AIT's updated Contingency Plan announced to the student body and other parties concerned on March 11:
March 11, 2020
Dear AIT Students,
Today the Hungarian government has introduced a number of extraordinary measures concerning the coronavirus outbreak, which includes the closure of all higher education institutions in Hungary, similarly to what is happening currently in many European countries.
This does affect AIT and we have to close the AIT building, but the current semester is NOT cancelled! All courses will switch to distance learning setting from 03/16, Monday.
So tomorrow and Friday we still have classes.
We are revising the previously published contingency plan for the rest of the semester, and all courses will be offered in some online or other distance learning form. This means that everyone will be able to finish their coursework on time and receive credits for their work during the semester.
The AIT staff and your professors will contact you with the details of how each individual course is going to operate from next Monday.
Please read on for more information for the concern of the entire AIT community:
How long this closure will be in effect?
We don't know. The government spokesperson announcing them today said it may take weeks or even months. We are preparing to provide distance learning options for the remainder of the semester. This means that you may leave Budapest anytime without returning for the rest of the semester and you will be in the same position as if you stayed. Distance learning options for all courses can be completed from anywhere in the world, and it is no longer required to attend AIT in person for the rest of the semester.
Can I travel back home?
Yes, AIT no longer requires attendance in person for the rest of the semester. If your home school requires that you return home, you may do so without having to worry about losing credits. AIT courses for this semester can be completed from anywhere in the world.
It is very important though to let AIT staff know if you are leaving the country!
Do I have to leave?
No, you are free to stay in Budapest, the housing contracts are valid for the rest of the semester. This, however, is only advisable under certain circumstances for the following 2 reasons:
(1) While your health insurance is valid for the rest of the semester, we cannot predict what changes will take place if the health care system switches to emergency mode or it is overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus cases. It is generally believed that the U.S. healthcare system is better prepared for dealing with emergencies like this than that of any other country. Of course, if you would have to return to a country, other than the U.S., where the healthcare system is already overburdened you may consider staying.
(2) Some countries have already introduced travel restrictions, and more are expected to follow. It may happen that if you wait for too long before leaving Budapest, you will not be able to reach your destination without difficulties.
What will happen to my housing contract if I leave?
AIT will negotiate with all the landlords tomorrow and we will get back to you with details on Friday. Please don't contact your landlords individually until Friday.
Are the travel advisories still in place?
Yes, please do not travel for any reason, unless you are travelling back to the U.S. or your country of residence.
Can I come to the AIT building?
The AIT building will be closed from Monday 03/16. Please remove your belongings from the building during this week.
We are working to make the transition from live classroom education to distance learning as smooth as possible. Please help us in this and cooperate with your professors and the staff. We are doing our best but there will inevitably be some glitches. Please be patient and we are very sorry for any inconvenience. Please work with us so that everyone can finish their semester on time. We will be emailing you with more details, so please check for emails from AIT.
Thank you and be safe!