Coronavirus Situation Report

How are our destinations doing under the COVID-19 situation?

Strong measures for fighting corona virus has been taken in all our destinations at Asia. Using the masks outside home is mandatory and it is recommended to stay home and practice social distancing.

Our host universities have agreed to start autumn semester online if the virus prevents international students from starting the semester on-site. That way our students can attend the semester first from home in case there is travel restrictions still in autumn.

Once travelling to a destination is safe again, the students can travel to their host university, continue studies on-site and explore the fascinating attractions all our destinations have to offer.

We at Asia Exchange are continuously in personal contact with our host universities to negotiate solutions that are the best for our students. We do everything in our power to let the autumn semester take place safely and student friendly.

GENERAL Updates

Dear student,

Warm greetings from Asia Exchange. We hope that you and your close ones have remained safe amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

This page contains information about our destinations in Asia, extended application deadlines, and our measures to make you feel as secure as possible with studying abroad, which more than often the best decision one can make. It is our passion to enable life-changing experiences in Asia and make dreams come into reality. Right now, it is more important than ever to learn how to cope with the unpredictability and focus on the future and on the adventures ahead.

Student safety is our highest priority, but it is essential that the students feel comfortable and welcome in our destinations, even during the most turbulent times. To make these ideals come true, we have negotiated extended application deadlines with our partner universities, implemented even more flexible terms & conditions, and most importantly, thoroughly made sure that our partner universities are safe, prepared, and welcoming for you.

We will continue to stay in close exchange with our Asian partner universities, universities in your country, and most importantly, with the students in our destinations at the very moment. We hope that we can also help you find the perfect destination for the adventure of your life! Stay safe, and don’t hesitate to contact us at any time at info@asiaexchange.org or +358 45 322 1230.

Sincerely,

Your Asia Exchange Team

For Parents & Legal Guardians

We fully understand that for some of you, your parents or legal guardians play an important role in the decision making whether to study abroad and where to go. Especially in these times, your families and guardians are even more worried about you than before. Thus, we would like to share some more insights with you that will be interesting for your parents and legal guardians as well.

Health and Safety of our Students

For more than 12 years, from the first day of its existence, Asia Exchange has run programs all over Southeast Asia and always been prioritizing students safety and health over everything else. We carefully handpicked our partner institutions and built great relations with key contacts in each destination. Some of our contact persons have even agreed to be available for our students at any time. Regardless the development of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to do our best to provide our students the safest possible study environment abroad.

We will provide students, parents, faculties and all members of our vast study abroad network with frequent and relevant updates which will be published on this page.

Asia Exchange is constantly monitoring updates from several national and international sources in all our destinations and sending countries. We decided to only follow official announcements from governmental institutions and organisations like the WHO to avoid the spread of false information of any kind. We also regularly consult our host universities that advise us on the risks associated with traveling to the countries of our host universities and monitor advice from local authorities.

Asia Exchange’s employees are based in various countries worldwide and working remotely for the time being. While we are doing our best to overcome these unfortunate times hand in hand with our partners, we cannot deny noticing an impact on our ability to complete day to day operations. Thus, we would like to apologize for any delays in communication. 

We appreciate your patience with Asia Exchange as we face many ongoing concerns associated with this situation, from many directions and about several destinations. In fact, the global health information and related travel restrictions are changing fast and often nowadays. We promise to always share information to our best knowledge, about the current COVID-19 situation in our destinations whenever we receive confirmed information, without delay and to our best knowledge.  Asia Exchange will regularly inform our students, parents and institutions about our destination countries and our host universities activities regarding the COVID-19 pandemic on this page.

Asia Exchange Study Abroad Programs Spring 2020

Updated 05.08.2020

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have relentlessly assisted our students in their destinations, consulted sending and host universities, and adjusted all our services and operations.

We recognized early the challenges and obstacles involved with completing classes and whole semesters online. We consulted and discussed with our parent universities about best practices and how this challenge is getting faced by educational institutions all around the globe. We are proud of the solutions provided by our partners and how they are working hand in hand to overcome this unfortunate situation all of us are in. We are happy that our students had opportunities to finish their semester and to continue their educational journey, while maximising their safety. In case any student was having any problems or has been told that certain classes cannot be completed remotely contacted us and we were happy to support in this situation as best as possible.

We were advising our students to maintain a full-time class load and continue with all their courses, but in case they intended to withdraw from any courses to notify their host institutions as well as their home institutions. They have been informed that failure to complete courses or study abroad semesters will not result in a refund of tuition.

