Community Update on Study Abroad: April 24, 2020
Dear DU Community,
As week four of spring quarter comes to a close, we are beginning to consider some of the longer-term implications of COVID-19 on University programs. We write today to provide an update on fall study abroad.
The decision about whether to proceed with fall study abroad was a difficult one to reach. In the end, we took into careful consideration a number of important factors including the elevated international travel warnings issued by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the U.S. Department of State. We also considered the continued rise in COVID-19 related cases abroad, the related increased health, safety and risk concerns for our students and the unreliable infrastructure capacity worldwide to respond to the pandemic.
Based on these considerations, the University has decided to cancel all Office of International Education (OIE) undergraduate study abroad programs for the fall term. In addition to DU partner programs, this cancellation also extends to unaffiliated study abroad programs (AUP/UPP).
We know that some of you will be disappointed by this decision. Although we understand your disappointment, we must place the health and safety of our students above all other considerations. Please know that the OIE is here to support students and help them understand their options going forward, and OIE students will be receiving an email from that office today sharing some important details about next steps to the COVID-19 & Study Abroad Considerations page of the OIE handbook. If you still have questions or concerns after reading the information in the handbook and reviewing the OIE email, please reach out to your OIE advisor.
Final decisions have not yet been made about the Boren Fellows and faculty-directed graduate programs. Boren Scholars and Global Masters Students will also be hearing from the OIE today about pathways we are exploring to keep them in good standing in their programs. The Fulbright program has announced a delayed start from fall to Jan. 1, 2021 and this may happen with other graduate programs as well. We will be in touch about those programs as soon as we have any further information to share with those enrolled.
We are making this decision now so that our academic units will be in a better position to plan alternate academic opportunities for our students, and so that students will have more time to consider their options for fall courses. We strongly recommend that students make plans to register for DU courses for the fall term as soon as registration opens beginning May 22-29. Please look for an email from the Registrar's office to understand the exact date and time of your registration. In the coming weeks, DU housing will communicate to students about options and availability.
As previously communicated, all student international travel (including experiential, study abroad and other group travel program) activities for the summer 2020 term are cancelled. Further, we continue to strongly recommend that all non-essential international and domestic employee travel be avoided until at least June 30.
We will continue to re-evaluate this travel policy and all related academic decisions as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds.
If you have any questions, please contact your OIE Advisor.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Vice Provost for Internationalization