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: November 19, 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

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
  • No specific access restrictions to the French territory; an attestation of an absence of symptoms of Covid-19 and of contact in the fourteen days preceding the flight with a confirmed case may be requested:  Member states of the European Union (EU) as well as Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, United Kingdom, San Marino, Holy See, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

Travel with restriction
  • Traveling from the United States, the UAE, Bahrain, Panama, South Africa, Algeria, China, Ecuador, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, DRC, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Zimbabwe: Before boarding, students must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours. Otherwise, it will be possible to carry out a test on arrival in France, at the airport. In the event of a positive result, isolation for 7 days may be imposed. (Please find additional information about traveling from the United States to France on the Consulate's website.)
  • Traveling from all other countries: Students must carry out a test upon arrival in France, at the airport. In the event of a positive result, isolation for 7 days may be imposed.


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 at the latest by Wednesday, January 6, 2021, 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.
  • 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 on January 13 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.
  • 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 at the latest by December 23, 2020  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 January 13 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 (see Spring 2021 in-person orientation schedule for details, available December 7).


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


In an effort to maximize flexibility this semester, 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 will enable all students, regardless of time zone, to participate more easily in synchronous classroom activities.


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.