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 + Trainee Exchanges  (Updated: May 17)

In accordance with U.S. Department of State guidance, J-1 Exchange Visitor Programs were on pause until May 13, which has concluded and has not been extended. The suspension of routine visa services at U.S. Embassies and Consulates, however, is still in effect, as are restrictions on non-essential travel from most countries.

As of the time of this update, there is no definitive confirmation as to whether J-1 travel is deemed essential or not.

While it may be advisable to wait to pursue international travel out of concern for the health and well-being of all parties, opportunities for Exchange Visitors to begin their programs are now possible for those where companies are ready to continue physically hosting and where Exchange Visitors hold the necessary sponsorship documents and visa stamp.

Per federal guidance, we are working with companies of new and previously approved programs to ensure their offices will be re-opened, that they are adhering to appropriate CDC, DOL and local/state guidelines to ensure the health and safety of Americans and Exchange Visitors, and that they have the adequate staffing and resources to offer their intended full-time training programs.

Updates to planned programs are possible. We are assisting in making adjustments to programs when necessary or upon request.

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 May 12 that due to the State Department’s Global Level 4 Health Others have pivoted to incorporate virtual programming and providing additional online resources. Cultural Vistas’ work as a National Program Agency in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) remains on hold.

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.


Alumni Resources

Through our partnership with Talkspace we are able to extend a special one-time discount of $100 (USD) to access online therapy services to all Cultural Vistas Alumni. You can message a licensed therapist from a mobile device — anywhere, at any time, making it easy to access to find support from your home, wherever in the world you are right now.

Contact alumni@culturalvistas.org to receive your alumni discount code.

Talk Space - Therapy for how we live today. image of a smartphone showing the talk space interface. download the app on the Apple App Store (for iOS) or Google Play Store (for Android)