Fall 2020 Semester Information: Health, Safety, Travel and More

The information outlined below is intended for new and returning students to prepare for arrival in Paris for the 2020 Fall semester. You will learn about the policies and guidelines that will govern our return to campus, read important information about travel and classes and discover details about our hybrid teaching approach for this Fall. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Admissions Counselor.

(Last updated: November 16, 2020)


I. Fall 2020: To-Do List

This is a quick overview of the steps you must take before arriving on campus:

  1. Complete the pre-arrival checklist for new students or returning student checklist for returning students
  2. Participate in the Virtual Orientation on AUP Engage for new students
  3. Renew your VISA (see details below)
  4. Set up travel arrangements and required documents (see details below)


II. Travel to France

Travel from outside the Schengen Area into France has been restricted. The French government has explicitly stated that student visas are still valid and that students are still permitted to travel to France, but additional requirements apply for certain regions around the world.


Travel without restriction
  • Traveling from the European Zone (EU Member States, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Vatican): Students traveling from these European countries will no longer need an international travel certificate and will not be subject to quarantine. 
  • Traveling from Australia, Canada, South Korea, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay: Passengers arriving from the above-listed countries are no longer subject to travel restrictions and may enter French territory if they comply with usual regulations and possess the required entry documents.  


Travel with restriction
  • Traveling from the United States, the UAE, Bahrain and Panama: It is no longer possible to travel to France if you cannot provide evidence that you have tested negative for Covid-19. Students must have a valid visa and proof of a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to boarding. 
  • Traveling from South Africa, Algeria, Brazil, India, Israel, Kuwait, Madagascar, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Serbia, Turkey: In these countries, the virus is circulating actively and it is difficult or even impossible to get tested before traveling. Consequently, you will be asked to take a mandatory PCR test upon arrival at the French border. Test results will be sent by the medical laboratory via email. While awaiting their results, passengers are expected to self-isolate to protect others.
  • Students coming from other countries are strongly encouraged to have a negative PCR test administered within 72 hours of travel. If you do not present a negative test result, you may be directed to a medical checkpoint for a test upon arrival in France or asked to carry out a two-week quarantine.


Bring with you – all countries with travel restrictions:

  • Negative PCR test (COVID-19 test)
    • Depending on the country you are traveling from, you may need to provide a negative PCR test (COVID-19 test) administered within 72 hours of departure before boarding for France. Without this test, boarding can be denied.
  • International Travel Certificate for Metropolitan France - DownloadMore Info
    • Check the box for “student” status.
    • You must carry this certificate when you travel (by air, sea or land, including by rail), as you may be asked to present it when boarding your transportation as well as to border control authorities upon arrival.
  • A self-declaration stating that you do not have symptoms of Covid-19 and that, to your knowledge, you have not been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the two weeks prior to the flight
    • included in the same document as the International Travel Certificate
  • A contact sheet with your address in France
    • The Residential Life team will provide the contact sheet by Friday, September 11, 2020 to all new students housed through AUP.
    • For those students who have not secured housing through AUP, bring a copy of your lease, contract or other official document indicating the address of where you will stay.
  • We also recommend keeping your Official Acceptance Letter easily accessible in a carry-on.

Source: https://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/services/news/coronavirus---information-to-passengers-traveling-from-paris. The information listed on this page is updated regularly.   

AUP’s Health Office (healthataup.edu) can provide helpful information about where to get tested for Covid-19 in France, but we are unable to assist with testing in other countries. Students currently in the US can find out about local testing options by visiting this page on the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

III. Student Visa and 90-Day Waiver

Our recommendation remains to travel to France with a student visa. With the adjusted semester dates, our semester is 91 days and will technically require a visa for entry. One-semester students are being issued visas, and we believe that having a visa (along with the other required travel documents) will make your entry and immigration process more reliable and efficient since there is no question that a student visa makes you eligible to travel to France.

Your second option is to travel to France without a visa (as long as your nationality allows visa-free entry for up to 90 days under normal circumstances). With this option, you will need a new enrollment letter showing that you will depart after classes end on December 11 and participate in final exams remotely (which is an option for all students this Fall semester). When you arrive at border control in France, in lieu of a student visa, you will need to present documents showing that you are enrolled at AUP for under 90 days along with proof of housing for the full length of your stay. AUP can provide you with both of these documents if you are using AUP housing. Please be aware that French authorities may be less familiar with these new entry guidelines; we will ask for your travel details in order to prepare our orientation staff to expect your arrival and assist with any issues.

