Frequently Asked Questions About Studying Abroad in Tuscany During Spring 2023
Our highest priority is the health and safety of our students and we will continue to review public health and travel advisory guidance leading up to and throughout the Spring 2023 semester. Please know that we are committed to communicating frequently and transparently as conditions change. We will do this by updating this list of Frequently Asked Questions, and by inviting you to our regular online meetings with Study Abroad staff to give you updates and to answer all your questions.
Will a COVID-19 vaccination and booster dose be required to participate in the program?
Yes, COVID-19 vaccination is required to participate in the program. Before departing for Italy, all participants must have received initial inoculation (2 doses of Moderna or Pfizer, or 1 dose of J&J) in addition to at least one booster dose (if eligible, see below*).
In the past, based on rates of infection as well as other factors, the Italian government has instituted restrictions for individuals that do not meet specific vaccine requirements. Historically, these restrictions have placed significant limits on a non-vaccinated individual's ability to travel, enter public places such as restaurants or schools, or participate in activities which are a fundamental part of the study abroad experience. While currently these restrictions are not active in the Tuscany region, they could be reinstated in the future if the local government deems it necessary based on the ever evolving COVID-19 situation. The Tuscany Campus staff cannot predict if or when the Italian government may place restrictions on non-vaccinated individuals nor what those restrictions may be. The policy to require students to be vaccinated with at least one booster is in line with the requirements of other AACUPI (Association of American College and University Programs in Italy) programs, the Italian Ministry of Health, and the policies of the vast majority of our university partners.
Participants will be asked to submit their vaccination records via Coverified by January 5th, 2023.
*Currently Italy considers your original vaccination(s) to be valid for only 6 months. If your initial Covid vaccination(s) were done 6 months or more prior to the end of your program in Italy, then you will need to receive a booster jab in order to be considered fully vaccinated under current rules in Italy. Boosters do not expire so if you’ve already received at least one, you do not need a second one at this time.
What accommodations will be make for students in high-risk groups?
While we would love to encourage everyone to study abroad, if you belong to a group that is at high-risk for COVID-19 complications, we encourage you to postpone your study abroad experience. While Italy's medical system is one of the best in the world and our staff would be happy to support you to the extent they are able, we anticipate that it would be very difficult for you and your loved ones should you be high-risk and fall ill while abroad. Fortunately, most students are not in a high-risk group, due to age and other factors. However, we recommend that you check with your doctor before committing to travel, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions.
Will a COVID-19 vaccination be required for Summer 2023? (Updated on 3/22/23)
COVID-19 Vaccine Policy for Summer 2023 and Beyond
The University of New Haven continues to be committed to offering COVID-19 conscious programming, and we believe that being up to date on the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters will help safeguard the health and wellness of the university’s community. We have developed our policies with the health and safety of not only students, but the communities in which we operate as our top priority.
After careful consideration, starting with programs beginning on or after May 10, 2023, the University of New Haven will strongly recommend all participants be up to date on the COVID-19 vaccine and recommended booster dose(s) prior to the start of their program. We will only require participants to be up to date in locations where enforced by local governments or local partner institutions.
The University of New Haven will continue to monitor the COVID-19 landscape around the globe. Should circumstances change, we reserve the right to reinstate a COVID-19 vaccine mandate at any time. We will be sure to communicate any major policy changes as quickly as possible. To see our most up to date COVID-19 policies and guidance, please review the COVID Guidelines 2023 here (linked to Prato webpage for Prato programs and general COVID pages for non-Prato programs).
The University of New Haven also strongly recommend that all students bring their CDC cards to best ensure their ability to fully participate in all program activities.
What are the Tuscany Campus Spring 2023 semester dates?
- Depart USA: Wed January 11th, 2023
- Arrive in Italy: Thur January 12th, 2023
- Orientation I: Fri January 13th, 2023
- Orientation II: Sat January 14th, 2023
- First day of classes: Tue January 17th, 2023
- Open Drop/Add Deadline: Tue January 24th, 2023
- P/F Grade Election Deadline: Tue January 24th, 2023
- Mid-term grades due: Tue March 7th, 2023
- Spring Break: Sat March 11th – Sun March 19th, 2023
- Course Withdrawal Deadline: Tue March 21st, 2023
- Easter Monday: Mon April 10th, 2023 (school closed)*
- Liberation Day: Tue April 25th, 2023 (school closed)*
- Labor Day: Mon May 1st, 2023 (school closed)*
- Reading Days: Tue May 2nd and Wed May 3rd, 2023 (no classes)
- Final exams: Thur May 4th – Wed May 10th, 2023
- Depart Prato: Thur May 11th, 2023
*Please note that due to Italian national holidays the Prato calendar is not identical to main campus’s academic calendar (metti link Academic calendar di main campus). If you are registered for online synchronous courses on main campus, you Must attend your online classes regularly.
