Q&A

COVID-19 FAQ

Updated 29th July 2020

HEALTH AND SAFETY

  • What was Swiss Education Group’s response to the COVID-19 situation?
    • Swiss Education Group suspended all physical teaching at all campus locations on 16th March 2020, effective until July for term schools and September for semester schools. In the meantime, our academic curriculum has been delivered via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
    • We are in regular contact with the Swiss Health Authorities to ensure we have the most up to date information. Regular communication updates are sent to students and staff advising on best health practice protocols.
  • What type of Health & Safety procedures should I follow as I travel to campus?
    • We highly recommend adhering to social distancing and other preventative measures while you travel.
    • It is now mandatory to wear a face mask when using public transportation in Switzerland (train, bus, boat, cable-cars, etc). 
    • On arrival at either the airport or on campus, students will have their temperature checked and be provided with welcome information, a face mask, health and safety guidelines, and contact information in case of emergency.
    • If a student is identified with fever or symptoms at the airport, special arrangements will be made in regard to transportation, and the school will be informed.
  • What should I expect when I arrive on campus?
    • When arriving on campus ALL students will have their temperature taken and will need to complete a health survey. Anyone showing symptoms of flu, fever, breathing difficulties, and/or respiratory problems will immediately be placed in quarantine on campus, health authorities informed, and all required support given.
    • During arrival weekend, students will receive information in a dedicated induction session about the Student Counsellor opening hours, who to contact outside of hours for medical advice, etc. Students will also have to ensure any outstanding forms are completed (emergency contacts, pre-existing medical issues, and others). Additionally, students will receive information regarding world leading medical experts International SOS, which is available to them both during the term/semester and when on internship.
    • In the interest of safety, and to lower the risk for the entire community, face masks must be worn by all staff, students, and visitors in public areas, during the first 10 days of term.
  • What type of Health & Safety measures can I expect on campus?
    • Hand sanitizers and face masks are available to everyone on all campuses and in all administrative offices.
    • Temperature checks are carried out daily on all staff, students, and visitors. Checks are normally carried out at the campus reception area, after which a face mask will be provided.
    • All visitors must first get approval before coming to campus. 
    • Regular cleaning and disinfection of campuses, as well as additional cleaning in all public areas, particularly focusing on areas where numerous people may be touching the same item i.e. door handles, workstations, etc.
    • Every student, staff member, and visitor must fill out a health questionnaire before entering our campus premises. Staff or visitors showing symptoms of flu, fever (38°C+), breathing difficulties and/or respiratory problems, will not be allowed on campus.
    • Each class group is allocated to a designated classroom throughout the term to ensure maximal dispersion of students in every classroom and minimize movement of students between classes.
    • Class group timetables are arranged to have a steady flow of students at meals and to optimise restaurant space.
    • Priority medical appointments are available for any student who require medical assistance – please contact the Front Desk or the Residential Management Team.
    • We have minimimised large public gatherings and unnecessary social activities. Any activity outside normal classes and meals is strictly monitored.
  • What preventative measures do I need to follow on campus?
  • When do I need to self-quarantine?
    • Students entering Switzerland from the following regions must quarantine for 10 days until further notice. The list of high risk countries is updated once a month by the Swiss government. This also applies to anyone who has visited/spent time in the listed countries in the previous 14 days. Exceptions to the quarantine requirement : persons who as transit passengers have stayed less than 24 hours in a country or area with an increased risk of infection. Quarantine will take place on campus and we will provide you all the relevant information when you arrive at the airport or the school. The academic and operations teams will support you during the course of your quarantine.
      If you are asked by the Swiss authorities upon arrival - please provide your school address as the location where you will quarantine. 
      Hotel Institute Montreux, Avenue des Alpes 15, CH-1820 Montreux.
      Phone: +41 21 966 46 46  
      César Ritz Colleges Switzerland, Route Cantonale 51a, CH-1897 Le Bouveret. 
      Phone: +41 24 482 82 82  
      Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland, Route Cantonale 51a, CH-1897 Le Bouveret.
      Phone: +41 24 482 82 82
    • We have proactively put in place voluntary and free COVID-19 testing for students who arrived from these risk areas before Monday 6th July. Results will be available within 24 to 48 hours, which would then allow students to end quarantine. 
    • Any staff or student displaying flu like symptoms will be required to self-quarantine for 10 days.
    • Students who are worried that they may have flu like symptoms should phone the student counsellor and if not available, a resident manager who is available 24/7.
    • Anyone in self-quarantine on campus will be required to stay in the provided accommodation. They will not be permitted to interact with the other students/general public. A staff member will check up on people in self-quarantine each day to follow up on the daily preventative measures and meals are brought to the room.
  • What would happen if a further COVID-19 outbreak caused the school to suspend physical teaching again?
    • As per the arrangements in March, students would be given the option of remaining in a safe and controlled campus environment and continuing with their studies, via VLE. Alternatively, they would be able to travel back home and continue with their studies via VLE. However, if they wished, they could postpone their term/semester at that point and return to the next term/semester, joining the same week of the corresponding term/semester.
  • I have more questions, where should I go for answers?
    • Contact student counsellors or any other staff members on campus if you have any concerns or require support. In addition, we have a dedicated email address for any questions linked to the coronavirus crisis.