We offered partial refunds for our spring semester students that had already been abroad and studying with Asia Exchange when COVID-19 became a pandemic.

This is what our spring semester 2020 students said about the situation around Asia: 

Bali has kept its mystical and pure beauty. There is a really chill athmosphere even though the island is going through a critical time in terms of a financial point of view. Locals are still very friendly and welcoming. We as expats feel that we can enjoy Bali as the pioneer did when they first discovered the island years back. I feel safer here in Bali than I would feel in France. I´m super happy I made the decision to stay and end my semester in Bali rather then going back home and continuing my semester online.  – Maxime, student in Bali, Indonesia

“I do feel safe and reassured from the actions the schools are taking, and I’m glad HUFS implemented online classes to help avoid further spread of COVID-19. Our chances of getting sick are extremely low due to their extreme cautiousness.  The future does seem to be getting better, especially with in-person classes on the horizon and the anticipation of the campus activities starting. The school is still continuing their activities such as the Buddy Program and the GAT program in April, and have adjusted them to the new schedule.” – Sofia, student in Seoul, South Korea

Asia Exchange Study Abroad Programs Summer and Autumn 2020

Updated 05.08.2020

During these uncertain times, we are aiming to provide the best possible and most flexible services to our students planning to study abroad with Asia Exchange in Summer 2020, Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021.

In addition to constantly consulting our partner universities about adjusting semesters as much as needed, we have decided to follow very student friendly cancellation and refund policies until COVID-19 is over.

We offer our students the option to change their destination or postpone the semester free of charge, if necessary.

Furthermore, we fully refund application fees and tuition fees of our students, if they cancel their semester abroad up to one month before the semester starts. This means that it is safe for students to apply, even in situations where they cannot be certain about the future.

Currently we are looking at a situation where some destinations already reopened and are welcoming our students, such as South Korea. On the other hand, we have destinations such as Bali, where the situation regarding the upcoming autumn semesters is still unsure. Thus, we would like to invite anyone looking for information regarding a specific destination, to check out the information at the bottom of this page.

Summer Schools 2020

At this time all our summer school programs in 2020 have been cancelled.

Autumn 2020

Most Asia Exchange study programs scheduled for autumn 2020 are continuing to run as normal and are open for applications, such as our partner Universities in South Korea and Taiwan. We monitor travel alerts and encourage you to do that as well when making your travel plans. When you do your own research please remember to consult with official, trusted sources.

To our current knowledge, we believe that traveling to some of our destinations will be possible in Autumn 2020 and that most of the semesters can take place. If there will still be travel restrictions or other barriers out of control of Asia Exchange or our students, the semesters may be started online until traveling to our destinations is safe and possible.

Asia Exchange Study Abroad Programs 2021

All Asia Exchange study programs that are scheduled for 2021 are continuing to run as normal and are open for applications. We will continue to follow all advice from our partners, local and international authorities, and our host universities. We will provide updates as long as it’s needed and until COVID-19 becomes a term of the past.

Helpful Links

We also focus on reliable and trusted sources for information and recommend anyone to follow a similar approach. Both WHO and national health institutes have excellent up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

Get in Touch

Please feel free to inform your parents and guardians that they can email us, give us a phone call or request a meeting in any other communication channel with a working professional at Asia Exchange. We speak English, French, German, Swedish and more! We are here for you and calling you is not a problem for us.

Asia Exchange

Address:                                 Vuorikatu 3 L 3 33100 Tampere, Finland
Email:                                      info@asiaexchange.org
Tel:                                          +358 45 322 1230, Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm (GMT +2)
WhatsApp:                             +358 45 322 1230

As a reply to many e-mails asking for more information about the situation in Asia, we have decided to create this section which aims to provide additional information for our sending institutions and will be updated regularly.

Students’ semester abroad

Currently, many institutions of higher education in Europe are facing an unfortunate time and are seeing their partnered study abroad destinations cancelling their semesters for international students.

We provide a solution to this problem as have enough seats for your students if they wish to go to Asia. We are in daily contact with our host Universities and consulted them during COVID-19. Most of our partners are not cancelling their semesters and on the top of that, application deadlines have been extended to help students to react very flexible and spontaneously.

