The uncertainty of COVID-19 has cancelled or postponed many activities, clubs and programs on campus. Study Abroad and International Exchange, is one of those programs. Fall trips have been cancelled completely, but for those looking forward to resuming in the spring, are in for a disappointment.
“Due to the uncertainty concerning the global pandemic, a decision has still not been made concerning resuming study abroad programming for the spring,” Director of Study Abroad and International Exchange Marissa Chandler said.
She continued, “All of our study abroad opportunities are currently in a pending status due to the situation. The safety of our students, staff, and faculty is our number one priority.”
Like the rest of campus, Chandler and the Study Abroad office have had to face their fair share of challenges.
“Due to the global pandemic, the university cancelled all summer and winter programs for this year. All spring and summer 2021 opportunities are still in a pending status,” she said.
However, they have come to accept these challenges, and are excited about the future.
She said, “Our office continues to stay very busy as we plan for future opportunities, advise students, develop new programs and global partnerships, engage in professional development, and assist incoming exchange students.”
She adds, “We have also embraced necessary changes, such as developing and implementing our first virtual study abroad fair this past September. In addition, we have begun to market virtual study abroad programs and internships also available to students all around the world.”
Study Abroad postponing their trips might be for the best given the rise in COVID cases. Director of Laboratory Testing for APSU’s COVID-19 Task Force Dr. Heather Phillips says going out of the country is not a good idea.
She said, “If a student is going abroad for any reason at all I would have them ask a few questions. First, is this really necessary? Is this a requirement for me?”
She continues, “If I was not in a situation that I absolutely had to go study abroad, then I would probably put that on the back burner today.”
According to Chandler, because of APSU’s 2021 spring break, all pending spring trips are postponed until summer 2021 or spring 2022.