Will I have weekends free?
Your professors in Italy and the U.S. (if you are taking any synchronous online courses) might meet on Fridays. Your professors in Italy might also schedule special mandatory trips to museums or sites, as well as make-up classes on Fridays.
Program excursions to Tuscan cities, and other activities like hikes and special events, always happen on Fridays. There will still be some 'free' Fridays on which you can set off on independent travel if the restrictions allow at the time. So do not arrange or pay for any independent travel or events on any Fridays until you have arrived in Prato and you have met your professors, seen and understood the schedule of all your classes, as well as our program of excursions and events.
What classes can I take in Spring 2023?
You can choose from this list of Tuscany Campus courses, one of which is a mandatory Italian language course. You can also choose up to two online courses.
Can I choose to take any online courses?
Yes. To help more students study abroad, in Spring 2023, students can choose up to two online courses, and then choose three courses from the Tuscany Campus curriculum, including one of our mandatory Italian language courses. This is intended to help students blend their major requirements with the core courses available in Italy. To choose your courses contact your academic advisor and the Office of Study Abroad.
**Please note that due to Italian national holidays the Prato calendar is not identical to main campus’s academic calendar (metti link Academic calendar di main campus). If you are registered for online synchronous courses on main campus, you Must attend your online classes regularly.
What would happen if I chose to withdraw from the study abroad program throughout the semester?
If at any given point you decide to withdraw from the program, you should immediately reach out to your academic advisor and the Prato staff to discuss your academic options, course availability and the next steps to follow.
What documents will I need to travel with to Italy?
All students will need to have a U.S. passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the return home with a valid study visa. In addition, students will need to provide proof of complete vaccination including booster vaccinations. Those vaccinated in the U.S.A. can prove this via the ""white card"" bearing a CDC logo; This has been fully reconfirmed as valid certification in Italy (those vaccines accepted in Italy as of today are Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca, and J&J). This document does not need to be translated or notarised. This should be scanned and uploaded to CoVerified by January 5, 2023. The Study Abroad Office will advise all students fully about these simple requirements during Pre/Departure information sessions.
For the most updated information on entry requirements into Italy, please click here.
Will group flights be offered?
Yes, students attending the Spring 2023 semester in Prato will travel as a group on a direct flight to Italy.
What if I test positive before traveling to Italy?
While Italy no longer requires a negative COVID test to enter the country, strict isolation protocols are still in place. For this reason, if you test positive within 14 days of the date of travel to Italy, you MUST have a test negative before traveling. If you are still testing positive on the day of group travel to Prato, the Study Abroad Office will make accommodations to rebook your ticket as soon as you can present a negative test. If you test positive within 14 days of traveling to Prato, please inform the Study Abroad Office asap.
Will all students be required to quarantine upon arrival in Italy?
No, there is no requirement for quarantine upon entry to Italy.
How many students will stay in each room?
Student bedrooms vary greatly in size and style in Prato, and typically house between two and four students. Follow this link to see what some of the typical housing options look like.
How will housing be cleaned?
All housing units, including all bedrooms and bathrooms, and shared spaces like lounges and laundry areas, will be professionally cleaned and sanitized prior to students' arrival and throughout the semester in accordance with the Italian government's COVID-19 regulations governing university halls of residence. There will be daily professional cleaning of communal spaces and bathrooms of Residence Hall facilities throughout the program duration. There will be periodic professional cleaning and disinfection of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). Throughout the day there will be cleaning of common touch points such as door handles, light switches, entrances, and stairwells.
Are students expected to clean also?
Yes. A protocol of student cleaning duties for their own bedrooms, kitchens and living areas will be provided to students during orientation and in each apartment. Students are expected to follow the guidance provided in the protocol information. Failure to comply may affect their health and those of fellow roommates. Equipment Stations for student cleaning duties, including paper rolls, disinfectant spray, and gloves, will be available in many places throughout the residence halls, accompanied by instructions for cleaning. Program staff conduct frequent health and safety inspections.
