Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Cattolica International

Coronavirus FAQ

Università Cattolica is closely monitoring the situation and keeping up to date with government decisions regarding policy, healthcare and circulation restrictions within and outside the country. We are communicating regularly with our community through emails, Blackboard, social media,  phone support, skype and our website as the situation unfolds.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, Università Cattolica has sent a number of emails to its students and partners in order to update them on the situation. Furthermore, the University has published the following communications on its website: 

May 20, 2020
Agostino Gemelli Education Fund

May 2020

May 14, 2020
Università Cattolica: Safety provisions for Phase 2

May 4, 2020
#eCatt, our resources to continue your studies in Phase 2

March 20, 2020 
Covid-19 and academic activities, a message from the Rector to Università Cattolica’s Professors

March 13, 2020
Exam panels and final examination: guide and information

March 11, 2020 
Coronavirus: Università Cattolica postpones the deadline for payment of the third fee instalment

March 10, 2020 
A message from our Ecclesial Assistant H.E. Mons. Claudio Giuliodori 

March 10, 2020
Coronavirus, emergency provisions for the university community 

March 9, 2020 
The call of the Rectors of the Lombard Universities

March 5, 2020 
Coronavirus: a new way to attend lectures 

March 3, 2020 
Blackboard: Cattolica launches its e-learning plan 

February 28, 2020 
Coronavirus, a message from the Rector to students 

February 28, 2020 
Coronavirus: teaching activities will be suspended until 7 March 

February 25, 2020 
Coronavirus, good practices to follow

February 25, 2020 
Coronavirus, how to overcome the fear 

February 25, 2020 
Coronavirus: urgent measures and information for the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore community 

February 23, 2020  
Recommendations for prevention measures  

February 22, 2020  
Notice from the Conference of Rectors of Universities in Lombardy

February 10, 2020 
Solidarity for Wuhan, say no to Sinophobia

January 28, 2020
Coronavirus, precautionary measures taken by the University

The Italian government has called for the further suspension of all in-person academic activities at schools and universities across the country until 31 July 2020 or until further notice. Additionally, all university events and meetings have been suspended. 
  1. Is the University operating as usual?
    The Ministerial Decree signed on 11/03/2020 and subsequent updates establish new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the country and reiterated the need for ongoing  suspension of all on-site teaching and other academic activities until July 31, 2020 or until further notice, however substituting in-class/on-campus activities with distance learning. Courses for physicians in specialised training, specialised training courses in General Medicine, and any internship or training activities for healthcare professions are excluded from this suspension.
    Research activities and technical and administrative activities are not suspended, although carried out remotely.
    Considering the possible extended duration of these measures, all University faculty members are carrying out teaching using available distance learning applications (e.g Blackboard). Faculty is revising and updating, where applicable, course syllabi and programmes, allowing for appropriate exam preparation, in order to meet the new requirements prescribed by the technology used, the content and format of the original course. 
    For the entire duration of the suspension of on-site teaching, the University guidelines regarding its main activities are as follows: 
    1. academic activities (lectures, exams and graduation sessions) will be carried out exclusively via appropriate electronic applications. The Examination Boards will meet, when possible, in person on University premises;
    2. research, technical and administrative activities will be carried out, when possible, in person on University premises. All University facilities, including libraries, remain open to authorised users only. Project-based work, internships and external internships hosted by external organisations, as long as they are able to provide telecommuting options or guarantee the health and safety of students may continue;
    3. meetings of the collegiate bodies are held virtually by way of electronic telecommunication applications;
    4. study halls must remain closed;
    5. all events open to the public are suspended;
    6. all services and administrative offices that are essential for the ongoing operational viability of the University, as well as those academic activities identified above are maintained. 
  2. What are the online learning options provided for full degree students regularly enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate programme?   
    All students enrolled in a Bachelor or Master of Science programme have received updates via Blackboard on distance learning sessions. Notifications are being sent via email to the students’ @icatt email address. Since converting content from in-class delivery to online is of high impact on the management of individual courses, it may take a few days for our faculty to make the necessary adjustments to the proposed original format of the course, including group work and methods of assessment. 
    Students enrolled in Specialising Masters programs have received detailed information on classes via email from the program coordinator/tutor. 
  3. I am expected to renew my permit of stay, what will happen since I cannot do so at this time?
    Any permit of stay that would expire between 31 January and  15 April are granted an automatic extension until 15 June 2020. The University has also lifted any administrative block to student accounts due to the expired status of the permit stay. For more information, we advise students to consult periodically the Italian Immigration Portal for updates: https://www.portaleimmigrazione.it/. 
  4. What are the online learning options provided for semester exchange and study abroad students?   
    1. International Curriculum courses: a selection of our International Curriculum courses are offered online for the entire semester (Download the list). Attendance: due to the time difference for some students who have returned home and will consequently only have the opportunity to access course content in differed mode, rules regarding real-time attendance will be relaxed. Assessment content and methods will be designed in such a way to account for the fact that not all students will not have access to the content in the same way. For example, discussion sessions may be added to allow those in different-time zones to connect with other students. Different solutions may be adopted depending on the content and the type of activities that will be planned for the course. Assessment: assessment methods will be adjusted to allow for the new format. We do not anticipate the need for the proctoring of tests at home institutions. Faculty will introduce more written reports and assignments on questions addressed during the online lectures. All courses will end normally by the original programme end date of May 29.
    2. Academic Curriculum courses: the University has started delivering course content online for most degree programmes. By March 20 faculty staff uploaded a total of 6,000 distance learning sessions on Blackboard. We are informing our partners and students if and when the courses they’ve selected are to be made available.
    3. Semester Italian Language course: Cattolica is currently offering the possibility of attending the Italian Language course online. Students who have opted not to continue with the course have been given the option to claim a refund for the course if they have directly paid for the semester course.
  1. I am a full degree student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate programme.
    Please refer to the message posted on March 13, 2020.
  2. I am scheduled to graduate during the June/July final examination sessions, will the sessions be held normally?
    Students who expect to graduate during the June/July examinations sessions will be given specifics regarding the running of their exams. As things stand, the exam sessions are to be held normally, however should circumstances change, the exams will be maintained however the modality by which the exams will be conducted may change. 
  3. I am an exchange/study abroad student who has returned home or stayed in Italy for the duration of the semester: 
    Students will receive detailed information regarding date, time and methodology for their ongoing assessment or final exam as applies. International Curriculum faculty will follow up directly with the students in order to update them on the way assessment and exams will be conducted. Students taking Academic Curriculum courses online should check Blackboard for updates. 
I am an exchange/study abroad student who only intended to study at Cattolica for a semester or a year.
Students who have formally withdrawn from their programme at Cattolica may be entitled to a refund. It will be their home University’s policy and agreement with Cattolica that will determine if a refund of tuition fees is possible. Students should therefore refer to their home University advisor for information. For those students who have registered and paid for the Semester Italian Language Course see answer above (4.b.iii).
  1. I am interested in or in the process of applying for an undergraduate or graduate programme for the 2020/21 academic year.

