College to “support” international students during self-isolation ahead of semester

Accommodations offices for Trinity students begin to roll out quarantine plans for international students

In line with HSE guidelines, College is advising international students to arrive in Ireland with enough time to isolate for 14 days ahead of the start of the academic year on September 28.

Students that have applied for and been offered a place in their first year have received information on their my.tcd portals affirming that in accordance with the quarantine, students opting for Trinity accommodation will be supported in those two weeks of isolation. 

“If you are planning to stay in Trinity accommodation all support in terms of shopping, meals and laundry will be provided,” states a letter addressed to prospective students from Dr Kevin Mitchell, Dean of Undergraduate Studies. 

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Vice President for Global Relations Juliette Hussey cited communications in which Trinity has been “working through giving [international students] the information in terms of when they arrive,” including requirements such as a 14-day quarantine and pre-booking a meal delivery service for those two weeks. 

 

If students are planning on taking Trinity accommodations, “supports will be in place” for the first two weeks of their stay, Hussey continued. If students have instead opted for their own forms of accommodation, “they need to give their details for isolation for the 14 days to authorities at the airport”. 

Speaking to Trinity News, Hussey confirmed that the issue regarding quarantine has been discussed in student webinars and other forms of communication for prospective students. She went on to say that College continues to work through struggles to determine how best to handle the situation for international students, and “the advice is the Public Health Advice and what we will put in place is supports for students at that time”.  

Speaking to Trinity News, an incoming first-year student from the United States who plans to stay in Trinity Hall (Halls) next year said that as of June 23, she had received no in-depth communication from the Halls office itself about the shape of isolation period. “I am staying in Trinity Hall but we don’t know anything either concerning what quarantine is going to look like yet,” the student said.

An international final year film student, Markéta Ní Eithir, is relying on accommodation on Trinity’s campus in the coming year. Ní Eithir said she received only one email from Trinity about accommodation, about a month ago; she claims that it “basically said that they can’t guarantee anything and they will see about HSE guidelines”. 

With family in both Germany and Czechia, she stayed for three months in Germany before returning to Prague, and as the Covid-19 threat has loosened in both countries, she didn’t have to sit out a quarantine upon arrival in Prague. Therefore, she is hopeful that, although “they can’t be sure what it’s going to be like in a few months so it is better to be cautious”, perhaps Ireland will be moving in the same direction and remove the requirement of a quarantine for international visitors.

As the guidelines currently require a two-week quarantine, Kavanagh Court, an accommodation service affiliated with Trinity, is offering international students two weeks of free accommodation in September to allow for the self-isolation period. 

An email circulated to students staying in Kavanagh Court in 2020/21 outlined that international students on a 38-week contract could choose to change their start date to September 4 to allow for two weeks of isolation at no charge before beginning their paid contract on September 21, or maintain their original contract date if this was earlier than September 4.

Students who have already signed a contract with Kavanagh Court have been given until July 7 to indicate their preference.

Audrey Brown

Audrey Brown is a Deputy News Editor of Trinity News.