Illinois State University made the decision Tuesday to cancel study abroad plans for the spring 2021 semester
The decision was made for the general safety and well-being of the students at ISU.
Before making the decision Tuesday afternoon, the study abroad office and university officials weighed the concerns surrounding students safety and health while traveling abroad.
“Additionally, we are actively reviewing feasibility for spring 2021, taking into account the financial and academic impacts that students could potentially face,” Associate Director for Study Abroad Alex Ratcliff-Hanger said.
With the recent decision to cancel the spring 2021 Study Abroad Program, students who have applied in the My Study Abroad Portal will be notified of the cancellation immediately.
According to an email that ISU’s University Risk Management recently sent out, university-sponsored travel will be limited and will align with appropriate Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Additionally, group travel involving two or more individuals will potentially present more risk considerations. This may or may not result in successful alleviation strategies.
Students and employees who were planning to participate in university-sponsored domestic travel that is outside Illinois were required to complete a Domestic Travel Registration and Pre-Check test.
Students and employees who planned to engage in the university-sponsored international travel were required to complete an International Travel Notification process and needed approval from the vice president.
Unfortunately, with the program now cancelled, some students may not get the opportunity to study abroad because it does not fit with their schedules.
“I do plan on still going because next semester is the only semester that studying abroad really fits into my plan of study due to internships or other required classes,” sophomore psychology major Celia Hernandez said.
Her major concern was being sent home during her trip because of the financial impact it would have on her family. She was also worried about the health and safety of her and her family participating in international travel.
However, she is more concerned about holding onto her college education and experiences.
“I have to put trust in the university [and] health officials, because at the end of the day I believe that they know what is best for the safety of myself and others,” Hernandez said.