Thursday February 25, 2021

THL for suspending short-term Int’l student exchanges

Published : 04 Feb 2021, 02:50

Updated : 04 Feb 2021, 09:15

  DF Report

International students in front of the University of Lapland. DF File Photo.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Wednesday recommended that educational institutions should temporarily suspend short-term student exchanges from abroad to Finland and from Finland to abroad.

The recommendation only applies to new student exchanges starting from now on, said the THL in a press release.

Short-term student exchange refers to short periods such as intensive courses, language and cultural exchanges, and other exchange periods lasting less than a semester.

“Currently most courses are organised as remote learning, so short-term student exchanges, both in Finland and abroad, focus on social interactions that take place outside these lessons. This increases the risk of spreading infections,” said THL Director Mika Salminen.

The extensive exposure of students to COVID-19 in Jyväskylä and the subsequently large number of students who were infected with the virus has shown that international student exchanges and the student gatherings that are a natural part of them can pose a risk for the epidemic to escalate.

In most countries, there are more coronavirus infections than in Finland. In addition, infections caused by a modified coronavirus variant have been reported in several countries.

A student exchange to Finland that is expected to last a full semester or an academic year must take into account THL's guidelines on coronavirus testing and quarantine measures related to travel.

Quarantine accommodation should not be a shared room or apartment with other students.