February 17: Semester Study Abroad Preparations for 2021-2022

Dear Study Abroad Student Applicants,

Thank you for your interest in studying abroad during the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.  The Center for Global Education (CGE) continues to proactively prepare for a hopeful return to semester study abroad in Fall 2021 as we monitor our CSB/SJU Global Travel and Health Assessment and assess specific COVID-19 risk protocols at our international program sites.  As always, our primary concern is the health and safety of our students and faculty directors, as well the ability for students to successfully continue their academic coursework abroad.  Below is an outline of the specific steps CGE is taking to prepare for a return to Fall semester study abroad, as well as the Community Expectations for participants on upcoming semester study abroad programs.  Please note that while this is specific to Fall 2021 at this time, many of these same considerations will likely apply to the Spring 2022 semester as well.  

Health & Safety

  • As an additional layer of support, all Fall 2021 semester study abroad programs will have an onsite CSB/SJU faculty director.
  • We anticipate students and faculty will all have to quarantine upon arrival.  We are in the process of arranging on-site quarantine with our international program partners.
  • Each program site will have access to COVID-19 testing and medical infrastructure.
  • In the event a student tests positive for COVID, quarantine/isolation housing space will be available at the program site.
  • CSB/SJU-provided international health insurance will cover COVID-related illness.  Additionally, there will also be increased access for tele-health options. 

Academics

  • All classroom spaces at international program sites will be COVID-compliant according to local health authority requirements.
  • In the event there is a surge in COVID (or a student needs to quarantine/isolate due to COVID) hybrid learning options will be available at each program site.

Finances

  • If a program is cancelled by CGE prior to the program start date, students will receive a full refund of their application fee and will not be charged any additional cancellation fees.  (All other semester cancellation policies will continue to apply). 

2021-2022 Study Abroad Community Expectations

Given the changing dynamics with COVID, we will also need to change our approach to travel during the study abroad program.  As you prepare to enter a community abroad, there will be new expectations in order to ensure your health and the health of your fellow participants, faculty, and your local community: 

  • All study abroad participants must arrive in-country on the designated program arrival date.  There are no exceptions to this community rule as we must prepare for all of you to enter your program quarantine at the same time.  We will not have the ability to accommodate any alternate travel plans.  You must arrive on the program start date on the most direct flight possible.
  • You must abide by any COVID-related protocols put into place by either our international program partners or local health authorities.  Again, this will almost certainly include mandated group quarantine upon arrival.
  • CSB/SJU will assist you in obtaining a student visa for your respective program country.  However, due to COVID travel restrictions between countries, you will not be able to travel outside the program country during the program dates.  Personal travel is restricted to within the host country and subject to local health authority regulations. (For the Roman-Greco/Greco-Roman program we will establish a strict travel corridor between program sites that is limited to direct travel to/from Italy/Greece.  Students will be required to quarantine again upon arrival in Greece/Italy).
  • We will ask you to sign an additional COVID-19 acknowledgment form to ensure you understand the additional risks associated with COVID-19 and study abroad.

The CSB/SJU faculty director will review these Community Expectations with you during your upcoming program interview.  As a study abroad participant, you will be part of a larger community and you will have a responsibility to your fellow participants and the program hosts to follow all program protocols.  Our ability to re-launch semester study abroad programs will be dependent, in part, on the willingness of participants to follow these Community Expectations.  

While CGE remains optimistic for the future and the return of study abroad, we are continuously and cautiously assessing how we can deliver safe, quality programming.  CSB/SJU is still actively and closely monitoring the ongoing impact of COVID-19.  Our office continues to update the CSB/SJU Global Travel and Health Assessment. We are also developing plans to support on-campus course registration and housing options in the event of study abroad program cancellation.  Please know that your CGE Program Managers and Program Faculty Director will be in communication with you throughout this process.  

Sincerely,

Kevin Clancy, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Global Education

College of Saint Benedict | Saint John’s University