Information Hub:

Fall semester details, AUP's Covid-19 response, AUP Digital Campus and more...

Information Hub

The American University of Paris has always taught students to react flexibly and deftly to a world of swift-paced change. But as we’ve seen over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, some changes are bigger than others.

Our community has nevertheless responded to the crisis with efficiency and empathy, embracing a changing world while never abandoning the guiding principles of an AUP education: that of learning from and embracing difference and engaging meaningfully with the international community.

On this page, we share information about our Summer and Fall semesters, and our hybrid teaching approach moving forward into the new academic year. You’ll also find stories of individuals coming together to overcome one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced: we are immensely grateful to each and every one of them.

Fall Semester

University Policies and Guidelines for Students (Fall 2020)

Throughout the pandemic, The American University of Paris has prioritized the safety and well-being of our university community, focusing on our students, faculty and staff and supporting the wider community. We are planning for the Fall semester in a cautious, measured, and systematic way, regularly monitoring and adapting our plans in response to public health announcements and French government advice. Our plans will accommodate, if necessary, mandatory quarantine periods, the late arrival of some students to campus, and required social distancing and community health protocols.

We believe the best possible university experience for our students comes from face-to-face engagement with faculty and the lateral learning that students experience in classes from one another – supported by digital tools.  Given the small size of our learning community and the fact that we do not have dormitories, we believe we can best serve our student body by opening Fall 2020 with a hybrid model of teaching:  in-person classroom learning, asynchronous remote learning for all who wish to delay their return until the Spring, and an agile mix of in-person and remote learning should the public health situation require it.  Students studying remotely will still have virtually at their disposal all of the University’s academic and student services, from library e-resources to counseling, academic advising to student development.  In short, plans are in place to ensure we can support our students toward their desired learning outcomes, whatever the circumstances.

The following policies are preliminary health and safety regulations that we will put in place for the 2020 Fall semester. These policies—which will be updated over the summer—are subject to change based on public health announcements and French government guidelines.  Although we cannot guarantee that no student will be touched by the virus—which is currently and still in worldwide circulation—we have the full weight of the French medical system and administrative policies providing free coverage of Covid-related illness supporting our efforts.

TEACHING
  • We will start the semester on Wednesday, September 23, following on-campus Orientation between September 19 and 22, to ensure that our international community has time to process visas and carry out any required quarantine period.
  • The Fall 2020 semester will be slightly shorter and more condensed than previous ones, and will provide the same high-quality, global liberal arts instruction for which AUP is known.
  • Class periods will be slightly longer to ensure the same number of contact hours over the semester.
  • Classes will end on December 11, and exams will be completed by December 22. Students will have the option to stay to complete their semester, or to leave Paris after December 11 to complete papers and finals online.
  • The curriculum is designed to adapt to changing circumstances. Should the need arise to shift back to remote learning, we will be prepared to move classes entirely online.
CAMPUS AND CLASSROOM
  • All campus buildings will be open.
  • To minimize community members’ contact with frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, doors will be left open as much as possible throughout the campus.
  • If public health regulations require additional distancing measures for classroom settings, the University will implement these strictly.
  • The faculty will establish, maintain and enforce seating plans to facilitate contact tracing should there be a reported case of Covid-19 on campus. 
  • Each community member will receive one washable, reusable mask from the University and will be required to wear a mask while on campus.
  • The faculty will be required to wear visors during lectures. 
  • In-person meetings will be limited to four people. All other meetings (except class meetings) will have to be conducted virtually.
HEALTH AND SANITARY MEASURES
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at building entrances and in classrooms. The University will distribute disinfectant wipes to all areas with shared equipment, and wipes will also be available on request at front desks.
  • Washing hands remains the most effective barrier to transmission. Additional supplies of soap and disposable towels will be available, and community members are expected to wash their hands frequently while on campus.   
  • Facility management will clean buildings regularly.  An increased cleaning schedule has been established for frequently touched surfaces (e.g., staircase railings, elevator buttons).
  • Should students be required to self-quarantine upon arrival in Paris, they will receive the full support of student services, including that of our guidance counselors, and the AUP Health Office, who will closely monitor their well-being and be available to them on campus and remotely.
  • Community members who exhibit Covid-19 symptoms will be guided through the official Covid-19 response procedures laid out by the French government. You can find more information in our Covid-19 Testing FAQ here.  
  • AUP’s primarily online Orientation Program this year will include formal training for all members of the campus community on health regulations, security protocols and best practices. Additional training dates will be provided for late arrivals.
  • Contactless infrared thermometers will be available at building entrances for visitors and community members who wish to check their temperature. These will be cleaned after each use.
  • We encourage all returning and incoming students with specific health vulnerabilities to contact the AUP Health Office immediately to determine the best way forward for each individual student. The official list of vulnerabilities, according to the French Décret no 2020-521 from May 5, 2020, can be found in French and English.
INTERNATIONAL SOS

