Dear Cultural Vistas community,
First and foremost, I would like to share my sincere hope that you and those you care about are well during this stressful and uncertain time. We’re thinking of you.
Like you all, we have been intently following reports of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and considering the many ways in which its future course might impact our communities.
Cultural Vistas remains committed to taking all necessary precautions to protect the health and safety of our exchange participants and staff.
I am writing today to update you on the status of our programs and the following near-term steps we have taken to ensure that members of our exchange community are not put at undue risk.
Private Sector Exchange Visitor Programs, including Intern and Trainee Exchanges
In accordance with U.S. Department of State guidance issued regarding COVID-19 on Friday, March 13, the arrival of all exchange visitors, including interns and trainees, has been suspended for 60 days. We are continuing to extend sponsorship of programs beginning after this date, and are actively working with individuals and companies to implement this guidance, and are available to assist with any rescheduling.
For questions about active or pending programs, please contact your primary program contact or contact us directly via the following form.
ECA- and Embassy-Funded Exchange Programs
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announced on Thursday, March 12 that it will temporarily pause all ECA-funded programs for 60 days and review this decision every 30 days thereafter. For Cultural Vistas, this means that our work as a National Program Agency in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is currently on hold through May 10.
Moreover, our work with the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby to host the 2020 Young Pacific Leaders (YPL) Conference in Papua New Guinea, scheduled to take place this April 21-24, has also been postponed.
Spring and Summer 2020 International Programs and Fellowships for Americans
Given the unprecedented circumstances, Cultural Vistas has made the decision to postpone or cancel the following spring and summer international program offerings for Americans.
- Cultural Vistas Fellowship – Canceled (scheduled dates: June 2-August 5)
- STEM LAUNCH Study Tour of Germany – Canceled (scheduled dates: May 25-June 6)
- Summer Internship, Work Abroad, and University Programs in Europe + South America – Canceled
- Journalism in the Era of Disinformation Fellowship – Postponed (scheduled dates: May 16-22)
This decision was made in counsel with our Board of Directors, program funders, and many institutional partners around the world.
In addition to these measures, our staff is working with all participants taking part in active programs around the world to ensure their swift and safe return home. In instances where departure has not been possible, we remain in regular communication with participants and program partners to determine and support the best course of action moving forward.
Staff and Operations Moved Remote
As of Friday, March 13, Cultural Vistas has instituted mandatory remote work and closed its physical offices in Berlin, New York City, and Washington, D.C. offices. This arrangement will continue indefinitely and be reassessed on a regular basis. We will continue to adhere to local and national health directives and plan to re-open as soon as we can safely do so.
Through at least April 3, all in-person events will be postponed, canceled, or converted to virtual delivery. We look forward to working collaboratively online in the weeks to come and in-person once this health threat has passed.
This continues to be a fast-changing situation. As such, we will continue to monitor and evaluate and adapt accordingly. As the situation evolves, the following page will continue to be updated with our latest information, support, and guidance.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during this very challenging time for all of us.
This global pandemic serves as a reminder as to how truly connected our world is and just how essential international cooperation will be to navigate the challenges ahead.
Together, we’ll get through this.
Wishing you and your family health and well-being.
Jennifer Clinton, Ph.D.
President and CEO