COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

At Cultural Vistas, the health and well-being of our exchange program participants, hosts, and staff is of paramount importance to us.

Our team is closely monitoring the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and is actively assessing the potential impact on its global community.

This continues to be a fast-evolving situation. As such, we are assessing the impact of our programs and services daily and continually planning for future scenarios, including adjusted program models and planned events as warranted and/or recommended.

As the situation evolves, this page will be updated to provide the latest information, support, and guidance to our exchange community around the world and here in the United States.

News and Updates

Cultural Vistas President and CEO Discusses COVID-19’s Impact with The PIE News (3.27.20)

Message from Our President (3.23.20)

State Dept: Suspension of Routine Visa Services (3.20.20)

State Dept: Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Avoid All International Travel (3.19.20)

Message from Our President (3.13.2020)

State Dept: Temporary Pause of ECA Funded International Exchange Programs (3.12.2020)

State Dept: Global Level 3 Health Advisory – Reconsider International Travel (3.11.2020)

Cultural Vistas Alert: Novel Coronavirus Update  (2.6.2020)

Program Updates

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. Cultural Vistas’ work as a National Program Agency in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is currently on hold through the end of  June 2020.

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. 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.

Precautions and General Information

As our understanding of the virus matures, one thing is clear: the prevention of infection is key to minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

We all have a role to play, not only in terms of our own health, but also in the well-being of others.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, fundamental hygiene that helps prevent the spread of germs such as this includes:

  • Clean hands thoroughly (at least 20 seconds with soap and water) and do so often
  • If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid close contact with others (less than six feet)
  • Avoid touching your eye, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs or sneezes – and wash your hands immediately after
  • Wear a face mask if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces often, especially those you touch

For detailed instructions, see the Steps to Prevent Illness from the CDC and COVID-19 Advice for the Public from World Health Organization.

See WHO.int for more videos aimed at educating the public, preventing the spread of the virus, preparing for travel, and caring for others.