The University continues its partnership with International SOS—providing a free app to all our students, in order:

  • to provide printed materials to share best practices and health guidelines with the AUP community;
  • to provide a first point of contact should a community member exhibit symptoms, as either International SOS or the AUP Health Office will be able to refer students to government reporting systems, make appointments and ensure their continued well-being, following them through isolation, should that become necessary;
  • offer health and safety updates via the International SOS mobile application available for free to all AUP community members on iOS and Android;
  • make available e-learning videos designed to bring awareness to our student community through the iSOS Training Hub.
A Fall Semester on Campus

In September, the University will reopen its campus to students. We will provide a hybrid teaching approach during our Fall semester, with on-campus instruction for students in Paris and remote learning in place for those unable to travel. Throughout, we will monitor and adapt to public health announcements and French government advice on the size of gatherings.

We will start the semester later, on September 23, following orientation days on September 19 and 22, to ensure that our international community has time to process visas and carry out any required quarantine period. This Fall semester will be slightly shorter and more condensed than previous ones, though it will contain the same high-quality, global liberal arts instruction for which AUP is known. Class periods will be slightly longer to ensure the same number of contact hours over the course of the semester. Classes will end on December 11 and exams will be completed by December 22. Students will have the option to leave Paris after December 11 and complete papers and final exams online.

We are committed to accommodating all returning students no matter their needs. Should students be required to self-quarantine upon arrival in Paris, they will receive the full support of student services, including our guidance counselors, who will closely monitor their well-being.

Over the summer months, we will conduct workshops for faculty members to assist in flexible instructional design. Classrooms are being equipped with new technology that supports a hybrid approach to learning. Faculty are working hard to adapt curricula to changing circumstances, and should the need arise to shift back entirely to remote learning, they are prepared to move classes fully online. Co-curricular activities – which form an important part of an AUP experience – are similarly ready to adapt.

AUP and Covid-19

A Swift Response

In the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, the AUP community organized to make sure the campus remained a safe and healthy environment, and contingency plans were put in place to prepare for a rapid move to remote learning protocols, should it become necessary.

Following advice from the World Health Organization and the French Health Ministry, community members returning from at-risk areas after Spring Break were required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Once the announcement of France’s confinement measures came into force, the University made the switch to remote teaching, learning and working in just five days. Every single student was able to finish the semester, and although it became necessary to postpone graduation to 2021, the Class of 2020 gathered for a virtual celebration of their success on May 18.

A Community Comes Together

Adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic was an immense challenge for our entire community. But thanks to the solidarity and cooperation displayed by staff, faculty, students, alumni, trustees, parents and friends who rose to the occasion with flexibility and resilience, we can now share stories of success from all corners of The American University of Paris.

Our global explorer students, all of whom had their semesters shift rapidly to online learning protocols, adapted with agility and in record time. Some chose to return home, studying in time zones across the world. Over 400 chose to remain in Paris, weathering the confinement period with the University’s support and documenting their experiences in innovative ways.

Staff moved support services online from one day to the next. Faculty reworked syllabi to suit online teaching practices, while still finding time to contribute to the academic discourse of the moment. Alumni, parents and friends supported the University both financially and with their time and expertise. You’ll find just some of these stories below.

AUP Digital Campus

When our physical campus closed its doors in March, we wanted to ensure that the community could come together in an online space. The AUP Digital Campus acted as a virtual hub for community activity, uniting resources for staff, students and faculty in a centralized location, and providing original content for the whole community to enjoy.

The aim was to maintain a sense of common purpose among global explorers, now scattered across the globe. The project also encouraged collaboration, as staff, students, faculty, alumni, trustees, parents and families came together to offer help and guidance or to contribute to the projects in development.