VISA

We have understood that many of your students may face problems in getting their visa. We consulted our partner Universities in this matter as well and to make it easier for our students to get their visa even at last second, application deadlines have been extended. This means that students can decide at a later point and depending on the restrictions implemented to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

In case there are further questions regarding visa matters, our team is happy to support, help and advice your students in visa procedures. Of course, it is always better to contact the local embassies of your students to ensure the best possible information is provided. Nonetheless, feel free to contact info@asiaexchange.org if wished. We will be answering as quickly as possible.

Update of our partner universities in Asia

On site, each of our partner university is taking necessary measures to ensure the safety of your students. Please have a look at the destination sections below for the most up to date information of our destinations.

Situation for students on-site

Who would be better to talk about the on-site situation than the students themselves? Our international students in Asia have been sharing their experiences and we are gladly sharing them with you. Feel free to have a look at the following link/videos and advise your students based on what others are saying about the situation on site.

BLOG                     

Co-Founder of Asia Exchange Shares His Thoughts Regarding COVID-19

How Is The Situation In Seoul, South Korea?

VIDEO   

Panel Discusssion about COVID-19 and student mobility in 2020

Maddie from USA, Student in South Korea during COVID-19

Interview of Nadia and Signe, Students in Bali during COVID-19

Payment and Fees

We fully understand that these uncertain times can be difficult for many, also from the financial perspective.  Please be assured that we are doing our best to cope with these uncertainties. For this reason, we have updated our terms and conditions. We have decided to follow very student friendly cancellation and refund policies until COVID-19 is over. We offer our students the option to change their destination or postpone the semester free of charge, if wished. Furthermore, we fully refund application fees and tuition fees of our students, if they cancel their semester abroad up to one month before the semester starts.

Contacts

Due to the current situation, we, at Asia Exchange, understand that you might have questions and worries that need immediate attention. We are here for that! Please find below the main contacts with whom you can request a meeting or phone call to talk about anything you wish to speak about.

We would love to connect with you. Do not hesitate to contact us:

ASIA                                                                      hannes@asiaexchange.org

BENELUX                                                              lotta@asiaexchange.org

ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES                    rapha@asiaexchange.org

FRANCE                                                                tiphaine@asiaexchange.org

FINLAND                                                               joonas@asiaexchange.org

GERMAN SPEAKING COUNTRIES                    christopher@asiaexchange.org

SCANDINAVIA                                                     fabian@asiaexchange.org

SPANISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES                    fabian@asiaexchange.org

GENERAL INQUIRIES                                          info@asiaexchange.org

Q: What countermeasures have the universities in Asia implemented to ensure the safety of the students?

A: Depending on the university, the measures include postponing the semesters, restricting the arrival of students from high-risk areas, cancelling events and public gatherings on campus, health checks on campus and at dorms, and having the classes online. Some universities let the students to complete the rest of the semester online remotely.

Q: What has Asia Exchange done to ensure the students’ safety?

A: We are in constant contact with our Asian partner universities and keep track of the newest governmental regulations and guidelines of our destination countries. We inform our students without any delay about confirmed information and are providing contact persons in most of our destinations.

Q: Will the next semesters take place normally?

A: This depends on the host University. Some will postpone the beginning, and some are considering having online lectures at first, some programs are cancelled. Please check the detailed information regarding all our host universities in the section below.

Q: Can students stay in their host city and in on-campus housing?

A: This depends on the destination. Regular health checks are conducted on the campuses and dorms where on-campus accommodation is available. There are also no restrictions regarding accommodation for foreigners in our destination countries.

Q: It is not possible for me to travel to my destination country because of governmental or similar restrictions. What can I do, and does Asia Exchange cover any costs? 

A: The first thing you should do is to contact Asia Exchange. We can either postpone your semester or find another destination. If these options are not possible, there is more than 30 days to the beginning of the semester, you can cancel for free. If you have paid your tuition fee and/or there is less than 30 days until 14 days before the beginning of the semester, you will get a 50% refund of the tuition fee due to a force majeure. Asia Exchange cannot refund tuition fees less than 14 days before the semester starts or other services, such as flights or visa. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider about everything Asia Exchange will not refund.

Q: Can I attend the semester online?

A: Our partner universities will implement online lectures in case COVID-19 or any other virus is still spreading in the destinations. If you must leave the country, it is possible in some universities to complete the rest of the semester from home. If you cannot get to the destination at all, but decide to complete the semester online, you will be refunded 20% of the tuition fee.

Q: Can Asia Exchange help with visa-related matters or matters related to the best flight routes?

