CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

We wanted to keep you up to date with the latest information we send out in relation to the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can track the latest information from us by reading our communications and email history below,  informing you of the measures we are taking in our schools around the world or find more specific advice related to each school location here:


16 March

17 MARCH 2020

The health, safety and well-being of students, staff, and host families is of paramount importance to all of us at Kaplan International Languages.

In view of the continued spread of the Coronavirus and increasing government restrictions in all of our school destination countries, we have decided to discontinue temporarily all face-to-face teaching and to move Kaplan International Language schools in all worldwide locations to online-only teaching, starting by Monday March 23 and running until Tuesday April 14.

Schools will use the balance of this week as a transition period to prepare students and teachers for online teaching and learning. In some schools, students will move to the full online platform more rapidly, while others will continue in-person teaching during this week. The precise timings will depend on the local situation at each of our school locations, and we will confirm the transition plan with students in each school location individually.

It is important to note that our schools will remain fully functioning to support students with all their needs during the period that we teach online. Because the situation is so uncertain and rapidly evolving, we will be closely monitoring the situation in each country continuously and will communicate with you should the timeline for online classes change in any way.

Online learning

We will be providing a full online teaching solution, in addition to the existing K+ Online and K+ Online Extra tools, so that students’ learning is not interrupted. Online classes will be provided using the Zoom platform, in most cases with the same teachers, for the same number of hours at the normal schedule students are used to. The lessons can be accessed from laptops, computers and phones. Students will be able to participate fully, both verbally and in writing, with extensive group activity and presentations, quizzes and polls. Teachers will continue to monitor attendance closely, and they will measure progress through continuous assessment and by regularly testing students with our proprietary adaptive test, KITE.

Today we are starting to provide students with detailed information, a clear description of what will be expected from them, and training in the use of the online learning platform so that they can experience the best possible learning experience, even under these challenging circumstances.

Options for current students

We hope that online tuition will only be needed for a limited time. However, if students prefer to return home instead, a refund will be provided on full unused weeks of accommodation, together with a transferrable voucher for the remainder of their course so they can resume their studies at a date of their choosing in the next 18 months, or even transfer it to family or friends. This is in addition to our normal terms and conditions.

New students who have not yet arrived

If you have any students due to arrive at a Kaplan school before Tuesday April 14, we would ask that you inform them of the current teaching situation, and should they wish to, we would encourage them to delay their start to that date or later. Alternatively, if a student still wishes to arrive during this period, we will accommodate them and provide online orientation procedures. If preferred, we are also able to provide a refund in these circumstances based on the updated cancelation policy and Book with Confidence offer below. Your customer care contact will be in touch shortly to discuss the arrangements.

COVID-19 cancellation policy – updated March 17, 2020

As communicated last week, we will waive all cancellation fees, including homestay and residence cancellation fees, and will refund students’ application and accommodation placement fees. This applies if:

  • Students are unable to travel due to government-imposed travel restrictions
  • Students experience COVID-19 related flight cancellations which cannot be rebooked to their original destinations
  • Students develop symptoms of COVID-19 and are unable to travel and study
  • Students no longer wish to travel as their course dates include a period in which only online courses are offered by the Kaplan International Languages school as a result of COVID-19.

 

Book with Confidence Guarantee – updated March 17, 2020

Any course booked between now and 31 May 2020 can be deferred at no additional cost – including summer surcharges or seasonal price differences – to any date in the next 18 months. This gives students flexibility to make plans, knowing they can make adjustments as needed.


16 MARCH 2020

We have taken the decision to temporarily close our Kaplan International Languages school in Liverpool for 2 weeks, effective Monday 16th March.

Unfortunately a member of staff at the school has just tested positive for the coronavirus. This person self-isolated as soon as they felt unwell and has not been in the school in recent days. I am happy to report that the affected person is improving and already feeling better.

We have contacted Public Health England for advice on next steps. They recommend anyone who experiences symptoms and has been in close contact with the person should self-isolate at home for seven days, beginning today, as a precaution. The school staff are currently contacting all students involved and making the necessary arrangements.

Although not requested to do so by Public Health England, we have decided to temporarily close the school and move to online lessons as a precaution.

