by Kelly Nee | Managing Editor
SCRANTON – Associate Director of the Office of Global Education Kara Bishop said University of Scranton students are not permitted to study abroad in most major locations during the spring 2021 semester.
All students who had a study abroad trip planned for spring 2021 have been asked to reschedule to a later date. The Office of Global Education is continuing to monitor the pandemic, and is hopeful that some trips will even be possible in summer 2021.
The University of Scranton reviews guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of State in making determinations about which locations are possible for school-sponsored travel.
“If countries do allow US citizens to enter, then the University of Scranton will determine if study abroad programs will be permitted as we come closer to the trip dates,” Bishop said.
The Department of State and the CDC assess the COVID-19 risk to travelers based on the rate of cases in each country. Most countries in the world now fall into a category of moderate to very high risk and therefore travel is neither permitted nor recommended.
Some destinations, such as Taiwan, have a very low number of COVID-19 cases and are considered safe for travel. However, no Scranton students have currently registered to study there for Spring 2021.
All students who were studying abroad in spring 2020 were brought back by the end of March to finish the semester in a virtual format, and were eligible to apply for the CARES Act grant through the University.
Scranton did not charge students for canceled trips during summer or fall 2020 sessions, and many programs have extended their acceptances until travel is approved again.
Students interested in potentially studying abroad this summer and fall can schedule a virtual appointment with Kara Bishop at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options.
The Office of Global Education also holds drop-in Zoom hours where a peer advisor will answer general questions about various study abroad programs and the application process. Students can view the latest announcements on study abroad at https://studyabroad.scranton.edu.