Will students have to wear masks in the residence halls?
According to current Italian law, the use of face coverings is required only in health facilities.
What other cleaning protocols are in place in the Residence Halls?
Equipment Stations for student cleaning duties, including paper rolls, disinfectant spray, and gloves, will be available in many places throughout the residence halls, accompanied by instructions for cleaning. Hand sanitizing gel stations are to be found throughout the residence halls. Throughout the residence halls there will be dedicated foot-operated garbage containers for disposal of waste used to clean touch points, used masks, and tissues. Program staff conduct frequent health and safety inspections. Program staff, landlord and/or maintenance personnel will enter apartments only as needed.
Will there be any excursions?
The University of New Haven program in Prato traditionally provides students with several accompanied educational excursions throughout the region of Tuscany. Each excursion is a structured learning exercise aimed at helping students truly comprehend the cultural, social and artistic significance of the Italian cities in the modern world.
The Tuscany Campus staff coordinates private transportation and entrances to museums in accordance with strict guidelines to safeguard student health and safety. The exact itinerary of each trip, including access to museums and monuments, will depend on the regulations in place at the time.
We expect to be able to offer our usual range of activities in the Spring 2023 semester; however, if the COVID situation changes drastically and regulations no longer allow us to run these excursions, alternate activities, including virtual tours, will be offered in their place.
Will I be able to travel during my free time?
There are currently no travel restrictions within Italy or member states of the European Community. Air travel is open to anyone who can demonstrate full vaccination.
While you are abroad, our team will work to notify you of common travel destinations that pose significant health risks. It is imperative that you complete the Prato Campus mandatory Side Travel Registration form every time you leave your host city. You should also seek to inform yourself on issues of health and safety, regardless of when or where you travel as health and safety topics can sometimes impact how you navigate your destination and what activities or events are available to you.
What would happen if a student was traveling and unable to return to Prato because of travel restrictions?
Students are strongly discouraged by the Prato Campus from traveling to unsafe areas either because of a spike in COVID cases or any other reason at that point in time. Secondly, the University reserves the right to implement travel restrictions on all program participants, including students, with little warning should an outbreak anywhere in Europe cause grave concern for our students.
Should a student be unable to return to Prato as expected, they should contact the Prato Campus 24/7 Emergency Service using their Prato Campus cell phone or any other means possible. They will receive support from our staff 24/7 Emergency Service. Students will be individually responsible for completing coursework during their absence. Professors and staff will work with the absent student to ensure that they can complete their coursework remotely or in a timely manner upon their return to Prato. Any additional costs incurred by a student as result of having to stay in another place during this process will be their own responsibility.
Please note that according to Italian law, individuals who have had close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 7 days. Any costs associated with cancelled plans due to quarantine or isolation are the sole responsibility of the student.
What would happen if a student got diagnosed with COVID-19 while traveling independently?
In this case our students must immediately inform our Prato Campus 24/7 Emergency Service using their Prato Campus cell phone or any other means possible. The Prato Campus Emergency Service will provide them with instructions together with the Tuscany Campus COVID-19 Coordinator. Accommodations will be made with the student's professors to ensure academic continuity from quarantine or should the student need to take time off from their studies for treatment. It is each student's decision as to whether they will have access to the resources they need to continue their studies successfully outside of Prato.
What are the current Italian policies regarding face-coverings?
Masks are not required but are recommended in all public indoor spaces and in any area where social distancing cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, FFP2 masks are required for all close-contacts of a COVID-positive individual (for 10 days starting from last contact).
What are the current Tuscany Campus policies regarding face-coverings on campus facilities?
Currently, we are not requiring masks or face coverings on school premises when an intra-personal distance of 1 meter can be maintained. Face coverings are not required in school-managed or independent residence halls.
Individuals who have not tested positive for COVID-19 but are exhibiting symptoms of illness such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, etc. may be asked to wear a mask as a precaution and to safeguard the health of the campus community. The University New Haven Tuscany Campus has the ability to modify this policy at any time and will base this decision on an evaluation by staff and by professionals of the current COVID-19 situation among the cohort, in Prato, and in Italy.
Will the University's travel insurance CISI cover COVID-19 testing while in Prato?
CISI University travel insurance does not cover preventive COVID-19 testing (such as for travel requirements or routine testing without symptoms). However, should a student develop symptoms or become ill, any necessary diagnostic testing will be covered, as will any necessary treatment.
