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Queen's University International Outbound Exchange Update

Posted on June, 2021

I am writing to update you on Queen’s international outbound exchange. Queen’s has approved the option to take part in outbound exchange for the Fall 2021 and/or Winter 2022 terms. The option to take part in the exchange program, however, is contingent upon your students successful Off- Campus Activity Safety Policy (OCASP) review. The Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy (OCASP) will provide them with a framework for support and safety, including supports during their time abroad. The OCASP administrator conducts a robust and individualized review of each student’s submission and assesses multiple factors, including public health conditions in the region to which they hope to travel, and plans to mitigate risk in travel to and from the host country, as well as living and conducting exchange activities.

Based on our experience and the latest information from Global Affairs and other sources, if they choose to travel despite Global Affairs Canada travel advisories:

they may increase your risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus;

they may have difficulty obtaining essential products and services;

they may suddenly face strict movement restrictions and quarantines at designated facilities and at their own cost;

if they get sick, they may not have access to necessary medical facilities or supports;

their insurance may not cover your travel or medical expenses;

they are recommended to register with consular services in your host country;

they may encounter vandalism and violence directed toward “foreigners” or “outsiders” on the part of local residents;

their host institution may abruptly decide to cancel exchange or in-class learning.

Your student is voluntarily assuming all the risks associated with their decision to travel at this time, including those outlined above. They will be required to assume all anticipated and unanticipated travel-related costs associated with their exchange. This includes but is not limited to any vaccination, quarantine, or testing costs incurred prior to travel, on arrival in the host country, and/or upon return to Canada/their home country; flight changes; early termination of rental leases; or financial costs associated with the issuance of any travel notices by the Canadian government or others.

Students are strongly recommended to obtain full vaccination prior to travel and carry proof of vaccination with them. The expectation is that students will be fully vaccinated before departure: some countries may require full vaccination; there may not be an opportunity in host country to receive the second vaccination. If they travel without full vaccination (including waiting the required period following their vaccination), this may be impeded in your ability to travel and to move freely. Additionally, full vaccination minimizes the chance of infection spread in their host country through their international travel.

Please note that Queen’s provides International SOS Emergency Support for the Queen’s community members. The OCASP process will ensure students obtain the information to access that on-the-ground emergency support.

Here’s the relevant information and links to the OCASP process:

Travel abroad comes with personal risk. To mitigate these risks, Queen’s students, staff, and faculty are expected to complete the Queen’s University OCASP process, which registers you in the Emergency Support Program, administered by Queen’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

There are three components students are required to complete before their departure:

Checklist for Queen’s University Sanctioned International Activities – This includes Off-campus Activity Safety Planning (OCASP) record.

Pre-departure Orientation

Set-up International SOS Emergency Support Account – This includes the ISOS Assistance App User for on-the-ground emergency assistance in the host country.

To review the mandatory requirement, visit Environmental Health and Safety's: Safety Abroad - Queen's University Emergency Support Program

For assistance with any aspect of the EHS programming, email Environmental Health and Safety.

If your student receives OCASP approval, we ask that they stay in regular contact with their faculty international office at Queen’s in addition to following the guidelines and requirements of the OCASP process.

Additionally students should have a robust quarantine plan in place for their arrival in the destination country and their return to Canada or their home country when appropriate to do so. Still, travel at this time carries risk. We draw your attention to the cautions noted by Global Affairs.

Additionally, students are encouraged to register temporarily for Fall 2021 courses at Queen’s as a precautionary measure as they assess the associated risks of taking part in the exchange program. They may wish to consult with their faculty international office to consider all of their options, including deferral, if OCASP approval cannot be granted for their original location.

Thank you for your consideration.


Dr. Sandra den Otter
Vice Provost International
Professor of History

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