Summer Study Abroad Programs Under Review
With the end of the semester fast approaching, many students are in the middle of making summer plans. For some of you, those plans include the possibility of a summer study abroad course. The university leadership applauds the adventurous spirit that has led you to consider traveling the world with one of our many exciting education abroad programs.
This year, as in any normal year, the leaders from the campuses’ Study Abroad and Global Engagement Departments are working diligently to ensure that the summer study abroad programs are both safe and educational opportunities that allow you to experience the world.
This year, the novel 2019 coronavirus has led to unique challenges for us while we work to determine how best to proceed with safeguarding our study abroad programs. To that end, the University has created an International Travel Safety Review Committee. The committee has been charged with determining if our summer study abroad programs can be conducted safely, with an acceptable level of mitigated risk.
At this time, the committee has scheduled safety review boards for any pending study abroad programs that are planning to travel to a country that is listed as a “proceed with caution” or higher area on the CDC travel advisory list or the U.S. Department of State travel advisory list.
At this time, there are several programs under review:
- Prescott’s study abroad program to Italy - The International Travel Safety Committee will meet on March 17 to discuss the program and determine its status.
- Prescott’s study abroad program to Japan - The International Travel Safety Committee will meet on April 30 to discuss the program and determine its status.
- Daytona Beach's study abroad program to Italy has been canceled.
Those programs that are scheduled to go to countries that are not on the CDC or Department of State's advisory list will be reviewed through the normal approval process, and decisions about their approval will be announced as usual by the study abroad and global engagement directors of each campus.
However, because this is a rapidly evolving and dynamic situation, if any countries are added to the CDC or the Department of State's advisory lists, then additional trips could be canceled at a later date.
The University is asking faculty and staff who are involved in study abroad trip planning to consider contingency plans and/or alternative destinations. Due to the volatility of the coronavirus situation, it is highly encouraged that students purchase trip cancellation insurance when purchasing their tickets.
A number of students and faculty members who are scheduled to travel have asked why the committee has delayed decisions on Italy and Japan until March/April. The members of the International Travel Committee and the Directors of the Study Abroad and Global Engagement offices believe that there is a safety advantage to waiting until we more fully understand how the situations within these countries evolve.
If we were asked to make a go/no go decision with the information we have today, any study abroad trip to a Level 2 or Level 3 country would be postponed or canceled.
The committee believes that rather than deny these programs out of expediency; we should delay decisions and weigh the facts, as we get closer to the time of the travel.
The committee understands that international travel, especially large group travel and study abroad, cannot be decided at the last minute. Because of the need for lead time, the committee has been and will continue to be cognizant of issues like financial commitments and deadlines, increasing flight costs over time, giving students time to make alternative plans, etc.
If you have additional questions about your selected study abroad program, please contact Dr. Kelly O’Brien for Prescott study abroad programs or Sue Macchiarella for Daytona Beach or Worldwide summer study abroad programs.
Prescott – Study Abroad & Global Engagement
Kelly O'Brien, Ed.D., Director, Study Abroad & Global Engagement (SAGE) – (928) 777-3774, email@example.com
Daytona Beach – Office of Global Engagement
Sue Macchiarella, Director, Office of Global Engagement – (386) 226-6634, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions about the approval of International Travel or questions about anything discussed within this message, you can contact the International Travel Safety Committee at Intltravel@erau.edu