Foreign students are coming. Tests and isolation planned for those from risky countries

Academic year to start at Slovakia's universities in September. Universities are ready to be flexible and make changes if the coronavirus situation requires it.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: AP/SITA)

The summer term ended early for many foreign students at Slovakia's universities. The coronavirus pandemic interrupted instruction and closed dormitories in March.

For most exchange students it meant wrapping up the term from home, attending lectures and taking exams online.

The next academic year, 2020/2021 is set to start as usual, in September. One month ahead of the start, there is nothing to suggest any delays are to be expected.

Foreign students have already started arriving to Slovakia. They need to follow health authorities' measures just as every traveller entering the country. In some cases, self-isolation and a coronavirus test is required. Currently, no quarantine facilities are open to offer them temporary refuge, and students are left to their own devices to organise their quarantine - which they mostly do in short-term rental apartments.

Universities say they are closely watching the development of the epidemic situation in Slovakia. The country was celebrated for containing the first wave of the epidemic in the spring, but lately the number of positively-diagnosed people has been on the rise since the end of June.

“We are also prepared for the alternative, that not everyone will be able to start the academic year in a regular way,” Tomáš Zavatčan, spokesperson of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice told The Slovak Spectator. They have enough experience and technical means to allow students to study, including in remote distance form if needed, he added.

Preparing for various scenarios

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