Publication Date: February 27, 2020
Publication Location: WASHINGTON, DC
Contact: Kathryn Schoenberger   |   kathryn.schoenberger@worldlearning.org

As a global organization with students, staff, faculty, and partners worldwide, World Learning, Inc. – which includes School for International Training and The Experiment – extends our deepest concern for the countries and people experiencing the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. We also offer support for and profound thanks to our colleagues on the ground in affected locations worldwide. As we have been since January, when news of this new virus first emerged, we are monitoring this situation around the clock and from multiple perspectives and platforms. We have modified programs most closely impacted by this situation and we are standing by to make additional changes and modifications as necessary.

World Learning’s crisis management structure is designed to ensure that information is reported in a timely manner and that incidents classified as a crisis are escalated promptly to our team of experts, who are tasked with risk assessment and response. World Learning is committed to meeting all situations head-on and taking all appropriate action to mitigate risk. Our priorities are to:

  • Ensure the safety, security and well-being of students, program participants, faculty and staff;
  • Uphold the values and mission of World Learning;
  • Maintain normal operations of the organization globally to the extent that it is safely possible to do so.

Because we have numerous programs around the world, our teams have thus far been able to respond quickly and nimbly to this rapidly changing situation. It’s important to note that this type of response is not new to our organizations. We have addressed multiple challenges over the course of our more than 80-year history as providers of international education, global exchange, and development.

Under the current circumstances, all programs are developing location-specific COVID-19 plans that include an assessment of precautions taken, mechanisms in place, and planning for a range of scenarios. Our experts at World Learning headquarters in Washington, DC, and Vermont, in consultation with sources from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, the U.S. State Department, and International SOS, will coordinate overall management of the situation and work with local response teams as necessary. Local response teams have been trained to serve in a contingency capacity at any field location. They are responsible for initial response, assistance, and containment of the situation in coordinating with experts at World Learning headquarters.

World Learning is committed to prompt communications with all stakeholders impacted by the spread of COVID-19. Our teams and programs have been in close and frequent contact with students, parents, advisors, partner institutions, and others to inform them of changes necessitated by this situation. We will continue to use and operationalize all resources at our disposal in our efforts to keep our constituents safe.