Last updated: January 26, 2021
DIS is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Sweden. We have compiled responses to frequently asked questions below.
What will be required of me to be successful in Sweden during COVID-19?
Flexibility: As in the U.S., conditions and recommendations are constantly changing as the public health community and leaders learn more about COVID-19. DIS will need to make adjustments – possibly with little to no warning – to recommended protocols, class schedules, field study destinations, etc. Please prepare to be flexible and understand that, at some point in the semester, you may need to stay home for a period of time as a result of illness, exposure, or a community lockdown. DIS is prepared to support you through any of these scenarios.
Respect and Compliance: In addition to the DIS Code of Student Responsibility, please be aware of these specific policies intended to make your semester as safe as possible under the current pandemic. All students have a shared responsibility to each other, to DIS faculty and staff, and to our local communities. This responsibility includes following these and any additional protocols announced during the semester:
- Monitor any symptoms of illness throughout your time abroad. Stay home and seek medical care/COVID-19 screening if you experience a dry cough, high temperature, breathing difficulties, sore throat, headache, loss of taste/smell, and/or muscle pain. Use this flowchart in case of exposure or illness.
- Do not travel outside Sweden
- Report to DIS all overnight travel outside of Stockholm by completing the Travel Registration located in DIS Online Registration
- Follow local guidelines related to social distancing and maximum group size
- Follow DIS guidelines regarding social distancing and maximum occupancy in spaces
- Follow local medical guidance: get tested for COVID-19 when recommended, stay home from class or activities if you have COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate while awaiting a COVID-19 test or upon receiving a positive test result, etc.
- Follow local guidelines and DIS direction regarding cleaning, sanitizing, mask wearing, and hand washing
Failure to comply with these rules and precautions is a violation of the DIS Code of Student Responsibility and could result in expulsion from DIS – but more importantly, we ask students to comply for the benefit of the community, even when no one is watching.
What if other people’s behavior makes me uncomfortable, or differs from my own choices related to COVID-19 prevention?
We acknowledge that people’s risk tolerance around COVID-19 will differ greatly. Some of you may struggle with, or have questions about, Sweden’s approach to COVID-19 after becoming accustomed to different approaches at home. We encourage you to be brave enough to ask hard questions and to carry out these conversations respectfully and mindfully. Be inquisitive, but not judgmental. Hold this sentiment close in your interactions with other students, staff, and faculty.
Other students may undertake behaviors that make you uncomfortable but are not a violation of DIS policy. Please approach these conversations directly and reach out to DIS for assistance in navigating any potential conflict.
If you see that your own decisions don’t match the decisions of others in the group, or if you hear from other students who fear that your decisions are putting them at risk, please be thoughtful and respectful. We are in this together and we each need to consider the impacts of our decisions.
What should I do if I’m feeling sick?
Stay home. Common COVID-19 systems include dry cough, high temperature, breathing difficulties, sore throat, headache, loss of smell/taste, and muscle pain. Please call the DIS emergency phone to report your symptoms and to obtain additional instructions as to COVID-19 testing. Be sure to inform your faculty, as well as Academic Support (firstname.lastname@example.org), ahead of time if you will be missing class. If you need additional support, please reach out to the Care Team (email@example.com).
What if I test positive for COVID-19, or if I’m exposed to someone who has tested positive?
DIS will support students in receiving all necessary testing and medical care, which is reimbursed through DIS insurance per our policy details. Students will be isolated and supported through their quarantine period, and facilities will be sanitized per local public health standards.
Any student who has been potentially exposed, or who tests positive, will be supported through the necessary testing, treatment, and self-quarantine protocols, including continuation of coursework from a distance.
Can I travel outside of Sweden?
No. DIS has decided together that travel outside of Sweden is not allowed during the Spring Semester 2021, as travel is known to contribute to spreading the virus and increasing exposure risk for you, other students, faculty/staff, and your host community. Please use your time abroad to connect with your local community and immerse yourself in your new home city.
Why? Today, as a result of the ban on U.S. tourists in the E.U., most students won’t be able to travel to other European countries anyway. Even if the E.U. travel ban for U.S. citizens is lifted, DIS does not plan to change our policy against travel outside of Sweden, because individual countries throughout Europe also have border policies changing frequently about which nationalities can/cannot enter, and who needs to quarantine upon arrival. The DIS policy against travel outside of Sweden will prevent you from getting stuck elsewhere in Europe where DIS would be unable to support you through a quarantine or illness, and will avoid any need to quarantine in Sweden as a result of European travel.
DIS does not support international travel before or after your time at DIS. Should the COVID-19 situation and European travel regulations change and you choose to travel after your semester, you do so without the support of DIS.
If a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available while I’m in Sweden, can I receive one?
Maybe. Like the U.S., Sweden is still determining how and when vaccines will be distributed to various segments of the population. If a vaccine becomes available in Sweden for your demographic group (e.g. based on risk category), vaccination would be covered by your insurance through DIS. Though a lot can change, current projections do not include general population vaccinations in either country before the summer.
Can I have visitors from the U.S. while in Sweden?
No. Tourists from outside the E.U. are not currently allowed to enter most European countries, so do not plan to have family or friends visit you while abroad.