    The university is taking all necessary steps to ensure a smooth start to the academic programmes in September/October. All degrees for the upcoming academic year will be delivered in their entirety.

    We are in the process of confirming the details of how courses will be delivered during the first semester. We expect classes to be delivered both in person (for those students who will be able to join us) and via e-learning (for those who will not be able to join us). The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is of utmost importance, and we are planning along various lines to allow for a safe return to academic activities.

  2. I am thinking about accepting the University’s offer for admission to either to a degree programme or a specialising master and am wondering about the University’s refund policy. 
    Università Cattolica is understanding of any reticence a student may have in paying a substantial deposit in the amount of the first instalment of tuition and university fees when there is reasonable concern that the programme will start normally in September/October, or depending on travel restrictions that might prevent students from traveling to Italy.
    Therefore, Università Cattolica has modified the refund policy to meet the needs of students and families.
    Refund policy for the first instalment of the tuition and university fees:    
  3. Are the 2020 Summer programmes confirmed?
    After careful consideration and in concern for the health and safety of our domestic and international community, Università Cattolica has decided to cancel the Summer Programmes 2020.
    Cattolica will assess the possibility of offering some of the summer courses during the Winter session. 
  4. I am interested in or in the process of applying as exchange/study abroad student for the 2020/21 Fall Semester.
    At the moment, the University expects all programmes to start normally and invites all candidates to notify their home university advisor of their interest. The application/nomination period has not yet started but we expect to open applications/nominations for the Fall no later than mid-April.  
If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, you should:
  • Seek medical care right away just to be sure your symptoms are of the regular flu/cold and not the Coronavirus. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

    If you are in Milan-Brescia-Cremona or in the Region of Lombardy
    Call the following dedicated number: 800 89 45 45

    If you are in Piacenza or in the Region of Emilia-Romagna
    Call the following dedicated number: 800 033 033

    If you are in Rome or in the Region of Lazio
    Call the following dedicated number: 800 11 88 00

    If you are in a different Italian region
    Refer to the Ministry of Health Website to find the relevant toll free number for your region 

    If you are in your home country
    Refer to your local government health authority’s instructions and/or notify your local healthcare provider or local emergency number immediately and await instructions. When you do call, make sure to provide information regarding your recent travel and provenance from Italy.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
Recommendations for prevention measures:
There is no vaccine to prevent the Coronavirus, and the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  4. Stay home, especially when you are sick.
  5. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  7. If you have recently travelled home or you intend to travel home, we highly advise you to self-report at your arrival to local health authorities and inform them of the point of origin of your travel, i.e. Milan/Lombardy Region/Italy. You may be ask/required, upon arrival, to follow a self-quarantine protocol for 14 days.
The Italian Government has banned any movement of people entering and leaving their region of residence (except for movements motivated by properly motivated and documented work-related reasons or situations of need), however citizens are allowed to freely move within their region without need of providing a self-declaration. 

Grocery shops are generally open but may have modified their hours. Pharmacies are normally open. Public transportation continues to operate.
Send us an email at international.communications@unicatt.it and we will get back to you.