During the festive period, a couple of not so festive things were happening. Brexit, and of course COVID-19. When we switched our computer on last week after a bit of a break, our inbox was full of questions from parents and our partners so here we are with an attempt to answer those questions for you.
Before we begin, we must stress that any mention of visas, travelling to the UK and studying in the UK refers only to our friends in the European Union. For our friends who are from outside the European Union, nothing has changed in regards to your travelling to and studying in the UK so as we apparently say here in the UK please, ‘keep calm and carry on!’
We must also stress that today is the 12th January 2021 and any references made to the COVID-19 situation are valid at this time. The situation is extremely fluid and is changing on a day-to-day basis so please excuse me if something that I mention in this video is no longer valid in the future.
Is BOSS planning to run any courses in 2021?
Yes of course, at least we hope too and we are certainly planning to. As we say here at Buckswood Overseas Summer School, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail,’ so the activity and excursion programmes are ready – both normal and socially distanced if that is necessary, staff recruitment is well under way, those of you familiar with BOSS will be happy to know that a lot of the usual team will be back in 2021 as well as some excellent additions and we’ve even booked all of the coaches for summer!
The plan is to run three courses this year, our Easter School Holiday course for international students who are already in the UK and who may not want to travel to their home countries to avoid any travel quarantines or issues when they return. This will be running from Sunday 28th March to Saturday 17th April and will have a focus on the great outdoors, on nature, on wellbeing and on being away from electronic devises as I’m sure you’ve all spent at least the last year attached to your screens. Our Easter School Holiday Course will run alongside our usual and well-loved Spring Course which is for international students wishing to travel to the UK to benefit from improving their English amongst many other things.
Finally, we are planning to run our famous summer school from Sunday 27th June to Saturday 14th August. We missed summer school last year but not as much as we missed our students and of course our team of staff so let’s make up for it in 2021!
You can find out more about our courses for 2021 in the courses section of our website here.
What if BOSS cannot run any courses in 2021?
This is not something that you have to worry about as in 2021 we are offering a 100% money back guarantee which means that any fees that you may have paid will be fully refunded just like in 2020.
You can find out more about our 100% money back guarantee on the BOSS Blog here.
Can I travel to the UK using my ID card?
Yes you can! You can travel to the UK using your EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card until Friday 1st October 2021. After this date you will need to use a passport to enter the UK.
Do I need a visa to travel to the UK?
The good news here is that no you will not need a visa to travel to the UK!
Do I need a visa to study in the UK?
Thankfully, for our friends from the EU, not much has changed at all regarding travelling to and studying in the UK. The only real difference is that if you plan to study for more than 6 months in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa. This however does not apply to BOSS students as our maximum course length is 7 weeks.
As previously when booking a course with BOSS, Sue our Registrar will send you your confirmation documents and it is more important than ever that you carry these with you when travelling as at the UK border you may need to prove that you have been accepted onto a course by an accredited institution such as BOSS.
In addition as all of our students are under 18 years of age, you may also need to provide a letter from your parent or guardian giving:
· their contact details and consent for you to travel to the UK
· the name, date of birth, address and relationship to you of the person you’re staying with
· their consent for you to stay with the person named in the letter
Do I need to produce a negative COVID test on arrival at BOSS?
As of Thursday 14th January 2021, the UK government finally introduced mandatory COVID-19 testing for travellers arriving in the UK. This means that international arrivals will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England. This test must have been taken 72 hours prior to departure.
Regarding actual testing upon arrival at BOSS, this is a bridge that we will cross in the future when we have a clearer idea of the situation at that time.
Will BOSS courses be different at all due to COVID?
Currently, we have plans in place for all eventualities. This information is available on our website. If COVID is still a factor at the time of our courses, some differences we may see include a reduction in student numbers to allow more physical space for social distancing, one student per room instead of two or more, less students per class, several sittings in the dining room and of course the removal of some of your favourite activities such as capture the flag and dodgeball. On the subject of activities we have long had in place a socially distant, COVID safe activity programme.
We are of course hoping that we can run our courses as we always have done but if we can’t, rest assured that this will not make any difference to the high standard that we always offer. We will not let our standards slip and will endeavour to offer, as always, the best experience ever to our students.
Due to Brexit, will anything change in regards to booking a course with BOSS?
For an initial period of four months from 1st January 2021, the transfer of personal data from the EEA to the UK will not be considered a transfer to a third country. This means that personal data can continue to flow freely from the EEA to the UK, provided the UK makes no changes to its rules on data protection during that time. This period will be extended by two further months, unless either the EU or the UK objects; and will end sooner if the European Commission makes an adequacy decision in relation to the UK.
How long will the current lockdown last in the UK?
Currently, the British government is saying that schools may, and we emphasise the word ‘may’, reopen in the middle of February. The current lockdown however has been written into British law until Wednesday 31st March so we may see it last until then. Yet with the COVID vaccine being rolled out, an end to this awful pandemic is in sight so fingers crossed.
We’ve been saying this for almost a year now, so much so that it is becoming a cliche, but all we can do right now is stay positive and take life one day at a time. We don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, we don’t even know what is going to happen this afternoon but if we focus on the now, this moment, and take positive actions, we will be ready to welcome tomorrow with open arms. But for now, look out for each other, focus on what you can do today and leave tomorrow for tomorrow.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the information in this article, please do let us know.
Buckswood Overseas Summer School (BOSS) is a British Council accredited young learner language school for international students aged 8 to 17. To find out more, please visit www.buckswoodsummerschool.com or contact us here.
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