March 31: Study Abroad Program Update

Dear CSB/SJU Faculty and Staff,

I write with an update on our CSB/SJU study abroad programs.  On March 19th, the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for international travel.  Currently, the State Department advises against all non-essential travel due to the increased risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus).  As of last week, all Spring 2020 study abroad students have returned to their home residence and they are continuing their academic studies online.  Due to the increased travel advisories, we have had to cancel our summer study abroad programing.

Global education is a community endeavor at CSB/SJU, and I thank you for reaching out and supporting the Spring study abroad students as they return home early from their semester abroad location.  Similarly, you have also asked about the status of our Fall 2020 study abroad programs, and how best to advise students as they prepare for a Fall 2020 semester abroad.  At the moment, we have not canceled any of the scheduled Fall 2020 study abroad programs, but we are encouraging students to have a “Plan B” in the event their study abroad program is canceled.  Below is an excerpt from an e-mail we just sent to students scheduled to study abroad in Fall 2020.  Please let us know if you have further questions as you work with students. 

What does the State Department Advisory mean for Fall 2020 study abroad students? 

The Center for Global Education continues to monitor your program locations closely taking guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. State Department, Overseas Security Advisory Council, World Health Organization and local public health authorities.  It is our hope that the current health advisory levels will decrease and the Fall 2020 study abroad programs will continue as planned.  At this time, we have not canceled any of the scheduled Fall 2020 study abroad programs, but we are in the process of assessing the viability of each program.  This is an evolving global situation, and until further notice, we continue to advise you not to purchase international air tickets for your program. 

Given the global changes, you may decide that you no longer wish to study abroad in the Fall semester.  If you decide to cancel your program application, the Center for Global Education is waiving all program cancellation fees between now and June 1, 2020. Please e-mail our team at [email protected] if you wish to discuss this further.

What does this mean for Fall registration?  

We advise students to work with their advisors to have a “Plan A” and “Plan B” for Fall 2020 registration:

  • Plan A – What is your academic plan if you are abroad in Fall 2020?
  • Plan B – What is your academic plan if you are on campus in Fall 2020?

What does this mean for Fall housing?

We know Fall housing is an important question for students.  Similar to Fall registration, we encourage students to have a housing plan in the event you will be on campus. 

The Center for Global Education is working diligently to evaluate Fall 2020 programs, and we will provide you with more information by April 15th to help guide your Fall registration and housing decisions.

Please e-mail our team at [email protected] with questions.  We thank you for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented time together.

Sincerely,

Kevin Clancy

Director, Center for Global Education