Anticipating complications with the fall 2020 semester due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Office of Off-Campus Study (OCS) has recommended that current sophomores reconsider their study away plans and has given them until mid-to-late-June to do so. This gives students who were planning on studying off campus in the fall of 2020 time to reconsider their decision.
“90 students have withdrawn from [studying away during] the fall 2020 semester, with more than half deferring to the spring 2021 semester,” wrote Christine Wintersteen, director of OCS and International Programs, in an email to the Orient.
On March 31, the U.S. State Department issued a global Level 4 Do Not Travel advisory, writing that U.S. citizens should “avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.” Under the study-away guidelines written by OCS, student travel is prohibited to countries with Level 4 State Department travel advisories.
Wintersteen emphasized that there are still many uncertainties surrounding study-away in the fall.
“It is possible that study-away broadly will not be possible due to U.S. State Department travel advisories, currently at level 4, or if instruction on study away programs and overseas universities remains online,” Wintersteen wrote. “It is also entirely possible that other countries will have strict measures against having students from the U.S. (and other countries) entering their own countries.”