Seattle U continues to suspend study abroad programs until 2021 – The Spectator
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to uproot the school year, students who hope to study abroad in the fall term of 2021 will no longer be able to do so. The Office of Overseas Education (OAT) announced on April 28 Seattle University’s decision to continue to suspend all education abroad programs until the fall term and vacation. winter of 2021.
This announcement greatly affected students and teachers. Although the The European Union will allow vaccinated tourists to enter the continent by June this year, the university remains tough on its decision.
EAO Director Gina Lopardo explained her disappointment for students unable to study abroad.
“We are working hard to provide these impactful experiences for students, but we continue to hit a wall with the suspensions,” Lopardo said in an email. “It’s not only a disappointment for the students who were planning to study abroad, but also for our team. Our overseas education advisors know their tips and motivations for studying well abroad. Participation in the program has been suspended at every break and quarter from summer 2020 to winter break 2021. That’s a lot of bad news to pass on to impatient participants. “
Lopardo went on to say that everyone at EAO understands how important study abroad can be for a Jesuit education. Despite the setbacks, they will continue their work and offer briefings and counseling appointments to students looking for study abroad options beyond the 2021 winter break.
For Zachary Wood, professor of public affairs, the news came as no complete surprise. Wood helped lead an urban development class in Germany for several years while teaching at Rutgers University and hoped to bring the program to Seattle U.
“I expected that. I originally got this course approved for Spring 2020, ”said Wood.
He explained how he tried to voice his concerns to students interested in the program.
“I grabbed it as transparently as possible, letting the students know that it wouldn’t be likely to make it through this spring,” Wood said.
Wood explained that while he was cautiously optimistic about restarting study abroad programs, he would continue to keep an eye on vaccination numbers and availability in other countries, as well as the spread of the disease. virus when overseas programs can restart.
“I think the most important element for this is that each location [study abroad] trips can be done under very different circumstances right now, ”said Wood. “I hope we enter the post-pandemic world with caution, even beyond studying abroad.”
Despite the uncertainty and confusion, Wood said he would continue to prepare for his next overseas program until he learned otherwise.
While staff and instructors do their best to plan a realistic timeline for restarting study abroad programs, some students find themselves in difficult positions.
Danielle Miller, a second-year Spanish major, originally planned to study abroad in the fall of 2020.
“I was obviously disappointed, but more so, I thought, ‘What now? Miller said.
Miller explained that Seattle U did not offer the level of courses she would have taken in her overseas program, which resulted in her taking higher level courses in her sophomore year, instead of take a year away from Spanish lessons.
“My current hope is to go in the fall of my senior year. Hopefully this will give all the time to relax and be safe again. But if that doesn’t work, then I don’t know what’s going to happen, ”Miller said.
While some had to put their study abroad plans on hold for a year or two, some had to cancel them altogether. Jaida Rose Hanson, who graduated in the winter term of 2021, had to give up studying abroad altogether due to the pandemic.
“I feel like I shouldn’t have put it off, I know there was no way to find out, but I wish I hadn’t waited until my first or last year to study at the foreigner, ”said Hanson. “Even though I can’t study abroad, I still want to travel, so it’s just going to have to be outside of college now.”
Third and fourth year students will be graduating soon, and as terms continue to come and go, so does the opportunity to study abroad. For now, students and faculty will need to re-evaluate their programs abroad until the end of 2021.