Georgetown University has canceled fall study abroad programs set to begin before August 1 to conform with previous university restrictions on international summer travel, according to an email sent to all fall and full-year study abroad students.
The university suspended all of its summer study abroad programs March 25 because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest cancellation, announced April 13, will largely affect programs located in the Southern Hemisphere, where fall academic semesters are slated to begin in July. Fall programs beginning after August 1 have not yet been canceled. Administrators will decide the fate of the remaining fall programs by May 29, according to an email from Office of Global Education Director Craig Rinker, who notified study abroad students of the cancellation.
The cancellation applied to 12 study abroad programs with a total of nearly 50 participating students, Rinker wrote in an email to The Hoya.
If students from canceled programs still want to spend time abroad, they can try to enroll in other fall programs that begin at later dates or postpone their study abroad plans until the spring 2021 semester, according to the email. Rinker also encouraged students still enrolled in fall study abroad programs to register for main campus classes and apply for on-campus housing in case the other fall programs are canceled.
The university began canceling study abroad programs in late January as COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, raged through China and began spreading across the globe. After ending spring programs in different global hotspots of the virus, Georgetown decided to suspend all study abroad programs for the spring semester March 16.
Grant Brown (COL ’22) is one among the latest round of students who had their study abroad plans derailed by the pandemic. (Full disclosure: Brown serves as a staff writer for The Guide.) Brown was set to travel to Valparaíso, Chile, in late July before he received news of the cancellation Monday morning. The cancellation, while disappointing, was expected, Brown said in a phone interview with The Hoya.
“I was anticipating it, but the only reason why is because me and my friends were talking. We were all talking about how we think that study abroad will be canceled,” Brown said.
The university’s decision to specifically cancel programs beginning before August seemed arbitrary, Brown added.
“With mine I would have only been abroad for one week of July, so it doesn’t really make sense to me why they only canceled those programs,” Brown said. “It seems like they’re just kind of delaying their decision to actually cancel all abroad programs for now,” Brown said.
This article will be updated as the story develops.