© WEP 2021
WEP Programs and COVID-19
A message from Muriel Scheid, CEO of WEP Australia
Dear students, parents, host parents, school principals, teachers and local coordinators
As you may be aware, on the 11th of May 2021 the Coalition Government announced the 2021-2022 Federal Budget, based on the forecast of Australia’s international borders gradually reopening from mid-2022 onwards.
Even though such forecast is open to changes with the progress of the vaccine rollout in Australia and overseas, international programs remain at a very high risk of cancellation for the remainder of this year and the first semester of the coming year.
The delivery of both our inbound and outbound student exchange programs requires months of preparation and organisation, allowing a very small timeframe to make a decision on upcoming student departures and intakes.
Over our 20 years of operations in Australia, WEP’s priority has always been to deliver high quality services to all stakeholders. As we cannot guarantee such level of quality by reducing the timeframe of our production cycles, we at WEP Australia have made the difficult decision to
cancel all international student exchange programs up to and including June 2022.
A further decision on student exchange programs starting in July 2022 and onwards will be made by the end of September 2021.
We greatly appreciate the trust and support you have shown to our organisation since the start of the global pandemic and hope that you will understand our decision.
We will remain available for any information you may require and will continue to update you with any changes to our position.
We look forward to resuming our programs and bringing wonderful opportunities for cultural exchange back to the Australian and international youth and community.
Can I still apply for a WEP student exchange?
You can register your interest in a program starting in July 2022 and onwards. We won’t ask you to submit a full application just yet, as information would date very quickly, however we’ll be in touch as soon as student exchange programs out of Australia can resume and you can proceed with an application
Will I lose money if I apply and my WEP student exchange can’t go ahead?
As per WEP's Fees, Cancellations and Refunds terms (available here), if WEP Australia cancels your exchange program, you can choose between an alternative program or a refund of the fees you have paid.
Can I postpone my program if I’m worried about COVID-19?
Yes, you can.
Will I be charged a fee to postpone?
No, due to the unusual situation we find ourselves in and if consistent with the policies of each international partner organisation, WEP will be waiving our usual postponement conditions, but WEP reserves the right, according to the Fees, Cancellations and Refunds agreement (available here), to pass on airline fuel surcharges, increases in airfare taxes, insurance and adverse fluctuations in currency exchange rates.
If I postpone, will I have to submit another application?
That depends on the commencement date of the postponed program. You may have to resubmit elements of your original application, like up-to-date school transcripts. We always expect you to keep us informed about changes to personal information, school or medical details that occur following submission of your application, e.g. address, contact details, change of school, change in health, change in family circumstances, etc.
I already have my host family placement, if I postpone can I still go to my current host family?
If you decide to postpone, we will liaise with our overseas partner organisation to see if your host family and host school are in a position to host you at a later date.
What if I decide to cancel my WEP student exchange application?
If you choose to withdraw your application, it will be as per the standard Fees, Cancellations and Refunds terms (available here) apply.
Can I pause my program payments if I’m worried about the program going ahead?
Payments need to be made as per WEP’s Fees, Cancellations and Refunds terms (available here). As a not-for-profit organisation, highly regulated by state authorities, outbound exchange program fees are well scrutinised to ensure they are reasonable and take into account only essential program components. To be able to process your application, the required fees will need to be paid on time.
What if I get COVID-19 while I’m overseas?
Medical costs associated with COVID-19 will be covered by your insurance, included in the WEP program fee.