As the spring semester comes to an end, we are considering among other things some of the longer-term implications of COVID-19 on University programs. I write today to provide an update on fall study abroad.
The decision about whether to proceed with fall study abroad was a difficult one to reach. In the end, we took into careful consideration important factors including the elevated international travel warnings issued by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the U.S. Department of State. We also considered the continued rise in COVID-19 related cases abroad, the related increased health, safety and risk concerns for our students, and the unreliable infrastructure capacity worldwide to respond to the pandemic.
Based on these considerations, the University has decided to suspend all undergraduate exchange programs for the fall term administered through the International Programs Center (IPC), and students have been notified by email. In addition, all other international travel involving undergraduates has also been cancelled.
We must place the health and safety of our students above all other considerations. Please know that the IPC will support the students and help them understand their options going forward. For some, deferring their exchange opportunities to the spring may still be an option even if it is unclear at this time what the landscape will be by then. Students who still have questions have been advised to reach out to their Study Abroad advisor for clarification.
We are making this decision now so that our academic units will be in a better position to plan alternate academic opportunities for our students, and so that students will have more time to consider their options for fall courses. We appreciate that as a precaution many of them have already pre-registered for courses here at UNCG and applied for housing. We are encouraging those who have not yet registered, to do so now, and we ask your help as their academic advisors.
As previously communicated, all student international travel (including experiential, study abroad and other group travel program) activities for the summer 2020 term are cancelled. Further, we continue to strongly recommend that all non-essential international and domestic employee travel be avoided until at least June 30.
We will continue to re-evaluate this travel policy and all related academic decisions as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. If you have any questions, feel free to send them to the IPC staff or to firstname.lastname@example.org.