We will be sending all incoming students more information about the required travel documents and the immigration procedure, regardless of their visa arrangements. If you decide to forego the student visa, please let us know (admissionsataup.edu) so that we can issue your adjusted enrollment letter and, if you are using AUP housing, your proof of housing for the semester.

If you have already applied for or received your visa, then no additional steps need to be taken. Immigration authorities in France will permit you entry, so long as you have your student visa, along with the other required travel documents.

IV. Arrival in Paris

Airport shuttle for new student orientation

Who will have access to the airport shuttle?

Students arriving at CDG airport on September 19th or 20th between 6 am and 3 pm. Students should sign up for the shuttle bus via the pre-arrival step. The shuttle bus will drop students off at one of the residences used by AUP this semester. If students not housed by us want to use the shuttle, they are welcome but need to figure out with the help of the AUP people present at CDG which residence is closest to their independent housing

How can I register for it?

You can register on the checklist’s pre-arrival step.


How to get to campus

Students who don't have access to the airport shuttle, should take a taxi into Paris. The fee should be no more than 50-60 euros.



New undergraduate students in AUP housing will receive an email two weeks prior to arrival listing their address, room number, roommate’s name (if applicable), and other important details. New and returning grads as well as returning undergrads should get in touch with the Residential Life team immediately if they still need help to secure independent housing. The best way to do that is to fill out the Housing Search Webform.

Students housed through AUP will be taken to their residence on September 19 or 20 and greeted by student advisors.



Keep your boarding pass after your flight, and bring both your passport and boarding pass with you to in-person orientation for your session with your Student Advisor.


Emergency contacts
  • If you have problems with immigration at the airport, please call Marc Montheard at +33 6 19 28 43 89;
  • If you have difficulties locating the airport shuttle, please contact Yann Louis at +33 6 63 38 49 96;
  • If you need medical help, please contact International SOS at +33 1 55 63 36 35
  • For any other help, please contact the AUP hotline at +33 6 11 68 76 44

V. Testing for Covid-19

Testing before arrival in Paris

Please consult your primary care physician to determine the best way to receive a PCR (Covid-19) test within 72 hours before you travel to France.


Testing in Paris

All questions or concerns should be addressed to the AUP Health Office at healthataup.edu.

Is Covid-19 testing available to anyone who requests it?

Yes, but people with symptoms and a prescription will be given priority.

What are the main symptoms of Covid-19?

Symptoms include fever, cough, chest pains, respiratory discomfort and a loss of the senses of taste and smell. You may request a test even if you are not experiencing any symptoms yet.

Are there different types of tests for Covid-19?

Yes. There are two that you should be aware of:

  1. RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) – This test tells you whether you currently have Covid-19. It's administered by taking a viral swab from the nose.
  2. Serological ELISA test (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) – This test tells you if you contracted Covid-19 in the past. It is a blood test that looks for antibodies. The rapid serological tests or TRODs can detect antibodies from one drop of blood in a few minutes.

Do I need a prescription to get a test?

No. But MSH insurance won’t reimburse the cost of the test without a prescription from a doctor.

Where can I be tested?

There are currently two main ways to be tested in France:

  • By appointment or walk-in in a laboratory: https://sante.fr/recherche/trouver/DepistageCovid
  • Through drive-ins, most practical if you live outside of Paris: https://drivecovid.fr/

Are Covid-19 tests reimbursed?

Yes, if you have a prescription.

  • RT-PCR testing: 54€.
  • Serological ELISA test: 12,15€ (9,45€ if a rapid test)

Am I still contagious if my Serological ELISA test is positive and I've developed antibodies?

Possibly. Having antibodies doesn't necessarily mean you can't transmit the virus or contract the virus again. Social distancing is still necessary. Also, there's a 5% false-positive rate for serological tests. Serological tests can't replace a PCR test.