How will the staff help me with my health?
During orientation and in your welcome packet, you'll be provided with lots of information about our health policies, the contact information for local health and emergency services, contact information for local English-speaking doctors and other specialists. You will also be shown how to contact the staff at the school, and how to contact the Prato Campus Emergency number at night and on weekends.
What about health issues at night or at weekends?
Help and assistance from the Prato Campus staff is available 24/7. All students are provided with a cell phone, a sim card, and the campus emergency number to contact outside of school hours. A member of staff is always ready outside of school hours to help you find a doctor or to help you visit the hospital. Although our staff may not be able to physically accompany students to their appointments due to COVID restrictions in Spring 2022, our team can be available by phone or video chat to assist with any medical visits or health concerns.
What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 while on campus?
Once a student results a positive COVID-19 test result, we will provide the student with an isolation bedroom on campus, with a private bathroom, and ongoing support and resources to minimize the impact on their semester. If more than one student tests positive at the same time, they might share an isolation room.
Italy still requires a mandatory isolation period of a minimum of 5 days and up to a maximum of 14 days from the first positive test. During this isolation period, you cannot exit the isolation room under any circumstances except for an emergency. In order to leave isolation, you must have a negative test performed by a lab, as well as be free of symptoms for at least 72 hours.
During the mandatory isolation, Tuscany Campus staff will assist students in ensuring that they are able to continue with their course work virtually. Staff will arrange for meal delivery and will coordinate any necessary medical care for the student in isolation.
All medical care as well as COVID testing for symptomatic individuals is covered by CISI insurance.
What medical care is offered to quarantined and isolated students?
Prato Campus staff will provide daily support to students in quarantine and in isolation via email, cell phone and video calls. Students will be provided with basic self-care resources (over-the-counter medication, fluids, and other items as advised by doctors) for monitoring in isolation and instructions for daily care. The Tuscany Campus has a longstanding relationship with medics and clinics throughout Prato and Tuscany who will be available to consult with the student regarding any health-related concerns. The services of those doctors are covered by students' international health insurance, CISI.
What other heath protocols are in place?
The University works in close partnership with Prato Hospital and the City of Prato's Councilor of Public Health to support our staff and students. The campus also works closely with local general practitioners, a mental health counsellor, and a psychologist, all of whom can be utilized by our students within their international health insurance CISI. In addition, the University also has agreements with local public health providers to guarantee U.S. students timely attention and assistance in the case of symptoms or infection.
The Prato Campus also has a group of backup staff available to step in to assist students in case any members of the regular staff need to quarantine or isolate. The Prato Campus Backup Staff do not normally come into any contact with Prato Campus staff or students until required to step in.
More about CISI insurance
Italian law requires that all non-Italian students living in Italy have medical insurance. The University of New Haven works with Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) to assist you in obtaining high-quality health insurance that will fulfil your immigration requirements.
Under Italian law, emergency medical treatment is provided to Italian nationals and foreign nationals alike, regardless of insurance coverage. That said, any treatment received in Italian Emergency Rooms is subject to a fee. If follow-up care is required, the hospital will ask for proof of insurance. Policies on public hospital charges vary from region to region.
CISI offers an insurance plan that covers you wherever you are when outside the U.S. With 24/7 emergency on call operators standing by, you can consult with CISI on their coverage of pre-existing conditions, emergency repatriation, specialist's visits, prescriptions, physical therapy, and everything in between. CISI covers mental health concerns and Trip Delay benefits. CISI will even cover the cost of flying a parent or guardian to your current location during an emergency health crisis. All University of New Haven Tuscany Campus students are automatically enrolled with CISI insurance.
What resources will I have abroad?
You will have full access to Prato Campus staff 24/7 using the Prato Campus 24/7 Emergency number, a Prato Campus cell phone and sim, and the University's LiveSafe emergency app. Student Resident Assistants live in-residence in program housing and maintain regular contact with students. English-speaking health care professionals, counsellors and psychological support are all available in Prato and nearby Florence through CISI insurance.
- CISI Student International Travel Insurance
- Milan airport's information page about COVID-tested flights
- Italian Ministry of Health overview of COVID situations and measures
- Italian Institute of Health, Information and Statistics webpages regarding COVID in Italy
- U.S. State Department COVID Information regarding Italy
- U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Italy
- Centers for Disease Control
I still have questions, who do I contact?
You can contact the Study Abroad Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.