October 6: Spring Semester 2021 Study Abroad Announcement – Students/Parents
Dear Spring Semester 2021 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, the World Health Organization and governmental health ministries to guide our programmatic decisions. CGE uses data from these organizations to update the global travel and health assessment for each spring semester study abroad program site. Given this data, the Provost’s office has already cancelled the Australia, Guatemala, and South Africa spring 2021 semester programs.
After careful consideration and evaluation, the Provost’s office has made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining CSB/SJU spring semester 2021 study abroad programs.
The decision to cancel these programs was based on many factors, that include:
- A growing trajectory of COVID-19 cases: CGE extensively reviewed the World Health Organization COVID-19 dashboard and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control primary criteria for international health advisories for our semester programs. Given ongoing data trends, we foresee no potential scenario where these risk indictors will decrease soon.
- High risk travel advisories: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories remain elevated for all of these program sites.
- Centers for Disease Control Guidance: The CDC continues to advise Institutions of Higher Education against student international travel programs due to “unpredictable circumstances, such as travel restrictions, challenges returning home, and challenges accessing health care while abroad.”
We know this is an upsetting decision as you were planning to spend the spring semester abroad, but we must take these health and travel risks seriously to ensure your safety and your ability to make forward academic progress in spring 2021.
CGE program managers will be e-mailing students shortly with details on a specific Zoom meeting to discuss questions and options moving forward. Please know that in all cases, students can receive a full refund of the application fee, or they can choose to defer automatically to their corresponding program in the 2021-2022 academic year.
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.
Kevin Clancy, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Global Education
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University