Study abroad programs resume after COVID-19

Study abroad programs return to normal, giving students like Christina Cannady and Sarah Pinkerton the opportunity to visit and explore new countries. Photo courtesy of Sarah Pinkerton

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer

Study abroad programs return to normal after almost a full year of uncertainty on whether they will be available for students.

Applications for study abroad programs are currently open for the summer and fall terms of 2022. Study abroad director Bo White, Ed.D., suggested that students start preparing early in the year. In the long run, he said it is more beneficial for students to get on these tasks, given they will have more options and availability for their intended courses.

“If students wait until the last minute, they will have problems getting some of the courses they wanted,” White said.

White said that given that the government is also working at a slower pace due to COVID-19, it is important for students to not leave their paperwork until the last minute since they might not be able to get approvals on time.

Before the pandemic, White said there were approximately 800 to 1,000 students who experienced the study abroad semester. This semester, there are only 43 students who are studying abroad.

White also pointed out that students who are vaccinated are having an easier time traveling and getting into places, while students who are currently in the program but are not vaccinated are required to get weekly tests.

White said students have had to show their vaccine cards on a regular basis, and because many of them have them, there have not been any big problems this semester. Both countries and partners encouraged students to get the vaccine if planning to participate in a study abroad program.

White said there have been no changes to the cost of study abroad programs from past years.

Houston senior Sarah Pinkerton said the experience of studying abroad has been an amazing one. She is currently in Paris and said she has had a lot of time to explore the city.

“I love that we get to be here for a full semester,” Pinkerton said. “It gives a lot of time to uncover the city. We get to live here and feel what it’s like to be a local.”

Texarkana, Ark., senior Christina Cannady previously studied abroad in the Greece and Turkey summer program and is currently studying abroad in the Paris semester program. She said that both programs have been exciting for her but that the semester program is better since it allows more time to experience the country and since being in Paris has been a dream of hers.

“Four months is a long time to be here, but four months is not enough time to be here,” Cannady said.

Fayetteville, N.C., senior and student worker for the Center for Global Engagement Daniel Bryant said that the program is set up very well and that Baylor does a good job in promoting all study abroad programs. He said he is currently planning on attending the winter minimester in Europe.

To learn more about study abroad opportunities, visit Baylor’s study abroad website.