Date: Last updated 23rd March 2020 at 3:00pm NZDT

What we’re doing to help protect our interns and local teams

In light of the Covid-19 coronavirus, Intern Abroad HQ is taking extra safety measures to protect our interns and the communities we work within. We recognize that these are uncertain times and want to provide you with confidence that your health and safety remains our number one priority. We are acting on all the very latest advice from worldwide healthcare authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, as well as taking additional measures to minimize risks for our interns and their local community hosts.

It’s important to remain pragmatic and ensure that the temporary measures being taken to restrict the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus are responsibly upheld. This provides an opportunity to slow down, reflect, and consider plans for the future. We have received feedback from many interns who are still anticipating internships for later this year, as well as 2021 - be it for course credit, graduation requirement or other personal development endeavors. For this, Intern Abroad HQ remains wholeheartedly committed to the long-term mission of our operation, which is dedicated to resilience and adaptability over the course of a professional lifetime. We believe that over time, the immediate urgency and travel restrictions pertaining to this matter will subside, and it will be appropriate to resume planning into a positive future. We welcome contact from anyone who wishes to get in touch and discuss options for internships later in this year or next.

We are proactively contacting all interns who are due to join an upcoming internship, who may be impacted by these changes. The CDC has a useful tool for checking travel advisories across the world for countries you’re scheduled to travel to. However, please contact your Internship Program Manager or contact our team for specific information that pertains to your planning.

We’re offering greater flexibility for changes to travel dates during this period of uncertainty.

For interns scheduled to start their program within the next two months, we are waiving change fees on registrations affected by coronavirus restrictions. This means you can make changes to your internship start date free of charge, should you wish to reschedule. We can hold your registration and any program fee you’ve paid as a credit on your account for up to 12 months.

If you have been accepted by us for an internship abroad but haven’t yet completed your registration, you can make changes to your application details at any time. This means you can select a different destination, internship program or timeframe and can still continue with your plans to schedule an internship abroad when the timing is right. When you are ready to register, we can support you to reschedule, should you need to postpone your internship to a later date.

We’re taking extra precautions across all internship programs to protect the safety of our participants.

Intern Abroad HQ, as a sub-division of International Volunteer HQ, shares an unmatched safety record of placing more than 113,000 program participants around the world, since 2007.

There have been no reported cases of Covid-19 for any intern or staff member on any Intern Abroad HQ program. Our local teams are taking precautions on all programs to ensure early detection of any cases, in accordance with the advice from local and international authorities. Plans have been developed for monitoring, isolating and caring for any cases, should they arise.

We recommend you check with your travel insurance provider regarding your coverage in relation to Covid-19.

We’re monitoring the Covid-19 situation closely and notifying all interns whose travel plans may be impacted.

Our experienced team are proactively monitoring and adapting to this rapidly-changing situation. We receive regular updates from local governments, travel authorities and our local teams on the ground. As the situation evolves, we are notifying all impacted interns as quickly as possible.

We’re asking interns and local teams to take extra health and safety precautions.

We encourage everyone to take all extra precautions necessary to safeguard their health and that of others.

We ask all interns and local teams to take preventative measures, including:

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and carry hand sanitizer
  • Practicing social distancing
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Seeking medical advice early if displaying fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing
  • Undertaking self-isolation in the event of sickness or displaying any flu-like symptoms
  • Wearing a face mask on public transport and in busy areas
  • Carrying disinfectant wipes to wipe down surfaces, such as plane trays, armrests and handles

You can refer to the World Health Organization for further advice.

Our thoughts are with the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event and all those who are working on the frontline to help contain this virus. Now more than ever, we must come together to protect our global community.

Over the years, we have worked through other significant challenges and catastrophes - always emerging with a deeper sense of appreciation and purpose. We will get through this!

Thank you for your ongoing support of Intern Abroad HQ and the communities we work within, around the world. If there’s anything we can do to help you with your travel plans during this time, please get in touch and one of our Specialists will offer dedicated support and guidance.

Simon Birkenhead
Chief Executive Officer, International Volunteer HQ