A: Absolutely. We have a brilliant network in our destination countries, along with a second office in Bali, which enable us to be aware of the most recent developments and regulations. We are always happy to share our best possible knowledge in every matter regarding a semester abroad. However, we always recommend getting in touch with your local embassies and airlines directly to ensure that all information provided is correct.

Q: Will I have to undergo quarantine when arriving in my destination?

A: It is possible, depending on the overall situation, that you will be quarantined. For this reason, please consider arriving in your destination some days earlier than you originally planned. You may be quarantined when entering your destination. Usually, the quarantine time depends on the destination but is around 14 days and executed as a self-quarantine.

Q: Will I receive support during my stay?

A: Yes! Both your university in Asia and Asia Exchange provide assistance before, during and after your stay.

Destinations & Universities

Life in Bangkok seems to go on as usual for the most part. Offices are open, markets are still filled with locals and people are living in a pre-crisis way of life. The Thai government is currently doing everything they can to control the outbreak. The Association of Private
School for Non-Formal Education is seeking to ease the visa restrictions for international teachers and students, including those who are waiting to enter the country. The association is requesting that the teachers and students are allowed to stay in the country legally till the end of this month to give more time to prepare all the paperwork for needed work permits and student visas.

Thai Government has announced that students who are studying in educational institutes approved by Thai Authorities are allowed to enter Thailand from 1st of July. Instructions for applying visas and procedures regarding the mandatory 14-day quarantine are sent to students who have applied to study in Thailand.

According to WHO Thailand has been ranked the second best in country to recovery from covid-19. Using the face mask is recommended as well as the avoidance of all the unnecessary contact with other people.
 

Siam University

Siam University offers students a possibility to start the semester online while waiting for the visa issuance and attending the 14-day quarantine after arriving Thailand.

“The days ahead are looking really good, based on the single digit new cases reported over the past week in a population of 70 million, thanks to the authority’s excellent prevention measures. We also take every precaution to facilitate and ensure our students’ health and safety.

 Rengson Mualchontham
Asia Exchange Students Advisor 
Siam University

Kasetsart University

Kasetsart University has announced plans to resume international student mobility welcoming students to campus for the spring semester 2021. As a safety precaution, students need to carefully follow the regulations and conditions given by Thai Authorities when entering the country. Further instructions will be sent to students when the semester gets closer. 

Prince of Songkla University

The autumn semester 2020 will not take place.

The Government has followed the guidelines given by World Health Organization and several measurements to prevent the virus for spreading has been taken. People are instructed to stay home and avoid unnecessary interaction with other people like in most of the countries worldwide currently. Arriving passengers are ordered to practice mandatory self-isolation after arriving in Malaysia.

Universiti Putra Malaysia

The Universiti Putra Malaysia has moved all the lectures online for the time being and closed the campus to protect the health of both the students and the staff. Our students’ visas have been extended as a measure to adapt the ongoing travel restrictions. The students who returned their home countries can finish their semester online without returning to Malaysia. The ongoing spring semester will continue until the end of July or the beginning of August due to delays the COVID-19 outbreak has caused. Accordingly, the autumn semester start has been postponed from September to October due to spring semester being delayed. Once the campus is opened again, UPM offers services for our students at their own health care centre onsite. We can accept applications to the autumn semester 2020 at Universiti Putra Malaysia until the 30th of June.

The Government has asked people to work from home and practice social distancing. The overall atmosphere is calm since the government has succeed in setting enough restrictions on time. The number of corona patients have stayed low compared to the size of population in Bali. Bali citizens have been following the guidelines of volunteer home isolation promptly which has had a positive effect on preventing the virus from spreading. Universities were closed until the 29th of May. There are currently no lockdowns in Bali or the rest of Indonesia. Beaches are reopening but it is still mandatory to wear a mask outside. International tourism reopens September 11th and domestic tourism resumed July 31st.

All programs in Bali informed us that the upcoming semesters will be organized. They are prepared to start the upcoming semesters online if needed but expect that the semesters will run normally with on-campus classes. 

All our universities in Bali allow late arrivals in case of travel restrictions or difficulties due to COVID-19. 

Warmadewa University

The Warmadewa University has moved all lectures online for the time being and closed the campus to ensure safety of both the students and the staff. They have also shared food and masks for villages nearby and instructed people how to prevent the virus from spreading. Our students have been satisfied with the arrangements considering how quickly those had to be done due to these unusual times. Since the arrangements with ongoing online courses have gone smoothly, the Warmadewa University has agreed to prepare for starting the autumn semester 2020 online in case our students could not attend on-site due to travel restrictions. The students could continue the semester on-site after travelling would be safe and possible again. 