We will be providing a full online teaching solution from next Wednesday 18 March, in addition to the existing K+ Online and K+ Online Extra tools, so that students’ learning is not interrupted. Online classes will be with the same teachers, for the same number of hours at the normal schedule students are accustomed to. The lessons can be accessed from laptops, computers and phones. Teachers will continue to closely monitor attendance as well as progress by continuous assessment and by testing students every 5 weeks on KITE.

We hope that online tuition will only be needed for a limited time. However, if students prefer to return home instead, a refund will be provided on full unused weeks of accommodation, together with a transferrable voucher for the remainder of their course so they can resume their studies at a date of their choosing in the next year, or even transfer it to family or friends. This is in addition to our normal terms and conditions.

If you have any students due to arrive in Liverpool shortly, your customer care contact will in touch to either arrange an alternative location or to provide a refund as described above.

The well-being and safety of our students is of paramount importance to us. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your Kaplan account manager.


  • Students are unable to travel due to government-imposed travel restrictions
  • Students experience COVID-19 related flight cancellations which cannot be rebooked to their original destinations
  • Students develop symptoms of COVID-19 and are unable to travel and study
  • Students no longer wish to travel as their course dates include a period in which only online courses are offered by the Kaplan International Languages school as a result of COVID-19.

12 March 2019

12 MARCH 2020

As always, our top concerns remain the safety and wellbeing of our students and working closely with our agent partners, particularly in these uncertain times. 

We have two major updates for you today:

Travel restrictions

  • The United States will not be permitting travel from the Schengen area of the European Union for 30 days from midnight Friday 13 March. The restrictions apply to non-US citizens who have been in the Schengen area in the 14 days before their arrival in the US. The Schengen area includes 26 European states, but does not include the UK or Ireland, which will not be subject to the ban. 
  • Kaplan schools globally will not be accepting students travelling from Italy between now and 6 April.

Ireland

The Irish government has ordered all educational institutions to close from 6pm on March 12th until March 29th as a precaution. Kaplan International Languages Dublin will be closing from tonight, re-opening on Monday 30th March.

At Kaplan we have been preparing for this, so I am pleased to inform you that during the two weeks the school is closed we will offer online classes with the same teachers. The classes can be accessed from laptops, computers and phones.

If students prefer to return home instead, a full credit note for the remainder of their course and accommodation will be provided, so they can resume their studies at a date of their choosing in the next year. 

 

Reminders

COVID-19 cancellation policy

As communicated last week, we will waive all cancellation fees, including homestay and residence cancellation fees, and will refund students’ application and accommodation placement fees. This applies if:

  • Students are unable to travel due to government-imposed travel restrictions
  • Students experience COVID-19 related flight cancellations which cannot be rebooked to their original destinations
  • Students develop symptoms of COVID-19 and are unable to travel and study 

We would also like to remind you of two additional initiatives that have been designed to help your students as they make decisions about their study options: 

Book with Confidence Guarantee 

Any course booked between now and 30 April 2020 can be deferred at no additional cost – including summer surcharges or seasonal price differences – to any date in the next 12 months. This gives students flexibility to make plans, knowing they can make adjustments as needed. Find out more here

Course Extensions

If you have a student in one of our schools who might be interested in extending their course before April 30, 2020, we are pleased to offer one free week of tuition for every four additional weeks booked, subject to compliance with the visa regulations. This offer is in addition to any market promotions already in place. 

As always, we will keep you informed as the situation develops. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your Kaplan International Languages account manager.


6 MARCH 2020

6 MARCH 2020

The situation with coronavirus is rapidly evolving,  and we wish to provide some updates on how Kaplan International Languages continues to address the spreading virus and to prioritize the health, safety and wellbeing of our students. 

Travel restrictions

We continue to welcome students from around the world each week in our schools. As we have shared in previous updates, we are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone who is studying with us.

We continue to follow the directives of the national authorities of each country in which we have schools. If you would like to know more about the official policies in all our destinations, you can find links to the latest government advice here:

Please be advised that in addition to the directives of each country, we will be temporarily implementing the additional measure of no longer accepting students traveling from certain high-risk regions, or who have been in contact with people from those locations. 