JULY TERM

  • When does the July term start?
    • The July term starts on Monday 6th July 2020. Students will have the opportunity to remain in their home countries and follow the academic program via the Virtual Learning Platform (VLE), or travel to Switzerland for physical classes, depending on their personal circumstances or restricted travel arrangements.
  • I am a new student, can I come to Switzerland to attend physical classes in July?
    • As of the 8th June, all new EU students or non-EU students with a valid student visa will be allowed to come to Switzerland to start their studies. The only restriction is for any new student coming enrolled in a course that lasts 90 days or less.
  • I am a returning student, can I come back to Switzerland to attend physical classes in July?
    • As of the 8th June, all returning student with a valid B permit will be allowed to come back to Switzerland to continue / finish their studies.
  • If I need to arrive for the July term early, due to visa issues or internship etc, will I be able to obtain accommodation before the start of the semester?
    • Yes, if you need to arrive early for the term, the school will provide accommodation for you in Montreux. However, there will be a daily cost of CHF 50, since this period is not covered by your term fees. Meals will not be provided but students can purchase food from the many shops, restaurants, and take-aways in Montreux.

ACADEMICS

ADMINISTRATION & FINANCES

  • If a student participates in our online learning (VLE) Virtual Learning Environment, will the fees change?
    • Students deciding to study via VLE for the July term or Autumn semester and remaining in their home countries will be eligible for 30% credit on total fees invoiced.
  • The current economic situation has hit my family and I hard. Is any financial aid available?
    • For students requiring financial assistance, new or returning in 2020, we are lowering registration fee requirements, offering a favourable payment plan without additional cost and extended financial aid. All payment plan and financial aid inquires can be addressed to Mr. Claudio Raccanello.
  • If physical teaching during the July term or autumn semester was suspended, would I receive a refund on my fees?
    • As per the April term and spring semester, SEG believes that we can continue to safely accommodate students and allow them to continue with their studies. Although the delivery will be slightly different, the actual curriculum, timetable and allocated faculty teaching will remain the same. Therefore, students can be confident in continuing their studies in a safe and controlled campus environment. If students choose to continue studying on the VLE platform, there will be no refund in fees since the academic curriculum, allocated teachers and timetable will remain the same. If a student decides to suspend their semester, their fees will be kept in credit and they will simply return to complete their studies at the same point of the following term/semester.
  • Will Swiss Education Group honour current fees paid if I defer academic term/semester?
    • Yes. Students may defer their academic term / semester and maintain their current academic offer.
  • Will I be charged for health insurance if am not on campus?
    • Yes. According to Swiss Health Insurance regulations, as long as the B Permit remains valid, students need to keep the school’s health insurance plan.
  • If I decide NOT to do online learning and to defer my intake, what will happen to my B Permit?
    • The B Permit will be cancelled, and you will have to re-apply for a visa.
  • If I am in Switzerland, will my health insurance cover me in the event I fall ill with COVID-19?
    • Yes. You will be fully insured by your school's insurance company and be fully treated in Switzerland. All other students on campus would then also be tested which would also be covered by the insurance company.

CAMPUS SPECIFIC

César Ritz Colleges Switzerland and Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland
  • Why is the Lucerne Campus closed for the July term?
    • In order to provide an optimal educational experience for our students in a safe and secure environment, Swiss Education Group has reviewed the use of all campus locations. Closing Lucerne for the July term will enable us to complete planned renovations of the building.
  • I am a César Ritz Colleges Switzerland student and I would normally be studying in Lucerne. Where will I be based for the July term?
    • All students, with the exception of Term Five students, will be following their academic programme at the César Ritz Colleges Switzerland campus in Le Bouveret. As for Term Five students, they will be following their academic program at the César Ritz Colleges Switzerland campus in Brig.
  • I am a César Ritz Colleges Switzerland Term Five student and I would normally be studying in Le Bouveret. Will I also be moving to the Brig Campus?
    • Yes, we believe that the best student experience is to have all of the Term Five students studying together at the Brig campus. The transfer of Le Bouveret Term Five students to Brig will take place on 29th June 2020.
  • As a Term Five student, will my fees change since there is no food provided by the school on the weekends in Brig?
    • No. The fees will remain the same since all students studying at the Brig Campus will be provided with single room, en-suite accommodation. Students have the opportunity to cook for themselves during the weekend, in the student kitchens. There are also numerous restaurants, shops, and take-aways in Brig.
  • I am presently studying in Le Bouveret and will be moving to Brig for the July term. Will transport be provided?
    • Yes, the school will take care of all transport arrangements and assist students with their belongings. A detailed timetable for the moving arrangements will be issued well in advance of the move. The transfer of Brig students from Le Bouveret will take place on 29th June 2020.
  • I was due to study in Lucerne and have already purchased my ticket to Zurich Airport. What should I do?
    • Please inform the school immediately of your expected arrival date and time. We will make arrangements to transfer you from Zurich Airport to your new campus location.
  • I am a Culinary Arts Academy student and I would normally be studying in Lucerne. Where will I be based for the July term?
    • All Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland students will be based in Le Bouveret for the July term.
SHMS Swiss Hotel Management School
  • What are the key dates that I need to know for the autumn semester?
    • For new students due to start in September 2020 on the Bachelor first year, Post-Graduate, Master of International Business, Master of Science and Master of Arts programmes, please note that your programmes will now commence on 5th October 2020.

      For returning students on all programmes, there are no changes to the starting and finishing dates that have previously been communicated. Therefore, for returning students, your semester will start on 7th September and finish on 22nd January 2021. This is the same for direct entry students into BA2, BA3 and BA4. Also, for new students on the MA programme in Caux due to begin in November, there are no changes to the starting and finishing dates: 9th November 2020 – 2nd April 2021
  • Why are the autumn semester intake dates changed for new students?
    • The intake dates for new students are changed to allow the local authorities to work through the volume of student study visas and Swiss B permit requests. Deferring the new students’ intake will ensure that students receive their official authorisation to study in Switzerland, well in advance of their start date. As returning students already have Swiss study permits, they are not affected by this.
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