Spring 2021 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 Spring 2021 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 Spring. If you have any questions, please contact your Admissions Counselor.

(Last updated: March 15, 2020)


I. Spring 2021: 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 and incoming Fall 2020 students who studied remotely last semester.
  3. Ensure that you have the appropriate VISA (see details below)
  4. Make travel arrangements and secure all required documents (see details below)


II. Travel to France

As of January 31, 2021, the French government has implemented tighter restrictions at its borders in an effort to combat the spread of Covid-19. Travel to France is limited for those coming from outside the European Union, who will have to present a completed "attestation," including a "compelling reason" to travel to France.

Students traveling to France from outside the European Union to begin, resume or complete a course of study are included in the list of "compelling reasons" and will be permitted entry to France.

For travel to France, different rules apply depending on whether the travel originates from within the European Union, from the United Kingdom, or from all other countries, including the United States. View all available attestations on the government's website and more detailed information below.

Travel to France from outside the European Union:

Please note that you need to prepare these documents:


  • A completed attestation – Check the box for “motif familial impérieux” and write “Étudiants en début, reprise ou fin de cycle d’études.”
  • Your Student Visa or your valid resident permit or your récépissé
  • Official Acceptance Letter – To prove your status as a student.
  • Negative PCR test – Administered within 72 hours before boarding.
  • International Travel Certificate for Metropolitan France – Check the box for "student" status and fill in the sworn statement of absence of Covid-19 symptoms (Download)

Travelers must self-quarantine for seven days upon arrival in France, followed by another PCR test at the end of the self-quarantine period. You will be able to leave your residence for essential needs, such as a trip to the supermarket or pharmacy.

Travel to France from Inside the European Union:

Countries included: Member States of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican.

Please note that you need to prepare these documents:

  • Your student Visa or your valid resident permit or your récépissé
  • Official Acceptance Letter – To prove your status as a student.
  • Negative PCR test – Administered within 72 hours before boarding.
  • International Travel Certificate for Metropolitan France – Check the box for "student" status and fill in the sworn statement of absence of Covid-19 symptoms (Download)

Travelers are encouraged to self-quarantine for seven days upon arrival in France.

Travel to France from the United Kingdom:

Please note that you need to prepare these documents:

  • A completed attestation
  • Your student Visa or your valid resident permit or your récépissé
  • Official Acceptance Letter – To prove your status as a student.
  • Negative PCR test – Administered within 72 hours before boarding.
  • International Travel Certificate for Metropolitan France – Check the box for "student" status and fill in the sworn statement of absence of Covid-19 symptoms (Download)

Travelers must self-quarantine for seven days upon arrival in France, followed by another PCR test at the end of the self-quarantine period. You will be able to leave your residence for essential needs, such as a trip to the supermarket or pharmacy.


In addition to the documents mentioned above, we suggest that all travelers bring:
  • A contact sheet with your address in France
    • The Residential Life team will provide the contact sheet 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.
  • Students who attended the first semester remotely and decide to attend the second semester in person should keep a copy of the document Student Immigration Services will have provided to secure a student visa. See section III. Student Visa. If you have not received this document, please contact SIS at sisataup.edu.

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

You will only be permitted to enter France if you have the required student visa.

For students who attended the first semester remotely and decide to attend the second semester in person, you must request an additional document from Student Immigration Services (sisataup.edu) that will allow you to request a student visa to enter France.

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. 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.
  • Incoming Fall 20 students who attended the first semester remotely and decide to attend the second semester in person can also register for the shuttle by email studentdevelopmentataup.edu with the following info: airline company and flight number, city of departure, arrival time, arrival terminal (if available) and personal phone number


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 before arrival listing their address, residence name, 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 welcomed to their residence on February 8 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 Student Immigration Services.


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.
  3. Antigen Testing (saliva tests) for rapid diagnosis in 30 minutes. Pharmacies and GPs have received supplies to perform the test themselves. Priority will be given to symptomatic cases.

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 walk-ins ONLY in a laboratory. See this selection of Covid testing centers in Paris.
  • 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: 72€.
  • 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


We will begin the semester online on the published date of January 18 commencing the semester with three weeks of remote learning for most courses. Exceptionally, studio art courses, computer lab courses, and science lab courses will begin, as is legally authorized, with onsite instruction on January 18 (although students in those classes can also elect to learn remotely until in-person classes begin three weeks later).

Our library and all student services will be open and available by appointment beginning January 18. There will be a five-day, long weekend break from February 6-10 allowing any students who have not yet returned to Paris to travel here at that time. All classes will then resume onsite instruction beginning on February 15.

As previously indicated, all classes will be available remotely throughout the semester for those students unable to travel to Paris or wishing to continue remote learning for the entire academic year. We will redistribute Spring Break to a second five-day break February 24-28 and a four-day Easter break April 3-6. Classes will end on April 28, two days earlier than previously planned and we will go into reading week as planned.

Please view the complete academic calendar for Spring 2021 on our website.


Technical Requirements

You should come equipped with a working laptop. While we expect to be teaching face-to-face in classrooms on campus, many of your professors will be using technology to enhance your learning. We also need to be prepared for remote teaching if necessary, during which periods it would be essential that you have a laptop and reliable internet connection.

VII. 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.

VIII. Learning Locations Policy

The learning location declaration form will be available to all students via their checklist. Students will be able to make a preliminary learning location declaration and to update their final learning location during Orientation/ Returning Student Check-In at the start of the semester. This declaration form includes the full policy for all learning location options: On-site, late arrival and remote learning location.

IX. 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.

X. Health and Safety Policies

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. 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 second attempted “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 once again 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 Spring semester. Our policies will necessarily continue to evolve as the situation on the ground changes, and French government guidelines are issued. Our intention at present is to offer the Spring semester as planned with in-person learning the norm. Consult our academic calendar here for the dates of the Spring 2021 semester.



During Orientation, all new students will receive training on the security protocol put in place to protect our community. Attendance at this important session is mandatory, and your presence will be required and recorded.  



Our expectation, given the high-touch service that is AUP’s trademark, is that most AUP faculty and staff will be in their campus offices by the beginning of the Spring semester. All University spaces have been studied and where necessary remodeled to permit social distancing and/or barriers to ensure a safe environment for all. 

Students coming 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.


  • 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 (available, 24/7) which can make an appointment for them with one of our referral doctors. In France, Covid-19 testing and tracing is 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 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.  AUP has a doctor on campus two half-days a week who will be available to see students, assess their health situation, and recommend 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 or any other health concern. 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 Tous Anti-Covid 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 manage tracing, isolating, testing and thereby containment of outbreaks). Any student who falls ill will also be followed by AUP’s Health Office. Before returning to school, students will require a negative Covid test. Their ID card will be deactivated for as long as the test shows positive. 



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 hand washing, 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. 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 is guided by French government guidelines. Masks must also be worn in bathrooms to protect against aerosol dispersion of the virus. It is also recommended that the toilet lid be closed before flushing. Hand sanitizer is supplied in dispensers at the entrances to buildings, in all classrooms,- and in offices that receive visitors. 
  • An Open Door policy prevails 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 plans 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. Large group events involving outside audiences will not take place on campus 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 the 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-to0-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. 


  • For Spring 2021, 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 Fall 2021 semester.  


  • 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.