
We also would like to share the messaging that was sent out to students today on behalf of IAU/ACM’s Vice President, Philip Breeden and IAU/ACM’s Dean, Dr. Leigh Smith:
Dear ACM Students,
I wanted to follow up on the below message outlining how we will organize IAU/ACM courses in light of the new COVID-19 measures announced by the French government on March 12. I want to underline our commitment, in this extraordinary period, to continuing to provide all ACM students’ academic, institutional and housing support.
We understand the disruption and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and will support any ACM student that decides to return to the United States or another destination at any time. Please contact VP Philip Breeden, Dean Leigh Smith or Assistant Director Admissions Rose Guth if you wish to discuss this option. Should you decide to depart, please contact VP Breeden and Dean Smith to coordinate your departure. Additionally, we will ask that you keep in close contact with your academic advisors and dean to ensure that ACM can develop an academic plan for the successful completion of the semester.
This is a rapidly evolving situation which we are monitoring very closely. We understand it is very frustrating and will do everything we can to minimize the disruption to your academic program. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns whatsoever.
Dear IAU Students,
We were sad to see so many of you leave and hope that your travels have gone as smoothly as possible. You may have heard that on the evening of March 12 French President Emmanuel Macron announced that all schools and universities will close as of Monday, March 16 until further notice. This message gives broad guidelines on how we will operate during this period.
First, IAU will move to 100% remote teaching. There will be no physical classes. All IAU and ACM students, whether they have stayed in Aix or departed, will receive remote teaching until further notice, using the tools and resources we have in hand.
Second, IAU will remain open administratively. Students will have access to our buildings and facilities for studying or meeting. Small meetings that maintain appropriate sanitary barriers can be held. Office hours for our buildings as of March 16 will be 08:30-17:30.
Third, all field studies are canceled for the remainder of this semester.
Midterms and Scheduling
The changing situation disrupted midterms for many of our students, who also faced the need to travel and make new living arrangements. For this reason, we are adjusting the academic schedule, and implementing a system for taking exams remotely. For anyone who needs to take a remote midterm, you will be contacted by your professors with instructions. The deadline for completing mid-terms is Wednesday, March 25.
As concerns remote teaching, IAU/ACM will officially resume classes remotely starting Monday, March 30. Your professors may begin contacting you about how you will organize your courses and your assignments starting March 23, but coursework should normally start on March 30.
Travel for those still in France
Given the fluidity of the situation in Europe and in the best interest of the well-being of the IAU community, IAU continues to strongly recommend that students stay within France until further notice. We are currently seeing abrupt changes in border restrictions. We understand this means that students may need to make adjustments to their travel plans for the upcoming spring break. Please know that this recommendation is being made with the best interest of the students - and the entire campus community - in mind. Disregarding these travel recommendations may result in your being stranded far afield with limited to no help available from the Institute.
Best of luck to you all,
Students currently on ACM's Barcelona campus should refer to updates from the IAU website concerning measures being taken in Spain.
March 12, 2020: Update Concerning Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Following the new COVID-19 travel and health guidance issued by the U.S. on March 11, ACM is providing an update to all current students and their families. These new guidelines from the CDC and the U.S. mean some IAU study abroad students will be returning home to the U.S., and IAU is providing a remote course completion option for IAU students who elect to depart. ACM remains open and will continue to provide all ACM students academic, institutional and housing support. Courses will continue, with certain adjustments to ensure departed students have access to course content. All field-study programs are suspended through the end of April.
This is a rapidly evolving situation which we are monitoring very closely. We understand it is very frustrating and will do everything we can to minimize the disruption to academic programs. We offer the following summary of recent guidance and recommendations:
- Following the March 11 announcement from President Trump concerning the 30-day suspension of travel from Europe to the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security released a clarifying statement regarding the exceptions to the ban indicating, "This does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.’’ While the ban does exempt American citizens and permanent residents, the acting Secretary added, “In the next 48 hours, in the interest of public health, I intend to issue a supplemental Notice of Arrivals Restriction requiring U.S. passengers that have been in the Schengen Area to travel through select airports where the U.S. Government has implemented enhanced screening procedures.” For the full statement from the Department of U.S. Homeland Security, please visit their website.
- On March 11 the CDC recently issued a new “Warning- Level 3, Avoid Non-Essential Travel” travel advisory for Europe. Details are on the CDC website.
- IAU/ACM decisions will also continue to be informed by guidelines established by the French Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, and local health officials.
More information and historical updates can be found on the IAU website.
The health and safety of ACM students remain our top priority. As a reminder, here are the contacts in our respective countries:
Dr. Jessica Calhoun
Assistant Dean of Admissions and Alumni Affairs
Dr. Leigh Smith
Dean of Students (in Aix-en-Provence)
+33 6 82 59 64 48 (mobile)
Dr. Ignasi Perez
Center Director (Barcelona)
+34 696 96 44 55 (mobile)