September 23: CGE Important Australia Program Update

Dear Australia Study Abroad Students, Parents, and Guardians,

The Center for Global Education (CGE)’s top priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff abroad.  We continually monitor the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and governmental health ministries to guide our programmatic decisions.  CGE continues to update the global travel and health assessment ( https://www.csbsju.edu/global/covid) for each spring study abroad program site.  Additionally, we have worked with each of our international site partners to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their communities and their respective COVID-19 protocols.

After very careful consideration and evaluation, the Provost’s office made the decision to cancel the CSB/SJU spring 2021 Australia program.

The decision to cancel the Australia program was based on many factors, that include:

  • Our Australian university partner, University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA), informed us they will be unable to accept any international students this spring due to Australian border closures. 
  • The global health and travel risk assessment for Australia remains high across six risk indicators, including elevated Centers for Disease Control and U.S. State Department advisories. 
  • American citizens are not allowed entry into Australia and student visas are not being issued.

We know this is an upsetting update as you were planning to spend the spring semester in Australia, but we must take this health, travel, and academic information seriously to ensure your safety and your ability to make forward academic progress in spring 2021. 

Your CGE Program Manager, Nichole Matuska, will be e-mailing students shortly with details on a specific Zoom meeting to discuss questions and options further.  Please know that in all cases, students can receive a full refund of the application fee, or they can choose to defer automatically to Australia spring 2022.  Nichole will e-mail you shortly to answer questions and discuss available options.

We know this is not the spring semester you had envisioned, but please know we are here to discuss the next steps moving forward with you.

Sincerely,

Kevin

Kevin Clancy, Ph.D.
Director,  Center for Global Education
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University