“In Bali, there many private communities organized by the government. This includes Warmadewa University, that is actively taking part in preventing the COVID-19 spread in Bali. The members of Warmadewa University are going to many villages in Bali to explain right procedures to prevent COVID-19 and to supply food and hygiene products.”Prof. Dr I Nyoman Kardana, Head of International Programs 

BBF Program

We have an interesting situation here in Bali, it is strange and completely new. I feel safe because there are just a few cases and not many infected by Covid19. The government is doing well and keeping all in control just in case, but i think it is a question of days/weeks, until the rest of the world will “open doors” and everyone is coming back to normal life. – Eduardo González, Founder and CEO of Bali Tubes 

Udayana University

Udayana University has moved all lectures online and closed the campus offices to ensure safety for students and staff members. However, Udayana University has prepared to offer our students a possibility to start their studies online in case travel restrictions would prevent them starting the semester onsite.

“The outbreak means a lot for Udayana University. In response to the pandemic, the university has applied “Work and Study from Home” system in which online media is now fully implied.  Despite harms it has caused, our Rector invites all members of the community to learn from this situation. It is true that the pandemic has brought many changes in many sectors and has demanded us to adapt instantaneously, but, the best thing that we can do is to learn from the mistakes, draw lessons and take the wisdom from it to be used in the future.”Ni Agung Santhi, Coordinator of BIPAS 

Undiknas University

Undiknas University has moved all the classes online and closed the campuses at University area to protect the health of all students and staff. Individual guidance in learning related problems has been offered to our students when it has been needed. Upcoming autumn semester 2020 is supposed to take place online for the first half of the semester and onsite with normal classroom lectures during the second half. Undiknas University has prepared to start the semester online in case our students could not travel onsite due to travel restrictions. Students can continue the semester onsite at any point they are able to arrive Bali.

“Our campus has done its best in providing the lessons for all the students. Our students may study online using our integrated system and are still having their classes in real time with the lecturers. The students also do not have to be worried about bottlenecks because all our lecturers and employees are ready to give a solution online and remotely. Stay safe and blessed.Ida Nyoman Basmantra, Head of International Office Undiknas University 

Life is slowly returning to normal at China as the governmental restrictions are gradually being eased. The number of infected patients has reduced remarkably, and people are starting to live the “post corona era”. The number of new infections has reduced a lot and future seems a lot brighter already.

Shanghai University

Shanghai University closed the campus at spring due to corona virus outbreak to protect the students and staff. The campus will be opening for the autumn semester 2020 which is supposed to take place on time. The upcoming autumn semester will be organized online in form of a “Online Credit Program”.

There have been only very few infections in Taiwan in total. Essential businesses reopened and people are living their lives close to normal. Frequent temperature checks and wearing masks is still in use. We are currently waiting for updates from the Taiwanese Government regarding entry restrictions. It seems that everything will continue in the autumn semester like it was supposed to. All the lectures during the COVID-19 pandemic have still been arranged on campus. The country is considered to be one of the safest countries in the whole world during the corona virus pandemic.

Shih Chien University

Shih Chien University started checking the temperature of all campus visitors already at the early point of the corona virus outbreak in the world. The spring semester has been going on according to the original schedule and the autumn semester 2020 is supposed to take place like planned. 

South Korea is currently imposing a 14-day self-quarantine for all long term visa holders. This applies to students going through Asia Exchange. The classes at HUFS are planned to be held pre-dominantly on-campus.

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

HUFS has announced that they will be hosting both online and offline classes in the upcoming semester:
  1. Classes with 50 students or less will be offline
  2. Classes with 51 students or more will be online.
There is a chance of having face-to-face classes for classes with 51+ students if the lecturer so decides.

Since May 4th, schools across country, including Ho Chi Minh City, reopened for classes gradually. The autumn semester is expected to to take place but to start with a delay. The university has been operating normally since mid-May.

Vietnam’s Immigration Department has announced a stay extension for foreigners stranded in Vietnam until the July 31st. Vietnam’s borders will remain closed to international tourists in order to prevent a second wave of infections. Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have asked
hospitals to check the history of foreign patient’s entry into Vietnam and documents of mandatory quarantine completion before providing medical services.

Foreign Trade University

From May 13th, Foreign Trade University has been holding classes normally in a classroom setup.