Undergraduate summer study abroad programs canceled, GLO email says


E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Many students had to change or cancel flights on short notice following the announcement that first- and second-year students would not be on campus this fall.

James Pollard, Campus Editor

Summer 2020 credit-bearing undergraduate study abroad programs scheduled between June and August have been canceled, according to an email obtained by The Daily.

The U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level Four Health Advisory on March 19, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Northwestern’s policy prohibits travel to countries with a Level Four advisory from the State Department.

The decision follows the cancelation of Spring Quarter undergraduate study abroad programs, announced March 12 by Northwestern’s Global Learning Office.

“This decision was not made lightly,” Karey Fuhs, senior associate director at the Global Learning Office, said in the email. “We are prioritizing the mitigation of potential health and safety risks for Northwestern’s students, as well as our host communities and program partners.”

Students will not be charged any program, withdrawal or cancellation fees, the email said. While students should not have yet made travel plans related to their program, those who did and incurred costs were told to contact Fuhs.

Fall 2020 study abroad programs are continuing as planned, the email added. Students enrolled in a summer program and interested in applying late to an open fall program were also encouraged to contact Fuhs.

Non-credit international student activities like non-credit research, internships or student organization-sponsored programming are not affected by this decision. A decision on those activities will be made in the coming weeks and communicated by the Office of the Provost, the email said.

Additionally, the University will not approve participation in affiliated or unaffiliated programs offered by non-Northwestern study abroad program providers.

The Global Learning Office is “deeply saddened” to make this decision, Fuhs added in the email.

“The global spread of COVID-19 requires that we limit travel in consideration of all involved in our global partnerships,” she said. “In these unprecedented times, we will be challenged to participate in new forms of intercultural exchange, and our shared commitment to global engagement will be more important than ever before.”

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