Sources: French Ministry of Solidarity and Health: (https://solidarites-sante.gouv.fr/soins-et-maladies/maladies/maladies-infectieuses/coronavirus/tout-savoir-sur-la-covid-19/article/se-faire-depister-lieux-et-conditions)

VI. Academic Life

Schedule Adjustments for Fall 2020

In an effort to maximize flexibility this semester, we have made some significant changes to the course schedule. Because the semester is two weeks shorter than usual, we have implemented slightly longer classes than our traditional model. Where possible, courses will include one morning and one afternoon session to allow for a more natural adaptation to the combination of on-campus and remote student participation. This change will enable all students, regardless of time zone, to participate more easily in synchronous classroom activities. Inevitably, revisions to our course schedule may cause temporary inconveniences to some students, although we are working to minimize these. We are adjusting the schedule now as we try to anticipate changes that may become necessary later in order to ensure a more seamless process for all students. We thank you in advance for your flexibility and patience as we all navigate these unprecedented challenges. The Office of the Registrar already entered the updated version of the schedule, and it can be consulted by each of you on your Student Portal. They have reached out to students with any identified issue individually in order to work toward a solution. Should you continue to have scheduling difficulties, please contact registrarofficeataup.edu.


How do I continue to study remotely if I have to quarantine?

Due to the continued presence of Covid-19, we are offering courses in-person for students who can come to Paris and remotely for students who are delayed, unable to travel, or in self-isolation. AUP professors are preparing their courses to allow for maximum flexibility and a mix of both synchronous and asynchronous coursework. We have equipped our classrooms with the technology that will enable students who are away from campus to see, listen to and participate with their professors and peers.

VII. Policies and Support for Students

Commitment to Shared Responsibility for Health and Safety

The American University of Paris is committed to providing a healthy and safe work environment for students, faculty and staff when our buildings reopen, and we all return to campus on August 31, 2020 (for employees) and September 21 and 23 (for new and returning students). To that end, we will continue to follow the recommendations of the French government as regards a return to university campuses in the context of Covid-19.  To protect our community, we are calling upon all members of the AUP community, including students, to share in the responsibility of drawing a protective circle around our campus and the University community itself by being attentive--in both our personal and professional behaviors--to public health recommendations, University policies, your own symptoms and those of your friends and families, as well as your masking and social distancing behavior both on campus and off

We fully expect the unexpected in this first “normal” semester after the advent of the Covid-19 crisis and intend to follow all French government recommendations for health and safety, as well as further confinement (and return to full remote learning) should that be required either intermittently or longer-term. In many instances, AUP policies are stricter than government policies, although they remain in alignment with those that have been published to date. We are currently in a fluid, changing situation requiring open communication amongst all members of our community. Respect on the part of all for the difficulty of the conditions we are navigating should determine our relations with one another during this challenging period.

We have developed the following expectations and support systems for students as we look to the Fall semester and the return to in-person, hybrid, and possibly even intermittently remote learning.  Our policies will necessarily continue to evolve as the situation on the ground changes, and French government guidelines are issued.  

Student Health and Safety Training

During Orientation, all new students will receive training on the security protocol that has been put in place to protect our community.  Attendance at this important session is mandatory, and your presence will be required and recorded.  An online tutorial is being put in place for returning students;  further information will be provided in advance of the start of classes.   

Return to Campus

Our expectation, given the high-touch service that is AUP’s trademark, is that most AUP faculty and staff will return to their campus offices beginning August 31.  The Provost’s Office, Buildings and Grounds, and our architects have studied meeting rooms, classrooms and offices, and have made plans permitting social distancing and or barriers to ensure a safe environment for all.   

Students returning to campus from other countries must follow the immigration testing and quarantine instructions dictated by the French government.  Please check the requirements for your country a week before you leave for France. 

