Vivian Roach | Staff Writer
Baylor’s study abroad trips planned for the first part of the summer have been put on hold after university-sponsored international travel was restricted through the end of June.
The Office of the Provost said in an email to faculty the difficult decision was made because of COVID-19 restrictions and projected timelines for the reopening of countries.
“The Office of the Provost, in concert with the Center for Global Engagement and the Office of Global Safety and Security in Baylor’s Department of Public Safety, has made the difficult decision to restrict all University-sponsored international travel through the end of June 2021. This includes faculty-led Study Abroad programs scheduled for Summer Session I,” the email said.
Currently, travel has been suspended only until July 1. There will be a further decision made for July and August travel by April 1, according to the email.
The study abroad webpage said deposits are 100% refundable to students, and those affected by the decision should talk to their study abroad advisor.
Summer I sessions would’ve started only a few weeks after the Government of the United Kingdom projected international travel will resume.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a press conference on Feb. 22 the country would slowly be reopening. The Government of the United Kingdom said in their “COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021” comprehensive plan, international travel will resume no earlier than May 17, though travel is still subject for review at that time.
Winston Salem, N.C., junior Haley Chadwick said she plans on taking her last chance to study abroad in London during Session II this summer, since her plans last summer got cancelled.
“I was supposed to travel last summer and think studying abroad is so important to do in college. This is my last chance to go, sadly, so I will be pretty disappointed if they cancel the second session,” Chadwick said. “But I understand that COVID cases, deaths continue to grow.”
Chadwick said she would get the vaccine if that means she can still go abroad.
“I’m going to London, and they started rolling out vaccines around the same time as the U.S.,” Chadwick said. “So that’s why I’m still feeling good about going.”
Lincoln, Neb., senior Greta Gessert said she too is willing to do what it takes to make up for her plans last summer.
“Studying abroad was always something I really wanted to do in college, and this summer will be my last chance,” Gessert said. “I’m trusting that Baylor will do all they can to make it possible, and I’m willing to do everything I can to make it possible, like getting a vaccine.”