September 2: South Africa Spring 2022 Update

Dear South Africa 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.  Additionally, we have worked with each of our international site partners to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their communities.  While we are hopeful that life will be closer to “normal” in spring 2022, some of our international partner communities remain deeply impacted by COVID-19.

After very careful consideration and evaluation, the Provost’s office made the difficult decision to cancel the CSB/SJU spring 2022 South Africa program.

The decision to cancel the South Africa program was based on several factors:

  • Due to the continued impact of COVID-19 in South Africa, the academic program at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) continues to be delivered largely though a virtual format.  There is no indication that NMU will be able to move to a largely in-person model in the spring;
  • NMU has not yet determined the dates for their spring semester, and there is no indication when a spring semester will be confirmed;
  • Service learning, which is a key component of the South Africa program, is suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19;
  • South Africa currently has a very low vaccination rate of 16% which points to continued and sustained COVID-19 challenges throughout the spring.

We know this is an upsetting update as you were hoping to spend the spring semester in South Africa, 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 2022.

CGE Associate Director Nicole Clements will be e-mailing students shortly with details on next steps.  Please know that in all cases, you can receive a full refund of the application fee, defer your application to Spring 2023, or you still have time to move your application to another available spring 2022 study abroad program.

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

  • [email protected]
  • 320-363-3300 (general questions)
  • 320-363-5370 (medical questions related to COVID-19)