Student Health: Screening and Testing
  • A student who feels ill should not come to school, nor will any student with a fever or Covid-19 symptoms be allowed to remain on campus. Students who experience symptoms of Covid-19--notably fever and a cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea--should notify the AUP Health Office (Monday through Friday during working hours), or use our International SOS app (anytime of day, 24/7) which can either make an appointment for them with one of our referral doctors. In France, Covid-19 testing and tracing will most often be initiated through the médecin traitant system; health providers will track symptoms and report to public health. Testing for Covid-19 is a free service under French public health decrees for anyone covered by French Social Security and is readily available without a prescription in laboratories, both private and public across France.  Test results are available within 24-48 hours, generally via the internet.  First-semester new students and others whose Social Security applications are still being treated will need a prescription from a doctor.  AUP will also have a doctor on campus two half-days a week who will be available to see students, assess their health situation, and write prescriptions for testing, if necessary.    
  • Students are covered by our International SOS contract, and will receive instructions on how to install the app during Orientation.  Students may access the app at any moment of the day or night, during the school semester or when on vacation or traveling, to receive help with a suspected Covid-19 diagnosis.  The medical personnel answering the phone will help you determine whether you need emergency support (an ambulance to take you to a hospital emergency room) or whether you should see a doctor at the earliest possible moment.  The team can make appointments, arrange services, and also advise on isolating or quarantining.  It liaises with the AUP Student Health Office. 
  • Students who are identified as having come in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, will be required to self-isolate (even without symptoms), following their classes remotely during the interim from home.  AUP’s Health Office will support any students who find themselves in this situation;  we will have special accommodations available for students who have to isolate or quarantine.
  • We recommend that all students download the StopCovid app developed by the French government which—without violating strict European privacy laws—can notify you if your phone indicates you may have been exposed to the virus.   
  • If a student contracts Covid-19, he or she will be followed by French public health authorities and will not return to campus until cleared by his or her health care provider or Assurances Maladie (the French national health system within which  teams manages tracing, isolating, testing and thereby containment of outbreaks).  Any student who falls ill will also be followed by AUP’s Health Office liaising with any of the above services. Before returning to school, students will require a doctor’s note. 
  • We are currently researching the advisability and legal requirements for thermal camera temperature reading of all campus-entering individuals, and will institute such if this measure is deemed appropriate.
Policies Governing Classrooms, Meetings, and Student Life on Campus
  • AUP students will be expected to follow all French government health recommendations for the practice of barrier methods that inhibit transmission of Covid-19:  social distancing, frequent handwashing, regular use of sanitizing gel and wipes, use of disposable tissues, and covering the mouth and nose in the event of coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks will be required for everyone present on campus, including students, faculty, staff, and the occasional visitor or guest lecturer. Masks must cover the nose and mouth, and it is recommended that masks fit snugly under the chin and have two layers.  We assume that after months of confinement and working remotely that all students have their own stock of washable masks.
  • AUP will provide one re-usable mask per student at Orientation, and will expect beyond that first issue that students will have their own masks. Emergency supplies of disposable masks will be maintained in all buildings in case of need at the reception desk. Masks must be worn everywhere on campus and at all times.
  • The use of masks in classrooms and offices will be guided by French government guidelines. While awaiting the final issue of those guidelines, AUP policy is that masks have to be worn in classrooms.
  • Masks must also be worn in bathrooms to protect against any aerosol dispersion of the virus.  Disinfectant wipes will be provided in bathrooms to clean toilet seats and lids as necessary.
  • Hand sanitizer will be supplied in dispensers at the entrances to buildings, in classrooms where faculty and students are called upon to manipulate equipment, and in offices that receive visitors.
  • Staff who receive large numbers of students or visitors (such as the HelpDesk staff, Reception, the Registrar’s Office, Student Accounting Services, etc.) will be provided with a protective screen and visors to wear in addition to their masks.
  • Faculty who are lecturing from the front of the classroom can wear visors or masks, according to their preference.  They will use a mask when approaching students to speak one-on-one.
  • An Open Door policy will prevail throughout the campus. If confidentiality requires that an office door be closed when a faculty member or staff member is meeting with a student, only the owner of the office should touch the inside door handle (to close and open the door).  In classrooms, where doors will likely need to be closed because of noise, the professor should be the person opening and closing the door.
  • Depending on classroom size and typology of courses, according to a plan to be issued by the Provost’s Office, classes may, in certain cases, be split into two groups:  one in person and the other remote. This organization will allow each student to benefit each week from some face-to-face contact. The Provost will provide more detail on classroom planning separately. As soon as the French government provides guidance on classroom organization, these elements will be implemented if they are stricter than AUP’s current policies.
  • Large group events involving outside audiences will not take place on campus this semester, and events of over 25 people on campus will need to adhere to all safety protocols and will require approval of the arrangements in advance. Student-organized events will require approval in advance from Student Leadership.  
  • Staff responsible for University security (including members of the Leadership Team, the Director of Human Resources, and Phil von Eiff and members of his team) will have the authority to refuse access to buildings or spaces to anyone who refuses to comply with AUP’s health policies. 
  • The University will ensure cleaning of common areas twice daily, with special attention to doorknobs and railings, elevators and stairwells, and other commonly used areas.
  • Faculty, staff and students should open windows as often as possible, or leave them open if outside noise does not impede the work being accomplished in the classroom. 
  • Fans must not be used when more than one person is present in the room.
  • Physical distancing must be observed to the greatest extent possible, even with the use of masks. The general French guideline for distancing with masks is 1 meter between persons.   
  • All face-t0-face meetings—Student Senate meetings, club meetings, advising meetings, and even one-on-one meetings with faculty if they cannot be properly socially distanced—should be replaced by video calls to the maximum extent possible.
The AMEX Café