The specific locations are:

  • Wuhan city and Hubei Province, China
  • Iran
  • Daegu and Cheongdo, Korea
  • Italian towns under containment measures

We would also ask that all agent partners support the above by confirming that prospective students have not visited, or come into contact with people from, these areas. 

Keeping our students safe 

In order to provide a healthy learning environment, we have increased the cleaning schedules in all our schools. We are cleaning and disinfecting all common areas, such as classrooms, washrooms, common rooms and computer labs, twice a day. We are also providing support to our students to make sure they are well enough to attend class, both on first arrival at the school and then on a daily basis, and briefing them on the steps they need to take to protect themselves and others from infection. 

Our schools are in countries with advanced health care systems and public health plans. In addition, be assured that in the event that one of our students became ill, we will deploy a robust procedure to ensure that she/he is fully supported by our staff and helped to obtain the appropriate medical care. 

Introducing our Book with Confidence Guarantee

We understand that some students might be taking a second look at their travel plans right now. We want to provide flexibility so that they are confident to go ahead with making their plans, secure in the knowledge that they can adjust their arrangements as needed. To this end we are introducing our Book with Confidence Guarantee. 

Any course booked with Kaplan between now and 30 April 2020 can be deferred at no additional cost – including summer surcharges or seasonal price differences – to any date in the next 12 months. This provides your students the maximum flexibility to enjoy the great experience of language travel at their convenience. This offer applies to future as well as current student bookings. 

COVID-19 cancellation policy

Book with Confidence Guaranteeand to postpone their courses rather than to cancel them. However, Kaplan International Languages will waive all cancellation fees and refund student’s application and accommodation placement fees in the following cases:

  • Students are unable to travel due to government-imposed travel restrictions
  • Students experience COVID-19 related flight cancellations which cannot be rebooked to their original destinations
  • Students develop symptoms of COVID-19 and are unable to travel and study

Course extensions

Finally, if you have a student who is currently in one of our schools and who might be interested in extending their course before April 30, 2020, we are pleased to offer one free week of tuition for every four additional weeks booked, subject to compliance with the visa regulations. This offer is in addition to any market promotions already in place. 

We will continue to keep you informed as the situation develops. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch with your Kaplan International Languages account manager. 


25 FEBRUARY 2020

25 FEBRUARY 2020

We are updating you on Kaplan’s actions in response to coronavirus and the steps we are taking to ensure our students remain safe and well.

Thankfully, incidents of the virus currently remain extremely low in cities where we have a Kaplan school. We are following the recommendations of the authorities in the countries where our schools are located and, at this point, advice on appropriate actions for us to take has not changed from previous recommendations. However, we continue to closely monitor all official channels and will keep you updated if anything changes.

In the UK, the chief medical officer for England has advised: "The NHS is extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections… We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately.”

In the USA, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says: "the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time"

The US, Australia and New Zealand continue to not admit any Chinese students at this time. The UK, Canada and Ireland are considered to have a low risk to individuals and therefore are accepting students from China. If potential students are able to travel to one of our destination countries, then we are welcoming them to our schools.

In summary, please continue to reassure your staff and students that the situation is being managed and any risk to students in our cities is still considered to be low.


5 FEBRUARY 2020

5 FEBRUARY 2020

At this time, the risk of the virus spreading in Kaplan’s destination cities is low. Nevertheless, the safety and wellbeing of our students is our highest concern, so we are taking all necessary precautions and following the health and travel advice being given by the government authorities. A list of the websites from each government agency is provided below.

As examples of the additional precautionary steps we are taking across our Kaplan schools, we have put posters up explaining hand hygiene practices; placed extra bottles of hand sanitizer in easily-accessible locations; and we are sanitizing all shared computers and spaces. We have also communicated with all of our current students with reassurance, information, and advice on adopting good practices to remain healthy.

As you have no doubt learned, the US, Australia and New Zealand are not admitting visitors who reside in or transit through China, unless they are citizens of those countries. This includes international students. In the UK, Canada and Ireland the risk is considered to be extremely low and students from China are therefore being accepted. If Chinese students are able to travel to one of our destination countries, then we are welcoming them in our schools.

Please feel free to reassure your staff and students that the situation is being managed and there is no need to worry. If you have any questions, please contact your Kaplan account manager.