The AMEX Café will observe the rules established by the French government for all cafés and restaurants in France, to include:

  • No service at the bar – only table service will be permitted
  • A minimum of 1 meter’s distance between tables, including outdoors on the terrace
  • No more than 4 people at a single table
  • Students must wear masks when moving around, and may remove them only when seated at a table
  • Amex cooks and servers must wear masks at all times
  • For Fall 2020, and until the global situation stabilizes, AUP-sponsored travel for students will be severely limited and require the approval of the President.
  • All members of the AUP community are requested to vigorously limit travel this semester in order to preserve the confines of the AUP “bubble” as much as possible.
  • As a general rule governing study trips this semester, group travel will be authorized only within France. This rule will be reexamined for the Spring 2021 semester. 
Responsibility to Report
  • As part of our campus-wide effort to keep our campus and community safe, and in an effort to ensure the health and safety of the entire AUP community, students are invited to report the behavior of any individual who does not appear to be adhering to the AUP safety protocols. If this situation should arise, please contact Marc Monthéard, AUP’s VP for Student Services and Security (mmontheardataup.edu).
  • Our greatest aid to maintaining a healthy campus is the responsibility of every single member of the AUP community to report symptoms and/or contact with suspected or real cases of Covid-19, and to support the efforts of tracing and testing.  The ready availability of tests in France and the rapid return of results make it possible to react quickly and to limit the propagation of the virus in real time. 
  • Students who come forward will always be treated by our staff with the greatest compassion and support, and confidentiality whenever possible.    

VIII. The Importance of Masks

  • Masks should only be used by one person and should not be shared.
  • All masks should be changed if wet or visibly soiled; a wet mask should not be worn for an extended period of time.
  • Remove the mask without touching the front of the mask. Do not touch your eyes or mouth after the mask has been removed. Either discard the mask or place it in a sealable bag where it is kept until it can be washed and cleaned. Wash your hands immediately after handling a mask.
  • Non-medical masks should be washed frequently and handled carefully, so as not to contaminate other items. If the layers of fabrics look noticeably worn out, discard the mask.
  • Check the mask’s material for the highest permitted washing temperature. If instructions for washing are indicated on the clothing label, verify that you can wash the mask in hot water. Wash at 60°C with soap or laundry detergent.
    • Non-woven polypropylene (PP) spunbond fabrics may be washed at high temperatures, up to 125°C. Natural fibers may resist high temperature washes and ironing. Wash the mask carefully (without too much friction, stretching or wringing).
    • The combination of non-woven PP spunbond and cotton can tolerate high temperatures; masks made of this material may be steamed or boiled.
  • Where hot water is not available, wash the mask with soap or detergent at room temperature, then either boil the mask for one minute or soak it in 0.1% chlorine solution for one minute then thoroughly rinse the mask with room temperature water to remove any residual chlorine.

IX. Learning Locations Policy

The learning location declaration form will be available to all students via their checklist on September 7, 2020. This declaration form will include the full policy for all learning location options: On-site, late arrival and remote.

X. Cultural Program

All Cultural Program activities are designed with the latest Covid-19 travel and safety recommendations in mind. Please go check the Cultural Program page on AUP Engage and the Cultural Program webpages for the latest news.